credits: Suzanne Dikker & Matthias Oostrik / AFNI



The first International science art Symposium “BRAINSTORMS. The artist in the context of neuroscience” is dedicated to the problem of interaction between contemporary art and higher brain functions.
With the support of the Polytechnical Museum Foundation, LABORATORIA Art&Science Space is conducting a series of open discussions, with the participation of neuroscientists and contemporary artists. The BRAINSTORMS symposium itself is a science art performance with a progressive scenario. It opens with an overture, continues with four acts - discussions with scientists and artists, and finishes with the round table that defines the insights and future plans of the participants.


In 2011, the science art performance by Marina Abramovic “Measuring the Magic of Mutual Gaze” was presented in CCC “Garage”, Moscow. It involved advanced methods of registering the activity of the human brain. That experiment was a continuation of the performance “The Artist Is Present” at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York. It came to be as a result of collaboration between Marina Abramovic and neuroscientists. The scenario of the experiment was developed at the workshop “Art and Science: Insights into Consciousness” at The Watermill Center, New York in collaboration with American and Russian scientists, among which there were Dr. Myrna Weissmann, Dr. Suzanne Dikker, Dr. Nadja Bruschweiler-Stern, Dr. Mikhail Burtsev, Ilene Sackler Lefcourt, Dr. Kathe Sackler, Dr. BJ Casey, Dr. Daniel Stern, Dr. Jason Zevin and others. Abramovic wondered whether there could be any scientific explanation of tense contact that occurs when two people stare into each other eyes incessantly, and whether this non-verbal contact leads to brain activity synchronization. Having discussed preliminary results with scientists, Daria Parkhomenko, curator of the experiment and director of LABORATORIA Art&Science Space, realized, that many of the questions raised by Marina Abramovic have not been answered yet. The next stage of the research – the BRAINSTORM symposium – is intended to solve these questions. However, this time the territory, form and the prospective result of this experiment will be completely different – it will involve a symposium instead of a performance and a wide range of scientific research instead of an artwork.


• The nature of consciousness and its connection with creativity.
• How the brain controls our gaze: the power of the gaze, trueness and pretense.
• Where is the “Self” and how does the brain think about itself?
• Geniuses and talent: are they the apex of human evolution or anomalies in the progress of our development?
• How does the brain create an artwork and how does it perceive beauty and harmony?
• Artificial Intelligence and its prospects. Will it have creative impulses?
• Is it possible to communicate subjective experience to someone?
• Are two brains able to synchronize while listening to the same music?

LABORATORIA Art&Science Space

LABORATORIA is the first nonprofit research center in Russia focused on constructing the platforms of interdisciplinary interaction between contemporary art and science.

LABORATORIA was founded in 2008 and is aimed at establishing a new type of relationship between art, science and society in which new forms and currents of creative energy are redirected and reset.

LABORATORIA is a place for meetings, discussions, round tables and master-classes for scientists, artists and all people who are interested in the formation of a Russian and international science art community.

The curator of the BRAINSTORMS

Daria Parkhomenko is the founding director and curator of the independent non-profit cultural center LABORATORIA Art &Science Space, Moscow. In 2009 she created The Foundation for support for the Arts and Science Strategic Innovations — Laboratoria. She has participated in more than twenty curatorial and research projects, among them are: “The apparatus mustbe beautiful”, “Between Heaven and Earth”, “Tele-present Wind”, and “Infusion”. Daria Parkhomenko participated in an art&science expedition from Cape Farewell to the Arctic. In 2011 she was the member of the jury at the Ars Electronica Festival, Linz, Austria. She also curated the science art performance by Marina Abramovic “Measuring the Magic of Mutual Gaze” at CCC "Garage”, Moscow.



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