Jane Prophet: Neuro Memento Mori –  Portrait of the artist contemplating death

  • ©,

  • ©,

  • ©,

  • ©,

  • ©,

  • ©,




    Neuro Memento Mori -  Portrait of the artist contemplating death


Creation Year:



    3D Print


    Life Size


Artist Statement:

    Jane Prophet’s project explores brain activity during the contemplation of artworks and death. 

    The questions that underpin this project are:
Can contemporary neuroscience and new imaging technologies increase our understanding of consciousness?
 When we look at memento mori artworks are we prompted to contemplate our own mortality? What parts of the brain are active when we look at these artworks? What parts of the brain are active when we meditate on death? Is there any similarity in brain function in these two instances?
    This project is a collaboration between the visual artist, Jane Prophet and neuroscientists Zoran Josipovic (NYU) and Andreas Roepstorrf (Aarhus University). Jane will be the subject of a trial where she will look at representations of memento mori and vanitas paintings and objects while being MRI scanned to monitor the functions of her brain.
    Following Zoran Josipovic’s instructions, she will learn to meditate, specifically to contemplate death. She will repeat the meditation exercises in an fMRI scanner. Accumulated fMRI brain images will be processed, producing 3D data of the artist’s brain. Sculptural objects made from this data will show the brain in general and highlight the active areas identified during the meditation exercises. The collaborative process also forms the basis for co-authored papers.

    Jane Prophet的作品探索對於冥想死亡時的腦部運作情形。此計劃中所蘊含的提問,包含當今神經科學與顯影技術,是否有助於對意識的了解?面對象徵死亡的作品 (memento mori artworks) 時是否會促使觀者思考自身的生死?而在反省死亡時,腦部的什麼部位是活躍的?這兩種例子中,腦部的活動又有何異同?

    此計劃是視覺藝術家Jane Prophet、神經科學家Zoran Josipovic (NYU)與Andreas Porpstorrf (Aarhus University)合作而成。Jane會作為受試者,觀看死亡象徵與浮華虛空繪畫的同時接受功能性核磁共振掃描(fMRI),監測她腦部的活動。
    隨後Zoran Josipovic會指導她冥想,並專注於反省思亡。藝術家在fMRI掃描器內重複前述的練習,而累積的腦部斷層造影圖,會被立體堆疊成藝術家的大腦,而這透過資料形成的雕塑物件,則會突顯在冥想行為中活躍的部分。此合作研究亦會成為未來論文發表的起點。