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

MAMIMU June Mineyama-Smithson London Artist and Dr Tara Swart for ITV XR

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.

MAMIMU and Dr Tara Swart in the XR studio London for ITV Creates

Optimum Optimism Scene by Scene

Optimum Optimism by MAMIMU June Mineyama-Smithson & Dr Tara Swart for ITV Creates for Mental Health Awareness Week

Scene 1: Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind

Creative Concept
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.

The Science
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.

Well of Infinite Possibility by MAMIMU Contemporary London Artist

Scene 2: Well of Infinite Possibility

Creative Concept
This represents the infinite possibility of the brain through neuroplasticity and growth.

The Science
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.

ITV Creates MAMIMU June Mineyama-Smithson Rising Stars

Scene 3: Rising Stars

Creative Concept
Upward movement of rising stars and shining lights signify a bright future.

The Science
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.

Japanese Artist MAMIMU and Neuroscientist Dr Tara Swart commissioned by ITV Creates Mental Health Awareness Week
London-based Artist MAMIMU June Mineyama-Smithson commissioned by ITV Creates
Dr Tara Swart with MAMIMU June Mineyama-Smithson for ITV Creates

Credits

Artist: MAMIMU (aka June Mineyama-Smithson)
Collaborator: Dr Tara Swart

Curator: Charlie Levine
Producer: Cressida Ranfield
Director: Kevin Batchelor (Electric Robin)
Director of Photography: Conor O'Grady  (Electric Robin)

Technology Partner: Bluman Associates
XR Studio: milkit studio
XR Technician: Kyle Reseigh
Notch Artists: Charlie Smith & Jamie Kenny

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

Press and media enquiries

For interviews, podcast and other media enquieries, please get in touch using contact form or email press (at) mamimutokyo.com

London-based Contemporary Artist MAMIMU June Mineyama-Smithson Optimism