MYND PRESENTS EXPERIENTIAL ART COMMISSIONS AT AURORA’S “EVENING OF DISCOVERY”
Mental health initiative MYND and non-profit organisation Aurora Institute joined forces on July 22-23 in St Tropez to present a series of large-scale, experiential art commissions by Refik Anadol, Tino Sehgal, Jeppe Hein, and DRIFT and a live musical performance by Tinie Tempah at the inaugural Evening of Discovery event. Together with MYND, Therme Art presented the latest edition of its Wellbeing Culture Forum exploring collective mental health and wellness.
Evening of Discovery on July 23 inaugurated the first of many world-leading annual events dedicated to mental health philanthropy, with the presentation of immersive, multisensorial art and design commissions and digital blockchain technologies that position mental and physical wellbeing as their building foundations. The presented artworks reflected the processes encountered in mental and physical health healing journeys and marked Aurora Institute’s incentive to raise awareness and create actionable support to help the more than 1 billion people suffering globally from mental health difficulties.
The artworks have been developed by mental health initiative MYND, in collaboration with cultural incubator Therme Art. MYND was created by leading wellbeing provider Therme Group and neuroscience pioneer MindMaze to provide commissioned artists, architects and creatives with the resources and means they require to create experiential artworks that visualise mental healing processes and promote mind-body alignment.
Sense of Healing: AI Data Painting A by Refik Anadol
New Media Artist and Director Refik Anadol was commissioned by MYND to create a software-based artwork titled Sense of Healing: AI Data Painting A, 2022 at Evening of Discovery. The work emerged from Refik Anadol Studio’s long-term research process into creating meditative art based on neurological data findings.
The work lies at the intersection of neuroscience and design to visualise fundamental questions about the architecture of the human brain with cutting-edge data visualisation tools provided by neuroscience pioneer MindMaze. The work was created through interpreted datasets of brain activities collected with EEG sensors, fMRI and DTI imaging techniques to create a multisensory immersive artwork that promotes mental health through art and supports collective healing processes.
Franchise Freedom by DRIFT
In joint venture with Therme Group, PACE and DRIFT, the artists presented Franchise Freedom as part of MYND’s programme for Aurora Institute’s Evening of Discovery. The work has been presented by Therme in previous occasions, including the Luisaviaroma x UNICEF Charity Summer Gala in Capri, Italy, in 2021 and at the historic cultural site of Al-Hijr in Al Ula, Saudi Arabia, in 2020.
The flying sculpture mimics the movement and flight patterns of starlings in massive flocks, composed of a luminous swarm of 300 drones. The work is the first-ever imitation of a natural phenomenon created by machines, working with decentralised algorithms at such a large scale. The artwork translates into a poetic illustration of how we, as humans, strive to live autonomously within societies defined by rules and conventions.
Franchise Freedom invites us to look at nature’s patterns and survival mechanisms more often and find our solutions there. The parameters in the algorithm used in Franchise Freedom are choreographed by Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta, founders of DRIFT, in order to channel the emotional impact of the performance, but they can never exactly predict or determine how the drones will behave. Their technology is based on ongoing university research on flocking behaviour, as the principles of self-organisation are becoming more and more relevant in our ever-changing world.
Today I feel like… by Jeppe Hein
Today I Feel Like… started as a question that artist Jeppe Hein asks himself daily, by painting a spontaneous self-portrait in his watercolour diary. At Evening of Discovery, Hein opened up this question to the public, asking visitors how they feel and inviting them to paint a corresponding self-portrait. In doing so, visitors visualised their mood, granting themselves access to deeply personal feelings. At the same time, a larger collection of self-portraits portrayed life in its entirety, reflecting the varying moods of the current moment.
In 2021, Hein worked with Therme Art to bring an iteration of Today I Feel Like… to Manchester, England, inviting children to realise a breathing exercise followed by a face painting that depicts their feelings in that moment. By inviting school children to talk about how they feel and to share those feelings, the project aimed to bring benefits for young people’s mental wellbeing.
The resulting artworks will be installed as tiles on permanent display at the new Therme Manchester wellbeing resort that was granted planning permission last year to create a permanent link between Therme Manchester and the young people in the community that it will serve.
Kiss by Tino Sehgal
No photography or record of the work permitted – in Sehgal’s works, it is the moment and the embodied experience that count.
Tino Sehgal presented Kiss, a world-renowned performance that unfolds out of a constructed situation and focuses on the fleeting gestures and social subtleties of lived experience. Since the early 2000s, Sehgal has been making art that incorporates himself and other people—who he calls “players” or “interpreters”— into staged scenarios orchestrated around movement, singing, or conversation among the players themselves and with viewers. His approach is informed by his training in dance and economic theory, and by his belief that our current system of mass-production and -consumption is both environmentally and socially unsustainable. Through his ephemeral, intangible art, he aims to model a different value system, one based on human energy, actions, and social encounters, and the memories of engaging in these experiences.
Musical Performance by Tinie Tempah
As part of Aurora Institute’s Evening of Discovery programme, British singer, songwriter and rapper Tinie Tempah performed live during the event.
MYND’s collaboration with Tinie Tempah began last year during Frieze London as part of Therme Art’s COMMUNION event at the closing of the 2021 Serpentine Pavilion. The ongoing partnership between the artist, MYND and Therme Art has since expanded on its exploration of education, music and creativity as tools to instigate higher levels of collective wellbeing and mental health, placing an emphasis on the youth in marginalised communities.
Tinie Tempah is a UNICEF UK supporter, committed to supporting charities for young people, and is committed to creating an impact by providing our younger generations with better educational opportunities in the arts and musical fields.
Wellbeing Culture Forum: Towards a Culture of Mental Wellbeing
On July 22, together with MYND and with support from Impact One, Therme Art presented the latest edition of their Wellbeing Culture Forum titled Towards a Culture of Mental Wellbeing. The discussion explored how our current cultural framework—including social, political and economical factors—needs to be reimagined in order to serve collective wellness and vitality. Learn more about the talk here.
MYND is powered by Impact One, one of Aurora’s founding partners. Impact One is an impact investment initiative that focuses on projects that pivot on the understanding of the human in relation to its complex natural environment.