Potential Realities and Perspectives: Dreams, (Mental) States and (Electronic) Sheep

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The Italian director Federico Fellini’s movies were based on his own dreams, and as part of a Jungian psychotherapy with the psychoanalyst Ernst Bernhard.

In the book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? The American author Philip K. Dick questions realities and perspectives from the machines in a dystopian science fiction novel.

It seems that the (virtual, augmented and mixed) contemporaneous realities are about to join the fiction. The main question for the current talk observes the different typologies of realities, being in dreams, pathological, from machines or computers. This will be explored through the work and research of an artist and a neuroscientist.

Michael Gaebler / Cognitive Neuroscientist

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in the Neurology Department’s Mind-Body-Emotion group and the MindBrainBody Institute.

Biography

Michael Gaebler studied cognitive and neurosciences in Osnabrück, Montreal, Paris, and London, before he completed his PhD at the Charité/Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. In his research at the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, he investigates how mental processes (i.e., thinking and feeling) are neurophysiologically realized. To this end, he also combines virtual reality with measurements of brain activity.

Abstract

The mind is situated, that is, mental phenomena depend on an organism’s interaction with the environment. I will discuss why virtual reality (VR) can help the cognitive and brain sciences and present own projects, in which we use VR in neuroscientific and clinical investigations. I will also mention previous work with depersonalization-derealization disorder patients, for whom the real world feels unreal or dream-like.

Mert Akbal / Artist and Researcher in Neuroscience

Saarbrücken Art School and Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in the Neurology Department’s Mind-Body-Emotion group and the MindBrainBody Institute.

Biography

Mert Akbal explores as a cognitive artist phenomena from cognitive science field. He teaches and researches  in two institutions: Academy of Fine Arts Saar in Saarbruecken and Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Berlin. His works are presented on diverse platforms such as by ZKM in Karlsruhe, Prix D’Arts Robert Schuman, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Kunsverein Ulm, Amber Art and Technology Festival in Istanbul, IEEE in Boston, ISEA 2016 in Hong Kong and ISEA 2018 in Durban.

Abstract

I follow my curiosity to observe, understand and question cognition and consciousness through visual art. I aim to reproduce  dream image and experience in artistic media in order to explore them as models of conscious experience. I will present some of my current works at the intersection of art and science.

Phill Niblock

Phill Niblock / Interview by Luca Forcucci – May 21st 2018 / Berlin

Phill Niblock (b. 1933, USA) is an artist whose fifty-year career spans minimalist and experimental music, film and photography. Since 1985, he has served as director of Experimental Intermedia, a foundation for avant-garde music based in New York with a branch in Ghent, and curator of the foundation’s record label XI. Known for his thick, loud drones of music, Niblock’s signature sound is filled with microtones of instrumental timbres that generate many other tones in the performance space. In 2013, his diverse artistic career was the subject of a retrospective realised in partnership between Circuit (Contemporary Art Centre Lausanne) and Musée de l’Elysée. The following year Niblock was honoured with the prestigious Foundation for Contemporary Arts John Cage Award.

Interview by Luca Forcucci / Berlin / Mai 21st 2018
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