Columbia University in the City of New York

Art in the Education Lab

Every year the Zuckerman Institute commissions an artist to create an original artwork that will invite and inspire community members to explore science through an artistic lens.

A clip from Sensory Bop by Sleepyfoot?, the Art in the Education Lab 2023 commission.


The CALL FOR ARTISTS 2024 is now closed. 


Our 2023 commission is Sensory Bop, by the interdisciplinary artist Sleepyfoot?, aka Manon Casimir-Sainton.

Sensory Bop is inspired by numerous conversations the artist had with research scientists at the Zuckerman Institute. She was especially interested in connectivity in the brain and explored how our different senses work together. Sleepyfoot? hopes the work will encourage the public to make more positive connections to the world by stimulating their senses, thereby creating more salient experiences and, ultimately, more happiness.



Sensory Bop is a short neuroaesthetic video composed of a number of clips that were created by coding using p5.js. p5.js is a Javascript framework used to create generative art. After coding a number of animations, Sleepyfoot? took the clips and arranged them in Adobe Premiere Pro. She also included a sound piece she had previously created (using ProTools) that samples French musician Charles Aznavour's song "Qui ''.


Sleepyfoot? met with a number of Zuckerman Institute researchers, including Arnav Raha, Paul Linton, Carol Mason, Margarita Dillinger, and Mentong Li, pictured above.


Much of the inspiration for Sensory Bop came from Sleepyfoot?’s conversations with scientists at the Zuckerman Institute, including Rachel Frazer, Andre Toussaint, and Sara Sorensen Ogata of the Abdus-Saboor Lab; Arnav Raha of the Gadgakar Lab; Paul Linton of the Kreigeskorte Lab; Carol Mason and Margarita Dillinger of the Mason Lab; Prachi Patel of the Mesgarani Lab; Daniel Salzman and Erica Rodriguez of the Salzman Lab; Michael Shadlen of the Shadlen Lab; and Mentong Li of the Zuker Lab. Through these sessions, Sleepyfoot? learned about how different senses work in the brain and how emotion plays a role in perception. They also theorized on how chromesthesia, the ability to see sounds, may happen.



More About the Artist


Sleepyfoot? is New York City based interdisciplinary artist Manon Casimir-Sainton. Her paintings mirror her synesthesia induced by personal multi-genre sound compositions and mental health experiences. She is self-taught and intersects her work from a background of art, education, and technology.

Sleepyfoot? deeply immerses herself in color, sound, and visuals through lens, mixed-media painting, digital, and audio production. Her work explores themes of identity, spirituality, race, and psychology. Her introspective process includes sound layering, creating colorful templates, and rendering her internal state of being to canvas or digital format for viewers to engage with.

Sleepyfoot?’s work has been exhibited nationally. She has shown locally at Site:Brooklyn,The Sheen Center, Plaxall Gallery,  and has been commissioned by music and spirituality-based organizations in NYC. In addition, her work has been exhibited at a number of art centers including the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art (CA), AnnMarie’s Sculpture Garden and Art Center (MD), and The Art Center at Highland Park (IL).


Sleepyfoot?’s work advances the mission of the Zuckerman Institute to help make science more accessible and interdisciplinary by breaking out from the expectations of traditional scientific programming.



Learn about our work with previous Artists in the Education Lab: Damali Abrams (2023) Dister Rondon (2021) and Ivan Forde (2020).


To get involved, tell us your ideas, or find out more, email us at [email protected]


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