Yearly Archives: 2018

Speaker @ SciViz NYC on November 16th, 2018

Date: Friday November, 16, 2018
Event Time: 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
Presentation Time: 9:45 – 10:15 a.m.
Presentation: Emotive Pathways: internal and external connections in sculptural form
Location: Davis Auditorium, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Sponsored by: Mount Sinai, Scientific American, S.P.A.R.K., Association of Medical Illustrators
Visit the SciViz NYC’s website for more information.

Talk Summary:
The forms and concepts in my work bridge art and science by exploring scientific advances that increase our understanding of psychological and neurological landscapes, including the nature of memory, brain physiology, neurobiology, and the mechanics of sensory experiences.

This talk will focus on the inspiration and realization of the Our Memories project, currently on view in Thomas Paine Park in downtown Manhattan as part of the NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks program. The presentation will also include the public’s response as captured in film documentaries and social media.

Our Memories is informed by the nature of neurons and dendrites and investigates how our brains react to experiences and how memory functions. The work manifests as an audience participatory outdoor installation of translucent sculptures that contain cavities for participants to place color-coded memory stones. The sculptures take on the colors of the collective memories and come to life as they store more memories.

The memory stones are classified into six emotions based on Plutchik’s color wheel: love, anger, fear, surprise, joy and sadness. Participants transform the sculptures by recalling a powerful memory and then depositing the memory stone in a sculpture. This action is intended to visually incite viewers to consider the concept of the interior self, particularly how our experiences and memories are encoded and stored. This active act of recollection not only stirs up personal memories, it also physiologically generates a new, shared memory. Our Memories is both a collective memorial installation, made complete by thousands of individual memories, and an experience that connects us to our core and to one another.

58 NYC Outdoor (and Indoor) Art Installations Not to Miss in November 2018

Author: Michelle Young
Publication: Untapped Cities
Published: November 1, 2018
Article PDF: 58 NYC Outdoor (and Indoor) Art Installations Not To Miss in November 2018
Article link:

33. Judith Modrak ‘Our Memories’ in Thomas Paine Park

Photo by Daniel Avila courtesy of NYC Parks

Judith Modrak’s Our Memories, recently unveiled in Manhattan’s Thomas Paine Park, is “an evolving audience participatory installation” that aims to “physiologically generate a new collective memory.” The shape of the sculptures is inspired by neurons and contain cavities in which participants place a color-coded stone. These memory stones each represent one of six emotions: joy, anger, love, sadness, fear, and surprise. The aim of the piece is to create a symbolic memorial composed of thousands of individual memories.

Thomas Paine Park is located in the former Five Points and Collect Pond area that is now home to the New York Supreme County Courthouse and the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse. The art installation will be up until April 2019.

How to Give an Artist Talk, August 2018

Author: Gigi Rosenberg
Publication: Professional Artist
Published: August, 2018
Article PDF: How to Give an Artist Talk

Don’t Be Nervous About Nerves

Judith Modrak

I went from a reluctant, nervous speaker (at best) to fully embracing, not only the opportunity, but the entire experience and the audience as well. Hour-long artist talks swim by in seemingly minutes followed by dynamic question and answer sessions. It really is a case of reprogramming one’s response to what can be a cause for stress into an occasion to reveal one’s body of work and sources of inspiration in more depth. My tips include:

  • It’s fine to be nervous, most people will be a little nervous. Work with the nerves, not against them. Focus on your work and what you love about it and want to say about it.
  • Exercise the day of a big talk or take a walk to collect your thoughts.
  • Be prepared: preparation reduces anxiety.
  • It’s OK to pause and ask for something, for example a glass of water or that the lights be turned down a notch or that the projector’s color be tweaked. All these things make you feel calmer and put you in control of the situation.