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Neurocareers: Doing The Impossible!

Oct 3, 2022

Every human has an innate desire to try to do the impossible. Whether it’s a desire to have superpowers, superhuman feet, move to an advanced degree, relocate to a new country by themselves, or do things that seem unachievable. Magic has an interesting lens on that! It aims to create simulated versions of what looks impossible. It provides a tool to make something impossible look real. In this episode, we continue our conversation with Jennette Andrews, one of the most innovative illusionists in the world! Jeanette is discussing the field of Informal Cognitive Science and the relationship between machine learning, magic, and surprise. Find out how Jeanette used the art of magic to explore the questions posed by Alan Turing of whether machines can exhibit intelligent behavior that cannot be distinguished from that of a human!

During this episode, you will learn about the following:

[00:28] The most unexpected thing that Jeanette discovered about human sensation and perception.

[05:32] How Jeanette was introduced to the technology and how it developed into her newest exhibition, the use of AI.

[18:49] The surprising things that Jeanette learned from the reactions of the people who came to her magic show.

[20:12] Jeanette plans to perform and show her magic performances to people in different places.

[22:26] The process of generating ideas, where Jeanette gets her creative juices and what it takes to move from idea to fruition.

[27:26] Trusting your intuition and how it turns to instinct through trial and error.

[29:32] Doing the impossible and how to use magic as a tool to create simulated versions of the impossible.  

[32:22] How to reach out, connect and learn more about Jeanette.

Notable Quotes

  • To move from idea to fruition, you must start doing the thing and see what happens.
  • Magic deals with certainty; it deals with what we process as factual information or not and how those things change.
  • Trust your intuition, keep stuff coming in and maintain your freshness all the time.
  • Every human has an innate desire to try to do the impossible.

About the Podcast Guest

Jeanette Andrews is an artist, magician, and researcher. Andrews’ work focuses on developing interactive magic and sensory illusions via performance, sculpture, installation, and audio. Jeanette is currently an Affiliate of metaLab (at) Harvard and an artist in residence at CultureLAB LIC in New York City. Illusion is Andrews’ life’s work, and her performances have been praised by the Chicago Tribune, PBS, and the New York Times.

Over 27 years of specialized study and technical training in parlor and sleight of hand magic has now afforded her a distinct perspective on crafting experiences with nuanced psychological underpinnings, the direction of attention and inattention, creating surreal visuals, and designing/building objects that function completely differently than they appear.

Jeanette's research-based process centers around phenomenological philosophy, contemporary cognitive science, and physics. Andrews works closely with museums and galleries to recontextualize magic within the cultural arts and explore this craft as a performance art medium. She has presented numerous commissioned works with the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, including her 2020 work “Invisible Museums of the Unseen,” which was later commissioned as a site-specific work for the Quebec City Biennial. Further site-specific works for numerous museums and galleries include the Elmhurst Art Museum, Birmingham Museum of Art, and International Museum of Surgical Science.

Jeanette's references and other resources

Connect With Jeanette Andrews

Jeanette's Instagram: @JeanetteAndrewsMagic

About the Podcast and Its Host

The Neurocareers podcast is brought to you by The Institute of Neuroapproaches and its founder - Milena Korostenskaja, Ph.D. (Dr. K) - a neuroscience educator, neuroscience research consultant, and career coach for students and recent graduates in neuroscience and neurotechnologies:

You will benefit from neuroscience-based coaching if you want to...

  • Get your projects DONE instead of procrastinating and feeling stuck.
  • STOP feeling anxious, stressed, and overwhelmed when managing your time and responsibilities.
  • ACHIEVE your goals and BUILD a successful career instead of failing.

Get in touch with Dr. K. by sending an email:

Schedule a free consultation session with Dr. K. by following this link: