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Testing Situations: The Neva

Mon 16 September 2019

Testing Situations is collaborating with CCA on events that will explore how it feels to be tested, whilst also considering the possibilities for artistic and expressive activities as alternative routes for assessment and diagnosis.

These events will include film screenings, object handling and drawing activities, performance, data analysis and embodied movement and we are keen to work with people who have familiarity with the themes of cognitive testing, dementia and socially engaged artistic and curatorial practices. We will be working together to understand the social and ethical implications of these scientific and artistic research methods and discussing how creative actions should be valued, stored, analysed and interpreted.

This first day of public engagement will focus on historical developments in cognitive testing and the ways this area might cross over with contemporary art. Project lead Charlie Harrison will give an introduction to his work in this area, which has been developed as part of the Created Out of Mind residency at the Wellcome Collection. This introduction will be followed by a screening, object handling activity and conversation about the ‘Neva’, a film made in collaboration with members of rare dementia support groups which responds to a test of reading devised by Emeritus Professor Elizabeth K Warrington. The afternoon session will invite participants to reflect on testing roles and new research through a series of drawing and writing exercises and we will discuss how artistic content for Testing Situations should be interpreted, stored and presented to the public.

Lunch will be provided.

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Testing Situations is an interdisciplinary research project investigating the curious intersection between neuropsychological testing methods and artistic processes. The project has been developed through the Created Out of Mind residency in the Hub at Wellcome Collection, London and is now touring around the UK to uncover diverse experiences of assessment (funded by a Wellcome Public Engagement Grant).