the mystery of neurocam
December 18, 2004 2:08 AM   Subscribe

Neurocam. A billboard appears near a Melbourne freeway entrance inviting people to "Get out of their mind". "Those who follow the instructions on the neurocam website are assigned missions, with the threat of grave consequences should these tasks not be carried out. Individuals prove their mettle by completing progressively more complex, riskier assignments - possibly of questionable legality." from the Age article linked below. Is it an art project, a cult, a marketing ploy, a game or a psychological experiment? Neurocam says none of these. Melbourne's Age newspaper investigates (free reg sometimes req'd). You can also read some blogs from participants here and here. Plus it seems to have something to do with this place dealing in Human Possibility(TM), which makes as little sense as the rest of it. I'm such a cynic, I still think it is marketing something, but it is fairly extreme.
posted by AnnaRat (24 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
fascinating. i'd totally sign up if
a) I had more spare time ad
b) they had anything happening in my part of the world (seem like melbourne/aussieland only, right?)

also, regarding the following from the article:
Who is Robert Henley? In 2001, New Zealand artist Robin Hely, then artist-in-residence at the Victoria College of the Arts, created a video called Who is Robert Henley?. The video was distributed by neurocam during one of its operations. Hely, who still lives in Melbourne, would not comment when The Age contacted him.

see this
posted by juv3nal at 3:23 AM on December 18, 2004

Although they deny a link to Victorian College of the Arts in the article, it probably is more likely to be art than marketing (despite my cynicism). Eg., the site apparently marketing "Human Possibility" is apparently funded by Arts Victoria (I included that link because it seemed a few of the bloggers mentioned it, they were sent along to the launch to perform missions).
posted by AnnaRat at 3:43 AM on December 18, 2004

disturbing. i'd totally sign up if
a) I was still 18
b) 9/11 had never happened

Seriously, is anyone else bothered by a mysterious organization that recruits people to commit to random actions, including delivering packages?

Which puts me in mind of this.
posted by zanni at 4:50 AM on December 18, 2004

This reminds me of that huge marketing puzzle they did for the release of AI. That was great.

I don't have the time to go through this right now, but it looks wonderful. I will really appreciate it if it turns out just to be someone's art instead of a piece of marketing. Can someone swim through the material and give me the general gist of what this is all about?
posted by painquale at 4:53 AM on December 18, 2004

Crap. I know you're out there.
posted by Smart Dalek at 4:59 AM on December 18, 2004

posted by Smart Dalek at 5:01 AM on December 18, 2004

b) 9/11 had never happened

posted by The God Complex at 5:02 AM on December 18, 2004

It reminds me of this.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:03 AM on December 18, 2004

From "neurocam is not a new technology".
From "The Neurocam device was carefully programmed and has no lasting side-effects".
My conclusion: "bullcrap art project".
posted by Pretty_Generic at 5:09 AM on December 18, 2004

And zanni, yes, this would be a very effective way for terrorists to operate, if they desired to operate in the most conspicuously suspicious manner they possibly could.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 5:10 AM on December 18, 2004

Does anyone else think that some of the photos belonging to the Age article are a little too posed? Even on the part of the 'operative' ?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:17 AM on December 18, 2004

not as cool as this.
posted by ori at 5:30 AM on December 18, 2004

Items had to be delivered, packages retrieved, events documented - all for reasons Henley would not disclose

Great way to recruit drug mules...
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:55 AM on December 18, 2004

For some reason it reminds me of etoy
posted by Mick at 6:16 AM on December 18, 2004

The first rule of Operation Mayhem is "you do not ask questions"
posted by Megafly at 6:44 AM on December 18, 2004

Pretty_Generic: I've been pulling pranks for many years and I would have to say the easiest time to pull them is when you're being completely obvious in a place with lots of security stuff that makes people feel safe.

Unless you were talking about the web site aspect, in which case I fully agree.
posted by Captaintripps at 7:28 AM on December 18, 2004

All of the above referenced movies sprung to mind immediately, but for some reason, the psychological aspect also reminded me of this.

Oh, and ori if the mayday mystery hasn't been fpp'ed, you should. I remember seeing it and wishing I was a member so I could post it.
posted by exlotuseater at 7:30 AM on December 18, 2004

nevermind, it has.
posted by exlotuseater at 8:06 AM on December 18, 2004

If I were a cat, at least 8 of my nine lives would be killed by curiosity. I now really wish that I had not filled in the blanks...But Melbourne, is far away.
posted by Oyéah at 9:09 AM on December 18, 2004

Man, I'm glad someone else here is getting major Fight Club vibes from Neurocam.

It also kinda reminds me of The Game.
posted by afroblanca at 10:20 AM on December 18, 2004

Reminds me of Build a Borg / The Cyrano Effect
posted by K'an at 10:49 AM on December 18, 2004

"neurocam is not a form of artificial intellegence"
posted by retronic at 11:33 AM on December 18, 2004

Fight Club, The all we need is a decapitated head in a panic room. I think Fincher's behind this.
posted by fungible at 3:09 PM on December 18, 2004

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