R: [-empyre-] Welcome to Neuroaethetics

Luigi Pagliarini luigi at artificialia.com
Tue Sep 2 22:40:24 EST 2008

hi Michele,

 it is very interesting to me. let me point at you an historical piece of
mine (just in case you can be interested).
 in 1994 I developed the Artifical Painter, a user guided GA software by
which allowed to evolve images TAC similar echological neural networks
(neural network based pets living in an artifical world).

Regards, Luigi 
> Inviato: martedì 2 settembre 2008 9.28
> A: soft_skinned_space
> Oggetto: [-empyre-] Welcome to Neuroaethetics
> First up, I'd like to say thank you to the -empyre- team for 
> inviting me to become a moderator.
> The topic for this month is "Pictures of the brain: a look at 
> the relationship between brains, imaging technologies and the 
> field of neuroaesthetics."
> The focus for this discussion is going to be on the 
> relationship between the arts and the neurosciences. Given 
> the scope of both fields, a did few initial parameters were 
> necessary. Of course they can be overstepped! The guest 
> artists I have invited for this discussion work broadly in 
> the field of new media, and not, for example, painting, and 
> so the arts in this discussion will probably focus more on 
> this field. However, much of the broader literature on
> *neuroaesthetics*  idiscusses the visual arts and so it's 
> important to take this discussion into account.
> Much has been written on the relationship between the visual 
> arts and neurology – with a large focus, notably from Semir 
> Zeki the prominent neuroscientist, on perception.  Much of 
> this discussion has been driven by the question of what we 
> see when viewing an artwork and what processes take place 
> neurologically in this seeing. Less has been said in 
> neuroaesthetics on the implicit and complex question of the 
> role perception (especially that of the viewer, receiver or 
> interactant in the work) has in the actual creation of the 
> work. These questions, however, are of immense importance to 
> media arts and to contemporary art practice. So a question 
> I'd like to raise for this topic  is the issue of active 
> perceptual engagement with the work of art in order to 
> create, compose, receive and *complete* it.  This is what 
> Alva Noë from the field of cognitive science refers to as the 
> enactive approach to perception[i]. This is where, I hope, 
> new media arts will contribute to the debate.
> I believe there is a unique, and often problematic, 
> relationship that the technologies and approaches adopted by 
> artists working in this field bring to discussions about 
> collaboration and engagement between the arts and sciences. 
> Throughout the 1990s and into the early 2000s, new media arts 
> actively pursued a relationship to genetics and code and 
> digital art. Examples can be seen in the pursuit of 
> generative art, the use of genetic algorithms and metaphors 
> of biology used in much art of this period. Now perhaps the 
> time has arrived to look more  
> closely at what processes, concepts and metaphors have been 
> deployed   
> within the neurosciences. And already an emerging field of 
> new media arts practice is actively engaged with neuroscience.
> The neurologist Steven Rose has remarked that ‘the very 
> structures we observe are brought into existence by the 
> techniques we use to observe them’[2]. Here, new media arts’ 
> engagement with the technologies of imaging the brain and its 
> functions, in order to reveal issues and implications 
> implicit to those processes and outcomes, has become a 
> central theme. This engagement can offer tangential and 
> surprising results, diverging significantly from the goals of 
> the neurosciences.However, the concept of collaborative 
> processes between the arts and sciences is integral to this 
> debate. Is it useful and to whom – artist and/or neuroscientist?
> Importantly, the arts and humanities’ engagement with the 
> neurosciences is not new; my aim is to have a discussion that 
> is not just focused on new media arts but takes these larger 
> issues of  
> perception in and of art into account.   I believe the diversity of  
> this group reflects a much larger concern – from art history, 
> cognitive and neuropsychology through to philosophies of 
> cognition, perception and the media all of which sit 
> alongside practicing artists with their own frameworks for 
> understanding neuroaesthetics. I am sure we will discover 
> interesting overlaps, syntheses and big differences in our 
> approaches, language and understanding of the field.
> I'd like to welcome my guest for this month.
> –––> Trish Adams  is currently artist-in-residence with the 
> Visual & Sensory Neuroscience Group, at the Queensland Brain 
> institute, The University of Queensland. Under the leadership 
> of Professor Mandyam Srinivasan this research group focuses 
> on the cognitive and navigational abilities of the honey bee. 
> http://www.qbi.uq.edu.au/index.html?page=52793
>   . Trish’s first artwork outcome from the residency was the DVD
> installation: “HOST”, University of Queensland Art Museum, 
> 2008: http://www.artmuseum.uq.edu.au/index.html?page=87240&pid=78247 
>    .
> –––> Lucette Cysique is a neuropsychologist who is currently 
> a post- doctoral fellow at the University of New South Wales 
> - Brain Science.  
> Her main research focus is the neurocognitive complications 
> of HIV infection. Her methods of research includes 
