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Creating Art with Thought Alone: First BCI-Generated Art Exhibit Opens in Washington, D.C.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science and Blackrock Neurotech announce the first-ever thought-generated art gallery with an inside look at brain-computer interface technology.

WASHINGTON, D.C.The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and Blackrock Neurotech announced today the first-ever brain-computer interface (BCI) art exhibit, to be displayed at AAAS headquarters in Washington, D.C. The BCI Exhibit will feature works created by patients with paralysis using thought-to-cursor implantable brain-computer interface technology made possible by Blackrock.

The gallery opens April 13 with a VIP Preview (by invitation) before welcoming public visitors April 14 through Nov. 15, 2023. Admission to the exhibit is free.

Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) are a rapidly advancing neurotechnology that restores function for individuals with paralysis and neurological disorders. Using a microchip implanted in the brain, BCIs connect a person’s neural signals with a computer, empowering them to control the device with only their thoughts. Though these devices are often considered science fiction, Blackrock’s BCI technology has been studied in patients with paralysis since 2004, and the company anticipates its first BCI product for home use to be released in 2024.

The exhibit will feature digital art creations by several “BCI Pioneers,” patients with paralysis who have received a Blackrock implant; works on display were created using software platforms like Photoshop and MS Paint. In addition to the artwork of the Pioneers and PhD Neuroscientist Gregg Dunn, the educational exhibit will walk visitors through the rich history of neurotechnology, as well as showcase extraordinary lab research and displays of current and future brain implants, including the devices used by the artists.

“There’s a common misperception that all BCI technology is rudimentary or in its earliest stages, but as this exhibit demonstrates, BCI Pioneers have used Blackrock technology to execute incredibly sophisticated tasks, like operation of complex programs, for years,” said Marcus Gerhardt, co-founder and CEO of Blackrock.

“The works on display in the BCI Exhibit represent a groundbreaking intersection of science and art,” said Olga Francois, Chair of the AAAS Arts Program and Committee. “We’ve seen an explosion of conversation in recent months about the impact that technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning will have on human creativity, and The BCI Exhibit highlights a fascinating facet of this discussion.”

Among the exhibit’s featured artists is Nathan Copeland, who enrolled in a research study after a car accident left him paralyzed from the chest down. Since receiving a BCI implant in 2014, Copeland has surpassed countless milestones, most recently becoming the world’s longest-implanted BCI Pioneer at more than eight years. He, alongside the other artists, is a champion for demonstrating the capabilities of BCI technology to change the lives of patients with paralysis.

“I’ve always hoped that, through my participation in the study, I would be able to help other people with paralysis have a better life, or an easier time dealing with their situation without having to endure a period of despair,” said Copeland. “I want them to be told, ‘Your life isn’t over. There’s a technology that can help you do the things you think you can’t, just in a different way.’ It's not just art. BCI is paving the way for hope and possibility.”

“If Nathan can create art with a BCI, imagine the ease with which he will be able to control a computer to send emails, work, and complete day-to-day tasks,” said Gerhardt. “Through demonstrations like the BCI Exhibit at AAAS, we hope to educate the public about the life-changing impact that BCI will have on patients with paralysis, their caregivers, and their communities.”

To plan your visit to the BCI Exhibit at AAAS, please visit



AAAS Art of Science and Technology Program

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