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David Byrne launches weird performance art exhibit in Silicon Valley

Photo: Johnny Nunez / Getty Images

David Byrne has made a career out of providing audiences with things that they never realized they needed. Like, before 1977, how many people do you suspect were pining for a paean to a French-speaking, short-tempered psychopath? And can you even imagine a world without it now? As such, we will probably all soon be luxuriating in the odd experience of being embodied inside a doll, wondering how we ever lived without it.

Consequence Of Sound reports that the former Talking Heads frontman has collaborated with technologist Mala Gaonkar to create an hour-long “immersive theater performance” called Neurosociety in Menlo Park, California, deep in the tech hub of Silicon Valley. What it is precisely is a bit difficult to figure out, even for Byrne himself. “Is it science, art, theater, or what? A little bit of all of the above I’d say,” according to the 64-year-old seminal-musician/lovable-weirdo. “It’s one of the more unexpected things I’ve ever done, and people seem to like it!”

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Image: Pace Art + Technology

A slightly more descriptive explanation of the neuroscientist-designed installations comes via an official statement from the project:

Neurosociety is a series of interactive environments created by Byrne and Gaonkar that present the emerging work of fifteen cognitive neuroscience labs around the world. You will be led through 4 rooms, and in each room you will experience a surprising aspect of yourself and how you relate to the world and to other people. You will see your hand grow giant and you will be embodied in a doll’s body. You will see moving objects freeze, predict real elections and face moral dilemmas.

Yeah, that sounds like something David Byrne would spend his time on.

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