monika_auch_SYB_STITCH_YOUR_BRAIN is an empirical study and artistic investigation about the hand-brain-axis in creative making, a continuation of Auch’s work about ‘The intelligence of the hand’.

Informed by Auch’s background in medicine and a special interest in anatomy her artistic practice based research about ‘THE INTELLIGENCE OF THE HAND‘ started in 2003. It explores the importance of tactility, dexterity and material based making in our contemporary culture dominated by digital tools. Will there be new neuronal pathways if ‘making’ changes to using a mouse or a tablet? Are visual stimuli more important than tactile one’s? Do we have a tactile memory?

Looking into neurocognitive aspects of tactile learning and spatial memory Auch collected registrations of specific tactile stimuli in her own brain at the Netherlands Institute of Neuroscience in Amsterdam. Broadening the inquiry she set up the empirical study STITCH_YOUR_BRAIN in 2013. STITCH_YOUR_BRAIN was launched at the International Printmaking conference, IMPACT in 2013. Results will be presented in 2017.

STITCH_YOUR_BRAIN project has two sets of inquiries:
– about the importance of making with your hands and the effects on neurocognitive learning, health and well-being.
– about the influence of medical imagemaking on body-identity and brain awareness
based on visual representations and reflections about the brain by participants of SYB study.

Monika Auch lives and works in Amsterdam where she received her education in medicine (UvA) and art. While practicing as M.D. she attained a degree in textile design and printmaking at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy. (2000) Her medical background is reflected in her detailed sculptural work, which is often suggestive of the growth patterns found through the lens of a microscope. The clash of digital and tactile methods in Auch’s work heightens the material impact of the viewing experience, a combination of traditional, time-consuming methods and contemporary technology. Her practice based research on hand-brain creativity is informed by her hybrid background, resulting in visual work, international projects and publications. Auch is editor of Dutch kM magazine which publishes about artist’s materials and techniques.