DESMA 9: EEG + Intimate Connections + Art with Nina Sobell

DESMA 9: EEG + Intimate Connections + Art with Nina Sobell

Nina Sobell

19 May 2022 - 1:00pm

From interactive remote-controlled foam rubber sculptures to performances and video/installations, Nina Sobell's practice has been driven by a desire to visualize non-verbal communication and create intimate connections. Her works invite attention to otherwise invisible phenomena and the mutability of our surroundings and relations to others. She will be talking about this trajectory in a continuum that is present in her work today.


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Nina Sobell is an interdisciplinary artist who thinks of herself as an electronic medium led her to originate BrainWave Drawings, the interactive synchrony of brainwaves between two or more people, creating a combined physical and mental portrait by visualizing non-verbal communication, as evidenced by Dr. B Sterman’s Neuropsychology Lab in 1974 in collaboration with Mike Trivich and has been involved in extensive collaborative work. She pioneered video, Brain-Computer Interfaces, and was part of the feminist video
performance movement of the 1970s.

Sobell created the first live interactive wireless mobile webcam and transcontinental web performances at NYU’s Center for Advanced Technology in collaboration with Emily Hartzell with the historic internet collective, ParkBench, where they were Artists-in-Residence 1994-1999. Sobell was artist-in Residence at NYU Tisch1990 -1993. She was in shows curated by S. Lacy, B. Viola, P.McCarthy, and invited by Joseph Beuys to speak about her social sculpture, Videophone Voyeur at Documenta 6.

Her work has been shown at or is in the collection of DIA, the Whitney, Hammer, LACMA, LAICA, LBMA, CAM Houston, Blanton Museum, MIT, Getty, ZKM, Whitechapel, Zwirner, WP Phillips Gallery, Louisiana MOMA, Denmark,
Kunst Forum, Cornell, and the Kramlich collection among others. She has taught at UCLA, SVA, and received an Arts Council of Great Britain, NEA, NYSCA, NYFA, Turbulence, Franklin Furnace awards, an Acker Award in Video. She holds an MFA in sculpture from Cornell University, where she is credited with doing the first thesis in video and founding interdepartmental collaboration 1969-71.