andrea PEÑA

Design, Concordia University.

alexandra BACHMAYER

Computation Arts - Fibers & Materials,

Concordia University. 

Andrea Peña is a Colombian multidisciplinary artist based in Montreal—focusing on experiential design, choreography, sculpture and photography. Peña is artistic director of the dance company Andrea Peña & Artists, which has toured nationally and internationally, funded by Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec. Peña has been commissioned for large projects by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Canadian Centre for Architecture and the 375e Anniversary of Montreal.

Alexandra Bachmayer is a multidisciplinary artist and illustrator based in Montreal. She is currently a research assistant at XS Labs and matralab at Concordia University, contributing to new innovations in the field of electronic textiles. She received a BSc in Psychology and Environmental Science from McGill University and is currently completing her BFA in Computation Arts at Concordia.

chris SALMON

B.Sc. Neurosciences, McGill University.

Ph.D. Candidate Neurosciences, McGill University.

jade SÉGUÉLA

Computation Arts - Performances,

Concordia University. 

Born and raised in New Brunswick, Chris Salmon moved to Montreal in 2005 for his studies. While his interest in biology stems from the rivers and intertidal zones of the Maritimes, Salmon is driven by the problem of how the biology of the brain gives rise to the complexities of the mind.

 

To allow our brains to function, to experience the world and to remember it, neurons pass electrical impulses back and forth at tiny points of contact called synapses. Chris Salmon is interested in understanding how synapses form in the correct numbers in the hippocampus; an important brain region for learning and memory. If too many or too few synapses are constructed when the hippocampus is forming, the brain may not function as usual. In his work, Salmon has identified a very short window of time during brain development when neural activity can be manipulated to increase or decrease the number of synapses that form in the hippocampus. Those changes in synapse numbers seem to be permanent. These results underscore the malleability and fragility of the brain in early life, and also point to the possibility of intentionally altering the number of synapses that form as the brain is constructed.

Jade Séguéla, a French born Canadian, is completing her fourth year in Computation Arts at Concordia University. Exploring different mediums, her work focuses on interdisciplinary installations. By challenging sensations, her creations induce reflection on human perception, natural phenomena and conceptual contemporary theory—where Séguéla is able to bring scientific exploration to an art practice. With a passion for contemporary digital media art, she strives to become a digital art conservator, and will pursue a Master in Museology at UQAM in 2017.

 

Creature Micro_Connectomica.

Inspired by Chris Salmon’s doctoral research into neural network development, Creatura Micro_Connectomica explores the ephemerality and choreography of the brain’s myriad states. Ensembles of neurons are connected into networks by contact points called synapses, which are constantly formed, lost and remodeled. The dynamics of synaptic activation within a network determine what that network is doing; remembering, seeing, walking, etc. Both delicate and jarring, Creatura Micro_Connectomica invites viewers to viscerally engage with the dynamics and materiality of this neurobiologically-inspired installation. Driven by microcontrollers and servo motors, a tangled web of elastic, rubber cord and pulleys comes alive within a steel structure two metres in height. The web reaches out from the structure to the motors in the surrounding space. Small movements combine and subtract, creating a sonically enchanting living system. Like any neural network, Creatura Micro_Connectomica is not a closed system and is influenced by outside sources—albeit not always with predictable outcomes.​

Creature Micro_Connectomica, 2017.
Andrea Peña, Alexandra Bachmayer, Jade Seguela & Chris Salmon. Elastic web, riber cords, servo motors, microcontrollers & steel structure.

Photo by Kevin Jung-Hoo Park

Photo by Cristian Zaelzer

 

Photo by Cristian Zaelzer

Photo by Cristian Zaelzer

Photo by Cristian Zaelzer

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