In Oakland, California, a group of artists are building a massive, interactive brain sculpture that's meant to be controlled by only one thing: an actual brain. The sculpture, titled Mens Amplio — Latin for "expanding the mind" — is going to be 15 feet tall and will be able to glow, flash colors and patterns, and even shoot out fire. The brain is being constructed from twirling metal tubes and LEDs, and will be housed inside of a large wireframe head.
The plan is to showcase the Mens Amplio at different events, allowing spectators to control the brain by wearing an attached EEG headset, which measures electrical fluctuations on the skull as a way of indirectly detecting brain activity. According to Boing Boing, the statue will reflect how relaxed its controller is. If they're calm, the statute's lights will flow in an ambient pattern, while an active mind will cause streaks of light to dart through it. Only a meditative state will get the statue to actually throw out flames.
Burning Man provided most of the funding for Mens Amplio's construction, but the rest is being raised through Indiegogo. Once it's complete, the artists behind the statue hope to take it around to local schools as a way to inspire kids to learn about everything from science to electronics to fabrication. It's set to debut at Burning Man this year, which begins August 26th.