> neuropsychology, cross- cultural neuropsychology, 
> longitudinal statistical modelling and MRI- based imaging. 
> Her current project is looking at the interplay of age and 
> HIV on brain functions.
> –––> Alan Dunning has been working with complex multi-media 
> installations for the past two decades, using the computer as 
> a tool for generating data fields and, most recently, 
> real-time interactive environments. Since 1980, he has 
> exhibited in more than 100 shows and has had more than 70 
> catalogues and reviews published on his work. His work has 
> received numerous awards including grants from the Daniel 
> Langlois Foundation, SSHRC, the Canada Council and the 
> Alberta Art Foundation. He is represented in many collections 
> including the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa and the 
> Museum of Modern Art, New York. He currently is the Head of 
> the Media Arts and Digital Technologies Programme at the 
> Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary.
> –––> Paul Woodrow has been involved in a variety of 
> inter-disciplinary and multi-media activities since the late 
> 1960s, including performance art, installation, video, 
> painting and improvised music. He has collaborated with many 
> artists including, Iain Baxter (N.E.Thing Co.), Hervé Fischer 
> (The Sociological Art Group Of Paris), Genesis P.  
> Orridge (Coum Transmissions, England), Clive Roberstson 
> (W.O.R.K.S, Canada). He has exhibited extensively in Japan, 
> France, Italy, Sweden, England, Belgium, Russia, Puerto Rico, 
> Argentina, and the United States, including the Museum of 
> Modern Art, Stockholm and The Tate Gallery, London. He has 
> received numerous awards from Canada Council and the Alberta 
> Foundation for the Arts. He is currently Coordinator of 
> Graduate Studies, in the Art Department at the University of Calgary.
> Alan Dunning, Paul Woodrow and Morley Hollenberg 
> (http://www.ucalgary.ca/~einbrain/
> ) are the main participants in a team of scientists, artist 
> and technologists developing the virtual reality and 
> bio-electrical work the Einstein’s Brain Project.
> –––> Tina Gonsalves (http://www.tinagonsalves.com/) is 
> currently honorary artist in residence at the Institute of 
> Neurology at University College London and visiting artist at 
> the Affective Media Group, MIT.
> Combining diagnostic imaging, biometric sensors and mobile 
> technologies, her installations, films for television, and 
> software investigate emotional signatures both within the 
> body and among interactive audiences. Since 1995 her work has 
> shown internationally at venues including Banff Centre for 
> the Arts (CA); Siggraph (US); International Society for the 
> Electronic Arts 2004; European Media Arts Festival; Institute 
> of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences (JP); Australian Centre 
> For Photography, Sydney; Barbican (UK); Pompidou Centre (FR), 
> Institute for Contemporary Art, London; and Australian Center 
> for the Moving Image, Melbourne.
> –––> Andrew Murphie (http://www.andrewmurphie.org/blog/) is 
> the editor of the open access, online journal, the 
> Fibreculture Journal (http://journal.fibreculture.org/
> ) and Associate Professor in the School of English, Media and 
> Performing Arts, University of New South Wales, Australia. He works
> on: theories of the virtual; post-connectionist and 
> poststructuralist models of mind; Guattari and Deleuze (and 
> others - he’s not quite a card carrying ‘deleuzean’); art and 
> interaction; electronic music (especially in Australia); 
> critical approaches to performance systems and what he calls 
> ‘auditland’; biophilosophy and biopolitics; innovation; 
> education and techology; contemporary publishing.
> –––> John Onians is Director of the World Art Research 
> Programme in the School of World Art Studies at the 
> University of East Anglia, and is the author of a number of 
> books, including Classical Art and The Cultures of Greece and 
> Rome, published by Yale University Press. He is the founding 
> editor of the journal Art History (1978-88) and the editor of 
> the Atlas of World Art (2004). Johns most recent book is
> NeuroArtHistory: From Aristotle and Pliny to Baxandall and 
> Zeki (Yale University Press).
> –––> Barbara Maria Stafford 
> (http://barbaramariastafford.com/) is the William B. Ogden 
> Distinguished Service Professor, Emerita, at the University 
> of Chicago. Her work has consistently explored the 
> intersections between the visual arts and the physical and 
> biological sciences from the early modern to the contemporary 
> era. Her current research charts the revolutionary ways the 
> neurosciences are changing our views of the human and animal 
> sensorium, shaping our fundamental assumptions about 
> perception, sensation, emotion, mental imagery, and 
> subjectivity. Stafford’s most recent book is Echo Objects: 
> The Cognitive Work of Images, University of Chicago Press, 2007.
> ----------
> [i] Alva Noë, Action in Perception (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT 
> Press, 2004), p 2 [2] Steven Rose, The 21st Century Brain: 
> Explaining, Mending and Manipulating the Mind (London: 
> Vintage Books, 2006), p 146 Dr Michele Barker Senior Lecturer 
> Postgraduate Coordinator School of Media Arts College of Fine 
> Arts University of New South Wales
> PO Box 259
> Paddington NSW 2021
> Tel: +612 93850761
> Fax: +612 9385 0706
> CRICOS Provider Code: 00098G
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