An image of the promotional poster for the 2018 performance, "I Am Sitting... IV" in Bergen, Norway, depicting Champlin with a 3D printed EEG device on her head.

I Am Sitting… IV

Past performances: 

  • May 17, 2018; Without Borders Festival at Lord Hall Gallery; Orono, ME, USA (view on youtube)
  • June 10-12, 2018; Thresholds of the Algorithmic at Lydgalleriet; Bergen, Norway
Link to video of “I Am Sitting… IV” at Without Borders Festival in May, 2018.

I Am Sitting. . . is an immersive performance and sound installation in which a live performer is seated, in meditation and wearing an EEG instrument, in the center of an array of 8 inward-facing speakers. Eight channels of live-streamed EEG data are transformed into a sonic landscape that is both intimate and expansive. The sounds are spatialized in accordance with the geography of the eight electrode sensors of the instrument in order to create the sense of listening to the brain from the point of view of its owner, the performer.

The performance space is defined by the perimeter of speakers, and invites the audience to enter into the space, move about within it, and become part of an immersive bio-feedback experience. The resultant sound responds to the environment, especially the presence of the audience, by articulating external influences on the brain activity of the performer.

This work speaks to the thresholds at work within our perceptions – of self, of environment, and the distinctions between the two.

It also illustrates a dialectic between author and subject. Do our perceptions and actions generate our world, or are we experiencing a determined universe, an algorithm that is simply playing itself out? This quandary extends from the performer in meditation through the audience experiencing the piece, both questioning their role at the threshold of influence.

Finally, I Am Sitting. . . hovers in the space between the intimate and the interpersonal. How much of me is you? Can we fine-tune our perceptions to be more, or less, sensitive to our social conditioning? Which signals qualify as communication? The piece puts the audience (and performer) in an active state of testing these thresholds, teasing our intuitive and intellectual senses to dialogue with one another and form dynamic hypotheses about the nature of perception and interaction.

This piece is dedicated to the inimitable Alvin Lucier.

Duet for Bow Chime & Live EEG 1

Duet for Bow Chime & Live EEG

Duet for Bow Chime & Live EEG was a live improvisational performance recorded in the IMRC’s AP/PE on March 27, 2018.

This work uses a modified technique, which includes live EEG (brainwave) data in combination with bowing. EEG data processed through custom MaxMSP programming is converted to a sound signal and output through a pair of transducers attached to the resonator of the bow chime. 

The effect is such that the bow chime’s range of frequencies becomes focused where it is resonant with the EEG signal, and the two work together to produce complex layers of sound. Further, the normal haptic feedback loop between the bow chime and player, which allows the player to choose sympathetic bowing actions, is layered with the added element of biofeedback from the EEG sounds generated by the player in action.

An upcoming performance using this technique is scheduled for July 9, 2018, at the Apohadion Theatre in Portland Maine.


Champlin uses a modified bow chime developed by Matt Samolis. She has been studying ‘cymbal bath’ techniques with Samolis since 2017. The instrument is modeled on the original bow chime invented by Robert Rutman in 1967.


I Am Sitting... II 8

I Am Sitting… II

“I Am Sitting…” is an experimental performance installation which explores the potential of the mind to manifest itself in direct terms without mediation by physical gestures. Champlin has been developing it since early 2016 and has presented multiple iterations of the project, and has recently completed a residency at Hangar Interactive Labs in Barcelona to develop new instrumentation.

In this piece, EEG and ECG sensors capture passive bioactivity. A chain of simple translators in the form of custom hardware and software introduces the bio signals into primitive audio and video feedback loops, amplifying them to allow subtle changes in Champlin’s physical experience to percolate up as broad variances in the perceivable environment. Nothing seen or heard is prerecorded.

In partial homage to work by Alvin Lucier in the late 1960s, “I Am Sitting…” draws inspiration from two key points of interest. Firstly, and literally, work attempts to comment on the notion of bypassing the choreography of artmaking – moving outside the traditional notion of composition – such that the art is in the composition of the process itself. Secondly, the project’s roots came from an attraction to research by others such as Ernst Chladni and Hans Jenny regarding the transference of signals from one medium to another through the reductive mechanism of their underlying frequencies.

Within these contexts, this work attempts to demonstrate one method of removing the external gestures of performance and using internal control structures, such as information-coded biofeedback, in their place to effect an external change in the viewer’s perceptive field.

As the project has developed, Champlin has focused increasingly on the nature of networked communications systems and the implications they have for neutrality and mediation in language. The feedback loop’s responsiveness to minute fluctuations in EEG signals demonstrates the clear inability of the artist (as a component in a system) to be truly neutral.



The durational performance, Motive, went through two public iterations. It began as a response to themes in Yves Klein’s Large Blue Anthropometries, specifically those of distancing the hand of authorship, and making marks that were recognizable as both iconic (figurative traces) and indexical (literal traces). I wanted Klein’s ideas, but without all the misogynistic performance and feminist protest that his pieces are infamous for generating.

My attempted solution was a primitive mechanical system that seemed to be the simplest way to get paint onto canvas, using my body as a ‘neutral’ point of mediation. This took the form of a rudimentary tripod with a pulley and rope to hoist a bucket of paint (International Klein Blue, of course, or the closest I could afford) above the canvas, with me in a white coverall crouched below. The expectation was that the paint would splatter off and create a negative of my form on the canvas.

In the first iteration, the forensic-style display of the paint-splattered suit got much more attention than the action painting produced on the canvas – one person called it a body condom, pointing out how the work was still squarely in the realm of sexually exploitative vocabulary. I felt the conceptual aims of the performance were lost in the same feminist debate in which Klein’s work seems to be buried.

The second iteration was a bit more of a deliberately produced event. With better promotion, better staging, and a streamlined wall text, it left fewer arbitrary details to chance. The durational aspect of the performance lasted nearly 40 minutes. I did not show the resulting suit (it had to be cut off me); this time, only the performance along with a narrative of the conceptual themes of authorship and semiology, and a designated time for discussion afterward. The semiotic power of the body as a symbol to dominate a tableau, and its often immediate reference to objectification, became the salient theme I took away from this work, as I continued to apply the methodologies of reductionism and simple self-regulating systems to produce generative work.