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Carrie Katz and Sesh Mudumbai

The In-between: Binding/Unbinding

Multimedia installation, 2012


As an artist/scientist team, we are interested in exploring issues related to boundaries of perception and consciousness and how to visualize the (in)tangible and reckon with the (in)visible in the everyday. Recent research into the nature of consciousness and perception have used techniques from the domain of anesthesia. A current theory is that consciousnesses is characterized by synchronized, coherent neuronal behavior and that the act of perception arises from “cognitive binding.” Cogntive binding occurs when geographically different neuronal groups of the brain come together in a synchronized (40 Hertz) fashion to mediate perception. It has been proposed that in non-dreaming sleep and general anesthesia, cognitive unbinding occurs with interruption of 40-Hz synchrony.

Using the theories of cognitive binding and unbinding as a starting point, our installation explores questions about the role of the brain within consciousness, and how processes of art and science can assist in answering these questions. Consistent with the Zero1 emphasis on working on the nexus of art and technology, an integral aspect to our installation will be audience participation, both on-site and off. Using multiple analog and technology-based strategies, we will gather text data throughout the length of the exhibition to produce a cumulative, evolving sculpture.


Carrie Katz is San Francisco based interdisciplinary artist and writer whose work renegotiates personal authenticity within social structures. Katz holds a Masters degree in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University and recently graduated with an MFA in New Genres from the San Francisco Art Institute in May 2012.

Sesh Mudumbai MD,MS: Sesh Mudumbai has had a long-standing interest in exploring the intersections between art and medicine. In the past, he was a member of performance collective in New York City.  As a practicing anesthesiologist at the VA Palo Alto HCS/Stanford University, Sesh Mudumbai deals with issues related to sedation and general anesthesia.

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