ABOUT THE NEUROART EXHIBITION
1. Provide a platform for neurodivergent individuals to share our living experience of neurodiversity.
2. Facilitate dialogue between neuroscientific researchers and neuroscientific research participants.
3. Introduce the distinct and emerging field of neuroart to the public.
Underpinning these three aims is to create an event that is driven by accessibility design. Read more about our approach and provide feedback on how to do better on the ACCESSIBILITY section of our website. Our TEAM comprises of neuroscientific researchers, artists, and designers, over half of whom identify as neurodivergent.
WHAT IS "NEUROART"?
"NeuroArt" is a derivation of "BioArt", a contemporary art practice where biological technologies (e.g. genetic engineering, tissue culture, and cloning) and materials (e.g. live tissues, bacteria, living organisms) are used to produce artwork. Our scope also includes imagery of medicine and biological research, rather than being limited strictly to living forms. BioArt is typically used to address controversy and blind spots within the life sciences. NeuroArt falls under the BioArt umbrella but relates specifically to the neurosciences.
WHAT IS "NEURODIVERSITY"?
"Neurodiversity" is a term that describes natural variation in minds and brains. The concept stemmed from the autism community in the '90s. People tend to think of a specific range of experiences when it comes to "neurodiversity": traditionally including autism (ASD), attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD), dyslexia, dyspraxia, and dyscalculia. However, over time, the term has expanded to include a broader spectrum of experiences that we call, for example: obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety, depression, Meares-Erlen syndrome, hyperlexia, schizophrenia, Tourette's syndrome, synaesthesia, and more. The neurodiversity movement argues that since this variation is a fact of life, we shouldn’t automatically pathologize mental differences and treat them as “problems” to be fixed. Instead, since mental variation is to be expected, we can accommodate for these differences by working to design environments in which those with differences can thrive as we are. Read more about neurodiversity here.
WHAT WILL THE NEUROART EXHIBITION BE ABOUT?
For the next exhibition (date / venue to be announced soon), NEUROART will be looking for proposals for artwork from neurodivergent artists that will explore the following:
The exhibition will focus on the relationship between neuroscientists and their subject of study. Within the discourse of biomedicine, neurodiversity is often represented as a "disorder" that needs to be cured, a view that reflects the prevailing pathology paradigm approach to neuroscientific research. Within this pathology paradigm, the voices of neurodivergent individuals are lost. Who are these anonymous people who have turned into biological material for research? The exhibition will take a critical approach toward this anonymity, the lost relationship between scientists and their subject of study which has turned into a “pathologized object”. It offers a creative angle for looking at the ethics of scientific research, in particular when humans are at stake.
Artists will have the opportunity to work with neuroscientific researchers to make artwork. More information about the researchers, facilities, and technology on offer for collaboration will be available on the website soon.