WAVECRAFT: Messages from an unknown world

wavecraft ex 3 (2)


wavecraft ex pic 1 (2)

90 years ago Hans Berger, a provincial German psychiatrist with little physiological experience, rudimentary equipment, and recording from the scalp, claimed the brain was electrically pulsating around 10 times a second. He was widely ridiculed; it seemed inconceivable that 90 billion neurons would do such a thing. 5 years later, Edgar Adrian, a Cambridge professor with access to state of the art electronics, confirmed the observation and the science of electroencephalography took off. A 25-year-old student of Adrian, William Grey Walter, set up the first clinical EEG labs in the UK, at the Maudsley and Maida Vale hospitals. He was to become a leading light in that field, and others.


Berger was a quiet, correct, punctilious, conservative who avoided the limelight, Walter a leftist bohemian who courted publicity for himself and his subject.  They made a string of important discoveries yet neither was fully accepted by their country’s academic establishments in their lifetimes.

Berger worked as the Nazis rose to power,  Walter worked against a backdrop of World War 2 and the Cold War.

This exhibition tells their story through made and found objects and images, text and archive material.

1st May -1st August 2018,  Institute of Neurology Museum and Archive, University College London, Queen’s Square, London.

1st August-1st November, Library and Archive, Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole street, London.

An essay based on one aspect of the story is available here  WAVECRAFT- DESTINATION NORWAY

An exhibition booklet of the artwork, in pdf form, is available here: wavecraft artwork

A booklet of the artwork and exhibition text is here:wavecraft artwork and text