Jill Bolte Taylor’s Brain Display Vandalized

A number of the 22 brains around Bloomington have been damaged, but Jill Bolte Taylor considers the vandalism just part of the project.

damaged brain

Photo: Scott Witzke

Lightning bolts on the sleep and pain brain were designed to show pain. There were eight lightning bolts, but four of them have been broken off.

A number of the brains on parade around Bloomington have sustained some degree of damage, but it’s nothing brain scientist Jill Bolte Taylor didn’t expect.  In fact she says it’s part of the reason why she wanted to do the public art display.

Twenty-two giant fiberglass brains were installed around Bloomington and the IU campus at the end of April. Each one is uniquely designed by an area artist.  They include a fiber optic brain, a chalkboard brain and a spray foam brain.  Many of them have been damaged. The sleep and pain brain for example had eight huge lightning bolts coming out of it – four of which have been broken off.  Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor calls the damage just another part of the program.

“It’s part of the reason we did this,” she says. “Our mental health is not at an ultimate peak in our society and I think this is a natural expression of some of that which is a progression of what’s going on in someone’s mind – oh here is a beautiful thing, let’s destroy it.”

The “Brain Extravaganza” is focused on appreciation, awareness and education about the brain – with the ultimate goal being the better people understand the brain the better they will take care of their own.

“I think our brains are vulnerable,” Bolte Taylor says. “I think what’s happening to these brains  is comparable to what happens to us as individuals and this is kind of a projection of what’s going on inside of us and fortunately 99.9 percent of us are gonna love them and maybe .01 percent are going to abuse them.”

Some of the damaged brains have been repaired, but Bolte Taylor says in some cases the brains won’t be fixed. She says people do check the brains often for damage, and she is considering the idea of forming a brain watch group.

The brains will be on display around Bloomington through the fall.

 

Sara Wittmeyer

Sara Wittmeyer is the News Bureau Chief for WFIU and WTIU. Sara has more than a decade of experience as a news reporter and previously served with KBIA at the University of Missouri, WNKU at Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights, KY, and at WCPO News in Cincinnati.

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  • April

    This makes me sad… They are beautiful pieces of art and its disheartening to those of us who are ENJOYING them to see them vandalized!! If you want to destroy something destroy your own stuff!!

  • Photosbyamberlynn

    That is too bad….

  • Cassies

    Uhh, not sure all the brains are beautiful, especially the lightning bolt one.  Most people didn’t see the connection with the IU Auditorium or the Fine Arts school.  Some of the them are definitely interesting, but in the end a brain is a brain, and not so cute as say the animal sculptures other cities are doing.

    And a vandalism watch group, really?  Just what we need in this town, more surveillance.

  • http://twitter.com/tracy_mom220 gleeky_momma

    We found all the brains except the one that was at Jordan Hall atrium. IS it gone? My daughter is taking a picture of her self with all of them and then incorporating them into a project for her final project. She has been home schooled. It seems sad that we can’t find that one…By the way, we did all this in one evening:)

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