Considering autism, schizophrenia, depression, and other mental conditions through scientific and artistic lenses.
What is BAASICS?
BAASICS (Bay Area Art & Science Interdisciplinary Collaborative Sessions) is a series of San Francisco-based evening programs that brings together artists, scientists, and interdisciplinary thinkers to present engaging multi-media lectures and performances.
Each BAASICS program is built around a particular theme, with participants given the green light to express their brilliance and share their passions in ways that don't always involve a Powerpoint presentation and a microphone. All BAASICS programs are free and open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. We aim to make the contemporary arts and sciences more accessible and less esoteric, thereby inspiring guests to think about how the two spheres relate to one another and to society at large.
What is BAASICS.3: The Deep End?
BAASICS.3: The Deep End is our third program. It will take place at the beautiful, state-of-the-art ODC Theater in the Mission District of San Francisco on the evening of May 6, 2013. The ODC Theater seats just under 200 people. While the theater seats will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis, we will also document the event and make it available for free online.
BAASICS.3: The Deep End participants will consider neurodiversities such as autism, schizophrenia, and depression through scientific and artistic lenses, as well as exploring their link to creativity. Each will have 8-15 minutes to share their research, work, or performance with the audience.
Hannah Adderio-Berry is a San Francisco-based cellist, producer, innovator and educator, who has been living and breathing music since the age of nine. Passionate about bringing music to audiences in a wide array of mediums and venues, she is a sought-after soloist, chamber musician, and teacher, as well as founder and artistic director of Cello Bazaar and Locaphonic, two popular Bay Area music series. Hannah will perform a composition related to mental illness.
Timothy Archibald uses photography to connect with his autistic son, Eli. Together, they created Echolilia: Sometimes I Wonder, a collection of compelling photographs that sheds light on what it might be like to interact with the world and with others through the lens of autism.
Creativity Explored advances the value and diversity of artistic expression by providing artists with developmental disabilities the means to create, exhibit, and sell their art in their own gallery and around the world. Teaching artist Leeza Doreian will speak about her work with artists who struggle with mental disorders.
Walter J. Freeman leads The Freeman Laboratory for Nonlinear Neurodynamics at UC Berkeley, which aims to understand how neurons in the human brain cooperate and coordinate their activities. He specifically uses brain imaging to understand the neural mechanisms of perception, cognition, and creativity.
Terence Ketter is a professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at Stanford University and Chief of the Bipolar Disorders Clinic. Inspired by his clinical work with exceptionally creative individuals, Dr. Ketter has developed a strong interest in the relationship of creativity and mood disorders.
Katherine Sherwood's acclaimed mixed-media paintings gracefully investigate the point at which the essential aspects of art, medicine, and disability intersect. At 44, she suffered a massive stroke and now speaks and writes openly about how that event transformed her art practice and her career.
Dr. Indre Viskontas has published ground-breaking work on the neural basis of creativity and has studied creativity in patients with dementia. She is a Cognitive Neuroscience Affiliate at UCSF, an opera singer, and host of Miracle Detectives on the OWN Network.
Why BAASICS? Why now?
We hear it all the time -- our artist friends demanding, "more science!" and our scientist friends demanding, "more art!" It only makes sense, really. More and more artists, who rarely find definitive answers at the end of their inquiries, are attracted to the notion of hypotheses that can be tested and conclusions that can be drawn. Conversely, scientists, who are too rarely celebrated for their imagination, yet use it constantly in order to generate working hypotheses, often find inspiration in creative uncertainty, lingering in the unknown rather than steaming ahead in pursuit of another conclusion. BAASICS strives to feed both appetites.
In the United States, the contemporary fine arts and sciences are generally set apart from popular discourse. Moreover, despite much talk of commonality between artists and scientists, there is little substantive dialogue between the disciplines. Fortunately, there is a nascent trend of cross-fertilization in the public realm, one which BAASICS is excited to be a part of. We aim to create a compelling night out that is as entertaining and moving as it is informative. We also aspire to foment interdisciplinary exchange, an opportunity for our growing community to meet, discuss shared interests, and learn of potential collaborations.
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Logistically speaking, if this Kickstarter campaign is successful, we will complete this project without any risk. If production hurdles arise, we will tackle them in short order, and the show will go on! Thanks to a grant, the generosity of many in the art-science community, and our own hustle and hard work, we've already produced two programs, "BAASICS.1: A Live Animal" and "BAASICS.2: The Future." We are confident that "BAASICS.3: The Deep End" will be a success, provided we raise the funds to make the program possible.
Our biggest challenge at this early stage is explaining what sets BAASICS apart.
Question: How is BAASICS going to be successful with funders and audiences when there are similar, more established projects such as TED, SALT, Pop-Up Magazine, LASER?
Answer: We are different.
Question: How are you different?
Answer: We love the projects mentioned above, and are pleased that people make the comparison! That said, could we afford to pay for the opportunity to sit in the audience at a TED conference? We wish...but, alas, no! We insist on keeping BAASICS programs free and accessible by public transportation.
TedX and LASER events are terrific and always affordable, but their format is quite different from BAASICS. Unlike these other projects, BAASICS programs are built around a particular theme, and we strive to make each evening into a program that is edifying, entertaining, and affecting. Our goal is for our audiences to come away from BAASICS programs with a deeper understanding of their own assumptions and beliefs about the particular subjects addressed.
We believe the arts and sciences complement each other; both are vital ways of engaging the world and addressing the big questions. In conjunction with one another, they provide us with special opportunities for synthesis and new insights, thereby deepening not only our knowledge, but our experience.
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