ArtScienceMindLife videos

ArtScienceMindLife videos featuring Anselm Kiefer: Art is Spiritual ; Evan Thompson – Context Matters: Steps to an Embodied Cognitive Science of Mindfulness ; Linda Dalrymple Henderson: Abstract Art in Its Spiritual and Scientific Context ; Alain de Botton: On Art as Therapy ; and Jeff Lieberman: Science and Spirituality

Anselm Kiefer: Art is Spiritual

Meet the extolled German artist, Anselm Kiefer, who lives for the process of creating. He argues that history is a moldable material, considers art a spiritual occupation and refers to himself as a “dinosaur”.

Art is a spiritual occupation, capturing a form of contact that science can’t: “It makes a connection between things that are separated,” Kiefer argues. In his mind, his works should continually evolve and be fluid. The process of creating is of utmost importance to him, as it is the process rather than the end that has his interest, and what’s between the paintings rather than in them. “I am a dinosaur – I paint myself,” he comments.

Anselm Kiefer (born 1945) is a German painter and sculptor. His works incorporate materials such as straw, ash, clay, lead and shellac. Spirituality and history are important themes in Kiefer’s works, which frequently address and seek to process taboo and often dark, controversial issues from recent history, such as the horrors of the Holocaust. Kiefer, whose style is often linked to ‘New Symbolism’, lives and works primarily in Paris, France and in Alcáder do Sal, Portugal.

Anselm Kiefer was interviewed by Tim Marlow at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in 2010.


Evan Thompson: Context Matters – Steps to an Embodied Cognitive Science of Mindfulness.

This opening talk by Evan Thompson, PhD, Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of British Columbia was given as part of the 2015 UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain research summit “Perspectives on Mindfulness: the Complex Role of Scientific Research” on May 21, 2015.

Talk abstract: Neuroscience typically conceptualizes mindfulness as inner observation of a private mental realm of thoughts, feelings, and body sensations, and models mindfulness as a process occurring in the brain, visible in part through neuroimaging tools. This approach, however, is inadequate for two reasons. First, there is likely to be no one-one mapping between neural networks and cognition; rather, the mapping is likely many-many. Second, the neurobiological conditions for mindfulness should not be equated with mindfulness itself, which, as classically described, consists in the integrated exercise of a whole host of cognitive and bodily skills in situated and ethically directed action. For these reasons, mindfulness should not be conceptualized as inner mental observation instantiated in the brain, but rather as a mode of skillful cognition for situated action. To develop this approach, I combine classical Buddhist accounts with embodied cognitive science. I also explore the implications of this approach for the Buddhism-cognitive science dialogue.

Evan Thompson, PhD, is the author of Waking, Dreaming, Being: Self and Consciousness in Neuroscience, Meditation, and Philosophy; Mind in Life: Biology, Phenomenology, and the Sciences of Mind; and Colour Vision: A Study in Cognitive Science and the Philosophy of Perception. Thompson is the co-author with Francisco J. Varela and Eleanor Rosch of The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience. He is also the co-editor with Philip David Zelazo and Morris Moscovitch of The Cambridge Handbook of Consciousness, and with Mark Siderits and Dan Zahavi of Self, No Self? Perspectives from Analytical, Phenomenological, and Indian Traditions. In addition, he is the author of more than 70 articles, chapters, and reviews in the fields of philosophy and cognitive science. He received his B.A. in Asian Studies from Amherst College (1983) and his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Toronto (1990). He held a Canada Research Chair at York University (2002-05), was Professor of Philosophy at the University of Toronto (2005-2013), and is now Professor of Philosophy at the University of British Columbia. In 2014, he was the Numata Invited Visiting Professor at the Center for Buddhist Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Thompson is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

The playlist for the full conference is at:…


Linda Dalrymple Henderson: Abstract Art in Its Spiritual and Scientific Context

Linda Dalrymple Henderson(David Bruton, Jr. Centennial Professor in Art History and Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Professor, The University of Texas at Austin)

She is the author of The Fourth Dimension and Non-Euclidean Geometry in Modern Art (Princeton University Press, 1983; new ed., MIT Press, 2013) and Duchamp in Context: Science and Technology in the Large Glass and Related Works(Princeton, 1998), which won first prize in the Robert W. Hamilton Author Awards competition in 1999, and From Energy to Information: Representation in Science and Technology, Art, and Literature, co-edited with literature scholar Bruce Clarke (Stanford University Press).

From – The 2014 CESNUR Conference

co-organized by: Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR)
International Society for the Study of New Religions (ISSNR)
Institute for Studies of Religion, Baylor University
Waco, Texas, 4-7 June 2014
The George W. Truett Theological Seminary – Baylor University


Alain de Botton: On Art as Therapy

LECTURE @THE SCHOOL OF LIFE: The founder of The School of Life, Alain de Botton examines the purpose of art. We often hear that art is meant to be very important; but we’re seldom told exactly why. Here de Botton argues that art can be a form of therapy, providing powerful solutions to many of life’s dilemmas.


Jeff Lieberman: Science and Spirituality

From TEDxCambridge 2011

Jeff Lieberman, an MIT-trained artist, scientist and engineer, makes a scientific argument for mystical experience. He asks us to challenge our perception of what we are, our relationship to the universe, and our relationship to one another. Our minds are “thought-generating machines.” What we would happen if we could turn off the machine? If we could transcend our individual experience of the world?

This talk was transcribed by Brad Miele. Transcript here:

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