You and Your Brain
What Neuroscience Can (Not) Do
No doubt, neurosciences are “in”. Stephan Schleim will present examples for how the neurosciences are influencing society — and for how they aren’t. Besides having the potential for genuinely new insights and treatments of neurological disorders, brain research also carries risks for people's individuality and subjectivity. Reasons for the latter are primarily standardization and reductionism within the (natural) sciences. The talk will challenge you to think about the question who knows you better: you or the neuroscientist?
Stephan Schleim is Associate Professor for History and Theory of Psychology at the University of Groningen. He did his PhD in cognitive science and was probably the first to ever investigate lawyers in a brain scanner. His current research is about the science communication and philosophy of the neurosciences. He is also a science writer and blogger with books about “brain reading” (2008) or the “neuro society”(2011).
Our Brains on Screen:
Neurocinema and Delirious Cognitive Automation
In Until the End of the World (1991) film director Wim Wenders pioneered with digital technology to render images from direct brain stimulation, translating dream images from the brain onto the screen. Science fiction then has become neuroscientific reality. Film and other visualization technologies have always had an intimate relationship with the idea of disclosing the mysteries of our brain worlds. In this lecture Patricia Pisters will introduce some developments in the history of film in relation to developments in neuroscience and our knowledge about (and obsessions with) the brain.
Patricia Pisters is professor of film at the Department of Media Studies of the University of Amsterdam and director of the Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis (ASCA). She is one of the founding editors of the Open Access journal Necsus: European Journal of Media Studies and the author of The Neuro-Image: A Deleuzian Film—Philosophy of Digital Screen Culture (Stanford University Press). Her latest book Filming for the Future is on the work of Dutch documentary filmmaker Louis van Gasteren (Amsterdam University Press, 2016). Currently she is working on a book project about madness, cinema and contemporary media; and on a multi-media project on metallurgy, media and minds.See for articles, her blog, audio-visual material and other information also www.patriciapisters.com.
or Having a Critical Mind in the Age of the Brain
Neurocultures refers to how our cultural landscapes are affected by the prominence of neuroscientific modes of thought. The brain has been put forward as foundational for knowing about the self and social life, and neuroscientists are being asked to be the philosophers, sociologists and gender theorists of our era. Brain matter is also mattering. Its materiality is now making itself known everywhere: in images, texts, in culture, in embodied practices, in the clinic and the hospital and the school, in everyday life. Scholars and artists outside the sciences are expanding and diversifying knowledge about the brain, and about science, by offering critical perspectives that take the social and cultural as seriously as the biological. In the Neurocultures Manifesto, Pitts-Taylor argues for critical, interdisciplinary thinking about neuroscience, particularly by those of us who do not belong to one of the scientific fields generating brain knowledge. In this talk, she explains her Manifesto and elaborates with examples from her recent book The Brain’s Body: Neuroscience and Corporeal Politics..
Victoria Pitts-Taylor is author or editor of five books on the body in culture, medicine and science. She teaches at Wesleyan University, where she is Chair of Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Professor of Science in Society and Sociology. Her book The Brain’s Body: Neuroscience and Corporeal Politics won the 2016 Feminist Philosophy of Science Award from the PSA Women’s Caucus.
Maybe all systems - that is, any theoretical, verbal, symbolic, semantic, etc. formulation that attempts to act as an all-encompassing, all-explaining hypothesis of what the universe is about - are the manifestations of paranoia. (Phillip K. Dick, at the Vancouver SF Convention, 1972)
In 1974, Phillip K. Dick sent a letter to the FBI. He had some valuable information about a communist conspiracy that the security service should know about - Stanislaw Lem, the most famous science fiction writer of the Soviet Block, was not actually a single person but a secret committee with the agenda of spreading communist ideology in the US by way of science fiction. At the time, Dick was rehabilitating from the recreational use of sodium pentothal that apparently granted his brain supernatural abilities and sudden, mind-altering faculties of extrasensory perception. The drug, popularly known as the ‘truth serum’ was one of the many chemical darlings of the CIA during the paranoid decades of the Cold War. Symptomatically, Dick's favorite barbiturate was also used in the infamous MKUltra- the CIA's illegal ‘mind control’ program that attempted, by experimenting on humans, to come up with the psychopharmacological interrogation aid which would repel lies and weaken the enemy subject. This program by the 'Scientific Intelligence Division' of the CIA was conducted in a wide array of public institutions - universities, prisons, hospitals and pharmacological companies across North America and was part of a wider research in psychochemical warfare and mind control. In parallel to these developments, across the Atlantic, Stanislaw Lem was putting together ideas for his later novel in which the futurologists gather in Costa Rica to discuss how to save the overpopulated, dying planet, but are prevented from even starting the discussion by the unrest triggered by guerrilla groups kidnapping the American ambassador. As a way to pacify the population the government initiates a covert psychopharmacological program by 'enriching' the tap water with empathy inducing chemicals. In the future, in which our protagonist wakes up after being frozen for several decades, psychopharmacology is not anymore a governmental mind control mechanism but has become a completely normalized state, whereby whole populations are continuously drugged in a perpetual state of self-deception about reality – the epistemic uncertainty becomes the ground for a new era of human automatons unable to decipher fact from fiction. Trapped between the continual process of mind programming and the sea of mental unfreedoms, the truth becomes irrelevant.
