top of page



The Arts Five Minute Talks

Season 2016-2017.

  January 2017

Faculty of Fine Arts Independent Studies DART461/4 BB Winter 2017 (Concordia Students Course)

The Arts Five Minute Talks

Professor Design & Computation Arts:

Neuroscience and biotechnology Advisor:

Researcher/Invited Artist: Christine

Director of Convergence, Neuroscientist Cristian Zaelzer-Pérez:




NB. This course outline and schedule are subject to change.


This independent study course is for Fine Arts students who wish to creatively explore various intersections where the Arts, Neuroscience, and Society come together and shape our understandings of ourselves and others as sensing, feeling, memorizing, moving, acting, decision-making beings. The objective is to bring senior undergraduate Fine Arts students into collaborative interdisciplinary contact with MA, Ph.D., PostdocNeuroscience researchers from The Brain Research and Integrative Neuroscience program (BRaIN) of the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) within the pilot initiative of Convergence. The program or purpose of exchange is designed to encourage all participants to understand and discover territories outside their artistic or scientific comfort zones.

‘Our main purpose is to create a connection, a convergence, between different areas of society to make neuroscience research more accessible to the public and to give to our students the opportunity to communicate their research, learn, and acquire a broad perspective from highly skilled artists as well as the public, in the process.’


DART461/4 Independent Study requires self-directed efforts of students who are genuinely curious about art + science collaborations and knowledge mobilization across diverse disciplines with and for new audiences. Fine Arts students must demonstrate their willingness to work actively with neuroscience researchers as well as other arts students outside of their own major or discipline. The course is structured as a series of events that of attending presentations, giving presentations on project process throughout the semester, participating in both small and large group discussions as well as expressing arts and science knowledge through production/representations/outcomes. The weeks in between events are self-directed and open work sessions/collaborations between the FOFA and Convergence participants.


Learning objectives


  • How to collaborate on daring new projects

  • How to communicate across fields of knowledge and creative practices

  • How to interpret and represent the Brain (in scientific, social, therapeutic, educational, philosophical or artistic domains)

  • How to unravel the complexities of disciplinary difference in terminology, purpose, observation/study, ethics, process, quality, analysis/evaluation, data, future work, etc.

  • How to translate and transform scientific study through creative production


Course outcome


  • 3 Credits after fulfillment of the requirements of DART461/4

  • Exhibition of student works (juried) at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Neuroscience conference (May 2017)


Course Requirements


   1. Teamwork and collaboration


Introduction to the course, syllabus and project objectives will be held on January 13 to FOFA students and McGill researchers. The course is designed to inspire the artists, the scientists, and facilitators to find convergence within difference and divergence. Students will work in a collaborative setting with the mentors guiding the science/art group formations. FOFA students may work in teams of four, two or individually and partnered with a scientist(s). All participants will self-organize and choose their groups based on subject matter, interests and schedules with the primary goal that all participants are included in a group and project. Each group must complete and deliver: a series of images/animation/objects or an installation/performance/creative work to be critiqued and juried for grading. (Jury members will consist of the course leaders and invited faculty/researchers TBA)


     2.  Exhibition


Selected/juried projects will be exhibited at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Neuroscience conference in May. Each team must provide an exhibition statement and is responsible for thoroughly documenting their work-in-progress and final outcomes. Please note: due to space constraints not all works will be selected for the exhibition.


     3.  Critiques


The critique process will take place three times during the independent study.


  1. Initial critique - each group will present their initial research, sketches, and concepts to the four lead coordinators of DART46. This critique will be a closed session, so students will feel safe to express their preliminary ideas and speak about the perceived and actual challenges of the collaborations.

  2. Midterm process critique - each group will present to a committee of a diverse group of Fine Arts faculty members and coordinators to show their advanced research, to share information, and resources, to present the teams’ collaborative strategies, and to receive rigorous critique from the scientific and artistic, academic audience.

  3. Exhibition critique - The review committee/jury members will come from a diverse faculty pool including artists and scientists. Fine arts students together with their science counterparts are expected to show their final works to the audience and reflect upon their experience and creative outcomes.


