Meet Julia Buntaine

The work of Julia Buntaine is inspired by and based on Neuroscience, the scientific study of the brain. Born in Massachusetts, Buntaine attained her BA and Certificate in Cognitive Neuroscience from Hampshire College, her post-baccalaureate certificate in studio art from Maryland Institute College of Art, and her MFA of Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts. Buntaine has exhibited nationally and internationally including shows in Amherst, New York City, Baltimore, Seattle, Madison, and Toronto. Buntaine is also Executive Director at SciArt Center, and founder and editor-in-chief of the online science-based art magazine, SciArt in America. Buntaine currently lives and works in New York City.

As an artist, Julia is interested in what has proven to be the most complex puzzle, the epitome of emergence, the deepest well our sciences have examined; the brain. The instantiation of form and function united, from the molecular to the level of Neuroscience as a discipline, her work seeks to address the beliefs, theories and findings of the biological phenomenon of consciousness. Beginning with biological form or data, her work departs into the world of aesthetics as she manipulate the idea through the use of scale, metaphor, material and form. Unlike articles and raw data, scientific ideas in the form of art inherently demand subjective judgment and interpretation, and her goal as a science-based artist is to provide her viewer an alternative way to understand the wonders of biology we have discovered in ourselves.

JuliaBuntaineBinding Problems, Julia Buntaine, 2014

“What neural mechanisms keep the colors of an apple where they belong? While it does not feel difficult, it is in fact remarkable that while separating the color, shape, and context of everything in our perceptual scene, all of which is processed in distinct and different parts of the brain, that everything ends up in its rightful place. You never mistakenly swap your friends skin color for the blue sky behind them, and vice versa. The “binding problem” is a term used in neuroscience and philosophy of mind literature which refers to the mystery of how the brain first separates and processes perceptual information, and then binds it all together into a single conscious experience.” J. Buntaine


Visual Objective, Julia Buntaine, 2014

“There is a discrepancy between what our eyes physically perceive and the image our brain conjures for us. The two empty spots near the center of the image represent the physiological “blind spot”. One for each eye, these spots correspond to where, in the eye, the optic nerve is situated to carry retinal information to the brain. In the center of the blind spots lies the fovea, the central point of our visual acuity. Around the periphery of the visual field, for which this photograph is shaped after, our ability to distinguish red and green diminishes, as does our ability to clearly see visual objects. In essence, this is a representation of the way the world actually looks, but because our brain fills in and smooths over the picture, the way we’ll never be able to see it.” J. Buntaine

Julia’s web page:


About Bojana Ginn

Joying art, science, and technology.

Posted on July 6, 2014, in Art & Science, Bojana Ginn, Julia Buntaine, SciArt Center, SciArt in America and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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