Tank Proposal©
(excerpts, circa 1993)

We will describe a new isolation/flotation tank technology -- derived from simulation of the bottle-nosed dolphin’s sonic-visioning system -- which, once the engineering details are completed, is likely to be patentable. Such a tank will have major commercial possibilities with several target markets in Japan and elsewhere. We will describe how this tank can be used as a research and development laboratory for exploring a unique synaesthetic approach to light/sound holographic display systems, and the rationale this medium will provide for a synthesis of music and the plastic arts -- transcending Nintendo and Sega’s game/arcade/cartoon orientation to virtual reality technology, with its tendency to “adolescentize” human cognition.

relative to the design
We envision production of a selection of designer biofeedback-equipped isolation/flotation tanks of sophisticated line, color, and texture -- anyone of which could be placed in the most elegant of settings. The design flexibility would be accomplished with layered plastic injection molding technology. The computer software required to control the injection nozzles of the mold, and the process of manufacturing the mold itself, is a recent technological application in virtual reality programming. Associated with the normal tank facilities would be a built-in biofeedback display system, with both audio and visual feedback components. Why use such a sophisticated technology, just recently finding applications outside the space shuttle program, to manufacture an isolation tank? Because only the use of molecular conductive plastics can open up a clean brilliance of design possibilities!

Molecular conductive plastics are engineered molecules containing metallic components which give plastic the ability to conduct electricity. During injection molding, a non-conductive plastic shell would be the first injection from the nozzles; then the conductive circuits would be laid down as a second injection; finally, the exterior designer encasement would be injected. We propose that, initially, networking circuits for the biofeedback equipment be of injected molecular conductive plastics, and that in later models the processors of the biofeedback devices themselves be embedded in the plastic shell of the tank.

The user would attach biofeedback wetwear pickup devices for wireless transmission of the signals. Initial versions would not provide medical quality sensitivity, but that possibility exists with further development. The various biofeedback parameters -- e.g., blood pressure, skin resistance, EEG, EMG -- would be individually or multiply selectable and coupled to visual and auditory readouts. The auditory readout would be carried by a battery of quadraphonic hydrophone speakers built into the tank below the waterline. The user would wear the necessary earplug apparatus (based on dolphin anatomy) required for humans to simulate 3-dimensional acoustic space underwater. The visual readout would be accomplished in a dome (the analogue of the dolphin’s melon) built into the tank above the head of the user. The coupled audio-visual environment in a gravity-free flotation medium would simulate certain features of dolphin sonic-visioning awareness.

Manufactured into the body of the dome would be a syndrome of computer-controlled, movable mini-lasers and fiber-optic multiplexing units. If a laser beam x number of angstroms below the visual spectrum intersects a laser beam x number of angstroms above the visible spectrum, there is created a point of light floating in space. Enough such points is a 3-dimensional form. Color is nothing more than added complexity.

relative to the use
In the initial commercial versions of this tank, visual readout of the biofeedback devices would be rather simple: intersecting lines, point patterns, color fields. As the engineering of the dome, its mini-laser syndromes, fiber-optic multiplexors, and computer software modules became more developed, there would be coupled audio-visual display, 3-dimensional colored forms coupled to sonic spatial gestalts, and ultimately what can be called music-sculpture or Musculpt: moving, transmorphosing colored forms associated with musical holosonic thematics. As the user attained greater and greater facility at autogenic modulation of autonomic nervous system function -- measured and displayed by the biofeedback devices -- s-he would psychophysiologically enact a synesthetic Musculpt composition of increasing “symorphonic” sophistication. The more elaborate the Musculpt generated, the more the user simulates the mind of the dolphin.

Be aware that we are not proposing any form of invasive brain stimulation. The biofeedback occurs only as read through the normal perceptual modalities. Why do we not wish to establish frequency correlates of feedback parameters and invasively impress them on the brain via ultrasonic or electromagnetic waves? Because several variables associated with the quantum wave properties of DNA molecules contained in the neuron cells of the brain almost certainly are involved in CNS -immune system coupling, and most certainly can be altered by impressed fields.

relative to the manufacturing
Plastic injection molding has been used to make hulls for a few yachts involved in World Cup races of recent years. In some cases, the plastic used has not been made from petroleum-based products, but from milk (the enzymes of whey, to be more exact). Use of milk-based molecular conductive plastics has been discussed relative to design of compact computer consoles and electric mini-cars for use in urban Asia. The larger the line of products manufactured, the more cost effective it is to use this sophisticated technology.

relative to a Musculpt laboratory
Sculpture now has the opportunity to save music! The complexity of the mosaic of sound contemporary art music needs to explore in order to analogically model the evolving world view construct is too much for the unaided ear. Dodecaphonic grundreihe and grundgestalt, retrograde inversions, serialized total control, general serial formation, polyvalent aleatoric formation, tonal time gestalt, point-field density, interval fields…does anyone but the composer and a few colleagues actually HEAR ten percent of what is composed into the sound pattern? But what if the moving sonic gestalts were accompanied by a computer-controlled, dynamic, polymorph, mini-laser projected, colored light sculpture embodying the abstract properties of the piece? Could not the eye aid the ear? Could not what is presently esoteric be made accessible to the average listener-seer?

Music now has the opportunity to save sculpture! The reductionism of the plastic metaphor has become excessive. Plastic signification is not identical to plastic reduction. Signification has become reduction because sculpture needs to explore elements of an emerging world view construct that no unaided 3-dimensional articulation can signify: synergism, automorphism, nonlocality, linguistic semiosis, time dilation, spatial contraction, non-simple identity… Could not the ear aid the eye?

