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Martians Incubation Lab

EEG Interactive Installation & Space, 2022

Rebuild a spiritual relationship with Mars from within


Martians Incubation Lab is a mind-body medium that merges real and fictional situations, audiences are invited to become incubation personnel and will conduct an incubation experiment of Martian consciousness, an interactive experience that combines brainwave sensing and mental image. Via scientific-based guided meditation, audiences imagine themselves as a Martian being to sense the environmental states, atmosphere, and emotions of Mars. During the imagination, the sensor will translate audiences’ brainwaves into real-time soundscapes and motion graphics. This conversion process resembles extracting the inner consciousness that audiences project on Martian lives and will then, give birth to a Martian consciousness that establishes the spiritual relationship between the self and Mars. Finally, the collective of Martian consciousnesses demonstrates the diverse inner states of people connecting Mars from within and hopefully, provides inspiration to spiritually approach otherwise societies and worlds.

Lacking scientific evidence, our views of aliens are shaped by personal biases and emotions.

Therefore, it's crucial to not only seek life beyond Earth but also delve into the hidden realms within ourselves.

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This project uses Mars, the most stigmatized planet in space as the base for reshaping our imagination of aliens. Even though the appearance of Mars has become disenchanted with the advances of space technology, people's imagination of Mars has not been weakened and is still biased; hence, this project aims to bring audiences back to the first place where Mars was alienated, the geographical environment, and through which to trigger their imaginative power for exploring inward and developing spiritual relationships with Mars.

Welcome to the

Martians Incubation Lab

The Martians Incubation Lab is a unique research institute that has long been dedicated to incubating species from Mars on Earth. The purpose of founding this lab was to conduct research and prepare humans spiritually before they landed on Mars by exploring what kind of mentality humans should develop to face a landscape, substances, and lives drastically unlike those on Earth.

This lab developed a species incubation method to explore one’s “Internal Mars.” What this method incubates is not the physical shape of a species but its consciousness. It is hoped that through them, we can build a spiritual connection between humans and Mars.

To incubate more diverse species from Mars, we need to recruit more species incubation personnel!

This lab was realized as the outcome of the project at Treasure Hill Artist Village in Taipei, Taiwan from November 4 to 11, 2022. The lab was divided into four rooms and invited the audience to become incubation personnel, going through the history of Mars both in fiction and reality and incubating their personal Martian with their imagination and brainwave.



Evolutionary history of species on Mars

The historic record of Mars can be traced back to Ancient Egypt and Ancient Rome 4,000 years ago. Back then, people discovered a red star in the sky. Its color elicited the blood-thirsty and violent image of the god of war, and they named it Mars. In ancient China, in the first century BCE, people named this star Yinghuo. They used the movements of Yinghuo to predict disasters and the deaths of emperors. However, back then, there were not many legends about life on Mars. The earliest record of life from Mars traces back to BEC 350, during the Jin dynasty. In In Search of the Supernatural, a small child in cyan clothing told people around him about the future, declared that he was from Yinghuo, and then vanished into the sky. Since then, visitors from Mars have only sporadically appeared on Earth.

In 1897, the lead researcher of a lab, Percival Lowell, perceived man-made canals through a telescope for the first time, and this lab was officially founded. For nearly 2 centuries since then, members of the lab have been employing scientific observation, cultural observation, and media dissemination to incubate Martian beings with various characteristics, and they have used these characteristic species to infer the geological state of Mars and to provide humans with different perspectives on the red planet. The initial discoveries of Lowell inspired other researchers to incubate species from Mars, and they used various forms of technology for incubation.

Since then, the Martians have undergone several waves of evolution. At first, they were religious. Later, they became advanced and benevolent. But gradually, they turned ruthless. In the end, they become invasive colonizers, and the first evil alien race in the universe was born in the lab. However, based on the samples previously incubated in the lab, the invasive and exploitative Martians have mostly gone extinct. Just as “imagination affects reality,” humans have gradually become the Martians they incubated. In the future, what will Mars projects planned by colonization-bent humans lead to?


The Alienated Martian Landscape

Scientific observation of Mars can be traced back to 1877, when the Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli observed it through a telescope and painted the first map of the red planet. He also named the slender network of shadows “canali”. However, the view through a telescope back then was quite blurry. Also, some scientists mistranslated the Italian word “canali,” which means natural canals, as the English word “canals,” implying an unnatural, or constructed, origin. As a result, pareidolia led to rumors of civilization on Mars.

Back then, the available technology for observation was not advanced. The “canals” discovered by the lead researcher of this lab, Lowell, and the belief that Mars had an advanced culture were only his own alienated thoughts, just his personal projections of an unknown Mars landscape. According to the Phenomenology of the Alien by the German philosopher Bernhard Waldenfels, “Thoughts of aliens originated from humans, not from the outside.” In other words, the Mars species incubated in the past were mostly derived from the projections of fear and anticipation of researchers about unknown realms.

