Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

“Iris” – Stephen Auger

June 7, 2018 @ 12:00 pm

IRIS merges rhythmic sound, pulsating light, and vibrational resonance, induces bodily experience beyond the boundaries of the intellectual mind.

Engineered by top-tier scientists, creatives, and programmers, the IRIS sensorium hovers at an electric intersection of neuroscience, art, and entertainment. “Three parts neurobiology and one part magic,” says creator Stephen Auger, “each IRIS encounter generates a custom creation of wonder and awe.” Light, color, sound, and story guide each adventurer on a journey unique to their biology, synchronizing their senses and reconnecting them to the magic of forgotten experiences.

Auger invites participants inside a small space where they are introduced to both sound and light frequencies, which induce visualizations of spirals, fractals, waves, radials, zigzags, honeycombs, pinwheels, and “seed” patterns.


In 1819, Jan Purkinje, the father of modern neuroscience, first described the swirling geometric visual patterns brought on by diffuse flickering light as phenomena of perception rather than a supernatural encounter. Profoundly influential experiences are found through all recorded time from cave art, shamanistic trance to Pythagorean geometry. Adepts and seekers have long seeked the night sky, caves, and sacred spaces,  at specific seasonal moments, to elevate shafts and particles of light into visionary encounters. 

When the human visual system encounters specific frequencies of diffuse flickering light, most people experience beautiful swirling colorful geometric patterns. The dynamics of the patterns are related to altered neuronal activity between the thalamus and the visual cortex, but there is still much that is not well understood. The phenomena is an interesting hack, which reveals the inner workings of the human visual system without the need for pharmacological assistance.

The development of IRIS has been made possible with support from Harvard Medical School, MIT, and UC Berkeley. Following its debut at Axle Contemporary, this project will be presented at Burning Man in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada in September 2018.


For those seeking deeper insight into the inner/outer-cosmos experience, Stephen Auger will join Santa Fe Institute Fellows Artemy Kolchinsky, Vanessa Ferdinand, UC Berkeley Chronobiologist Dr. Benjamin Smarr, and Bio-hacker Mikey Sklar for a provocative panel discussion on “Future Evolution of the Brain-body on Earth and Space.” The panel will take place at The Santa Fe Institute’s InterPlanetary Festival on Friday, June 8th at noon.

The IRIS experience is produced by Axle Contemporary and will premier at The Santa Fe Institute‘s InterPlanetary Festival and at the CURRENTS New Media Festival. Learn more about Futurition Santa Fe.

Appointments last about seven minutes.  Appointments can be booked in advance on Axle Contemporary’s website, beginning on May 22. IRIS can accommodate 1–4 people at a time.


Thurs, June 7:  11:00 am–8:30 pm in Farmer’s Market shade structure. Part of Santa Fe Institute’s InterPlanetary Festival.

Fri, June 8:      11:00 am–11:00 pm in Farmer’s Market shade structure. Part of Santa Fe Institute’s InterPlantery Festival & CURRENTS.

Sat, June 9:     3:00 pm–11:00 pm in Farmer’s Market shade structure. Part of CURRENTS.

Sun, June 10:   Noon–7:00 pm in Farmer’s Market shade structure. Part of CURRENTS.

Thurs June 14:  4:00 pm–10:00 pm at Meow Wolf.

Fri, June 15:      5:00 pm–8:00 pm in Farmer’s Market shade structure.

Sat, June 16:     5:00 pm–8:00 pm in Farmer’s Market shade structure.

Thurs, June 21:    3:00 pm–8:00 pm at Meow Wolf.

Friday, June 22:   5:00 pm–8:00 pm in Farmer’s Market shade structure.

Sun: June 24:  Noon–5:00 pm in Farmer’s Market shade structure.


June 7, 2018
12:00 pm
Event Category: