The Electric Brain


An exhibition by 1+1=3 (conceived and organised by Per Huttner, Samon Takahashi and Stephen Whitmarsh)

- Biblioteque Charcot, Paris, 2-5 July, 2018



For the occasion of the CuttingEEG conference at Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle Epinière (Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital), the art-science collective 1+1=3 created a special exhibition at the Charcot Library in which visitors could explore the aesthetic qualities of early scientific research in electrical (brain) activity. Books and illustrations were drawn from the personal library of the pioneer of neurology with the invaluable help of Guillaume Delaunay and Chantal Lantin.

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Documentation, records and recordings also provided a chronology of the history of brainwave music, leading up to the recent performances of 1+1=3 in which they use the EEGsynth to convert EEG to music in real-time. The EEGsynth was be presented on the morning on the 4th during the Meet the Startups session (slides), after which live demonstrations were  given at the library.

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“In our investigation into the treasures of the library, we have found far more wonderful things than there is room to present. We have made a strict selection based on aesthetic qualities as well if the material can contribute to the understanding our work with brainwave music. A lot of the material that you see show how the human body’s inner movements can be measured and notated over time, as well as depiction of the contraptions that carry out the measurements.

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We have chosen the material on display from an aesthetic perspective. As artists we can see clearly that historically many of the people who investigated, drew, documented and illustrated their scientific research have a made very distinct artistic considerations. When we look a in their work with text and images (Charcot is a brilliant example of this) we can see their trained artistic craftsmanship leaving distinct mark and adding mystery to the expression. We find this fascinating and intriguing and hope that although you know more about the scientific aspects than we, that you will find things to marvel at as well.”