Antonia Majaca is an art historian, curator and writer based in Berlin and Graz. She is visiting professor and research leader at the IZK Institute for Contemporary Art at the Graz University of Technology, where her three-year research and publishing project 'The Incomputable', funded by FWF - Austrian National Science Fund, is developed through an international platform involving Graz University of Technology, Goldsmiths University of London and the Department of Human and Social Sciences at the University of Naples. Currently she is also one of the research curators for the multi-year project 'Kanon Fragen' at HKW - Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, initiated by Anselm Franke. Her ongoing long-term research "Feminist Takes", involving a wide network of contributors - artists, art historians, film theorists, filmmakers, psychoanalysts and philosophers, has so far been presented at G-MK, Zagreb, Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham and Tranzitdisplay, Prague. Recently curated conferences include ‘Knowledge Forms and Forming Knowledge - Limits and Horizons of Transdisciplinary Art-Based Research’ (co-organized by Patricia Reed and Mohammad Salemy) at the Halle für Kunst & Medien, Graz and ‘Memorial For(u)ms – Histories of Possibility’ for DAAD at the HAU - Hebel am Ufer, Berlin.
Gut Instinct: Art, Food and Feeling
Food has long been the subject of works of art. In recent times, artists have also examined eating behaviours and the mechanisms of consumption as a way to comment on contemporary society. From artworks that explore the materiality of foodstuffs to creative provocations that test the boundaries of good taste and revulsion, the exhibition Gut Instinct: Art, Food and Feeling draws on cutting edge research by neuroscientist Professor John Cryan and his colleagues at the APC Microbiome Institute at University College Cork, to explore how digestion relates to our mental and emotional states. In this lecture, Fiona Kearney will discuss the exhibition Gut Instinct: Art, Food and Feeling and consider how art has envisioned and explored the importance of the gut / brain axis, and emphasised the embodied self as critical to emotional and mental well-being.
Fiona Kearney is the founding Director of the Glucksman, a purpose-built contemporary art museum, and a cultural and educational institution that promotes the research, creation and exploration of the visual arts. In this position, she has curated numerous exhibitions of Irish and international art, with a particular emphasis on how contemporary art practice relates to research directions within University College Cork. Recent exhibitions include Gut Instinct: Art, Food and Feeling; 2116: Forecast of the next century, Boolean Expressions: Contemporary art and mathematical data, Stitch in Time: the fabric of contemporary life, and Folly: Art after Architecture. Throughout her academic and professional career, Kearney has received several distinguished awards including the designation of college scholar by UCC, the NUI Prix d'Honneur from the French Government, a UCC President’s Award for Research on Innovative Forms of Teaching and the Jerome Hynes Fellowship on the Clore Leadership Programme. From 2009-2014, she served as a member of the Arts Council of Ireland and she is currently a board member of the Irish Architecture Foundation, VISUAL Carlow, and Cork Midsummer Festival. She is a member of the Irish Museums Association, ICOM, IKT, Universeum, and AICA.
The Factory in our Minds
An induction to de-program cognitive automation and use neural plasticity to guide the mind away from repetitive thinking processes, electronic entrainment, ear worms and other mental loops. The lecture becomes an inductive opening to a dynamic and off-beat, un-thinking process.
