Everything that we are is a culmination of our life experiences, as processed by our neurons – the “thinking cells” of the brain. However, this mysterious, complex part of our biology has remained widely misunderstood by the general public, until now. ARTECHOUSE, in collaboration with the Society for Neuroscience, will bring art, science and technology together through its upcoming Life of a Neuron exhibition to give audiences of all ages an unprecedented view inside one of science’s greatest mysteries: the human brain.
On May 14, ARTECHOUSE will bring its boundary-pushing, immersive exhibition Life of a Neuron to its New York City location in Chelsea Market. Through the latest creative technologies, the exhibition will innovatively tell the universal story of the human experience and allow audiences to learn about neuroscience in a whole new way. As visitors walk through the cerebral cortex, they will encounter artistic renditions of a brain at the cellular level — including a larger-than-life neuron — while being enveloped by a captivating sound design. The main installation is supported by technology-driven interactive artworks that explore how vision, stress and addiction affect the brain.
The exhibition invites visitors to witness the beauty and complexities of one of science’s greatest mysteries — the human brain — while following the life of a neuron from pre-birth to death. A culmination of three years of research, study and development, the exhibition’s foundation is the dialogue of discovery between neuroscientists and multidisciplinary artists. The world’s leading neuroscientists and experts came together with ARTECHOUSE to reconstruct a human neuron from the prefrontal cortex — a scientific marvel on its own — that served as the anchor for this enlightening and thought-provoking exhibition. In Life of a Neuron, science is not merely a muse to create inspirational art, but the art furthers the understanding of science; a fitting relationship celebrating the 50th anniversary of the SfN made possible by the interdisciplinary collaboration.
“What I find so exciting about this exhibition is that it is the first of its kind to use data like this to bring key neuroscience principles to life. Through the work of an incredible group of scientists organized by SfN, collaborating alongside the exciting group of artists organized by ARTECHOUSE, we’re able to bring to the world an exhibit like no other—artistic interpretations of scientific data and principles that allow the public to experience neuroscience in a whole new way. It is my hope that this exhibition will spark curiosity in those who see it and inspire them to learn more about the universe between their ears,” said lead neuroscientist for Life of a Neuron John Morrison, PhD, UC Davis Distinguished Professor, Director, California National Primate Research Center, Professor, Department of Neurology, School of Medicine and Secretary, Society for Neuroscience.
Everything known about the neuron — a specialized cell that transmits nerve impulses — is an acme of years of rigorous study fostered by organizations like SfN. The challenge of creating Life of a Neuron was making educated choices about how to package the available knowledge into a story that both informs audiences and inspires them to learn more about the brain. Utilizing the power of storytelling through technology-driven art at a caliber only possible at ARTECHOUSE, this exhibition educates audiences about the neuron.
Visitors will walk into artistic renditions of a brain at the cellular level — encountering a larger-than-life neuron, the “thinking cells” of the brain. Depicting the life stages of a human neuron from neural migration to aging, guests are surrounded by ahighly immersive sound design that tells a universal life story, beginning with a baby crying and including sounds of laughter, children playing in a playground, people singing happy birthday, an ambulance siren, and finally a flatline. Life of a Neuron presents an opportunity for audiences to experience human neural data visualizations in a visceral way through the latest creative technologies that innovatively tell the story of the human experience — the story of ourselves.
“What’s fascinating and revolutionary about the narrative we are telling with this groundbreaking collaboration through Life of a Neuron, is the ability to have the audience experience something that is happening inside all of us by using the latest technical tools. It’s an incredible opportunity to experience the science that we have been studying for the past 50 years in a new artistic way that speaks to the human experience,” said Sandro Kereselidze, ARTECHOUSE Founder & Chief Creative Officer.
