Close to the Brain

September 2016 to March 2017
In this »Artist in Residence« program artists get access to labs and research groups at the Cluster of Excellence BrainLinks-BrainTools to inspire their artistic work. In 2016, Freiburg writer Annette Pehnt wrote the text collage »I fell in love with my brain« (German: »Ich habe mich in mein Gehirn verliebt«) and developed the performance »brain writes sound« together with the musician Harald Kimmig and the digital artist Ephraim Wegner.

In a second instance of »Close to the Brain«, we invited the author Annette Pehnt to visit the cluster for three months. She had the chance to talk to the cluster’s scientists, clinicians and patients in order to get an insight into their work and visions. On a regular basis the artist and the scientists convened to discuss, address arising questions and, in doing so, to learn from each other. The result is a collages of texts read at Literaturbüro Freiburg and transformed into a performance by the musician Harald Kimmig and digital artist Ephraim Wegner.

Cooperation Partners
Literarturbüro Freiburg, E-Werk Freiburg
Target Group
scientists, public, artists

»Diesmal schreibe ich von mir.
Und von einem Land,
das mir fremd ist.
Ein Land, das in mir ist.
Es ist mein Gehirn.«
Annette Pehnt

»I fell in love with my brain«
at Literaturbüro Freiburg
Annette Pehnt presented the result of her time as artist in residence at BrainLinks-BrainTools on February 1, 2017. She explored the research on human brain functions and collected her observations in a literary log book with the title »I fell in love with my brain«, from which she read in the first part of the evening. This was followed by a discussion on narratives and stories in scientific and literary writing with neuroethicist and philosopher Prof. Dr. Oliver Müller and other guests from neuroscience and literary studies. Together with the audience they also discussed, what insight she gained on the brain during this project.

Hier können Sie den Text »ich habe mich in mein Gehirn verliebt«, gelesen von Annette Pehnt, anhören:

brain writes sounds
at E-Werk, Freiburg
What does my brain sounds like? How does my brain tell a story? Who causes this interaction? How could poetics of the brain become aesthetically accessible?

Harald Kimmig, Annette Pehnt and Ephraim Wegner created an evening that revolved around this questions. The stage became a collective brain: sounds connected to words, volatile texts emerged and became visible, adopted and appropriated inside the musical improvisation. Through the contact between the artists, the complexities of the integrated network emerge. Both structure and loss of control are coordinates in which image, sound, language procedures fuse.

»unentwegt nehme ich auf
was die welt mir zu sagen hat
 sie hat mir nichts zu sagen
aber ich nehme es an und nehme es auf
wo kämen wir da hin wenn die
 dinge nicht zu uns sprächen«
Annette Pehnt

Science and Art Lab – Workshop on creativity at Literaturbüro Freiburg
On December 14, 2016, we organized a workshop, the Science&Art Lab, in the gallery of Literaturbüro Freiburg. Annette Pehnt and Harald Kimmig presented their working methods and discussed with Prof. Dr. Stefan Rotter, Prof. Dr. Ulrike Wallrabe, Prof. Dr. Oliver Müller and other guests scientific and artistic research methods related to the concept of creativity. Neurobiologist Dominik Welke moderated the event.
Watch the complete performance here: 
Additional Funding by
Cooperation Partners
04   Experiment