By Jon Fingas
David Byrne is no stranger to making odd, tech-infused art exhibits, but he's kicking things up a notch. The legendary musician and technologist Mala Gaonkar have launched Neurosociety, a science-themed exhibit at the Pace Art + Technology gallery in Silicon Valley's Menlo Park. The installation, which draws on the work of 15 cognitive neuroscience labs, guides you through four interactive rooms that each reveal a "surprising aspect" of you and your connections to others. Appropriately enough for the Talking Heads singer, it's a serious mind trip: you'll do everything from predicting real elections to seeing yourself represented in a doll's body. Your choices will even contribute to research data for the labs in question.
As to why Byrne and Gaonkar are doing this? Experiments like this are a "form of theater," they argue. And even Byrne says it's one of the "more unexpected things" he's done, which is saying something for an artist who created a musical based on Imelda Marcos.
You'll want to plan a trip soon if you're curious, since the exhibit wraps up on March 31st. And it's not exactly something you'll do on a whim -- you're paying $45 for an hour-long experience. If you've ever wanted to see how an iconic musician puts his spin on the cutting edge of medicine, though, it might be worth a visit.