Representations of the Embodied Brain

The article entitled “Between: Curating Representations of the Embodied Brain” discusses the results of a project from 2012 conducted in the Inigo Rooms at Somerset House in London. The basic idea behind this experiment was to explore the relationship of mind to matter. It’s purpose, then, was to expose how understandings of personal identity are influenced by a scientific culture.

The article initially implies how the use of technology to create a sort of scientific imagery (i.e. fMRI) in order to provide a visual understanding that conveying physical feeling is impossible. Artist-curator Susan Aldworth and co-curator Karen Ingham challenge this notion by curating artworks that provide a more rounded consideration of the brain and the physical manifestations of mental illnesses.

Aldworth and Ingham, in basic terms, aimed to: “offer a model of comparative research the brought together art, philosophy, and neuroscience through a series of inter-linked symposia and exhibitions in which each institutional partner took the themes and concepts of Between as a conceptual framework on which to build” (p. 4).  As a final product, the exhibition was an art-focused exploration of how society has been becoming increasingly ‘neuro-cultural’ in regards to conceptions of identity and self. Their study of contemporary artists in conjunction with commentary from scholars in neuroscience and philosophy exposed the reality of how digital media allows the artist to abstract and reconfigure their world.

Although the majority of the text discusses the events that took place during the time that this exhibition was being assembled, the objective behind the curated subject was very unique. As a psychology minor, and a former psychobiology major with a major interest in the arts, I find the relationship of mind and matter and it’s manifestation in creative realms to be a very progressive form of study.


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