MEDIT Seminar: Noor - A Brain Opera

Speaker:  Ellen Pearlman (Parsons School of Design, The New School)
November 28th (Tuesday) at 15:00-17:00 
Place: SuperNova Cinema, BFM


Is There A Place In Human Consciousness Where Surveillance Cannot Go?

The surfeit of new technologies, research and methods about the human brain raise concerns around issues of privacy, surveillance, autonomy and consciousness. Do our electroencephalograph, functional magnetic resonance imaging and other biometric data really contain the essence of who we are and what we think? How will this data be used for security identification, thought reeducation, manipulating memories and identifiers called ‘brainotypes’ or ‘brainfingerprints’? If cognitive processes can be monitored and harvested, how do we prepare for this new frontier of surveillance? Artists and musicians have been experimenting with brainwaves since the 1960s. Currently, new types of consumer-grade brain sensors are used for artistic exploration. The idea of the cyborg has given way to the age of human–machine augmentation, with the brain as the next site-specific performative space. What kind of dramatic structures, interventions, methods and contexts will work when the brain itself drives the performance experience? Though no one is entirely sure, this presentation on neuroscience and “Noor – A Brain Opera” opens up a dialogue about the impact of cognitive technologies and neuroscience on creative practices.

About the speaker

Dr. Ellen Pearlman
 is on the faculty of Parsons School of Design at the New School University in New York. A Fulbright World Learning specialist in New Media Art and Technology, she runs The Volumetric Society of New York, is President of Art-A-Hack (TM), and Director of the ThoughtWorks Arts Residency. For more information, see

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