Creativity and Neuroscience Workshop: Film Screening Why Are We Creative?


Join us for the October edition of our meetup and workshop on Creativity and Neuroscience. This time we will be screening WHY ARE WE CREATIVE?.

on Wednesday, October, 23rd
6 – 9pm
>top, Schillerpromenade 4, 12049 Berlin-Neukölln

For over 30 years director Hermann Vaske filmed the world’s most intriguing artists and thinkers posing the question: “Why are you creative?”
Why are we creative? Is it in our blood? Do we do it to make ourselves immortal? Is it a reckless compulsion? Or do we simply do it to make a buck?
The answers Vaske received are as varied and intriguing as his respondents. WHY ARE WE CREATIVE? is a vibrant celebration of what makes us most human, most fulfilled.

(German & English with dual German/English Subtitles)

Duration: 84 Minutes

Following, you will be able to meet-and-greet, get to know and connect with likeminded individuals to build and establish our community around and between art and science.

EDGE is a non-profit organization so the event is free and donations to cover the rent of the location, and create future events are very much appreciated! (Also no registration necessary). Suggested donation: 5-10 Euros.

About >top:
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.

Recap: Art Therapy and the Psyche

In our Creativity and Neuroscience Workshop: Art Therapy and the Psyche, we explored as a group the budding field of art therapy as a perspective on art and psychiatry.

Dr. Michelle Ann Meredyth Stewart held a talk on the topic, which launched a lively discussion, and was followed by exercises exploring different techniques currently used and their effects on our cognition.

img_9802-1.jpgWatercolour painting explored as a therapeutic tool 

Our experiment on the differences between making art in two different formats (arranging a collage and watercolour painting) and playing chess involved two datasets: self-measured heart rate (no conclusive effect) and self-reported relaxation level (art had a significant effect on increasing relaxation, while chess either decreased relaxation or had no effect)*

* please note that ‘significant’ is used here as a subjective term – we didn’t do any statistical analysis and just spoke about our feelings


Dr. Meredyth Stewart’s presentation provided an informative overview of the history and current state of art therapy, and sparked interesting perspectives on the field, and the implications it involves for our understanding of art.

IMG_9796Dr. Michelle Ann Meredyth Stewart presenting an overview of art therapy

For instance, in recent years, the use of art therapy for stroke rehabilitiation has been increasingly explored in the context of painting and the involved motor control of upper limbs. (For an early example, see Morris et al. Trials 2014, 15:380,


While this seems not unique to art, and could be an effect of any motor activity, Dr. Meredyth Stewart pointed out an important aspect:


Art, particularly in our contemporary setting in which anyone can create an image with new techniques and little training


Suprisingly, even arranging images into a collage has a therapeutic effect. By inference, does this make an assortment of postcards on a table art?


What is it about making art that is essential to the process, and the psychological effect that it has?


Perhaps the modernist perspective, that anything can be art, has a neurobiological basis. It is not the physical act that defines art, but the conceptual act, as evidenced by the therapeutic effect of barely-physical art making, such as writing your own name and thinking about it.

Dr. Meredyth was “thrilled with how well the discussion took off with lively participation by all the people who attended. There was great enthusiasm for the fusion of art and science, and everyone contributed to the group activities. As well there was lively interaction between individuals and a determination to continue the discussion process. Having an interactive setup and informal location really helped to break the ice.”


Thank you all who came, and we look forward to seeing you soon at:

23/10/2019 @ Top Project Space, Schillerpalais 4:
Creativity and Neuroscience: Film Screening Why Are We Creative?


References/ further reading:

von Spreti, Martius & Steger KunstTherapie: Wirkung – Handwerk – Praxis
Eva Madelung: Kunsttherapien: Neue Wege zur Lebensgestaltung
Marianne Markert: Der Regenstab verzaubert…
Karl Heinz Menzen: Grundlagen der Kunsttherapie
Jörg Rinnisland: Bilder aus der Zwischenzeit
Triup & Kersten: Praxis der Kunsttherapie
Eva-Mees Christeller: Kunsttherapie in der Praxis

Creativity and Neuroscience Workshop: Art Therapy and the Psyche


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!

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

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*


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!

WhatsApp Image 2019-06-19 at 19.35.06

Image credit: Jurgen Breedijk at

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!


Image Credit: Zart Daneben