Since the Cows On Parade project migrated from Switzerland to America in 1999, cities around the world have enjoyed the awareness and fundraising benefits of having artists decorate various fiberglass objects and place them around town. In Bloomington, Indiana, the Brain Extravaganza exhibit — which opened April 28 — featured 22 giant brains. There is even an app to help find and digitally collect the brains.
The brain project is the brainchild of Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, a neuroanatomist who suffered a stroke in 1996. Bolte Taylor recovered to author My Stroke of Insight, a book about her 8-year journey to regain motor functions and speech, and gave a TED talk in 2008.
Less than two weeks later, some of the brains have been vandalized . It isn't unexpected, with Bloomington being a college town that just released their students back to their hometowns for the summer. Bolte Taylor almost welcomes the damage, at least as a metaphor for how easily our own brains can become injured. “I think our brains are vulnerable,” she says.