An integrative initiative in creative work & learning.


November 1-2, 2007
Exploring the Interactions of Art and Mind

Projects that came from this ArtsLab (PDF).

Please join us in the Duderstadt Video Center this November 1– 2 for a playful, experimental “learning studio” in which leading international artists, scientists, scholars, activists, and students will explore the interactions of art and mind. There is no audience for Arts & Minds: everyone participates.

Participants will use movement and neuroscience, music and evolutionary biology, visual art, psychological research, and other disciplines and media to explore four aspects of Arts & Minds:

Thursday, November 1

Morning (9-12) : Arts & Evolution
Why does virtually every human culture produce art? How do the arts aid our survival?

Afternoon (1:30-4:30) : Arts & the Brain
How does artistic engagement affect the human brain?

Friday, November 2

Morning (9-12) : Arts & Health
Can engagement with the arts promote physical, emotional, and mental health in individuals? In societies?

Afternoon (1:30-4:30) : Arts & Conscience
What are the powers and limits of the arts to shape us morally?

With Arts & Minds we hope to forge new methods of arts-driven inquiry; to push the boundaries of knowledge about the interrelatedness of arts and the human mind; and to pollinate sustained interdisciplinary creative work, research, curricula, and programs at the University of Michigan.

Participation is free, but space is limited. Preference will be given to artists, scholars, scientists, and students whose creative work and research will both feed and be fed by this exploration.

Funds to support projects arising from Arts & Minds will be available on a competitive basis. For more information, see the RFP. (PDF)

For more detailed information, see Structure, Moderator, Event Faculty, and Registration.

You're invited to enjoy—

A Night of Mind-Bending Art


Thursday, November 1
Michigan Theater

5:10 - 9:30 p.m.

5:10 - 6:30 - take in a full-dress performance by the outrageous and acclaimed NY-based performance artist Pat Oleszko, courtesy of the Penny Stamps Distinguished Visitor Series of U-M's School of Art & Design.

6:30 - 9:00 p.m. - participate in Ann Arbor's First Annual Slideluck Potshow - the community-generating visual-art exhibit that started in Seattle and New York and has become a global phenomenon. All you need to do is bring your friends and your pre-packaged desserts (no open dishes) to view the visual artwork created by friends, neighbors, and faculty. Light food and refreshments will be provided.

9:00 - 9:30 p.m. - enjoy coffee and chocolate - yes, FREE! - as you laugh through a performance of Jon Deak's profound and hilarious musical study of the mind at war with itself, "Hyde and Jekyll." Performed by School of Music faculty and students, conducted by the Dean, Christopher Kendall.

Sponsored by Arts on Earth, the Penny Stamps Lecture Series of the U-M School of Art & Design, and Arts at Michigan, as part of Arts on Earth's Arts & Minds.

I. Structure

The physical structure for “Arts & Minds” is concentric rings.

The hub for each session will be a handful of event faculty members – artists and scholars with particular expertise in the topic area who have collaborated to create a structure through which to guide our exploration.

The small first ring around this hub will be comprised of highly informed and engaged artists, scholars, and students who will participate actively in the creation of the exploration. Participants in the first ring will stay for at least one full day; space will be given preferentially to those who can stay for both days.

The larger outer ring will be comprised of participants who might be able to attend only one or two non-consecutive sessions.

II. Moderator

Moderating the full two days: Natalie Angier, Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times science writer and author of, among other books, Woman: An Intimate Geography and The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science

III. Event Faculty

A. Arts & Evolution (Why does virtually every human culture produce art? In what ways do the arts aid our survival?)

Lead: Brad Smith, University of Michigan

Robert Adams, University of Michigan, College of Architecture + Urban Planning

Ellen Dissanayake, University of Washington

Grant Hildebrand, University of Washington Origins of Architectural Pleasure

Eiko and Koma – New York City

Ed Sarath, University of Michigan, School of Music, Theatre & Dance


B. Arts & the Brain (How does artistic engagement affect the human brain?)

Lead: Sophia Psarra, University of Michigan

Judith Becker, University of Michigan Deep Listeners: Music, Emotion, and Trancing
Professor of Musicology and director of the Centers for Southeast Asian Studies and World Performance Studies, Judith Becker is an authority on the music of Southeast Asia. Her latest book is Deep Listeners: Music, Emotion and Trancing (2004). In this podcast, Becker helps us understand the connection between music and emotion. Listen to Prof. Becker’s podcast »

Steven Brown, Simon Fraser University

Petr Janata, University of California, Davis “Neuroscientist Looks at Music’s Heady Experience ”, “BREAKTIME Petr Janata: Putting his mind for music to use for science

Thylias Moss, University of Michigan

Mariano Sardon, Professor, Electronic Arts, Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Satoru Takahashi, University of Michigan


C. Arts & Health (Can engagement with the arts promote physical, emotional, and mental health in individuals? In societies? )

Lead: Petra Kuppers, University of Michigan, Department of English

Neil Marcus, independent artist, author of Storm Reading and other works

Anne Mondro, University of Michigan, School of Art & Design

Aimee Meredith Cox, University of Michigan, Center for the Education of Women.

Devora Neumark, Goddard College


D. Arts & Conscience (What are the powers and limits of the arts to move us morally?)

Lead: Amy Chavasse, University of Michigan, Department of Dance

Luciana Acuna, Argentina, co-founder of Grupo Krapp

Paul Bloom, Yale University, Department of Psychology

Evan Chambers, University of Michigan, School of Music, Theatre & Dance

Jackie Salloum, independent artist, New York City

Eileen John, Warwick University, Department of Philosophy

Coleman Jordan, University of Michigan, College of Architecture and Urban Planning

Paula Gerstenblatt, independent artist, Bay Area, California

Peter Railton, University of Michigan, Department of Philosophy

Kendall Walton, University of Michigan, Department of Philosophy

Robin Wilson, University of Michigan, School of Music, Theatre & Dance

Wave Field

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