Logic and the Science/Art Method
Massive Dynamic Art (MDA) began officially in January 2012. The investigative work leading up to it began in 2008 and has progressed ever since. Science in all of its forms invigorates and inspires me for it touches every part of life from; quantum quarks, galaxies of space, migraines, optometry, micro electroscopic images of meteorites, the tracking of neurons in the brain, carbon dating, 'brain fog' of the hepatitis C virus and it's RNA, stems cells and cancer to the flow of 'insight' along gamma and alpha waves in the brain, science vigorously seeks comprehension and reason. The MDA project will flow into many streams of science and for that matter technology and more along it's artistic journey.
It begins with a quest to comprehend and visualise the inside of the mind. Neuroscience and the mind is just the beginning of this extremely massive and dynamic art project. The brain is beautiful and intensely fragile it fascinates me. It is incredibly frightening the thought of losing the ability to freely move my body as I wish and to see. In the past I suffered various degrees of migraines sometimes I would lose my vision or experience numbness in one side of the body on one occasion when I happened to be standing at the top of the stairs a few years ago I lost my ability to move one side of my body. In my mind I was telling my right foot to move which I thought it was doing but when I looked my foot was not moving and I found myself lending against the wall on my left side carefully balanced at the top of the stairs calling down to my husband for his help. These experiences are some of the things that lead me to the questions; How are thoughts held in the mind and transmitted from the brain to the nervous system and to the body? What do they look like? What makes them work and not work? Trillions of cells, neurons, cognitive networks and systems enable me to draw, paint, walk, dance, talk etc this is the point of inspiration for MDA. An on going quest that will only end once these fragile connections turn to dust.
The project is a collaboration between a growing number of people from Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC) UK, namely Prof. Derek Jones, Dr Silvia De Santis, Mark Drakesmith and Paul Alan. Also Laura Cowley who has a background in psychology and neuroscience who works at University Hospital of Wales.
CUBRIC investigates information pertaining to the connections, structures and myelin fibers that carry information between different brain regions through Magnetic Resonance imaging (MRi) scans. In June 2012 my brain was scanned by Silvia de Santis in order to recreate artwork that focuses on using the cutting edge neuroscience methods at CUBRIC including Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTi) along with MRi. One never forgets the experience, the load tinnitus, droning, buzzing, grinding forcing of magnetic resonance through the matter of sub/consciousness brain. The artworks I create include both purely imaginative creations, responses and a mergence of the anatomically correct data regarding brain structure garnered from the MRi scan recreated and explored in a variety innovative visual explorations.
I imagine, draw, paint, video, photograph, document, create digitally, research, explore and innovate new art works. It is as if I have opened a Pandora's box to the mind, for these questions have an opened infinite doorways on the vast complexities of 'us'. Science is now part of my brush stroke. To me scientists clearly have to think out side of the box and be creative. They have insight and moments of pure imaginative abstract thought that allow them to be in their own right to be artists although they may not always realise this. As an artist I can explore their scientific work without the barriers or rules or logic in my methods. I can be as random and as deregulated as I wish. Systematic if I desire to be or visually chaotic. I have no supervisor or brief. In this sense the work I produce is to for an open mind. The detail and explanations can come after if at all. To me whatever it is that I see as worth exploring in my work is art no matter what form it comes in.
In these first stages of MDA I being with my mind, my brain, to explore through visualized algorithms, to freely express with no bias and celebrate this collabouration between the scientists, physics and I.
This is the beginning of a never ending journey. The deeper we reach inside the deeper it is. Science and Art coming together infinitely.
Penelope Rose (Artist)