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Rubin Museum of Art: Brainwave: Illusion
Rubin Museum of Art
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Brainwave: Illusion

 

The Buddha said that everything is illusion. What did he mean by that? This sixth edition of Brainwave will enlist the aid of neuroscientists to help us understand how the perception of our world is shaped by the surprising adaptability of our brains. Brainwave includes talks, special film screenings followed by discussions, The Memory Palace (an interactive workshop), Lunch Matters, and Cabaret Cinema

Presenting Sponsor of Brainwave 2013 

 

Brainwave 2013 was made possible, in part, by support from the Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism.

 

The Director         

As acclaimed theater and film director François Girard (The Red Violin) prepares his new production of Wagner's Parsifal at the Metropolitan Opera, he and Columbia University neuroscientist Carl Schoonover (Portraits of the Mind) delve into human perception, from stagecraft to film, to music and imagery, to the mystique of the young hero Parsifal. 

The Surfer                         

As a surfer, Jaimal Yogis embraces fear on an everyday basis. Here he engages with psychiatrist & brain imaging researcher Dr. Srini Pillay (Life Unlocked: 7 Revolutionary Lessons to Overcome Fear) on the role that fear plays in our lives.

The War Veteran             

2012, USA, Michael Brown, 92 min.  

In this new film by Michael Brown eleven veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, the longest in American history, are invited to overcome the damage to their bodies, minds, and spirits and climb the 20,000-foot Himalayan giant Mount Lobuche. As the film follows their training and climb, it also explores the illusion of health and the struggle to have less-perceptible conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder treated seriously.

War veteran and IAVA representative Jason Hansman and Dr. Heather Berlin from Mt. Sinai talks about Traumatic Brain Injury after the screening. 

Presented in association with Iraq Afghanistan Veterans of America

The Magician                     

Neuroscientists Stephen Macknik and Susana Martinez-Conde are the founders of the exciting new discipline of NeuroMagic and authors of Sleights of Mind. Here they convince the recipient of the 2011 Society of American Magicians' Magician of the Year award, Joshua Jay, to allow them to study his techniques for tricking the brain.

The Illustrator            

Illustrator Maira Kalman analyzes her powers of observation with Columbia University psychologist Michael Morris.

The Actor                

Peter Dinklage plays the closest thing there is to a hero in HBO’s cult hit series A Game of Thrones (for which he won the Best Supporting Actor Emmy and Golden Globe last season). Yet throughout his career he has wrestled with a preconception of what a leading man should be. Duke psychologist and behavioral economist Dan Ariely’s TED talk on irrational behavior has been viewed almost 2 million times. Together actor and psychologist talk about how irrational our perception can be. 

The Screenwriter                    

Dustin Lance Black won an Academy Award for his screenplay for Milk, about the assassinated gay activist Harvey Milk. Neurobiologist Thomas J. Carew studies how the brain captures, stores and retrieves memory. Together they explore how a screenwriter can both relive and remake history through the medium of film. 

The Photographer           

Mary Ellen Mark discusses the power of the photographic image with memory specialist Daniel L. Schacter

The Cartoonists

Cartoonists encapsulate an idea with economy of form. Here three New Yorker cartoonists (David Sipress, Zach Kanin and Paul Noth) explore the creative illusion of putting pen to paper and working out, with neuroscientist Richard Restak, which comes first: the words or image?

The Humorist

Humorist Fran Lebowitz discusses the illusion of language with experimental psychologist Steven Pinker

The Memorist (The Memory Palace)

The Museum as Memory Palace: Memory is another form of illusion but also a tool to navigate the construct of time. Test your ability to retain and recall information you learned in one hour with US Memory Champion Nelson Dellis. You will need an imagination and a keen sense of adventure, but you have to leave pencil, paper, smart phone, and other current aide-mémoires behind.

Nelson Dellis will be in conversation with Prof. Lila Davachi, Associate Professor of Psychology Cognition & Perception, Center for Neural Science & Center for Brain Imaging at New York University.

The Pickpocket  

Apollo Robbins first made national news as the man who relieved the Secret Service of their watches, wallets, and confidential itinerary, while entertaining the former President. Cognitive scientist Marisa Carrasco from NYU studies attention. Together they work toward an understanding of why we sometimes don’t pay attention to the things that matter. And allow our iPhone to be lifted without knowing it...

The Virtuoso                       

Tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain explores how rhythm is the most primal sense we humans possess with neuroscientist Seth Horowitz.

The Lighting Designer

No other lighting designer has won more Tony Awards (eight, at last count) than Jules Fisher. With Harvard vision scientist Margaret Livingstone he unveils the techniques behind some of his theatrical masterstokes.

The Spice Master             

The blender of spices and neurologist Donald A. Wilson explore the illusions that our olfactory senses can conjure.

The Chef                              

One of New York’s few exponents of molecular gastronomy Wylie Dufresne puts his culinary creations under the microscope with the aid of olfaction expert Rachel Herz. 

The Congressman             

Congressman Tim Ryan, an advocate of mindfulness training in schools, talks to Hunter College psychologist Tracy Dennis after a screening of Susan Finley’s Changing Minds at Concord High School which documents an experiment of introducing meditation in a ‘transfer’ school in New York City.

The Architect                       

Danish architect Bjarke Ingels + Salk Institute’s Tom Albright demonstrate why neuroscience should play an increasing role in design.

 

Brainwave Films


High Ground     

2012, USA, Michael Brown, 92 min.  

In this new film by Michael Brown eleven veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, the longest in American history, are invited to overcome the damage to their bodies, minds, and spirits and climb the 20,000-foot Himalayan giant Mount Lobuche. As the film follows their training and climb, it also explores the illusion of health and the struggle to have less-perceptible conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder treated seriously.

 

 


Free the Mind

2012, Denmark, Phie Ambo, 76 mins.

Richard Davidson, one of the world’s leading researchers of the human brain, sets out to discover if and how the brain might be physically altered using only the power of thought. The test cases include a 5-year-old suffering from ADHD and veterans trying to cope with PTSD.

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