ART.20.007 – pARTicipation ABC: Art, Brain, Computer

Route: Art: research and innovation in the 21st century

Cluster question: 067 What does art mean to people?

Art is an essential ingredient of our well-being. There is an inspiring new exchange between art and science in recent years. The current project is set up to increase art participation by explicitly connecting art and science, centered on contemporary research in Brain sciences and Artificial Intelligence. Brain sciences deliver the methods to investigate how sensory input is processed and how it relates to specific emotions, from ‘wonder’ to ‘beauty’ to ‘disgust’, while artists deliver new directions and guide scientists through a wealth of creative possibilities. Contemporary art often appeals to multiple sensory streams (e.g. modalities of sound and vision) or might include active interactions with an artwork. Such sensorial experiences constitute important ingredients of an artist’s practice and communication. Within brain science, the sensory origin of experience provides the basis for many open questions, e.g., ‘how do sensory streams interact when it comes to appreciation or particular emotional states’, or ‘how does interaction contribute to appreciation’? Artists and scientists will work together closely on these types of questions. To push innovation and public interest further, the project also implements and promotes lively interaction with the field of artificial intelligence. Perception and creation are no longer reserved to biological systems, for example one may think of the use of artificial sensors or AI-assisted sensory substitution. As a further refinement, aberrative percepts (as in visually impaired or autistic people) are important aspects that will be investigated. With that, it is foreseen that this project facilitates art-participation of particular groups (e.g., by having A.I. tools to create replacing auditory streams or tactile information for visually disabled). In short, we intend to embark on a lively network of scientists, artists, cultural – and educational institutions to enable the connection between the approaching domains of Art and Science leading to increased art-participation in society.


accessibility, art, Art Communication, Art Practice, Artificial Intelligence, Brain Science, Deep Learning, Education, Multisensory, Museum Laboratory, participation, Perception, Sensory Experience

Other organisations

Gerrit Rietveld Academie en Sandberg Instituut, Technische Universiteit Delft (TUD), Waag Technology & Society, Willem de Kooning Academy


Organisation Radboud University (RU), Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
Name Prof. dr. R.J. (Rob) van Lier