Blaffer Art Museum presents Your Brain on Art with Ian Cion, Alan Krathaus, and Raj Mankad
The Blaffer Art Museum will feature the second in a series of events as part of a groundbreaking collaboration between the museum, Houston-based artists, and the University of Houston’s Noninvasive Brain-Machine Interface Systems Laboratory, seeking clues to what happens in the brain as people create and contemplate art.
Separated by portable screens and wearing headsets equipped with sensors, Ian Cion, director of the Arts in Medicine Program at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital, and collaborators Alan Krathaus and Raj Mankad will play a variation of Exquisite Corpse, a collaborative, chance-based game made famous by the Surrealists in the 1920s.
Working simultaneously before a live audience, each artist will have 15 minutes to begin creating an artwork. After 15 minutes, his work-in-progress will be concealed with a cloth, leaving only a small portion exposed. The artists will then rotate stations and take turns adding to each other’s creations for two additional 15-minute increments. Their brain activity will be projected onto a nearby screen as audience members watch.
The demonstration will be followed by a discussion of the artists’ process and the goals of the research — funded by the National Science Foundation (#BCS 1533691) and led by engineering professor Jose Luis Contreras-Vidal — to study connections between the brain and creativity, expression, and the perception of art.