Marcos Lutyens’s practice has centered on the investigation of consciousness to engage the visitor’s embodied experience of art. Exhibitions of infinite scale and nature have been installed in the minds of visitors. His investigations have included research with social groups such as the third-gender Muxhe, Raeilians, synaesthetes, border migrants, space engineers and mental architects to explore how unconscious mind-sets shift across cultures and backgrounds. Lutyens has developed projects that involve our external surroundings. Works include interactions with pedestrian flows, social media dialogue, air quality levels, animal and biological intercommunication. Lutyens has exhibited internationally such as at dOCUMENTA(13), the 54th Venice Biennial, the Liverpool Biennial 2016, Manifesta 11, 14th Istanbul Biennial, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Centre Georges Pompidou, the Royal Academy, the National Art Museum of China, MoMA PS1. He worked in alliance with Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev on the 14th Istanbul Biennial, where he also created a large scale installation on a ship, as well as preparing the public program ‘Thought Forms and Brain Waves: Neuro-Aesthetics and Art,’ which included some of the world’s leading neuroscientists. Lutyens recently launched his book ‘Memoirs of a Hypnotist: 100 Days.’ Present work in development includes projects at the Guggenheim NY, The Palazzo Fortuny, Venice, the Boghossian Foundation, Brussels, the Armory, NY.
Trauma and Disentanglement as a Neural Possibility
A process of traumatic barbarianism seems to be underway: politics is unable to stop it, as it has stepped beyond the point of no return. The global civil war is proceeding together with a process of automation of cognitive activity. The trauma will not be a mere cultural breakdown, but it will possibly evolve into a neurogenetic transformation whose forms and meaning may be shaped by therapeutic and aesthetic action. As the trauma is going to transform the relation between emotional and cognitive in the neurosphere, will it be the condition for autonomy of knowledge and communist solidarity of cognitive workers?
Franco Berardi Bifo is a contemporary writer, media theorist and activist. He founded the magazine A/traverso (1975-1981) and was part of the staff of Radio Alice, the first free pirate radio station in Italy (1976-1978). In the '70 and '80s he worked with Felix Guattari in the field of schizoanalysis. His last book is AND. Phenomenology of the End (Semiotexte, 2015)
The Assemblage Brain
In his new book, The Assemblage Brain: Sense Making in Neuroculture (Minnesota, 2017), Tony D. Sampson unravels the conventional image of thought that underpins many scientific and philosophical accounts of how sense is assumed to be produced inside the brain. In this talk he uses his assemblage brain thesis to draw specific attention to the politics of neuroculture, looking at capitalism and the neurosciences endeavour to colonize the brain and the potential for brains to be free.
Tony D. Sampson is reader in digital culture and communications at the University of East London. He is coeditor of The Spam Book (Hampton, 2009), author of Virality: Contagion Theory in the Age of Networks (Minnesota, 2012) and The Assemblage Brain: Sense Making in Neuroculture (Minnesota, 2017). Tony is also the organizer of the Affect and Social Media annual conference in East London. He is currently coediting a new book (Affect and Social Media) for the Radical Cultural Studies series (Rowman and Littlefield International, 2018). Academic Profile: https://www.uel.ac.uk/Staff/s/tony-sampson. Blog: https://viralcontagion.wordpress.com/. New book: https://www.upress.umn.edu/book-division/books/the-assemblage-brain
Sellars’ Legacy and its Implications for Art
There exists a general concern about how neuroscientific research may change our views about free will, agency, and responsibility for the worse through its tendency to explain how our brains cause behaviour. This is a seemingly old story boosted by new discoveries and exploited in art, film, and literature. It has also been augmented by its attachment to areas of research related to AI and the automation of the economy. The underlying worry, or even horror, seems to be that societal frameworks will begin to collapse (or have already) if, through establishing consciousness as a matter of neural correlates, people are encouraged to believe that freedom is an illusion, and with it, responsibility and agency. This horror has been expressed as ‘the semantic apocalypse’ in RS Bakker’s novel Neuropath (2009). In this talk I will first briefly explore how such concerns might be misplaced. Neuroscience explains the causes for our behaviour and should be taken seriously; freedom, agency etc. are concepts which have developed through reasoning between agents across histories, locations, and cultures. The distinction between causes and reasons is central to what Wilfrid Sellars called ‘stereoscopic vision’ which can be defined as: the process of working towards an eventual fusion of the scientific image (the natural space of causes) and the manifest image (the logical space of reasons) in which the manifest image is not overwhelmed in the synthesis. The talk will briefly explain Sellars’ framework and suggest what it might contribute to the expanded field of art, in particular to image construction. Time permitting; it will look at how taking up this framework has enabled serious new work on the much-maligned concept of dialogue, recategorizing it as a specific cognitive operation that has social and political aims.
