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THE HUM: Inventing Sensations | Neuroscience x Materialisation
Thu, March 23, 2017, 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM GMT
THE HUM: ‘Inventing Sensations’ is a public panel discussion which will look at ways lab based experiments within the brain sciences, are being critically explored through art, design, architecture and dance to create embodied, performed and experiential encounters.
On one hand, the title ‘Inventing Sensations’ refers to a common laboratory practice: of controlling environmental stimulus to objectively map and measure a subject’s physical and cognitive reactions. Yet simultaneously, it points towards a potential future that knowledge from the brain sciences could unlock: a world of trans-realities, of environmentally or technologically enhanced emotions, sensations and movements.
Through presentations and screenings the panel will propose potential applications of brain knowledge in culture, and consider ways these may destabilise our learned habits of perception and cognition.
About The Hum
THE HUM is a series of events produced by Amy Croft, artist-in-residence at the Interactive Architecture Lab, with support from The Leverhulme Trust. THE HUM provides moments when the background hum of Croft’s research at UCL comes to the fore, exploring internal states of being, with invited experts who have informed her ongoing work.
About the Panel
Mihaela Mitrovic (Architect, cognitive scientist, neuroscientist and film scholar), will present her current research into the emotion of awe and the ways it is elicited by the natural or the built environment, alongside its experience in performances or works of art.
Matthias Sperling (Choreographer and Performer) discusses his performance lecture “Now That We Know” (2016) which was showcased at Sadlers Wells in September 2016 and recently performed at Nottingham Contemporary and Wellcome Collection. A science fiction work, “Now That We Know” presents a hypothetical future when science discovers precisely how our bodies give rise to our minds. Taking a choreographic perspective, Sperling freely imagines plausible, absurd, thrilling or worrying scenarios, each informed by research spanning choreography, neuroscience, social science and philosophy. Key to this work, and Matthias’ engagement with the brain sciences in his practice, has been an ongoing collaboration with cognitive neuroscientist Guido Orgs, with whom he has also made choreographic materials for the context of scientific experiments.
Ava Aghakouchak (Architectural Designer) discusses her current engagement in the sciences growing understanding of how the brain binds elements of sensory input into a single experience, and her interest in situations where the relation between stimulus and sensation becomes obscure; such as in the condition of synaesthesia. Ava applies this research to the design of speculative scenarios, such as a performance involving networked sensations or in the case of her recent work ‘Sarotis’ (2016) to the ways that technologies such as wearable soft robotics and 3D-vision systems may enhance how we sense environments that are both real and virtual. 'Sarotis’ was developed in collaboration with Maria Paneta at the Interactive Architecture Lab, and highlighted by Domus as one of the best design projects of 2016.
Prior to the panel discussion, THE HUM will host a Gong Sound Bath led by gong practitioner Jarvia Foxter. This intimate gathering will mark the beginning of Croft’s artist-in-residence at the Interactive Architecture Lab, with a sonic experience composed to induce a profound state of rest through a process of neural entrainment. For more information and to book the Gong Sound Bath email firstname.lastname@example.org
About Amy Croft’s Artist-in Residence
Amy Croft works across sculpture, video, photography, writing, installation and curation. Her work explores consciousness and particularly focuses on confused states of consciousness, such as disorientation, blurriness, not-knowing and ambiguity. Amy investigates the ways these are designed into the various platforms we inhabit and communicate through –from architecture and urban planning to the computer screen–and their affective nature.
During her 10 month artist in residency, Croft will develop a body of new artworks with neuroscientists and interaction designers at UCL. Her project will explore ways that our phenomenological experience of environments interfaces with mind wandering or daydream, both at present, and through future applications of brain knowledge in design. Amy will speculate on ways technologies could be used to harness and amplify, or negate mind wandering altogether.
This first HUM event is hosted in partnership with the Performance Interactions Lecture Series (PIxLS) held by the Bartlett’s new master programme: M.Arch Design for Performance & Interaction.
Image Header Credit: A project by Amy Croft. Design by Jonas Berthod