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What is ‘Art’?

What is ‘Art’?

AJ Keller
By AJ Keller on July 28, 2023

We all have our own ideas. Even Aristotle had his own definition of what art is:

The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” — Aristotle.

How far you agree with his conception of art depends on how much objective value you think art has.

Is art inherently valuable or is it entirely subjective?

Personally, I’m inclined to agree with Aristotle there.

Art, on its own, without an observer — does not have objective value. The impact of a painting doesn’t stem from the sheer brilliance of the artist’s brushstrokes or the clever use of previously unnoticed shades of purple.

Its impact and power lies in evoking emotions — any emotions — deep within our psyche. Whether it’s a painting, a piece of music, literature or a movie — art has the ability to bind us not only to our innermost selves but also to those who share similar sentiments.

And for others, it serves as a reminder that we are not as alone in this world as we might think.

There is an even more profound experience when we possess a piece of art — an intangible feeling. Paintings are merely material possessions, yet we take delight in the act of owning them. This significance varies from person to person; it resonates strongly with some but not necessarily with everyone. It hinges on individual preferences, and their connection with symbols of status, among other factors.

To realize that we possess something beautiful, even if only for a fleeting moment, in a world that often feels transient, might just be one of life’s simplest yet most gratifying pleasures.

And yet, it is essential to our humanity.

Art is as natural to humans as breathing and dreaming…

Art and Neuroscience

Art and Emotion: The Profound Impact on Human Experience

Creating artwork, such as drawings and sculptures, has been an integral part of human cognition across diverse cultures since the earliest recorded history of human activity. Tens of thousands of years ago, our ancestors crafted artifacts that portrayed both real and imagined creatures, ranging from animals to deities. They also developed intricate representations with abstract meanings, using collections of lines and shapes.

The universal presence of art throughout different cultures and historical periods is a captivating aspect of human cognition.

Art plays a crucial role in human civilization, transmitting knowledge and fostering group cohesion. Creativity involves problem-solving, idea generation, and evaluation, allowing us to communicate abstract concepts across cultures and time. It requires the simultaneous engagement of various brain resources and a skillful balance between networks typically seen as opposing each other.

Art originates in the mind of the artist, with the intentions and ideas eventually taking physical form through the creative process.

Visual creativity relies on intricate brain interactions, and understanding these processes enhances our appreciation of human culture and creativity throughout history and across societies.

That’s where my company Neurosity comes in…

Unlocking the Mind’s Melodies: Neurosity’s Crown in the Music World

The Serene Pianist, renowned for her emotive performances, incorporated our signature Crown into her piano recital.

Allow me to set the scene:

As the pianist gracefully positioned themselves before the grand piano, the audience hushed in anticipation of the extraordinary performance that was about to unfold.

During the live performance, she took to the stage, adorned with The Crown and captured her brainwave activity, allowing her to visualize moments of intense focus and emotional connection with the music.

As the first notes resonated from the piano, it became evident that this was no ordinary recital. The Crown’s sensors picked up the pianist’s focused and calm state of mind, reflecting the inner tranquility that was mirrored in their exquisite performance. The notes flowed effortlessly, each touch on the keys imbued with a profound sense of purpose and emotion.

The audience was captivated by the pianist’s flawless execution and the emotive depth of their playing.

Throughout the performance, the Crown’s data indicated the pianist’s heightened concentration during intricate passages and moments of profound artistic expression. Our device showcased the pianist’s brain entering a state of “flow,” where time seemed to stand still, and their connection with the music transcended the boundaries of ordinary human experience.

As the last notes echoed in the concert hall, the audience erupted into thunderous applause.

With The Crown, the real-time neurofeedback empowered Serene Pianist to make conscious adjustments to her performance, resulting in a mesmerizing and profoundly connected experience for her audience.

Expanding the Boundaries of Art

The musical elements of performance are not the only aspect of art that The Crown can enhance…

Artist Grimes has taken our Crown into more advanced territory, at least experimentally.

Earlier this year, during Miami’s Ultra music festival, Grimes mesmerized audiences with a captivating performance.

At this point, the world had come to expect nothing less than extraordinary from the enigmatic and innovative musician, and these performances were no exception.

During her first performance with the Crown, Grimes took the stage with an ethereal presence, her artistic aura seemingly amplified by our sleek headband that we designed custom in white especially for her.

As the crowd held their breath in ready anticipation, the Crown’s sensors delicately detected the neural patterns of Grimes’ mind, creating a real-time connection between her thoughts and the music she was about to produce.

Throughout the performance, The Crown allowed Grimes to experiment with her music in real-time, adapting and sculpting the sonic landscape based on her neural feedback. It was an immersive fusion of technology and art, blurring the lines between creator and creation.

The audience found themselves transported to a realm of sonic exploration, where Grimes’ music became a visceral experience that transcended traditional artistic boundaries.

And it didn’t end there…

Her second performance with our Crown was even more ambitious. This time, she collaborated with visual artists to create a multimedia spectacle like no other. As she played her music, the Crown’s data triggered an array of mesmerizing visual effects on a big screen, synchronized perfectly with the music.

The concert hall transformed into a kaleidoscope of light and color, as the audience was taken on a journey through Grimes’ inner world. It was a synesthetic marvel, where sound and sight merged into a harmonious symphony of sensory delight.

Her performance was a testament to the power of human imagination and the potential of neurotechnology to push the boundaries of artistic expression.

It was also a glimpse into the future of art and technology. Grimes not only embraced the future, but had become a trailblazer in the symbiosis of art and technology.

The Crown, Art, and the Future of Neurotech

The performances of these artists have opened a gateway to a new era of creativity, one that unites technology and art in harmonious synergy.

I believe that with the ability to gain insights into the mind’s inner workings, musicians and artists can explore new avenues of self-expression and artistic excellence.

There isn’t a more intimate performance…

It expands the question of “what is art?” into new dimensions.

It also carves out a space for neuroscience in art — so that with brain data — researchers may one day understand the ‘how’ and ‘why’ for art’s existence.

What starts as a window into the artist’s mind, becomes a window into humanity’s artistic history.

What does art mean to you?


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