Science and Nature

Impressed by Chronic Illness, She Made Award-Successful Artwork about the Mind

Scientific American items the winner and honorable mentions of the 11th annual Artwork of Neuroscience contest

Cognition IX, from the series The eighth Sense. Credit: Yas Crawford
2021 Artwork of Neuroscience competitors held by the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience.

Now in its 11th year, the Artwork of Neuroscience showcases the intersection of paintings and neuroscience through multimedia. Static pictures comprised the works identified in the competitors’s early years, however more contemporary submissions maintain included videos, sculptures and even interactive on-line poetry.

Cognition IX showcases Crawford’s journey in film pictures and digital editing with a gloomy-and-white image of a seascape in the approximate shape of a brain. From the rough spot of the attach the brain stem meets the thalamus—the structure that relays sensory indicators to the cerebral cortex—person fibrils appear to blow up outward. The image is in equal parts ordered and disordered: the fibers snake spherical one one other on the exterior of the beanlike shape and shoot out in shut to parallel closer to its middle.

Crawford says her paintings is meant for others with power diseases who face up to being defined by them. Intertwining the inner and exterior lives of a particular person is a theme in her work.

Honorable mentions of the competitors symbolize a fluctuate of formats and media: a sculpture, mini documentary, mapping installation and scored video.

Change of Heart ().
Exchange of Heart (변심). Credit: Adrienne Lee

The sculpture Exchange of Heart (변심), by contemporary Davidson College graduate Adrienne Lee, tackled the theme of neural degeneration with a metallic-and-paper representation of Purkinje cells, which are specialized neurons that play a purpose in coordination, studying and movement. Degenerative ailments are “identical to an act of betrayal in opposition to the magnificence of one’s accumulated life experiences,” Lee writes in her artist’s assertion. The metalwork forming the dendrites of the Purkinje cells incorporates letters from the Korean alphabet, a nod to Lee’s private historical past. Her studio paintings level and neuroscience minor maintain steered her assorted work, too, including a  metallic brain-formed sculpture that’s mighty adequate to encircle a viewer’s head.

One more honorable-say half is The Brainwave Mission, by Qi Chen, an teacher at Wuhan Textile University, explores the artist’s project to stimulate the brains of parents in a minimally unsleeping command and keep up a correspondence the implications to their family with paintings. She created a tool to remodel brain waves into pictures and fabricate an in every other case sterile readout accessible and meaningful to onlookers. Chen synthesized her scurry designing and testing the gadgets in a 5-minute documentary, calling it an integration of “purposeful paintings and paintings remedy.”

Just artist Guihan Lu created Self Evolution, an installation that performs with theater and self-portraiture by projecting pictures recorded from a brain-wave equipment that slowly morph into a recognizable representation of the viewer. She says she was impressed by Abraham Ortelius, a 16th-century Flemish cartographer who created the smartly-liked atlas, which he entitled Theatre of the World. Lu’s project, Self Evolution, was awarded an honorable say and transforms the inner workings of the mind into an immersive video and performance—an observable spectacle.

Sarshar Dorosti, affiliated with the Tehran University of Artwork in Iran, quiet a video entitled Fractal Mind. Fractals are mathematical figures with motifs that repetitively happen at smaller scales—in assorted words, a unending pattern. Fractal geometry is chanced on throughout nature, in objects akin to a fern frond and a head of Romanesco. Fractal Mind displays stills and animations of fractals overlaid with eerie, metallic droning noise. In February Dorosti was first author of a preprint watch investigating the brain’s response to fractal animations.



    Maddie Bender is a 2021 AAAS Mass Media Fellow at Scientific American. She no longer too long previously got an MPH in microbial illness epidemiology from the Yale College of Public Health.

     Discover Maddie Bender on Twitter

    Credit: Prick Higgins.

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