Art/Sci Collaboration / June 4, 2018
I recently collaborated with psychiatrist/neuroscientist Jurjen Luykx and artist Anna van Suchtelen on a video that obliquely considers the concept of free will in relation to the action potential, a concept that describes the electricity that drives neurons to fire in a way that leads us to think and move. There is a lot of interesting (and somewhat polarizing) conversation in neurophilosophy around free will. I became interested in this for much more pragmatic reasons; the older I get and the more people I meet, the more I notice how much variability exists around the degree to which different people display self control. Beneficial and detrimental examples of self control abound in addictive behaviors, some of which result in productive ventures while others in destructive ones. For me, this was the motivation for making this artwork, which I can't show because it's being shopped around for exhibition at the moment. But if you're interested in the topic as I am, have a listen to this Guardian piece, which features an enlightening interview with Patricia Churchland, an emeritus professor from my alma mater, University of California San Diego.