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Season 2016-2017.

Complementing “The Black Box” event, which revealed elements of that amazing structure enclosed in our skull – our brain, “The White Box” explores the walls which enclose and hold Montreal’s contemporary art. On Sunday, December 11th, 2016, Convergence neuroscientists are invited to delve into uncharted territories, receive guided tours of a number of museum and gallery spaces, and familiarize themselves with some of Montreal foremost contemporary artists at the Musée d'art Contemporain de Montréal (MAC) and the SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art.

They will also witness an artistic dialogue between the “white” and “black” box in the Visual Voice Gallery, which melds science and art together in the exhibition space.

The White BOX

Synopsis of the tours

Filmed by: Kevin Jung-Hoo Park

Edition: Kim Glassman

Extract from "What can artists and neuroscientists learn from each other?"

By Kim Glassman.


For some artists, talking about neuroscience might be a bit out of their depth. For certain neuroscientists, meanwhile, art represents uncharted waters.

On December 11, Shaw and other ten neuroscientists from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre’s (RI-MUHC) Brain Repair and Integrative Neuroscience Program (BRaIN) went on a White Box tour of some of Montreal’s art spaces.


Five Concordia students who comprise the Convergence Initiative's fine arts communications team led the tour.


“This is my first time. I’ve never been to see contemporary art,” said Hunter Shaw, a Ph.D. candidate at the McGill Centre for Research in Neuroscience. “Having someone to explain it and connect the dots, that was huge for me.”


The White Box tour started at the Musée d'art Contemporain de Montréal (MAC), where they explored the biennial exhibit, Le Grand Balcon, and spoke with some of the museum’s curators. The group then moved on to the SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art where they met its director, Pip Day, who showed them around. They discussed the political discourse associated with today’s art scene and the subjectivity of the viewer.


“It’s refreshing. You get to see the work and what the process was. It’s more like an open lab. We see the space, and we see how you work. This is something we’re really looking for,” says Cristian Zaelzer, founder, and director of the Convergence Initiative.



The tour ended at the Visual Voice Gallery, where the group spoke with owner and director Bettina Forget (a current Concordia graduate student in Art Education). She described her mission of melding science and art together in her work and exhibition space. “For scientists, their job is to ask questions. As artists, we ask the question, ‘Why?’ Art that makes a connection with science contextualizes science.” Forget says that critical inquiry and exploration is a shared quality of art and science. “The outcomes are different, but I think the starting point is often the same.”




The White BOX


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