Grading and Evaluation


Each student will receive a “B” grade if they complete all the requirements in this course. Higher grades are earned for excellence in participation, attendance, understanding of subject matter, collaboration, documentation of the process, outcomes. Detailed information of the requirements will be given at the start of the course in January 2017. The following elements deemed excellent will increase the individual grade as follows:


  1. Individual leadership and as collaborator, active participation, strong attendance record and excellence in the process presentations (+10)

  2. Delivering a comprehensive written and expressive visual report of the work in the form of a website/online presence, pdf or livre d’artiste/book work (+10)

  3. Project outcome of high quality – Clarity of purpose, the measure of quality based on artistic and scientific criteria, complexity, thoughtfulness, functionality and aesthetic quality. (project selected for the exhibit**) (+10)


Office Hours


pk langshaw

Location EV 6.773

Time: by email appointment


Najmeh Khalili-Mahani

Location PERFORM Centre or TAG

Time: by appointment  


Swintak Christine

Location FOYER Atrium Room EV 2.785

Time: by email appointment


Cristian Zaelzer-Pérez

Time: by email appointment


Other Communication Resources


Fine Arts Communications Manager

Kim Glassman

For any general inquiry


Convergence website

For an updated list of news, resources, events and individuals, please visit


Canadian Association for Neuroscience Annual Meeting Program


The Neurosciences Five Minute Talks 

Convergence talks:



Open exclusively to Concordia FOFA students.


Friday, January 13th. From 5 to 8 PM on room EV6.720 

FOFA Introductory lectures:

1. FOFA Course introduction. Meet, greet & dialogue to form preliminary teams

2. Neuro representations 60 min Najmeh Khalili-Mahani (Naj)

3. Interested in Intersections: Collision, Collaboration, and Creation between Art and the Sciences 20 min Swintak Christine

4. in.different terminologies transmit ex.change and co.creation  20 min pk langshaw

5. Questions and discussion


Friday, January 20th. From 5 to 8 PM on room EV6.720 

FOFA The Art Five Minute Talks:

1. FOFA Students present 14 students x 5 min = 70 min + 20 min break = 90 minutes

2. Discussion and grouping


Friday, January 27th. From 5 to 8 PM on room EV6.720 

FOFA The Art Five Minute Talks:

1. FOFA Students present 14 students x 5 min = 70 min + 20 min break = 90 minutes

2. Discussion and grouping

3. Group discussion, email exchanging, mentors assigned.


Friday, February 10th. From 5 to 8:30 PM on room EV6.720 

FOFA Proof of Concepts:

NEURO groups with formal and/or informal presentations, sharing of information, progress reports.

FOFA Open Studios for Neuroscientists:

Studio visits at FOFA for Neuroscientists.


Friday, February 17th. From 2:45 to 7 PM on MGH Livingston Hall, L7-140, and 11th floor.

MGH Convergence Neuroscience Event "Sensory"
See Timeline in February for details.


Friday, March 3rd. From 5 to 9 PM on room EV6.720 

FOFA Critique:

Initial presentation and critique. Closed session.


Friday, March 24th. From 5 to 9 PM on room EV6.720 

FOFA Midterm:

Midterm process presentation and critique with an invited audience. Invitees TBA.


Friday, April 7th. From 5 to 9 PM on room EV.various locations TBA. 

FOFA Convergence Art Event "Brainwaves"

See Timeline in April for details.


Thursday, April 13th. From 5 to 9 PM on room EV6.720 

FOFA Final Presentation and Selection:

Project presentations and display for a final critique and jury selection of works for the exhibition – Rebecca Duclos, David Ross, Bettina Forget, Francois Morelli + TBA.


Saturday*, April 22nd to May 20th. Gallery hours on Belgo building. 

First Exhibition:

See Timeline in April for details.

Exhibition of works produced by FOFA students in collaboration with neuroscience partners as part of the Convergence project

Venue: Visual Voice Gallery:  Belgo Building

372 Ste-Catherine Street West space 421


Friday*, May 26th. From 5 to 8 PM on room EV6.720 

Preparation for Second Exhibition:

Pack, transport, space design, and set up of the exhibition - this date may be subject to change.


Saturday*, May 27th to 31st. Time TBA. Location BAnQ and Hotel Bonaventure Montreal.

Second Exhibition:

See Timeline in May for details.

May 27th FOFA-Convergence Exhibition, Keynote at la Bibliothèque et Archives Nationales du Québec (BAnQ).

May 28th to 31st FOFA-Convergence Exhibition at 11th Canadian Association for Neuroscience Annual Meeting. Hotel Bonaventure. Closing. 

bottom of page