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The human brain is the most complex object we know of and the one that raises most questions in the fields of both science and philosophy. "Brain(s)" looks at how, throughout history, art, science, and philosophy have studied and represented this fascinating organ.

The exhibition explores both the anatomy of the brain and everything that it generates: consciousness, abstract thinking, language, imagination, dreams and memory. “Brain(s)” also investigates other minds beyond the human: artificial, animal and collective intelligence, and brainless organisms.

Why do brains exist? Where does consciousness come from? And what about creativity? What happens when the mind gets ill? Is it possible to create smart machines? What can we learn from the collective intelligence of ants? “Brain(s)” explores these issues and many others by observing the rich landscape of cognition and its historical development, from natural systems to systems created by human beings. Setting out on a journey that combines historical, scientific and artistic material, and posing open questions to visitors, the exhibition challenges our understanding of conscious experience and looks at what can happen when that experience is interrupted or damaged.

Curated by physicist and biologist Ricard Solé and by Emily Sargent, curator of the Wellcome Collection, the exhibition presents some 300 pieces, including 17 contemporary immersive art installations and audiovisual works, pieces from historical collections and the results of projects of scientific research into the brain.

The exhibition combines the visions of contemporary artists such as Tomás Saraceno, Patrick Tresset, Ivana Franke, Daniel Alexander, Andrew Carnie, Christian Fogarolli, Greg Dunn, Laramascoto, Louise K Wilson, William Utermohlen, Shona Illingworth, Imogen Stidworthy, Joaquim Jordà, Aya Ben Ron, Roc Parés, Joan Fontcuberta, Stefan Kaegi and Xavi Bou, and comics and films. It also includes historical material such as original drawings by Santiago Ramon y Cajal, period editions of Vesalius and René Descartes, the inventions and machinery of visionary scientists such as Leonardo Torres Quevedo and Lady Ada Lovelace, and scientific projects of leading scientific research institutes.

An extensive network of researchers, creators and thinkers are involved in the “Brain(s)” project, both in the exhibition and in developing a program of activities that includes a cycle of films, public debates and mediation workshops.

In addition, a selection of films related to the exhibition can be viewed on the Brain(s) channel on Filmin (available from 26 July to 11 December).

The CCCB’s exhibition draws on two independent shows, "Brains: The Mind as Matter" (2012) and "States of Mind: Tracing the Edges of Consciousness" (2016), held at London’s Wellcome Collection, co-producer of Brain(s) with the CCCB and Fundación Telefónica (Madrid).

Inside the exhibition

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Programme of activities

Exhibition images

Previous activities

The Pieces Speak

A different look at the exhibition "Brain(s)"


Neuronal form creation workshop for all the family

This is not a brain

Stem cell engineering to create human brain tissue organoids

"Brain(s)" for people with blindness or low vision

Adapted guided tour

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Brain maps

The legacy of Ramón y Cajal

"Brain(s)" for people with deafness

Guided tour with sign language interpretation service

Gamification in neurological rehabilitation

The application of game mechanics in the Recoverix motor rehabilitation system

La lluna en un cove

Laboratory of fantasy, creativity and imagination for families

"Ex Machina" by Alex Garland

Screening and talk by Ana Freire

A morning with David Bueno

The untidy brain

Luis Martínez Otero, Jordi Camí and Miguel Ángel Gea

Great questions about the brain and mind

Andy Clark

Great questions about the brain and mind

Thought — Affect — Matter

Performance by Jaime Refoyo and Karunya Srinivasan about how a mutual affectation between bodies could speak

Núria Sebastián and Helena Matute

Great questions about the brain and mind

A morning with Jordi Camí

The illusionist brain

"Brain(s)" Wikimarathon

"Paprika" by Satoshi Kon

Screening and talk by Alex Iranzo

Ramón y Cajal: When Art Becomes Science

Salvador Macip and Cristina Nombela

Brain Film Fest short film selection / Solé Tura Award

Screening as part of the exhibition “Brain(s)”

Chess marathon at the CCCB

Under-18 tournament and simultaneous matches with chess Grandmaster Sabrina Vega

Neurotwins, digital twins of human brains

How to combat neurological disease by means of virtual representations of the human brain

Guided visit to the "Brain(s)" exhibition

"Memento" by Christopher Nolan

Screening and talk by José Luis Trejo

Estampa collective and Inés Macpherson

Marcus du Sautoy, Elena Neira, Karina Gibert and Jorge Carrión

Algorithmic cultures

"The Manchurian Candidate" by John Frankenheimer

Screening and talk with Celia Andreu-Sánchez

Robert Kolker and Milagros Pérez Oliva

Strangers to themselves

Daniele Mencarelli and Anna Ballbona

Between judgment and madness

Human Brain Project

A cartography of the brain

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With the support of