These alienated species indirectly affected people’s perceptions of Mars. Thus, this lab holds the position that, before people land on Mars, they must incubate Martian species that are more connected to their home planet. To overcome the stereotypes and delusions derived from the past Mars landscape, the lab again returned to the beginning, where Mars was alienated, i.e., the geological environment of the planet, and used observations of the landscape, environment, and climate based on current science to re-explore our attitude and intentions toward the red planet.



Incubation Based on Inward Exploration

After a comprehensive review, researchers discovered that the Mars species incubated in the past had a common blind spot: these species were the researchers’ one-way projections of their thoughts on Mars. This dominant incubation method hindered the exploration of Mars, and other possibilities of establishing relationships with Mars were lost.

Thus, the latest position of the Martians Incubation Lab is that exploring the features of Martian life inwardly, in the internal universe, is equally important to external discoveries of evidence of Martian life in the universe.

To reconstruct the relationship between humans and Mars, this lab developed the incubation method of Search for Intraterrestrial Intelligence (SITI). This method employs science-based environmental settings and situational guided meditation. The species incubation personnel imagine themselves as beings on Mars to sense the environmental states, atmosphere, and emotions of this planet. Meanwhile, the brainwaves of these people are translated into real-time voice prints and patterns. These real-time sounds are like musical dialogues conducted with one’s own internal Mars. Finally, Martian consciousnesses connected to the incubation personnel will be born.

A brain represents an internal universe, and each internal universe contains a unique internal Mars. The Martian beings people conjure up differ greatly, and each consciousness being incubated is unique.

Based on the landscape of Mars, this time, we divided the incubated Martian consciousnesses into three topics, and species incubation personnel use meditation to incubate one of them.

The Rocky Surface
00:00 / 10:33
The Gigantic Volcano
00:00 / 10:47
The Extremely Deep Canyon
00:00 / 10:55


Diverse Martian Consciousnesses

As for what a Martian consciousness entails, researchers analyzed the characteristics of consciousness from the perspectives of biology and philosophy. From the biodiversity perspective, each creature has different sense organs. Those sense organs use different methods to process information from the surrounding environment, shaping the unique thought patterns of individuals. These different thought patterns, in turn, should lead to the existence of diverse types of consciousness, as they do in the lower animals.

In addition, the development of life is the outcome of an environment having conditions suitable for lives. Thus, the state of life is closely related to its living environment. If the state of life affects the consciousness it carries, then different environments will bear different types of consciousnesses. When the scope of an environment is expanded to the scale of a planet, then the planet should also bear the imprints of the consciousnesses that shaped it, such as its environment, its revolution and rotation periods, and the presence or absence of satellites. These imprints affect the evolution of life and subsequently affect the states of consciousness. Thus, the consciousnesses of Mars should be different from those of Earth.

From the philosophical perspective, according to the perspective of panpsychism, consciousness is the most basic characteristic of extant matter. That is, even small particles have extremely simple forms of consciousness, and mountains, stones, and dust may all have consciousness. Human consciousness is only the aggregate of a multitude of minute forms of consciousness.


When the perspective of panpsychism is adopted to view Mars, the rocks, red dirt, and dust on its surface may all have consciousness. Given the idea that the compositions of the particles that form Earth and humans are very close to those forming substances on Mars, perhaps human consciousness and that of Mars share commonalities at a certain level.


Summarizing the viewpoints of biology and philosophy on consciousness, researchers in this lab discovered that the consciousnesses of humans and Mars do indeed share commonalities. Thus, this lab has provided a basic definition of a Martian consciousness: “The inner consciousness projected by humans when they visualize life on Mars.” The Martian consciousnesses derived from different species incubation personnel present the inner states they project when they visualize life on Mars, as well as the spiritual connections they have with Mars. What kinds of perspectives on Mars do these new Martian consciousnesses provide us?


Software: Unicorn Lab Streaming Layer (LSL), Ablenton Live, Max/MSP, Spline, Three.js, EEGsynth, Electron.js

Hardware: Unicorn Hybrid Black (EEG headset)

This project collaborated with

Anthropologist - Shih Hsiang Sung  

Astronomer - Jasmina Lazendic-Galloway  

Neuroscientist - Robert Oostenveld  

Creative Technologist - Reng Tsai  

Music Artist - Hai Ting Liao  

Visual Artist - Cleo Jan  

Web Designer - Tzu Yen Chen

This project is supported by National Taiwan Museum of Fine Art, EEGSynth

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© copyright 2024. All Images are free to be used if;

Hung Lu Chan, Project Title, and Photographer are mentioned correctly with the images.

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