Science of DISCO | Carwash London |Guerilla Science

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , /

We’re here tonight at Carwash, in collaboration
with Guerilla Science to investigate synchrony in a social context, specifically in a club
setting. The vibe that you get when you’re in a club
environment, how can we try and characterise that quantitatively? How can we better understand
what is underlying those moments where everything seems to come together with the music and
the people? What we’re looking at specifically here is movement. When do people synchronise
in their movement? When is there more general movement taking place throughout a room? And
what we’ll be able to do then is look at how that relates to the music, but also go
into other environments such as an MRI scanner and look at when individual’s brains might
synchronise in their activity in relation to the behavioural synchrony we’re observing
in this club context. So we’re very excited about the future possibilities of this work.
I’m Annie O, I was the DJ today for the experiment. I think as a DJ one develops a
natural intuition for when people really get going on the dance floor. And obviously those
moments of synchronicity are very, very rewarding as a DJ. That’s the moment where I go, “Yes,
I got them”. I am really elated as well. Since I’ve gotten to know about the experiment,
I was thinking about it and it actually is exactly those moments of synchronicity that
I, as a DJ, am working towards, automatically, naturally. Of course, it would be very interesting
to find out if there is any analytical pattern I could use to produce that situation more
often. My name is Neil, Neil Sansom. I run Carwash.
Disco is one of those genres of music where people do click, do become one on the dance
floor. I’m really fascinated to see the results of this experiment.
I think tonight’s experiment went really well. The dance floor was heaving, there were
some spectacular shapes being thrown. Everyone who was coming off the dance floor was saying
how much fun they had had and that was really the point. With this experiment we were measuring
people’s movements so we just wanted them to behave as they normally would in a club
and I think that really happened. So what happens next is in 2 or 3 months we’ll be announcing the results on our website We’ll also be announcing phase two of the
experiment, which is happening in an MRI scanner.

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