Thursday, March 8, 2012


Aphasia: A Stanford music professor's work, with hand gestures and odd sounds, about obsessive attention to ridiculous things

Mangled vocal samples, random icons and precise hand gestures come together in a mesmerizing performance by Stanford music scholar Mark Applebaum.

Mark Applebaum's 'Aphasia'


The performer in the video steps onto the stage and sits down in a nondescript chair, his face blank of expression and hands placed squarely on his knees.

Suddenly, a metallic-sounding "THWUNK!" electrifies the space and with a sharp left-arm gesture the performer strikes his chest, beginning the performance of Aphasia, a composition by Mark Applebaum, associate professor of music at Stanford.

Comedy community comes together to help comedian who suffered stroke

Friends of Washington D.C. comedian Joe Deeley recently received word that he had suffered a stroke that left him with paralysis in his left side, and hospitalized for the foreseeable future. Like many working comedians, Joe does not have health insurance, and is sure to incur some very large hospital bills. A PayPal account has been set up to make donations in order to assist Joe in his recovery, and ease his financial burden. Donations towards Joe’s medical bills can be made to (organized and monitored by comedian Rory Scovel), and we encourage anyone who can spare a few dollars to please do so.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana

The premise of Umberto Eco's The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana, may strike some readers as laughably unpromising, and others as breathtakingly rich. A sixty-ish Milanese antiquarian bookseller nicknamed Yambo suffers a stroke and loses his memory of everything but the words he has read: poems, scenes from novels, miscellaneous quotations. His wife Paola fills in the bare essentials of his family history, but in order to trigger original memories, Yambo retreats alone to his ancestral home at Solara, a large country house with an improbably intact collection of family papers, books, gramophone records, and photographs. The house is a museum of Yambo's childhood, conventiently empty of people, except of course for one old family servant with a long memory--an apt metaphor for the mind. Yambo submerges himself in these artifacts, rereading almost everything he read as a school boy, blazing a meandering, sometimes misguided, often enchanting trail of words. Flares of recognition do come, like "mysterious flames," but these only signal that Yambo remembers something; they do not return that memory to him. It is like being handed a wrapped package, the contents of which he can only guess.... Next

Friday, January 13, 2012

Brainwave: it could change your mind

Tickets are now on sale!


About the Karma Chain
As a prelude to the staged program, we are planning to stage a simple game of 'telephone' prior to the session to demonstrate the fallibility of oral transmission and the nature of short-term memory. Each ticket holder will stand on one of the steps of the 108-stepped spiral staircase of the Museum. The guest speaker stands at the base, whispers a short phrase they have prepared to the visitor on the first step, and the phrase would spiral up through the line until it reaches the ear of the scientist. The conversationalists will only reveal the original phrase and the result phrase when on stage in the theater, thus starting the conversation about memory.

About the Mnemonic Art Tour
Take advantage of a short tour of some paintings in the collection that function as mnemonic devices. The iconography in these paintings serve to reference specific passages in the sutras. That is why most of these works were not meant to be revealed to those who were not already initiates. The tour will include two types of paintings: narratives such as the life of the Buddha, and mandalas which are complex two-dimensional diagrams of one's multi-dimensional state of mind......Next

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Stroke victim John wins national art acclaim

Stroke victim John Trower is exhibiting his artwork in Bluebells Florist and Tea Room in Downham Market. Pictured with John is Stroke support volunteer Tracie Gotheridge. Stroke victim John Trower is exhibiting his artwork in Bluebells Florist and Tea Room in Downham Market. Pictured with John is Stroke support volunteer Tracie Gotheridge.
AMATEUR dramatics enthusiast John Trower was left without speech and with no use in his right arm following a stroke which thrust him into a world of frustration.
His successful business as a driving instructor came to an immediate end, his driving licence was withdrawn and, unable to speak for the next two years, his outlook seemed bleak.
Determined to pick up the pieces, John began using his left arm, making doodles and drawings before venturing into water colours – and now his efforts have won him a national award and an exhibition.
There was a huge cheer for John as he stepped forward to receive the Susie Hulks Memorial Award at a Stroke Association awards evening at Claridges Hotel, in London.
He said: “I used to be so mobile. I had my own business as a driving instructor and I’d also teach people drama and we’d put on plays.
“You would not believe it to see me now, although there have been improvements.
“My speech, although very stilted, has gradually come back – but it takes so long to get the words the right way round in my head before I can even think about saying them,” said John, who now lives at Southfields, Downham, and is a regular member of the No 13 art group which meets at the Conservative Club.......

Community hub helps make growing old an art

Retired teacher, Libby Creber, dedicated her MA in counselling dissertation to her late mother's desire to make growing old an art. From this has come a unique, social life-line for carers and those they care for at Wymondham's Cup of Caring. Sandie Shirley reports.
Libby knows the heartache and hard-won understanding that comes while caring for two elderly family members. One suffered from senility and a lack of mobility and the other from a loss of coherent language, caused by a stroke. Her empathy and understanding of others was also enlarged during her six case-studies of carers for the elderly during her recent UEA degree. ......


Monday, September 19, 2011

A journey through the brain: Artist uses neuroscience in her work

SALT LAKE CITY — When artist Amy Caron enters a room, you can't help but have your attention drawn to her. She's been wearing the same wedding dress every day for the past year as an art project.
What began as a steel white, satin, wedding dress has degraded over time, becoming dark and torn.
"I feel like I'm making a textile sculpture where the main ingredient is time," she said, adding it is a project making a statement about commitment and perseverance.
"As an artist, I really like to push boundaries," she said, shifting in her tattered dress.
Caron describes herself as an artist who thrives on taking on new challenges. After coming to Utah to be an aerial ski jumper for the U.S. Freestyle Ski team, she enrolled at the University of Utah to earn a bachelor's degree in dance. She then discovered art.
Eager to join a New York art program that encouraged artists to team up with professionals in other areas, Caron entered an ambitious proposal: doing an art exhibit exploring the human brain. She said the idea came to her while watching a BBC program about neuroscientist Dr. V.S. Ramachandran and his work on mirror neurons.
"I kind of just went crazy and cooked up this grand idea. I thought neuroscience sounded impressive, but I knew nothing about it," Caron said.
It took her a year of research, working with some of the world's top researchers in neuroscience from Harvard, University of California at San Diego and researchers in Italy. It took two more years to create the exhibit and write the roles performers play for each part of the brain......