Forward by Jennifer Hall

The decision to produce a show for artists with Temporal Lobe Epilepsy (T.L.E.) came from a personal desire to meet people who are working under similar conditions as myself. As an artist living with these types of seizures (which are not only difficult to diagnose, but sometimes impossible to recognize), it was an opportunity to better understand myself, perhaps through a collective voice. It is my hope that this catalogue will be of use to other artists with Temporal Lobe Epilepsy, their families, and caretakers. For readers who are interested in learning more about the relationship of creativity and T.L.E., this catalogue can be used as a guide into the richness of a randomly mapped terrain.

It took over a year to find the contributors for this show, and as a subjective curator, it was a truly unique process. As I met each artist through their submissions, I also got to know them as individuals with a ferocious tenacity to share their story. This is remarkable to me: beyond problems of negotiating the basics of life and the cultural stigma of having any form of epilepsy, I found an abundance of creative people eager to share of themselves in such an intimate and vulnerable way.

We cannot, nor should we, separate the relationship between the activity of art making and cognitive perception. The temporal lobe phenomenon, the process of diagnosis, and the lifestyle (including the choice of treatment), are all issues that surround the creative sphere. As part of the creative practice, each artist is living this relationship, and provides us in this catalogue with an array of insights.

Certainly, the type of electrochemical misfiring found within the T.L.E. experience is not new to the mammalian brain. A definitive T.L.E. diagnostic exists now, only because we can observe it by electronic monitors. It is ironic that without these electronic diagnostics, T.L.E. would most probably continue to be objectified by how a person in seizure looked rather than the electrical occurrence itself. This is a serious problem, and the potential for misunderstanding is well documented. T.L.E. continues to be a condition also loosely linked to behavioral disorder, and I can't help but wonder: how do other cultures lacking diagnostic tools such as the Electronic Encephalographic or Magnetic Resonance Imager absorb and define people with T.L.E.? Perhaps they are the insane, the ones shunned for amplifying an inner self that is collectively unfamiliar. For many, I imagine their identity remains culturally scribed, motivated by the dreams and fears of other people's perspicacity.

It is my personal belief that the artists of this catalogue have the ability to resonate on a continuum found deep within the mind's eye because T.L.E. forces the issues of perception and self. Some of the artists are working to strike a harmonious balance with the seizure activity. Some are at war with it. As a collection, the following is a powerful testament to the human condition and, perhaps, a spiritual realm that comes from the storm.