Bassam El Baroni is a curator from Alexandria, Egypt and a member of the faculty at the Dutch Art Institute in Arnhem, the Netherlands. He was co-curator of Manifesta 8, 2010, Murcia, Spain and director of Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum, 2005 – 2012. In 2016 he curated ‘Nemocentric’ at Charim Galerie, Vienna. And in 2015, he curated ‘What Hope Looks like after Hope (On Constructive Alienation)’ at HOME WORKS 7, Beirut. Other exhibitions include AGITATIONISM the 36th edition of Eva International - Ireland’s Biennial, Limerick, 2014; the Lofoten International Art Festival, Norway, 2013 (with Anne Szefer Karlsen and Eva González-Sancho ); and 'When it Stops Dripping from the Ceiling (An Exhibition That Thinks About Edification)’ at the Kadist Art Foundation, Paris, 2012.
HIGHER: rave, flow and superposition of realities.
HIGHER is a dance project inspired by and based on the experience of clubbing and club dancing. Approached from the perspective of choreographer and performance maker Michele Rizzo, this reflection on clubbing sees dancing in clubs as an experience that synthetizes two very diverse aspects of living, with it being in the first place an intimate and at the same time a collective one.
Michele Rizzo graduated in 2011 at the SNDO (School for new Dance Development, Amsterdam), where he is now a guest teacher in choreography and movement research. In 2015 he has greaduated at Sandberg Institute of Amsterdam, Dirty Art Department. His artistic practice touches various disciplines, including performance, dance and visual art. His work Higher has been widely shown through out Europe. In the past years he has been working with various artists, such us Vincent Riebeek, Gertjan Franciscus, Igor Dobricic, Juan Pablo Cámara, Lorenzo Senni, and collaborated with institutions like If I Can’t Dance I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution, ICK Amsterdam and Q21 Vienna. His upcoming work Spacewalk will be presented in the Amsterdam festival Something Raw, in March 2017.
A Viscosity with a Will
In this lecture Amelia Groom explores the ways in which soft invertebrates (like cephalopods) and brainless slimes (like physarum polycephalum) invite new ways of understanding intelligence, embodiment and collectivity. As anthropocentric and neurocentric perspectives start to decompose, existing conceptions of language, attention, memory and learning are being rethought. Keywords: polycephalic, Vampyroteuthis Infernalis, ink, hive minds, suckers, tentacular thinking, feelers, goo.
Amelia Groom is a writer based in Amsterdam. She completed her doctoral studies in Art History & Theory at the University of Sydney in 2014, and she is currently undertaking postdoctoral research at the University of Amsterdam. Her writing has been published in various art journals, monographs and exhibition contexts, and in 2013 she edited the Whitechapel Gallery / MIT Press ‘Documents of Contemporary Art’ anthology on TIME. She teaches writing and theory at the Sandberg Instituut (Critical Studies and Master of Voice MFAs) and the Gerrit Rietveld Academie (Graphic Design department).
On Algorithmic Catastrophe
The proliferation of automation and artificial intelligence partially characterizes our posthuman condition. Algorithms are taking charge of various operations (should they be independent and intertwined) to the extent that an accident can easily leads to systemic failures, as Norbert Wiener has already warmed in the 1960s that the penalty for errors of foresight “will be enormously increased as automatization comes into its full use.” These catastrophes are demonstrated in many events, most obviously the “flash crashes” of the financial market. It is in this context that we understand of having entered an epoch of catastrophe as the French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy hinted in his L'Equivalence des catastrophes : (Après Fukushima). This talk proposes to understand the algorithmic catastrophe from a historical-metaphysical investigation of the concept of contingency, and therefore it reposes on two fundamental questions: what is an algorithm and how can we conceptualize the algorithmic contingency?
Yuk Hui is currently researcher of the DFG project Techno-ecologies of Participation at Leuphana University where he also teaches in the institute of philosophy. He has published research articles in periodicals such as Metaphilosophy, Research in Phenomenology, Parrhesia, Angelaki, Cahiers Simondon, Implications Philosophiques, Jahrbuch Technikphilosophie, among others. He is co-editor of 30 Years after Les Immatériaux: Art, Science and Theory (Meson Press, 2015), author of two monographs, On the Existence of Digital Objects (University of Minnesota Press, 2016) and The Question Concerning Technology in China. An Essay in Cosmotechnics (Urbanomic, 2017).
