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TATE Exchange

5th Floor Switch House

TATE Modern



United Kingdom

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Could appreciating art have more in common with savouring a cup of coffee than you thought?

Come and experience by yourself the unexpected strategies your brain uses to make and share matters of taste, from the most sensory ones to the art-world. In a series of unique interactive demonstrations and hands-on experiments, specially designed for this programme, discover how you identify elusive or novel objects and select the ones you prefer; understand how you are influenced by others’ preferences and how you communicate your own. Come and discuss with researchers who will unveil what is going on in their laboratories, and by sharing your experience, contribute to advancing their ideas, and to developing new ways to make art and taste more engaging for everyone.


How our senses shape our tastes

Tasting a cup of coffee or seeing a painting and deciding that you like it can seem - deceptively - simple. Come and learn about some of the factors which shape these judgments.

I haven't a clue! How hints work?

Would you be able to recognize what is written on the Tate logo if you did not know what was written? Explore how suggestive hints and labels work, and how they help you to take some perceptual 'short cuts'.

Let’s face it: Are you a head or a heart person?

Portraits that touch our hearts? Take part to find out if you see portraits by Freud and Renoir more with your “head” or with your “heart”.

Natural or artificial? Can you tell?

Lots of money is spent to produce artificial hair, and materials? Do these knock-offs fool anyone, and if so, how can you tell real and fake apart?

Tingling lips

Paprika is hot, mint is cold, but Sichuan pepper is…? Try for yourself and discover how this curious spice interacts with your sense of temperature.

In touch with your senses

Senses excel in different domains. In this experiment, you will discover that vision excels in a task where touch is quite ineffective and that in another task touch excels but vision can easily be fooled.

How picky are you about art?

Which of these paintings do you prefer? Come and try this simple experiment to discover what drives your aesthetic choices.


Magritte once said "Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see." But can this be true of your own body? How do you know for instance what is happening in your mouth, to your own teeth?

How others shape our experience

Most of our scientific theories of the mind look at what people do by themselves. See how social psychologists and neuroscientists now try and explore the way our minds work when we interact, or are simply engaged in the same activity.

The price of art and the value of discussion

How much do you know about the price of art? And how much do you think you know? Come and answer a few questions, and see how your judgement is shared and shaped when you talk with others

Together through London’s hotspots

Try a pub-quiz and see how close you get to picking famous London landmarks. Your reward will depend on how you interact with others!

How do we sound together?

How does what you like influence what you create in a joint improvisation? Find out by exploring a walk-in musical instrument for two.

Reaching for the last loaf

Daily activities, from visits to galleries to cooking and shopping, are often shared. But how do we decide what to do, or distribute tasks? See what happens when you have to go through a virtual grocery store and shop through a shopping list together with your partner.

How we share our tastes

How can words capture our experience of a piece of art, of a nice glass of wine or juice? And is language always the best option? In a series of experimental activities, discover how rich communicating about your experience can be.

Are two palates better than one?

Describing flavours is famously challenging: Sip some wine and share your tasting notes to help us see how you use language to communicate about matters of taste.

A taste of Kandinsky

Can we use the colours and shapes of foods to create a work of art? Is there an harmony of flavours, like there is an harmony of shapes and colours? This performance, imagined by chefs and scientists, open new perspectives for creativity.

Taste charades

Could you describe the flavour of a wine, or orange juice, only using your hands? What tastes do you see in someone else’s gestures? Come and try this simple experiment, and discover the power of gestures.

Sens(e)ible communication

Kandinsky and other artists thought that they could communicate sensory experiences such as tastes, smells or sounds using the language of shapes and colours. Would you succeed if you had to do the same?

Please note that some experiments we will be running at the event include sampling food. If you have any concerns about alergies please ask the contributer before taking part.

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TATE Exchange

5th Floor Switch House

TATE Modern



United Kingdom

View Map

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