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An anatomy of passion

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Maira Froes

on 14 April 2015

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Transcript of An anatomy of passion

THE EMERGENCE OF AN ARTSCI PROPOSAL The last five years, nevertheless, were marked by the expression and consolidation of a turning point in my intellectual and research interests. What one would arguably classify as a new sight to science has its roots on strong personal experiences in my private life, together with remarkable lessons extracted from mine and lab colleagues joint efforts in reductionist science. My direct involvement with
undergraduate teaching of the human functional anatomy of the ear and speech systems to students in Phonoaudiology, since the early 2000s, was marked by two apparently non-related, albeit worthnoting, evidences: the great difficulties imposed by complex technical, descriptive
scientific objects and the conflicting (usually hidden) existential link between the individual and scientific objects, specially those experienced in the day-by-day of a Laboratory of Anatomy, where practical classes are developed onto human pieces, in this case including preserved faces.
Boosted by the reconceptualization of the meaningfulness of scientific knowledge, by the end of 2007, I decided to create an inter- (I would risk 'trans') disciplinary team, called Anatomy of Passion, a poetic reference to the human nature of science (http://anatomiadaspaixoes.blogspot.com/), and the corresponding
Laboratory of Experimental Epistemology. The hypothesis claimed by my group, including neuroscientists, a team of academic and independent contemporaneous artists, researchers from humanities, engineers and philosophers, is that aesthetical valorization in science paradigms would lead to optimization of its cognitive handling, as
expressed as scientific conception and intellectual insight. We have began to address this possibility both theoretically as well as experimentally, by electing one of our biological sensory apparatus as model system, in a convenient attempt to explore the filters that mediate our perception of the objective world and of the objective science, while revealing an undeniable individual, subjective character of sensorial experience.

Aesthetic valorization of sci paradigms 'd lead to cognitive gain
The intricate anatomical organization of the human auditory system, from its peripheral stations to central nervous system associative areas, was the scientific object of choice in many theoretical and all experimental fronts held by the group during these first four years. The emerging hypothesis was that subjective access, qualification and signification of the perceptual experience would be fostered or emphasized by direct artistic interference on anatomical aesthetics. Moreover,
that morphofunctional appreciation and problematization would be favored this way. With such a hypothetical ground in question, I was faced with the challenge of re-creating a referential collection of artsci pieces concerning the human ear anatomy, comprised of both concrete objects and conceptual figures
strongly framed and/or conceived with artistic impregnation, as to establish a model system. This enabled us to test our claims concerning the putative benefits of artsci combination in the cognitive handling achieved on a scientific model system of choice, as herein consisting of the human auditory functional anatomy, could be addressed experimentally.
During these last years, punctuated by great efforts in order to create an almost complete collection of artsci experimental pieces (by the end of 2011, summing up around 50 individual and a series of artsci pieces, and growing), we have been actors of the emergence of a new laboratory, and implicitly, a new autoscopic paradigm for human cognitive evaluation, in which a metaphor of cognition, as applied to science, turned out to be the investigative object of choice. Post-mortem anatomical pieces of the human auditory system are contextualized in contemporaneous artistic anatomy. For such, a first, funding step was the development of novel technoartistic illumination tools, based on LEDs, negro lights and tungsten microlamps, as contributed by Alan Verissimo Azambuja, enabling us an innovative exploration of biological tissue transparency, explored with a miriad of light incidence effects and photographic resources. Our collection also includes anatomical preparations, sculptures and sculptural supports for anatomical positioning of biological pieces, anatomical design, video art, techno art, and artistic photography, software development for experimental perception (audiovisual pseudosynesthesia evaluation – in course), poetics (literary and musical), scenography projects and particular scenotechnical solutions, digital 3D projection maps, design and performance, all centered in human audition at anatomical and neurobiological standpoints.
From anatomical to artsci pieces:
a new lab for a new science conception
BACKGROUND For the first decade since reaching a final position at Federal University of Rio de Janeiro during conclusion of my PhD, by the end of the nineties, my investigative fronts concentrated in intercellular communication and developmental neuroscience. Ahead of a mounting developmental neuroscience laboratory, formal training, formal thoughts lead to a period of intense battle for low cost and creative methodologies to address experimentally the hypothesis that low resistance pathways between neural cell types, including neurons and glial cells, were co-players in neural circuit formation and early brain development in model rodents. Papers in specialized journals, invited reviews, lectures in scientific meetings, organization and coordination of national and international courses, graduate students formation in traditional Master and PhD Programs, all marked this period, as expected from regular choices in the scientific scenario.
Aesthetics / Synthesis / Episteme / Sensation
Pre-formal domains
Abstraction / Analysis / Epistemology / Signification
It became more and more appealing to me the idea that both cognitive and non-cognitive brain processes, the latest in the
egory of rejected experiences in the scientific
hodological foreground, were in fact indelibly linked for the
nefit of science creation and scientific findings. These
dergraduate laboratory tours became metaphors of the human condition I recognized in science, in that not only
cognitive, but also affective-emotional processes might have much more to do with conceptual creation, apprehension and theoretical/experimental evaluation in science than ever assumed. I did not fully realize, in these early years, I was
enthrapped into a new critical platform for consideration of epistemological and ontological basis that presumably anchors science. From a field of truth findings to a field of argued consensual creations, science was re-meant for me. A point of no return.
There is an indelible balance between imagination and scientific rules

Subject and object

Formalistic logics and pre-formal aesthetics

Would aesthetics immersion induce cognitive gain?

Would art be a catalyst of creative design in science

A rejected hypothesis, a risk for science

An odd and autoscopic investigative paradigm:
science as a creative process,
a metaphor of higher human cognitive functions
Rejected, non-logical, components 'd affect cognitive skills in science
from anatomy to biophysics
to anatomy
sci. formal training, formal thoughts
We need to understand what
the elegance of our logical paths tries to tell us
accept the individual in the scientist
and recognize
science as our
greatest creation

My lab addresses the possibility that more than logic anchors the practice of science at controlled experimental grounds

That subjective (classically rejected) transits matter…

…and that arts can boost them
Full transcript