Creativity and Neuroscience Workshop: Art Therapy and the Psyche

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Next Monday, 9th September, from 18:00 – 21:00

join us again at >top in Schillerpromenade 4, Neukölln,

where we welcome you to learn about, discuss, and experience the application and research into art creation as psychological therapy tool. Dr. Michelle Meredyth-Stewart will present how art-making is used in diagnosis and therapy, and lead us through some exercises and experiments for a personal relation to the practice.

The creative act is in a feedback loop of doing and experiencing. In the plastic brain, this has effects of reshaping habits, restructuring thought, and even recovering damage. Observing the process creates recursive insight into both the art and the self. In a workshop format, we will explore what exactly it is about ‘making art’ that induces these effects, and how they might be accessible to us individually and philosophically.

Exercises are focused on alternative ways to generate art without strong needs for technique, and an experiment on the effect of actions on physiological markers of stress.

How does making art give insight into our individual and social experience?
How does our brain’s reactions to making art affect our definition of art?

Snacks and Drinks available, as well as art supplies.

Bring your own paper and colours if you have them.

See you soon!

http://www.edge-neuro.art

http://www.top-ev.de/

Cover Image: Sara Simula, Layers of Reality, detail photo taken by Nailya Bikmurzina

2019 Exhibition Recap

4 days of exhibition in 2 locations, works from 17 artists and groups displayed, more than 100 attendees, 50 pizzas, and (more than) the required 7 signatures to found an e.V. (eingetragener Verein)!

We are thrilled over how this year’s summer exhibition went, and take it as strong encouragement to do more and bigger in the future! 2020 exhibition will follow our ambitions to grow, and we plan to expand in other regular directions as a club and community.

Join us anytime, as an active member, organiser, supporter, or sponsor! Just email info@edge-neuro.art

In the meantime, here are some photographic impressions taken by Nailya Bikmurzina:

EDGE @ CCO 25-26/7/2019

EDGE @ Heizkraftwerk Steglitz 27-28/7/2019

Many thanks to our sponsors, artists, organisers, and attendees! More to come, looking to the future!

EDGE Neuroscience Art Market

*UPDATE: date changed to 11th July*

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We invite all whose curiosities lead them to art, science, music, good food and drinks to join us on the 11th of July for an art market. It will be held in the gorgeous Biergarten Zart Daneben in Neukölln.

From 6pm the Biergarten will be open to the public and neuroscience art will be on display for purchase. More information about the artists to come!

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Image credit: Jurgen Breedijk at https://www.facebook.com/events/375307233081904/

There will be a tasty BBQ and drinks supplied by the lovely from Tante Frizzante to whom the Biergarten belongs. We look forward to seeing you at Zart Daneben!

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Image Credit: Zart Daneben

 

Concepts and Communications: the take aways

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“I guess the question is not so much: “how do I understand your art” but rather “can you help me appreciate your art?”

Last Tuesday, we invited Russ Hodge, science communicator at the Max-Delbrück Centrum Berlin, to give a talk on his models and understanding of how to transfer scientific knowledge. In his career, which began with studying linguistics, he developed a model for a common barrier to communication: Ghosts haunt our thinking when we think within a field.

That is, many barriers exist between two people with different backgrounds in their assumptions of what the other might know – and these assumptions are constraining their own ability to think outside their own box.

We learned a lot, individually and as an audience in a rolling discussion afterwards, which lasted for 3 hours that felt like 30 minutes! Eventually, the sky outside was dark, but the room still buzzed and talking points were sharp as tacks.

Along the way, we honed in on concepts in linguistics, art theory, science, and communication. We realised that the benefits of communicating in new ways include thinking in new ways.

We successfully agreed on common terms and definitions, and moved onward and inward into the core of the matter: what are the differences between art and science that emerge from their intentions, their agendas, and their content?

How do we bridge gaps between two fields that can be so similar, yet so opposing, depending on which incarnation of art or science we encounter?

How can we come up with schemes and strategies for engaging with and conceptualizing art or science, when they are individually and together varied, complex, and faceted? 

A few take home messages emerged, presented here as quotes (paraphrased from memory):

“What is quite different about science and art is that science tries to bring knowledge to a point – to achieve an incremental increase in our understanding or conceptualisation of the world – and in doing so pushes the edge of what we ‘know’ further forward. Art, on the other hand, often lives in, and points to, exactly that edge of knowledge, and can be ambiguous and non-understandable on purpose. They share commonalities in their experimental methods, and their drive toward innovation and new experiences, but have a different approach to what the end goal might be.”

“While science has a self-defined identity, in the scientific method, the artistic method is totally variable. Many artworks in fact can be accidental, or have totally different meaning to the artist and the observer. In art there isn’t necessarily the intent or even possibility of transferring direct knowledge or concepts, whereas in science and science communication, that’s the goal.”

Russ’ talk was packed with insight and inspiration, and laid out with clear examples of what might prevent us from communicating, and in doing so, prevent us from thinking clearly. 

For anyone who’s thought or tried to transmit concepts (as we defined communication as), or wonders why they can’t understand some scientific writing, we highly recommend reading his blog articles at:

https://goodsciencewriting.wordpress.com/ghosts-models-and-meaning/

And more on him at:

https://goodsciencewriting.wordpress.com/about/

 

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Creativity and Neuroscience: Concepts & Communication

For the second workshop and meetup in the Creativity and Neuroscience series we delve into creative methods to communicate our often specific stories and concepts.

The evening will consist of 2 parts:
1) Russel Hodge, science communicator will give a talk on:
“How to see a ghost, think like a molecule, and communicate science.”
2) Our social speed-meeting the neurosci-art community to encourage collaboration!

Location: >top, Schillerpromenade 4, 12049 Berlin, Germany
May 28, 2019, Tuesday 6-9pm


Russ Hodge

In over two decades as a science writer, Russ Hodge has witnessed “the good, the bad, and the completely ridiculous” sides of science and its practitioners. Besides being a diplomat trying to negotiate new boundaries between science, humor, and art, Russ is one of Europe’s most respected science communicators and teachers. In 1997 he was plucked from a peaceful existence as a writer and musician to launch the Office of Information and Public Affairs at EMBL, helping shape it into one of the most respected centers of public outreach for molecular biology in the world. He currently works as science writer at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin. He has written thousands of articles, dozens of journalistic reports for institutes across Europe, and published 8 books on science. He is a co-author on 7 original scientific papers, has written highly successful international grants, and most recently written and illustrated a children’s book on evolution. Alongside humorous pieces on his blog, he is carrying out important work on the theory, practice and didactics of science communication.

His blog can be found at www.goodsciencewriting.wordpress.com.

The most crucial entries for EDGE concern his novel concept of “ghosts”: https://goodsciencewriting.wordpress.com/2018/03/25/a-dialog-on-ghosts-and-models-in-science/

and a more in-depth look at:
https://goodsciencewriting.wordpress.com/ghosts-models-and-meaning/

and be sure to check out his “Molecular biology cartoons” series:
https://goodsciencewriting.wordpress.com/category/molecular-biology-cartoons/
and his “Trump” series:
https://goodsciencewriting.wordpress.com/category/trump/


>TOP

We are very excited that >top, where we had our first exhibition last summer, is having us back for our workshop this month!!

An association for the Promotion of Cultural Practice, >top has been operating in Berlin since June 2002. Our members are artists, researchers and activists, whose activities range from individual research to curating project space to international collaboration. Our infrastructure supports projects that pursue an interdisciplinary approach, support international exchange or deal with non-commercial attitudes. This includes, but is not limited to, a project space, a biolab, and a web server.

http://www.top-ev.de/about/