Musculpt is not a dream, it is a cultural necessity!

Multimedia, with its acceleration of cultural fragmentation, is precisely what we don’t need. A fused synaesthetic medium is necessary for a synthesis of the arts and for the establishment of a unified metascience. The dolphin’s sonic-visioning system is the most instructive model we have available for catalyzing a desperately needed cultural transition. This new tank concept, with its melon-brain dome and 3-dimensional laser display (which models quantum processes transpiring in the dolphin’s acoustico-optical cortex) is the perfect laboratory for working out the engineering problems of the mini-laser syndrome, the fiber-optic multiplexors, the compiler programs for controlling the lasers in relation to various inputs, to articulations of the parallel distance alleys of the binocular visual space, to experiential/experimental synchronizations of the acoustic space in relation to exteriorized feeling-place empathic maps, and so on. This tank environment is the most cost effective light-sound device within which to paint-compose-design-solve the Musculpt medium -- before performing it as collective metareferential ritual in a SuperDome.

relative to research
One example: under the hypothesis that generation of fractal images during meditative autogenic abreaction (a technique used in the neuropsychiatric practice of Autogenic Therapy) indicates achievement of prohomeostatic, or perhaps even heterostatic, physiological adaptivity in the practice, a theoretical perspective is required within which to design experiments to test this hypothesis. If the hypothesized Hess-Luthe-Penfield “centrencephalic safety-discharge-system” (CSDS) for orchestrating release of thematic material -- including visual phenomena -- during autogenic abreaction is conceived to operate exclusively on the basis of subcortical scanning of the cortex and subcortical pacemaking in EEG genesis, then, clearly, this is an incomplete systemic concept if fractal image generation is indeed an expression of physiologic adaptivity in autogenic meditation practice. Fractal images are characterized by multiple scales, nesting, and self-similarity, which prevailing models of impulse scanning and pacemaking do not account for. A promising approach to expanding the perspectives on operational parameters of the CSDS involves: (1) Jean Gebser’s notion that an object of perception is constituted in awareness from a stack of “sheaves” as a “concretion of time”; (2) the manner in which “Dirac time” offers additional insight into the nature of superposition in Schrödinger’s wave equation as a partial descriptor of coherent wave generation by intra-neuronal DNA; (3) the notion that the autogenic meditator-tank composite is an initial approximation to a man-machine analogue to the bottle-nosed dolphin’s sonic-visioning system. Carry implications of this conceptual orientation into design of experiments with the biofeedback equipped isolation/flotation tank. For twenty-five years patients with idiopathic epilepsy have been treated with the standard Autogenic Training exercises (in Central Europe, primarily Budapest, where they have been practicing Autogenic Training exercises on different levels of the epileptic discharges). The ability of the patient to practice the standard exercises in the tank eyes-closed viewing spontaneously produced visual phenomena, then eyes-open viewing holographically displayed biofeedback parameters, then -- biofeedback switched off, but holographic projection system switched on and under voluntary control of the patient by finger manipulation -- eyes-closed/eyes-open eyes-closed/eyes-open adjusting the holographic display into conformation with the spontaneously produced visual phenomena will provide not only increased therapeutic effectiveness, but a wealth of recorded data with which to explore the hypothesis about fractal image generation. Not to mention strategies for exploration of a subsidiary hypothesis that congenital idiopathic epilepsies may result from maternal blocking (societally forced) of empathically-induced non-ordinary time perception, thus suppressing paroxystic phenomena on EEG -- cross-modal linkages to the suppressed paroxystic phenomena later forming the basis of prefigurative epileptic auras in the child: odors, orgasms, photisms, paresthesias.

relative to the marketing
Because of the bathing tradition in Japan, and the fact that the sento is rapidly disappearing from the urban environment, an innovative product that could become associated in the public mind with the bath may be more easily marketed in Japan than elsewhere. Possible target markets are the onsen, the mind gym, the resort ryokan, the sports club, the community of practicing Autogenic Therapists (Japan has the largest number of these outside Germany), Naikan and Morita Therapists, alcoholics treatment facilities, occupational health clinics, corporate stress management programs. Outside Japan, specific targets in addition would be the professional athletics industry, medical rehabilitation and pain management centers, longevity centers, holistic health centers, European health spas. A special version of this tank could be made for use by sex therapists and for marketing to love hotels in Japan. The intent of many ritual practices in Tantric and Taoist sexual yoga is to bring the practitioners to sufficiently deep states of relaxation during the act of coitus as to allow a shift in the state of the brain and CNS from the ergotropic (actively innervated) to the trophotropic (providing nourishment) mode of functioning. This inevitably involves a shift in spontaneously generated imagery from the more concrete to the more abstract and physiologically adapted, e.g., fractal image generation. Only following transit deeply into the trophotropic mode can the most elaborate neurohumoral discharge processes be initiated by the brain. Relative to sexual experience, this is essentially a process of de-fetishization. The gravity free environment (as dolphin sexual behavior illustrates) of the tank is most conducive for catalyzing this deep transit in neurophysiologic functioning, which is prerequisite to transorgasmic discharge: the obtainment of which is one object of traditional sexual yoga practices. Tanks equipped for such use would be filled with a non-salt flotation medium. Publication of a book on Tank Tantra would be part of the marketing strategy.

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