Cerebral Spirits: Stalking the Self
This exhibition is organized in conjunction with William Paterson University’s Center for Computer Art and Animation.
Panel discussion: Thursday, February 9, 2:00 – 4:00pm in Ben Shahn Hall, room B-146
Of all life’s mysteries yet to be solved, the complexity of emotions, processes and actions that make us sentient remains enigmatic. Set in motion by neural networks, we think, act, and love as living beings. Like uncharted galaxies or unending reveries, every thought is a web of electrical impulse generating and regenerating all that is unknownable and wondrous, melancholic and blissful, rapturous and unraveling. By way of astute advances in comprehending the nervous system by various means and ways: e.g. measurement of brainwaves, somatic responses, technological imaging, philosophical studies of consciousness and the languages of metaphor, can we ever hope to know what makes us fundamentally human?
Emotively charged and conceptually profound, our thoughts and feelings are embodied in responsive frameworks. Enmeshed in these networks arises the concept of the self, a mutable, yet central identity. From fantasies to calculations, from desire to fear, the self is a unique set of operations driving our being. “Cerebral Spirits: Stalking the Self” presents the work of eight visual artists whose work identifies aspects of the “self” ranging from hallucination, memory, and the creation of sign systems. How can the self be identified? What mechanisms are in place to reframe the self? What role does imagination perform in defining this elusive concept?