Purple Magazine
— The Brain Issue #33 S/S 2020


The Brain. What exactly goes on in there? We still know so little about this mysterious organ that gives onto an internal cosmos of wonder. With accelerating developments and discoveries in neuroscience, the brain is the final frontier.

What we do know is that the brain is a source of infinite possibilities and creativity, with greater capacities than we currently use. But it’s also become afflicted by new varieties of mental dysfunction, depression, addiction, and emotional distress.

Today’s brain is confronted with an ever-swelling overload of information to process, images to digest, and multiple threats as we face massive ecological disasters, political disruptions, and endless absurd, and even stupid scenarios.

Is today’s brain too connected, too informed, and too overstimulated by the demands put on it? How does brain chemistry respond to smart technology directly plugged into it? What about the brain of a new generation that has grown up entirely in a digital world, with no memory of a time without smartphones, laptops, GPS, Internet, apps, and social media? The connected brain has so many options that there are no choices. There’s so much stimulation that there’s no meaning. So many artists that we don’t know what art is anymore. So many distractions that we don’t know what to do with ourselves.

Maybe the brain should simply unplug itself? Maybe artificial intelligence should take over? How can art, sounds, nature, alternative therapies, food, psychotropic drugs, philosophy, critical theory, isolation, mental training, and so on, help to reprogram the brain away from algorithms, big data, and deep learning?

In this issue, we explore how the brain functions, the power of artificial intelligence, the nature of the artistic brain, and the voice of young kids with a radical new state of mind. Their generation refuses to be categorized. Many are nonbinary, politically conscious, and less narcissistic. Their ambitions are different, as is their creativity, inspiring a mental revolution and a new awareness.

— Olivier Zahm

[Table of contents]

The Brain Issue #33 S/S 2020

Table of contents

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