18 December 2013

Department of Psychology to have Artist-in-Residence in 2014

In collaboration with Professor Paul Overton, writer Rachel Genn will be a Leverhulme Trust funded Artist-in-Residence, in the Department of Psychology, University of Sheffield during 2014.  Rachel will create a fictional institution; THE NATIONAL FACILITY FOR THE REGULATION OF REGRET (NFRR). The NFRR will be created in a gallery to house invisible fictional characters, whose psychiatric conditions and motivations can only be discovered through the visible/auditory clues contained in the living spaces Rachel constructs for them.

Rachel has a background in neuroscience and is interested in how the brain computes what we want even when we no longer like it. Regret is a product of making the wrong decision and the quality of decision-making decreases as the addictive process advances. A question arises: Is there a specific relationship between regret and addiction that remains hidden?

Rachel's first novel, THE CURE, was a work that dealt in part with the impact of regret on the perceptions and behaviour of an immigrant to London. Her second novel in progress (WHAT YOU COULD HAVE WON) implicitly explores how regret might power and maintain an undesirable relationship.