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Ecology of Mind

Understanding what we see and why is at the root of understanding who we are as individuals and as a society. Seeing colour – our simplest of our sensations - suggests an answer to this question: we see not the world, but a world that was useful to see in the past. In explaining why this must be true Dr Lotto will show you what colour really is, and why seeing objectively is impossible. Along the way, we’ll see the blue of the sky and the red of the setting sun … in a bottle. We’ll hear music derived from patterns of colour, and experience spaces sourced from the flight of the bumblebee. I’ll show you in real-time the evolution of artificial living systems in virtual ecologies that survive by ‘eating’ colour. The talk’s raison d’etre will be to use colour to illustrate why none of us is an outside observer of nature defined by our essential properties, but is instead defined by our interactions with nature.

A neuroscientist and ‘street science’ installationist. His scientific work in the fields of perception, colour and pattern in humans, bees and machines provides a strong backdrop to his role as a communicator and creator of ‘public art’ experiences. He has lectured and written for general audiences on the nature of perception, including BBC 2’s Coast programme and the books ‘Why We See What We Do’ (2003) and ‘Colouring the Mind’ for Oxford University Press (2009). Most recent public installations include a 6 metre Plexiglas tower called the Beacon on Old Street in London, an installation of light, glass and bees for the Science Gallery in Dublin and ‘White Shadows’ installation for the Hayward Gallery South Bank.


Dr Beau Lotto | talks


Date and Time:

21 March 2010 at 11:00 am


2 hours



Conway Hall
Conway Hall
25 Red Lion Square
0207 242 8034

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