When I received a complete set of MRIs of my own brain in 2011, it seemed like under-explored terrain. Neuroscience became an entry point into my broader queries into science, history, and culture. I was drawn to a wide range of sources that speak to who we are, where we come from, and why we are the way we are. DNA, single-celled organisms, phytoplankton, diatoms, and neurons: not only do these structures have pattern, symmetry and complexity, but they are the molecules and structures that code our physical expression and give rise to thought. Maps, schematics, music, machines: these cultural sources speak to how we read, analyze, and interpret. My stampings of industrial products into clay objects—both vessels and wall constructions—are metaphors for the imprint of technology onto human structures. My prints—with neural mappings and multiple layers of information buried and accumulated—aim to question the fragility of memory and mind. My goal is to broadly query and explore collisions between science and culture.
Born in 1967 in Palo Alto, California, Laura Jacobson earned an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design (2003) and a BA from Stanford University (1989). She worked as a journalist for San Francisco Bay Area newspapers before turning her attention to art in the early 1990s. Her early interests in pottery and the human form grew to encompass a broader query into science and the brain, partly influenced by her life partner and neuroscientist Anthony Wagner, who used her as a research subject in several fMRI studies. She recently completed a solo exhibition, Into the Mind, for The McKnight Foundation in Minneapolis. Her 2014 work “Digital Sediment II” won Honorable Mention at the BRAIN-ART Initiative show at Beverley Art Center in Chicago. A permanent installation of her “Brain Scapes” is on display at Stanford University.