A Rockstar in a Petri dish
Featuring the world's first neural synthesizer, artist Guy Ben-Ary and his collaborators performed at the TodaysArt Festival in The Hague on 21 September. For this performance, he collaborated with the lab of professor Erik Danen at the Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research to transform neural stem cells into neural networks on a chip. These neural networks grow on a chip and contain about 100,000 cells - an average human brain consists of 100 billion cells. The chip sends the electric signals generated by the neurons to an analogue synthesizer, which turns them into music.
Photo: Leiden University
For Danen, it is important for a scientific lab to interact with other disciplines. "We are developing technology that could impact regenerative or personalised medicines. There are interesting ethical and philosophical aspects there. I think it's great that people from other disciplines such as the arts inform a broader public about current technology, and provide a glimpse into a possible future.'