Your Brain on Art

Ivy Ross

Your Brain on Art

The world’s focus has been on GenAI, but there are breakthroughs everywhere that I believe will come together.  I’d like to highlight another this week — based on science:

Your Brain on Art

At a recent book launch event, authors Susan Magsamen, founder, and director of the International Arts + Mind Lab, and Ivy Ross discussed their extraordinary book Your Brain on Art, which explores the profound impact of art on the human mind and body. The book delves into the power of artistic expression, whether through dance, writing, or digital creations and how it can reshape our internal landscapes as both creators and observers.

They also see society’s fixation on productivity causing us to neglect our innate sensory capabilities. For example, humans possess far more than the traditional five senses – 51, to be precise – and our fingertips alone contain 3,000 nerve endings. Our brains even demonstrate a preference for curves over angles, which may influence our attraction to various forms of art and design.

They see the emerging trend towards experiential art, as a shift that signifies a greater appreciation for sensory engagement. Ross cites meditation expert Sharon Salzberg, who has proposed that art can serve as an effective form of meditation. Furthermore, there’s compelling research that suggests engaging in artistic creation for just 45 minutes a month can extend our lives by an impressive ten years!

When asked what the future might look like, the authors envision teaching children about their nervous, emotional, and sensory systems, and beginning our days with personalized songs instead of pills or vitamins. A world where “nature pills” are prescribed and art exploration is encouraged as medicine for the soul. By reclaiming our inherent human qualities and embracing the transformative power of art, Ross and Magsamen believe we can rewrite the operating system for humanity and create a brighter, more connected future.

I think art will be one of the keys to enter the Slipstream.


P.S.  Here’s the rest of the series:

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