Art is Wrong: How your Brain Tells you Beautiful Lies

Speaking is intensely exciting. I love sharing, teaching, and lining up all of my thoughts into something concise and convincing. Something about ordering a swarm of swirling tenuous ideas into a coherent presentation makes them more vivid and solid.

I’ve been looking for more opportunities to speak and on my hunt for possible events to pursue I stumbled across the Extreme Futurist Festival put on by Michael Anissimov and Rachel Haywire. It seemed like an interesting gathering of tech enthusiasts, new media junkies, teachers, singularity proselytizers, and a huge varied random smattering of people I thought it would be fun to talk with. Plus Alex Peake was going to be there, and it was impossible to refuse an opportunity to catch up on what he’s been up to.

I went there with a talk on a subject that’s quite close to my heart: Neuroscience. I’m an incredible fan of the mechanisms we’re slowly beginning to analyze in the brain; mechanisms for visual analysis, mechanisms for facial recognition, all encoded in intricate, complex, labyrinths of meat. The talk was called “Art is Wrong: How your Brain Tells you Beautiful Lies“. You can find a video of it below.

If you’d like a copy of my presentation to view, share, and remix, you can find it on Prezi (which is an awesome tool for giving presentations, btw). Here are all of my notes for the talk, and here’s a link to a large majority of the papers I used to construct my lecture. Also, the illusion videos I made kind of borked during the presentation due to internet gremlins. You can catch them here, here, and here.

I’d like to thank everyone who came and made the event an absolutely fabulous experience. The conversation was tremendous and the hospitality was wonderful. I’ll certainly be coming next year. Also, you may recognize the term “Art is Wrong” from the blog of the excellent hacker and adventurer Alex Horenstein who is always worth checking up on.


Watch me get interviewed by the preeminent Kim Solez, who also shot the presentation video and title photo for this post.