Neuroesthetics & Artists as Brain Scientists

This year I finally relented and bought myself an iPod. It’s easily the best gadget I have ever bought and I really don’t know how I lived without one for 33 years! I love it because I can take my whole music collection anywhere, it shuts off the outside world while working in the studio, and when I’m at the PC I am always listening to podcasts and lectures.

The best podcasts haven’t necessarily been art podcasts either, they have been podcasts on the mind, nature, spirituality, and business. One podcast which I always look forward to listening to is All in the Mind by Natasha Mitchell.

In her latest episode (which can be downloaded Here, even if you hate music and don’t own an iPod yet) she talks about neuroesthetics and an exhibition at London’s Hayward gallery called Walking in My Mind.

Semir Zeki pioneered the field of neuroesthetics and says that scientists have a lot to learn from art, but artists have a lot less to learn from neuroscientists. And he says that we (artists) are mostly all neurologists in some sense.

It’s an interesting listen..

About Dion

Australian artist and observer of things.. all kinds of things. I like a wide variety of art, from the weird and wonderful to the bold and beautiful.. and everything in between.


  1. It was a slip of the tongue. He actually meant to say you are all neuroticts and need some sense.

  2. Thanks for posting!! I am so interested in neuroscience in general and have studied it in relation to Marketing. Incidentally, the book Buyology is exceptionally interesting if you want an quick but informative read.

  3. My wifes been studying marketing as she prepares her magazine, and was suprised to see that your boy Lucien’s family practically invented marketing, and did the coin the term Public Relations, as propaganda was considered a bit too harsh.

    And nothing is more marketed than art. From schools to grave, the $$$ is all, and career is to what used to be good work. No wonder the Freud boy went into art, its in his blood, deceiving a gullible public. It started the focused marketing campaign, as it drove off all those wiht little money as riff raff, and focused on the desires and twisted egos of the rich. And so, Art Forum was created. Genius.

    art Colegia Delenda Est

  4. ipod discovery in 2009? I thought everyone is ipodded out by now. you should have kept your money until they start implanting ipods into our brains (get the latest on the media podcast to hear a discussion on minituarizaiton of computers and futurism).

  5. I just went to see that exhibition, it was interesting. You can get a ‘buy one get one ticket free’ voucher from the Hayward Gallery Walking in My Mind flash website too.

  6. Earl, you could be right, most artists I know are neurotic. My favourite people are artists, which probably says something about my mental makeup.

    If people had to wear bumper stickers, mine would say “artists are the best people” lol

    Matilda, I’ll look into Buyology.

    Donald, I think companies are getting more comfortable with the truth and sometimes even refer to it by its rightful name, which is just propaganda.

    And you know I’ll never say a bad word about Lucian Freud, even if his grandfather Siggy was a nutjob and cocaine addict. Lucian is a living genious.

    Dmitriy, Im slow, what can I say! I dont like doing things that everyone else does so I miss out on a

    Helly, when I can’t find something good to say about an artwork I’ll sometimes call it
    I would like to play with the idea though.. building a space which could be the mind, whatever that is. Or creating different moods and feelings.. walk out of happiness and into insanity, etc. It would be an emotionally draining exhibition if it could ever be pulled off.

  7. I guess you arent the only one who likes their shit stirred either Dionysus. After banning me for the third time, dont like references to their bad food and teeth over there, the Guardian just sent me a reply as to my registration after two months. Seems they want me back as they are all so stodgy and into “conceptual” art, something Freud would have loved to have invented and “psycho’ analyzed.

    They are the Bastille now, time to attack, though the Sadducees of art will never go away, if even Cezanne and his fellow post impressionists couldnt destroy them. They hid as the individualized worshipping pervs like Balthus and R.Mutt, then got Dali and others, even corrupting a few moderns who had hit a dead end, after mistaking slicing Cezannes apple into tinier and tinier bits so they became personal signatures instead of art.

    Which is creating triggering devices that allow deep emotion to emerge. Slowly, by creating an organic equivalent, a mirror of reality. Music does it quicker, but cant live with it or listen everyday, no matter how good. But they go together. Though your boy Lucian has no musicality to him, the Brits dont understand music. All lullabies, not layered and relationship built works. Only Hockney found some when he moved here. Weird how aour locals suck at music too, all that pop and movie crap deadened the taste buds.

    Off to slaying dragons, or is it windmills? Time will tell.

    art collegia delenda est

  8. you’re missing out on very little. you are blogging after all!!! :-)

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