Brainwaves in Neuroculture. Would the Buddha Wear a Walkman?
'Would the buddha wear a walkman?' is the title of a 1990 sales catalog for 'consciousness tech', a collection of tools that might "change the way we think - and perhaps even our brains themselves." In this lecture, Flora Lysen examines historical fantasies of brain wave recording and current art-science experiments with E.E.G. to think about how we could position ourselves in relation to the authority of neuroscience and the promises of neurotechnology.
Flora Lysen is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Amsterdam, based at the Mediastudies department, writing about the history of brain science and popular culture. Previously, she has worked at various institutions, including the Royal Academy of Art (The Hague), Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin), BAK, basis voor actuele kunst (Utrecht) and If I Can't Dance (Amsterdam).
Can I kiss you online? How does your kiss feel in E.E.G. data?
Can we transfer a kiss and it’s intimacy online? Can we measure a kiss and what kissers feel together? Do we want to save our private kisses in a transparent database - to be used by others? In performances and live kissing experiments with E.E.G. headsets to measure brainwaves activity, visitors are invited to participate as kissers, voyeurs, and E.E.G. data scanners. The installation consists of two opposite chairs, ‘a love seat’, where kissers can take place. While kissing, their brainwaves are measured and visible as E.E.G. data. Around them 4 screens mirror the actions of both kissers and witnesses: through real-time E.E.G. data, soundscape and a surveillance system. A floor projection encircles the kissers with the real-time streaming E.E.G. data, as an immersive data cloud landscape. The soundscape is generated by the Brain Computer Interface, which translates the real time E.E.G. data of ‘kissing brains’ into a music score and algorithm for an E.E.G. KISS symphony The public around is part of the kiss, of the sound and of the immersive E.E.G.-data-visualization; both as an aesthetic experience as well as based on mirror neurons during the act of kissing.
Artist duo and researchers Karen Lancel and Hermen Maat explore the tension between embodied presence, intimacy, privacy and trust in current social-technological systems. They radically turn upside down automated control technologies, bio-feedback and sensory perception, to create ‘Trust-Systems’ for intimate meeting experiences. The artists start from the idea that experiences of intimacy and trust are embedded in public dialogue, witnessing and narrative. Therefore, their visually seductive Meeting Places, or social sculptures, function as ‘artistic social labs’ in public space; with the public as ‘co-researchers’. During carefully hosted Presence Rituals, they invite the public to meet through socially challenging, imaginative technologies in poetic orchestrations; and in this way to reflect on their perception of intimate body experience, privacy, identity, social cohesion. In performances and installations public dialogue and interaction are real-time scanned, traced and visualized in Social Portraits; on (urban) screens, in digi-prints and networked databases. It is shown together with related artistic research in drawings; video’s; smart objects, artist’s books. Their work is presented internationally in public spaces such as square, museum, university, gallery, theatre; at among others Venice Biennale 2015, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Ars Electronica Linz, ZKM Karlsruhe, Transmediale Berlin, Eyebeam New York, TASIE Millenium Museum Beijing, BCAF Beijing Culture and Art Center & Foundation, IASPIS Stockholm, ISEA04 Helsinki, V2_Institute Rotterdam, Banff Center Canada, ISEA2011 Istanbul, De Appel Amsterdam, BEALL Center California, ISEA2016 Hong Kong, Public Art Lab Berlin/Connecting Cities Network. Supported by o.a. MondriaanFund.
Neuro-phenomenology and Deep Brain Stimulation
Neuro-aesthetics, neuro-ethics, neuro-economics: it seems no discipline can escape the influence of the neurosciences. Neuro-phenomenology has a somewhat different status in this regard: since the publication of The Embodied Mind (Varela, Thompson & Rosch, 1991), phenomenology — the philosophical tradition founded by Husserl, Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty — has itself played an important role in discussions within the cognitive (neuro)sciences. Phenomenological insights have had considerable impact, which led to the influential new field of ‘Embodied or Enactive Cognition’. My lecture will discuss this relation between phenomenology and the neurosciences. I will show how interdisciplinary research that accounts for perspectives from both of these fields can lead to novel philosophical concepts. Furthermore, I will shortly elaborate on the application of this method in the University of Amsterdam’s Academic Medical Center (AMC), where philosophers, psychiatrists and neuroscientists are working together to investigate how Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) changes the phenomenology of patients suffering from severe depression and obsessive-compulsive disorders. I will argue that the new conceptual framework that has resulted from this research project is not only useful for this kind of patients, but actually just as relevant for understanding our everyday dealing with the world.