Life of a Neuron, which first premiered at ARTECHOUSE DC in fall of 2021, is presented on an 18-channel, CAVE floor-to-wall surround projection array, combined with a 31.5-channel spatialized audio system showcasing ARTECHOUSE’s state-of-the-art capabilities. The central 20-minute audiovisual installation in the Immersion Gallery illustrates the universal life of a neuron at a cellular level from pre-birth to death. The installation is produced by ARTECHOUSE Studio, featuring visuals by Gil Castro, Simon Alexander-Adams,Emmett Feldman, Scott Pagano and Josef Pelz, original music and SFX by Mehmet Ünal Studio, in collaboration with scientists John Morrison, PhD, Dani Dumitriu, MD, PhD, Corrado Cali, PhD, William Janssen, Matt Wimsatt, MFA, CMI and Kristin Anderson, PhD.
The main installation is supported by technology-driven interactive artworks exploring vision, stress, addiction, and the neural connectivity from a neuron’s perspective.
- Edge of Illumination by SYNTHESTRUCT, in collaboration with scientists Robert Wurtz, PhD & Bevil Conway, PhD, explores the topic of vision utilizing a real-time simulation to artistically present the pathway of light from our eyes to our visual cortex, revealing different ways that light is processed by our brain along the way.
- Interactive installation Eureka! by Akiko Yamashita collaborated with scientist Kristin Anderson, PhD to examine the science of neural connectivity based on Hebb’s postulate that states “neurons that fire together, wire together.”
- Imposter by Gil Castro, in collaboration with scientist Eric Nestler, MD, PhD, is an abstract, interactive visual simulation that reveals how drug abuse affects our neural connections. The simulation is mimicking, blocking, or producing neurotransmitters, related deeply to our reward system.
- Eyes of the Science by Ciphrd, in collaboration with scientist Kristin Anderson, PhD, is an artistic recreation of a standard microscopy used by neuroscientists. The neuron samples are created through agent-based simulations presenting the input and output features that characterize how neurons process data.
Life of A Neuron opens May 14, 2022, at ARTECHOUSE NYC in the former boiler room of Chelsea Market at 439 West 15th Street, New York, NY 10011. ARTECHOUSE NYC is open 10am-10pm daily.
On sale now, visitors can book Premium Access Tickets and visit anytime during the run. Regular admission tickets will go on sale in April. To purchase tickets online, visit: artechouse.com/location/nyc.
A pioneer in the field of immersive digital and experiential art, ARTECHOUSE expands the possibilities of art and how we experience it through innovative, technology-driven exhibitions and experiences. ARTECHOUSE connects progressive ideas, artists, and audiences to stimulate innovation and creativity at the intersection of art, science, and technology. What started as the nation’s first digital art space is now a home, online and off, for technology-driven art innovation, with a mission to empower and fund the creation of new, experiential, and exploratory art forms that make an impact.
The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) is an organization of more than 37,000 basic scientists and clinicians who study the brain and the nervous system. Since its founding in 1969, SfN has played a critical role in supporting the field of neuroscience, with its mission dedicated to advancing and advocating for scientific exchange, supporting diversity and career training, and educating the public about the importance of neuroscience research.
NEW YORK CITY TIMES AND TICKETS:
Life of A Neuron opens to the public on May 14, 2022
Daily General Admissions: Monday – Sunday from 10am – 10pm. Sessions are every 30 minutes. Please arrive on time.
- Anytime Tickets: $30 **On Sale Now
- Adults (16+): $25 Advance / $26 On Site
- Children (Ages 4-15): $17 Advance / $18 On Site
- FREE for children under the age of 4
- Students, Seniors, Military & First Responders: $20 Advance / $21 On Site
- Weekday Family Pack (2 adults, 2 children): $75 (Advance only)
Single and group tickets can be reserved at artechouse.com/nyc.
ARTECHOUSE NYC is located in the former boiler room of Chelsea Market, at 439 West 15th Street, New York, NY 10011.
While you’re there, walk over to Hudson River Park and explore the newly opened Pier 57 Rooftop at 15th Street.