The Ascent

The Ascent Rider

Role: One-man show operator (plus stagehand). System design and integration. Built and networked system to make all custom software, a/v systems, BT headsets, smart-winch, and photo take-away software work together. Combined my knowledge of programming, theater equipment, production and networking to develop temporary installation in Brooklyn warehouse and adapt to a tour setup. CAD for promotional materials. Fabricated weather-proof camera tethering rigs to truss-mount and supply live-preview and remote shooting options.

More great photos by Andrew Federman

Write up in the New York Times

Me running the show

Meditate to Levitate

The Ascent is a mind-controlled immersive ride/game spectacle that allows riders to levitate high into the air through saturated environments of interactive lighting, sound, and atmospherics.

The Ascent puts riders in the center of a mind-controlled game world. Using mental power, riders control their own flight experience, crossing through enormous atmospheric thresholds, while triggering overwhelming EEG-reactive lighting and sound. Riders can achieve an epic-win by rising to the top of the ride, and are rewarded by an indoor firework display of hi-octane theatrics and show-stopping spectacle.

Part adventure ride, part spiritual quest, this epic experience is the first neuro-driven ride of it’s kind, and as of June 2012 was considered the largest EEG bio-feedback machine in the world. The Ascent uses neuro-technology, custom software, and an original show-control system to deliver a mythic, mind-altering take on the intersections between humans and machines, transcendence and technology.

The Ascent is fully automated, driven by custom software and hardware. A single rider is strapped into a safety harness, wearing a headband embedded with an EEG brain-wave sensor and wireless transmitter. As the rider begins to concentrate, The Ascent’s custom show control system monitors the rider’s brain state. The power of the rider’s calm and focus drives the system, lifting the rider into the air, while dynamically controlling sound and lighting. The Ascent is structured like a game, presenting increasing levels of difficulty as the rider ascends.

The experience is designed for the general public; guests sign up or wait in line to ride. There is also an observation deck for audience to vicariously participate in the experience.


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