Composing the Actual: Brainwave Sonification as Materialized Intensity of Virtual Relations


  • Jasna Jovićević



sonified brain waves, virtual-actual dimension, open-social, affective interaction, music experiment


My recently performed experimental music performance I Sit and Worry About Her comprises a transdisciplinary research project that explores the function of large-scale cortical networks and application of EEG, monitoring the brainwaves in music making and perceiving. The project aims at understanding the activity of the brain and its electric impulses as an affect or intensity of virtual relations. There are several assemblages that relate rhizomatically in different dimensions inside an event; from minor gestures in the brain’s electric impulse continuum, its self-enjoyment and experience of sound frequencies, to the affective modality that creates authentic collective identity during the performance, thus questioning the unity of movement between subject and object. The project involves playing pre-recorded music content back to the performance space in real time, triggered by a threshold of a certain brainwave frequency; thus, it functions as a sonification of the brain’s electricity – a kind of materialization of a virtual property. Pre-recorded music is perceived in the performing space before the subject becomes a knower of the actualized potential, before she perceives her thought. Does that make me a composer of the perceiver’s actual dimension? If we apply this performance technique, is it possible to actualize the virtual open-social identity, even while involved in a social collaborative interaction?


Article received: April 30, 2020; Article accepted: May 30, 2020; Published online: October 15, 2020; Original scholarly paper

Author Biography

Jasna Jovićević

Faculty of Media and Communications, Singidunum University,

Jasna Jovićević graduated from “Franc Liszt” Music Academy in Budapest, with a degree in Jazz saxophone performance and teaching, and received an MA in Music Composition from York University in Toronto. Currently, she is enrolled in Doctoral Transdisciplinary Studies in Contemporary Arts and Media in Belgrade, focusing on jazz and free improvised music and the gender performativity within the jazz discourse. She studied and won grants to many Artist in Residency programs in New York, San Francisco, Banff, Graz, Washington D.C., Recife (Brazil) and Spain, as well as competitions in Milan, Budapest, Belgrade, and Ljubljana. She teaches music and music methodology at the university level, leads NGO projects in culture, non-formal education, and contemporary music. As an activist in affirmation and promotion of female creativity in jazz music, Jasna is the founder of the all-female big band New Spark Jazz Orchestra – Balkan Women in Jazz.


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How to Cite

Jovićević, J. (2020). Composing the Actual: Brainwave Sonification as Materialized Intensity of Virtual Relations. AM Journal of Art and Media Studies, (23), 29–44.



Main Topic: How to do Things with Speculative Pragmatism: Anthropocene, Aesthetics, Art