Erik Rietveld is a Senior Researcher at the University of Amsterdam, AMC/Dept. of Philosophy/ILLC and a founding partner of RAAAF [Rietveld Architecture-Art-Affordances]. Earlier he was a Fellow in Philosophy at Harvard University and a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley’s Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute. Together with his brother Ronald Rietveld he founded the multidisciplinary studio for architecture, art and philosophy RAAAF in 2006. They were responsible for Vacant NL, the Dutch contribution to the Venice Architecture Biennale 2010. RAAAF was elected Dutch Architect of the Year 2013. Ronald and Erik Rietveld were recently invited to become members of The Society of Arts at The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). Erik Rietveld publishes frequently in international journals such as Mind, Synthese, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, and Harvard Design Magazine. Rietveld’s philosophical work on skilled action and affordances was awarded with Rubicon-, VENI- and VIDI grants by Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and recently with an ERC Starting Grant by the European Research Council. Websites: www.erikrietveld.com, www.raaaf.nl/Enactive
Through the digitization of the externalization of human memory and a shift in cultural perspectives, a non-forgetting artificial memory evolves. In this presentation I use a metaphor for this recently emerged phenomenon: I state that we’re living with Digital Hyperthymesia. This is derived from the memory condition ‘hyperthymesia’ which gives a person a superior autobiographical memory, meaning that the person can recall, without conscious effort, nearly every day of their life with great detail. The emergence of Digital Hyperthymesia is researched from a technological and cultural perspective, and possible consequences in the context of human memory are formulated. Human memory is a duality of remembering and forgetting. This inspired Artificial Ignorance – a computer application that offers a digital equivalent of ‘forgetting’. Instead of displaying your digital photographs, AI collects visually similar images from the internet. These new images serve as ‘memory cues’ to stimulate active remembering.
Tanne van Bree is a digital designer at Studio Edhv, with a bachelor in Communication and Multimedia Design and a master in Information Design. She graduated Cum Laude from Design Academy Eindhoven with her graduation project, ‘Digital Hyperthymesia’. By designing ‘digital forgetting’ she speculates the different ways of dealing with the abundance of digital information available nowadays.
Grey Matter and the Colourful Mind
What our eyes can see is not the same as what our minds perceive. Our brains give meaning to our experiences based on what we know. Neuroscience tends to focus on generalising human brain activity, but at the same time we all experience the world differently. The dress meme demonstrated that even a basic cognitive function such as colour perception is highly variable among people. The arts-based learning method Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) shows how personal relevance and knowledge guide our perceptual meaning making. In this lecture Janneke van Leeuwen will talk about the organisation The Thinking Eye she founded, which brings neuropsychology and the visual arts together in transdisciplinary training and research.
Janneke van Leeuwen received a master’s degree in neuropsychology from VU University and graduated in fine art photography from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie. In her artistic practice Van Leeuwen creates photographic mindscapes, which explore the grey area between private and shared experiences. Her work has been published and exhibited internationally amongst others as part of the Musée de l’Elysée’s traveling exhibition reGeneration2: Tomorrow’s Photographers Today. Van Leeuwen is the founder of The Thinking Eye, which focuses on advancing knowledge of the visual arts' impact on cognitive development, creative thought and social identity. Van Leeuwen holds facilitator and trainer qualifications in the arts-based learning method Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) method and she is the author of the publication 'Shaping Open Minds'. Van Leeuwen is a member of the Created Out of Mind team, who have been invited to take up the 2016-2018 residency at The Hub at the Wellcome Collection in London. Created Out of Mind: Shaping perceptions of dementia through art and science will support the active connection and collaboration of previously disparate cultures (scientists, artists, commissioners/policymakers) and infuse the insights and skills of people living with dementia, communications professionals and collaboration experts. As part of this residency Van Leeuwen is currently working on her PhD research, in collaboration with the Wellcome Collection, London; the UCL Institute of Neurology, London; and the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam.