Does your mind wander? How far is too far? What do you picture when you daydream? Where do you go? How often is too often? When is mind wandering enabling and freeing? When does mental restlessness become impairment? What are the boundaries between order and disorder, in the psychiatric, artistic, social and metaphorical senses of the terms? How do the wanderings of the mind and body correlate? In what ways can a science-art collaborative exploration of mind wandering contribute to, challenge and extend our understanding of wellbeing?
We sat on a mat and had a chat and made maps! #MagicCarpet is an art-science collaboration by artist Dr Kai Syng Tan and Professor of Psychiatry Philip Asherson, both based at the world-leading Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, which is part of the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London. The 1.5 year project (August 2017 - December 2018) weaves visual art practice and research in adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) together to explore mind wandering and the boundaries between 'normality' and 'abnormality'. The multifaceted project includes workshops, and outputs include a publication, short films, badges, performances and a tapestry installation. The ‘magic’ of the work is to open up a creative, critical and accessible space for people from all walks (aged 2-85) to (un-)learn, share, ask new questions and widen existing discourses on disability, disorder and difference. #MagicCarpet has taken part in 15 exhibitions and workshops, 2 solo shows, 3 residences, 13 conferences/seminars/presentations, appeared in 5 publications that we authored, 6 art catalogues and academic citations, and at least 22 media engagement and non-academic citation, including 6 films. #MagicCarpet has toured South London Gallery (in collaboration with Art Assassins, a collective for people aged 15-20), Southbank Centre (for 700 viewers), Nesta’s People Powered Future Health (for 500 health policy people), UK Adult ADHD Network Congress 2017 (for 400 researchers and professionals), the Arts in Mind Festival (covered on Resonance FM and South London newspaper and The Psychologist Journal, and including a workshop with a primary school) as well as the 5th European Network for Hyperkinetic Disorder International Conference in Edinburgh (for 500 psychiatrists). It has been covered or published in British Journal of Psychiatry (Cambridge University Press), Live Art Developmental Agency Study Guide, Big Issue, Mind the Gap blog (an EU-funded platform for European scientists), featured in 6 films including one commissioned by Economic and Social Science Research Council at the invitation of Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences Professor Louise Arseneault, and another for the pan-European training network MiND. An article on neuordiversity in women published on Disability Arts Online was one of its top editorials. In 2018 it was awarded the National Coordination Centre for Public Engagement NCCPE Images Competition 2018 Award under the category of 'Culture Change’.
Come ride with us on the #MagicCarpet. Join us in forthcoming events. Come fly with us virtually, too, by sending your thoughts, comments, suggestions, images, audio-visual clips, texts and definitions to our Twitter @wesatonamat or email email@example.com. Let's open our minds. Let’s see how far we can go, together.
Visit or Mail us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tweet us: @wesatonamat
Tag us: #MagicCarpet
Visit or send us: Dr Kai Syng Tan
MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, PO Box 80, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London, 16 De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF UK
Background image by Erkembode 2017