MAMIMU x Dr Tara Swart for ITV Creates | Mental Health Awareness Week
An artist and a neuroscientist have teamed up to create a series of images to induce a chemical cocktail stimulate feelings of optimism for ITV
Art + Science = Optimum Optimism
I was commissioned by ITV to create the main channel's ident. To fulfill my mission ‘inject optimism into the world’, I had a vision to create “Optimum Optimism” by putting art and science together.
I was matched with a wonderful neuroscientist Dr Tara Swart, the author of the bestseller book “The Source”. I was initially worried that she might burst the magic of creativity with facts and figures. But she only made the project even more magical by showing me the wonder of our brain’s capability and by reinforcing my vision with science.
Dr Tara explained it all comes back to a cocktail of four chemicals – dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins - or D.O.S.E. So, my task was then to produce a series of visuals that would stimulate these chemicals and result in a physical reaction for viewers.
Visualising optimistic state of mind
I chose XR (Extended Reality) – the same technology used for Disney’s hit TV series The Mandalorian – to express the optimum optimism. A physical mirror-finished ITV logo sculpture is placed in the middle of the LED screens. The LED screens show motion graphics. The LED virtual world is reflected on the logo’s mirror surface, depicting how our mind processes external influences. This resulted in an immersive ident which takes viewers on a D.O.S.E. inducing journey. The ident is designed to top up optimism on every viewing.
Optimum Optimism Scene by Scene
Scene 1: Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind
Rain turning into sunshine symbolises our ability to turn negative thoughts to positive. There is a sense of flow rather than stagnation. The viewer would feel the impermanence of negative events as a ripple in their life.
Neuroplasticity is about cultivating optimism by re-wiring our brain to focus on positives rather than negatives, over-turning the loss avoidance default of a brain geared to survive rather than thrive. Looking at bodies of water has a calming effect on our state of mind.
Sunshine helps us manufacture vitamin D which contributes to boosting levels of serotonin (the happy hormone). There is a natural feel-good factor associated with sunshine.
Scene 2: Well of Infinite Possibility
This represents the infinite possibility of the brain through neuroplasticity and growth.
Just as our neurons (nerve cells) connect up with each other to form pathways, The Well is a web of connections that hold hope, promise and togetherness. Human connection is vital to our well-being. The bonding hormone oxytocin and endorphins are released when we feel connectedness.
Scene 3: Rising Stars
Upward movement of rising stars and shining lights signify a bright future.
Upward movement invokes growth and positivity.
‘The Tetris Effect’ is a psychological phenomenon where falling bricks are imprinted onto the subconscious so that people continue to see them even after closing their eyes! These rising stars will have the same effect and the message to the brain will be about rising to greater heights, and achieving your dreams. This creates an ethereal sense of ambition and success which correlates with the reward chemical dopamine.
ITV Logo Sculpture Production: A.J Wells
Read this project on ITV website:
An ITV Creates Collaboration by MAMIMU & Dr Tara Swart | Mental Health Awareness Week