[ISEA2020] Workshop: Jillian Scott — Neuromedia: Enhancing Sensory Perception for Artists and Designers

Workshop Statement

This workshop is a unique blend of sensor systems lab exercises from neuroscience, media arts and design to context ideas. It was designed by Jill Scott to raise body awareness for those who are interested in neuroscience and cognition. It may help them incorporate users or interactive viewers in the actual processes of construction. Participants will have to apply in pairs so that they can physically work together and develop media art and digital design projects about sensory perception. Then meet virtually with the workshop members to hear presentations and compare their results.  The workshop pairs will be given exercises based on the understanding and stimulation of three neural systems, the Peripheral Nervous System (PNS), the Central Nervous System (CNS) and the Automated Nervous System. The aim is to help artists and designers think differently about sensory stimuli past simple interaction ideas of cause and effect, and to understand cross-modal sensory interaction and sensory anatomy.  The following themes will be explored: Sight | Observation, saccade movements, blink and light reflex reaction, the blind spot, visual acuity, eye dominance, visual impairment and photoreceptor adaptation. Taste | Understanding taste receptors, relation of taste to visual, olfactory response, trigeminal (hot, cool). Mechanical contributions to “sapictive” (taste) perception, location, distribution and thresholds of taste. Smell | The act of odour detection, smell and taste, adapted nostrils, somatic mapping, chemo-sensors and the role of cilia. Touch | Reception, distribution of touch receptors, tactile discrimination, temperature, pressure and vibration. Sound | Deafness, localization and eco-location, inner ear interpretation and action potentials, bone conduction and substitution. Proprioception | Balance reflex, relative position from tactility, movement and mind body centring, sensing the bodies edge and environmental effects on the body.  Maximum of 12 participants (6 Pairs): – Participants have to apply for the workshop in pairs. Please apply with a letter of motivation for your pair. – The pairs cannot work virtually together on the exercises as they involve a lot of physical tests on each other. – The chosen pairs will be given a list of materials to find for the exercises plus an exercise sheet. – Participants should also have smartphones/mobile devices with headphones.  Duration: 9 hours, spread over 2 days (with online meetings and offline exercises). 

  • Dr. Jill Scott is a media artist and an art and science writer and researcher. Currently, she co-directs the LASER Salon in Zurich for Leonardo Society USA. She is professor emerita from the University of the Arts (ZhdK) in Zürich and founded their Artists-in-Labs Program in 2000. Her own artwork spans 38 years of production about the human body, behavior and body politics, but in the last 16 years she has focused on creative media art experiments about neuroscience, ecology and sensory perception in collaboration with four departments at the University of Zurich. Her most recent artworks were about visual impairment and the evolution of vision. She has also published six books on art and science research including Artists-in-labs: Recomposing Art and Science (eds:Hediger, Scott 2016) and Transdiscourse 2 Turbulence and Reconstruction (ed:Scott 2015) both with de Gruyter press.