David Byrne is co-founder of the influential and acclaimed band Talking Heads. As a solo artist, his career has been prolific and wide-ranging. He has written and directed feature films, exhibited visual art for decades and published both fiction and non-fiction writing to great acclaim.
Menlo Park, CA —Pace Art + Technology is pleased to announce The Institute Presents: NEUROSOCIETY, an immersive theatrical experience co-created by David Byrne and Mala Gaonkar. The exhibition will be on view at 350 El Camino Real in Menlo Park from October 27, 2016 to March 31, 2017.
The Institute Presents: NEUROSOCIETYis a series of interactive environments that Byrne and Gaonkar have created to present the emerging work of fifteen cognitive neuroscience labs around the world. For Neurosociety, they collaborated with labs from California Institute of Technology, Cornell University, Harvard University, Karolinska Institutet, New York University, Princeton University, University College London and Yale University. Research by these establishments informs the concepts explored inNEUROSOCIETY.
According to Byrne and Gaonkar, “Experiments, we feel, are a form of theater. We have adopted elements of art installation and immersive theater to present these experiences in ways we think will be as engaging for others as they have been for us. We traveled and met with many scientists who generously welcomed us, patiently answered our untutored questions, and creatively collaborated with us on this project. In the course of creating The Institute, the work of our partner labs has become both a window and a mirror through which we view ourselves and our larger interactions with the world. We wanted to share these concepts with as many people as possible.”
In NEUORSOCIETY, groups of ten visitors will be guided through four separate spaces, where they will participate in immersive theatrical demonstrations and experiments. Each interaction will reveal how the brain builds a subjective measure of the world and is fundamentally guided by pragmatic concerns anchored in personal experiences. These responses gradually reveal not only aspects of ourselves but also how we interact with others, often in counterintuitive and surprising ways.
Visitors will be embodied in a doll, see their hands grow to a vast size, accurately predict election results of fictional politicians, witness moving objects freeze and discover how fair and trusting they are with others. Rather than read about cognitive behavioral science, visitors will experience it for themselves, in a visceral and entertaining way. Each room will be a stage that mirrors a strange, yet familiar, series of people and places. With the consent of participants, visitors’ reactions and decisions will be anonymized and used by the labs to further their research. Each visitor thereby becomes a unique and integral part of The Institute’s ongoing research.
Notes to the editors
• The Institute Presents: NEUROSOCIETYis an 80-minute theatrical experience recommended for participants who are 10 years of age or older.
• The exhibition will be time ticketed via Eventbrite and each show will run for an estimated 80 minutes.
• The Institute Presents: NEUROSOCIETY is located next door to teamLab’s highly acclaimed exhibition, Living Digital Space and Future Parks.
• There will be a series of programming, in association with Stanford University, throughout the run of show.
About Pace Art + Technology: Established in 2015 by Pace President Marc Glimcher, Pace Art + Technology is the gallery’s new program dedicated to showcasing interdisciplinary art groups, collectives and studios whose works explore the confluence of art and technology. The initiative is the expansion of Pace’s longstanding commitment to artistic approaches that highlight and emphasize technological and digital methods. Pace Art + Technology launched in 2016 with exhibitions at Pace Menlo Park in California.
About David Byrne: David Byrne is co-founder of the influential and acclaimed band Talking Heads. As a solo artist, his career has been prolific and wide-ranging. He has written and directed feature films, exhibited visual art for decades and published both fiction and non-fiction writing to great acclaim.
About Mala Gaonkar: A technology investor at an investment advisory firm, Mala Gaonkar's non-profit work focuses on innovations that shift community behaviors and biases, aiding public health and education outcomes. She is a founding trustee of Ariadne Labs, the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering and Surgo Foundation, and a trustee of Tate. She also serves on the digital advisory board of The Economist.
David Byrne and his collaborator Mala Gaonkar will present The Institute Presents: NEUROSOCIETY opening October 28 at Pace’s new location, 350 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. For the exhibition, they have created room-size installations where visitors can undergo four cognitive experiments. Learn more about the interactive exhibition from The New York Times. Reserve tickets on Eventbrite here.