The Art of Exploring Connections

ON VIEW: February 20 thru August 2024

ART SALON: June 26, 6 to 8PM

About the Exhibition

This project explores the relationships between artificial intelligence, the brain, and social networks. Central to this exploration are interviews with participants whose narratives are analyzed using large language models and machine learning technologies to unearth connections within and between their experiences. The questions probe how individuals mentally navigate various life contexts, including their natural surroundings, social and digital ecosystems, and creative spaces. 

The art project seeks to align mental maps with the tangible world through visual representation, blending portraits, landscapes, and cityscapes. The photographic exploration of local environments, notably the Malden River and seasonal changes in the city’s trees, were chosen for their network properties, symbolizing the connection between Malden’s past and future.

Looking forward, the project envisages the organization of interview data into captivating graphics and interactive interfaces, providing a cohesive link to the physicality of the photographs. With more photos to be created and edited and participants to interview, the project is an ongoing journey of discovery and connection, unfolding through the synthesis of art, technology, and environmental consciousness.


View this short overview of the Mental Mapping project to get a sense of what it entails and its goals. 

Roundtable Discussion

A roundtable discussion with two neuroscientists, a choreographer, designer/artist, and environmental activist and community organizer exploring how we make sense of self in the context of our environment and the tools that enable or hinder our journey of understanding and remembering who we are and what we have experienced.

About Joshua Sariñana

Joshua Sariñana, PhD, traces the underlying networks of the brain, and art, in a humanities context. He aims to consolidate and extend the traditional boundaries of these fields to a novel dynamic topology.

Sariñana obtained his degrees in neuroscience from the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, studying dopamine’s effects on hippocampal circuit activity, reinforcement learning, and spatial navigation.

He uses network theory to navigate and conceptualize his transdisciplinary art, science, and socially engaged projects. Sariñana is currently a Cultural Ambassador for the Somerville Arts Council. In addition, he has received grants supporting his work from the Massachusetts Arts Council and the Cambridge Arts Council for his art and curatorial projects.

Sariñana photography emphasizes the transformation of internal representations and have been exhibited nationally and internationally.

Sariñana combines his media communications practice with his neuroscience and art background. He has provided his expertise to WIRED Magazine, MIT Technology Review, the Museum of Science, Boston, and as an invited speaker for the Neurohumanities series at Trinity College in Dublin. He is currently investigating the relationships between virtual spaces, artificial intelligence, and functional networks of the brain. Joshua Sariñana, PhD, traces the underlying networks of the brain, and art, in a humanities context. He aims to consolidate and extend the traditional boundaries of these fields to a novel dynamic topology.


A conversation that unravels Joshua’s path to the Mental Mapping project, beginning with the first inklings of curious wondering as a child to his science, art, and community work. 

Art Salon

On June 26, UMA held an Art Salon for thIs exhibition. This gathering included multi media behind-the-scenes descriptions of the artists process. 

Mass Cultural Council
This program is funded in part by a grant from
the Malden Cultural Council, an agent of the Mass Cultural Council.