On view April 16 – September 25, 2022
The Museum of Neon Art presents the world premiere of Warren Neidich: The Brain Without Organs: The Aporia of Care, an exhibition of two large neon installations and a series of blacklight activated paintings by artist Warren Neidich. The exhibition uses light and immersive installations to consider philosophical and conceptual questions around information, capitalism, and the evolution of the brain.
The hanging sculpture Brain Without Organs is composed of constellations of levitating branches glowing in white neon tubing. These marks represent sulci, the grooves and gyri, the folds on the outer layer of the brain. The sulci and gyri enable the brain to contain more surface area and they also serve as mapping devices for scientists who delineate areas of the brain.
Einstein’s Brain, is a wall mounted sculpture of branching white and red neon shapes that represent the folds in a section of Einstein’s cerebral cortex. The neon elements are simultaneously gestural, indexical, and abstract. Some studies of Einstein’s brain have found several anomalies that distinguish it from typical human brains. In the work these unique folds are delineated by red neon tubing. By highlighting the neurodivergence of one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century the work brings forth the suggestion that neurodiversity is a generator of possibility, rather than limitations.
A small room filled with black light contains paintings that illustrate the brain both anatomically and abstractly. The folds of the brain branch into emojis, text, and symbolism, bringing to mind the social and political nature of cognitive capitalism in which material labor has been replaced by immaterial labor. The fluorescent marks are reminiscent of diagrams, psychedelic paintings, and text threads, mimicking the expansive use of symbolism in attention economies, but also estranging them from their original context.
Read the review in The Brooklyn Rail.