States of Mind: Tracing the edges of consciousness - three events in July 2016 for the exhibition at Wellcome Collection

Three groundbreaking events furthering The Enemies Project curator SJ Fowler's exploration of neuroaesthetics, these events brought together expertise from neuroscience to performance art, from philosophy to filmmaking, in order to explore the notion of consciousness through the concepts of language, sound and narrative.

Through informal academic talks alongside newly commissioned artworks, the variance of speakers, with their uniformly exciting and innovative approaches to the notion of consciousness, ensured three remarkable events. More information

The Poetry of Consciousness Thursday 7 July

From the perspective of the neuroscientist, the poet, the translator - a discussion of the role of language in constituting our consciousness, presenting talks and newly commissioned works for performance on the night. Featuring: Daniel Margulies, SJ Fowler, Noah Hutton & Jen Calleja.

The Sound of Consciousness

Thursday 14 July, 19.00-20.30

This event asks what role sound takes in shaping our experience and understanding of consciousness and offers artist’s reflections on the pivotal role sound has in the firmament of our daily lives, drawing from the worlds of neuroscience, anthropology, film, composition and sound poetry. Featuring: John Gruzelier, Nick Ryan, Vincent Moon & Maja Jantar.

The Narrative of Consciousness Thursday 21 July Within and without language, how does the notion of narrative define our experience of the world through consciousness? An event featuring some of the most dynamic contemporary artists, neuroscientists and writers, exploring how narrative interacts with consciousness and what happens when this begins to break down, whether through trauma or conditions like aphasia. Featuring: Lotje Sodderland, Srivas Chennu, Sam Winston and Barry Smith.

Speaker bios

Daniel Margulies leads the Neuroanatomy & Connectivity Research Group at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig where he investigates principles of human brain organization through mapping its connectivity.

Noah Hutton is a film director and curator. He curated Subjective Resonance Imaging at the 2013 Human Brain Mapping Conference, was a featured speaker at the 2013 Association of Neuroaesthetics Symposium at the Venice Biennale, curated the 2014 Impakt Festival in Utrecht, Netherlands, and was named a 2015 Salzburg Global Fellow in Neuroscience and Art. He spends part of each year filming at the Human Brain Project and other prominent neuroscience labs around the world as part of Bluebrain, his fifteen-year film-in-the-making that has been featured in Scientific American and VICE which will chronicle neuroscientist Henry Markram’s audacious attempt to build a simulation of the human brain on supercomputers. In 2015, he created Brain City, a multiplatform art installation commissioned by New York's Times Square Arts Alliance that drew analogies between inner and outer geographies.

Jen Calleja is a writer and translator based in London. She is translator in residence at the Austrian Cultural Forum London and columnist on literary translation for The Quietus. Her latest book translation is Nicotine by Gregor Hens (Fitzcarraldo Editions) and she is currently translating Dancer on the Canal by Kerstin Hensel (Peirene Press). Her debut poetry collection Serious Justice was published by Test Centre this year

SJ Fowler is a poet, artist and curator. He has published multiple collections of poetry and been commissioned by Tate Modern, The British Council, Tate Britain, BBC Radio 3 and is currently in residence at Wellcome Collection with Hubbub group. He has been translated into 16 languages and performed at venues across the world, from Mexico City to Erbil, Iraq. He is Lecturer at Kingston University, teaches at Tate Modern, was named a 2015 Salzburg Global Fellow in Neuroscience and Art and the curator of the Enemies project and A World Without Words, with Lotje

John Gruzelier, Emeritus Professor of Psychology, Goldsmiths, University of London, will draw on his research enhancing creativity in performance in musicians, dancers and actors through inducing hypnogogic states with acoustic stimuli.

Vincent Moon is an independent french filmmaker and sound explorer. He has been making films in the past ten years traveling around the world in quest of sounds, from stadium rock music to rare shamanic rituals, from experimentations in electronics to accapella village songs

Dr.  Srivas   Chennu   is   a   lecturer   at   the   University   of   Kent   and  a   senior   research associate   at   the   University   of   Cambridge.   He   received   his   PhD   from   Kent,specialising   in   computational   neuroscience   and   cognitive   electro encephalography (EEG).His current research focuses on how the brain mechanisms underlying consciousness are altered in sleep, sedation and the vegetative and minimally conscious states.

Lotje Sodderland is a filmmaker and writer. Her award-winning first feature, 'My Beautiful Broken Brain', is a profoundly personal journey into language and perception, following her miraculous survival and recovery from an inter cerebral haemorrhage. She has given public talks for It's Nice That and Sunday Assembly, and been commissioned by New York Times and The Guardian.

Sam Winston's practise is concerned with language both as a carrier of messages but also as a form of content in itself. Initially known for his typographic stories and books, he employs a variety of different approaches including drawing, data mapping and poetry. By exposing hidden narratives found in canonical bodies of text or playfully revealing personal histories, Winston's projects explore our complex relationship between word and reality.

Barry C Smith, professor of philosophy and director of the Institute of Philosophy as well as the founder of the Centre for the Study of the Senses, which pioneers collaborative research between philosophers, psychologists and neuroscientists. Barry was appointed Leadership Fellow for the AHRC Science in Culture Theme in 2012. He is a philosopher of language and mind who has published on self-knowledge, linguistic knowledge, consciousness, the emotions, taste and smell. He has held visiting professorships at the University of California at Berkeley and the Ecole Normale Superiéure in Paris.