Art, brain and human nature: what can we know about ourselves?
Discussion with neuroscientist and Einstein Visiting Fellow Vittorio Gallese, novelist and essayist Siri Hustvedt, and philosopher and moderator Gert Scobel. 04 June 2018, 7 pm
What is the mind? This fundamental question remains unanswered in philosophy and science. Is the mind part of the body or is it something separate from it? Are the brain and the mind the same thing? Can the mind be disembodied into an algorithm and then realized in a machine? If the brain is the key to mind and consciousness, how much do we actually know about the brain and what does it have to do with “the self“? Why does art matter? Why do we tell stories? What is the relationship between art and science? Is configuring the mind a feminist issue? And: Why are all these questions urgent at this particular moment in culture?
AESTHETICS get SYNTHETIC:
Knowledge Link Through Art & Science
Polyhedra is pleased to announce that registration for the first KLAS Workshop “AESTHETICS get SYNTHETIC: Knowledge Link Through Art & Science” is now open and can be accessed from the following link: klas.mpikg.mpg.de/workshop/
The workshop is an opportunity to bring together scholars and practitioners to jointly discuss and reflect on contents, approaches and methodologies that draw the link between synthetic biology and artistic research and how those can synergically interact by mutually interrogating and reconsidering their methodologies and modes of operation in an Artist in Residence program like KLAS. In this workshop we are particularly interested in discussions and perspectives that explore how different institutions, organizations and interest groups with relevant expertise and knowledge of research, innovation and education address contemporary challenges of future developments in and beyond their respective knowledge silos.
There is an additional Call for Posters. Selected posters will be on view throughout the two days of workshop. Their presentation will take place at 16h on Tuesday 28th of November.
The workshop will take place in the Main hall of the Max Planck Campus in Potsdam-Golm the afternoon of Monday 27th and Tuesday 28th of November 2017.
There will be a live-stream for those who won’t be able to attend.
With the participation of
Christoph von Braun
Heike Catherina Mertens
Otavio Schipper & Sergio Krakowski
Alex de Vries
Goldsmiths, University of London is launching a new MSc programme for the academic year 2018-19 in Psychology of the Arts, Neuroaesthetics and Creativity, the first postgraduate programme in the world for the scientific study of aesthetics and creativity.
At the intersection of the arts and the sciences, the programme introduces you to the psychology and the cognitive neuroscience of how humans generate new ideas, how we appreciate beauty, and how we form preferences.
Aesthetic and creative decisions are relevant in the visual and the performing arts, and in many applied and commercial contexts, ranging from clinical interventions to curating exhibitions, from dance choreography to marketing and advertising. Based in the Department of Psychology, in collaboration with Computing, Media and Communications and the Institute of Management Studies, the course builds critical knowledge, research and communication skills across the arts and the sciences, centred around two key topics: the psychological and brain mechanisms of making (Creativitiy) and appreciating (Neuroaesthetics) art. Conducting a research project with an interdisciplinary focus will prepare you for a research career in aesthetic or creative science, working in the creative industry, or to develop your artistic practice.
Goldsmiths is uniquely placed to offer this programme, with an internationally renowned reputation in the arts and the sciences. Existing courses combining art and psychology often have a largely therapeutic focus and rarely cover the psychology of aesthetic appreciation or creative cognition, in a broader profile. In contrast, business-oriented courses in marketing, advertising and consumer psychology often lack adequate scientific training in experimental psychology or cognitive neuroscience methods, which is required for a scientific approach to aesthetics and creativity. Optional modules based in the departments Media & Communications, Computing, and the Institute of Management Studies will complement and challenge the scientific perspective, acknowledging the richly diverse, unique and culturally-specific nature of human aesthetic and creative practice.
When artists and scientists get together, creative sparks can fly. Collaborative sci-art projects are increasingly popular and one obvious benefit is the greater visibility of the research through the artist’s work.
Our project explored scientific and artistic aspects of Antarctic ice crystals.
But what’s in it for the scientists? It reinvigorates a curiosity about the system and brings an outsider perspective – but one that is expert in observing.
Taking a different perspective
We draw on a six-year collaboration to look at how science benefits from embracing a wider perspective on creativity. Our joint project started with an art-science speed-dating event, aimed at building collaborative teams.
We were able to build on the intrinsic fascination people have with Antarctica and the interest in climate science. The scientists acted as a conduit of research to the artist. This added another layer of meaning to the artwork and an entry point to conversations around Antarctic ocean processes and climate change. This loop of enquiry seems to happen differently in art-science collaborations.
Our collaboration has evolved from arm-chair slide shows, through cross-disciplinary participation and Antarctic expeditions, to a final stage that includes a proliferation of ideas around art, education and science.
The benefits to science can be difficult to articulate but chief among them is a reminder of the importance of open-ended exploration. Another is to be asked questions by someone who spent even more time simply looking at the object of scientific inquiry than the scientists themselves.
The first phase of our project was to find a catalyst to connect enthusiastic creative people. A second phase followed with the science team taking basic components of an art work (a large paper sculpture) with them to Antarctica and assembling them as they saw fit, much like a piece of science equipment. This had impact, but was probably detrimental to the power balance in the collaboration because it left the scientists in control of both the art and the science. It turned out that the scientists didn’t follow instructions, and instead responded to the constraints of the working environment – much like the art practice.
The next step involved getting the artist to Antarctica, embedded with the science. This had to be navigated carefully to ensure that the art retained its own priority as well as collaborating with the science, rather than being simply co-located.
A cornerstone to this was a request that the artist should make scientific measurements and, by doing so, added a whole new dimension where by there was an art perspective on the actual scientific process.
History of sci-art collaboration
In the past, artists were often involved in research purely to document the science. Captain James Cook took the painter William Hodges to polar extremes where he captured Antarctic seascapes. When the paintings were prepared for an exhibition in 2004, X-radiography revealed a different and unfinished view of icebergs in a rough sea.
Edward Wilson, a doctor and artist, accompanied Robert Falcon Scott to the pole and beyond. In some ways, these people acted as impartial sounding boards for the explorers and scientists at the time. The ease with which photography is achieved today has reduced the need for this role, but has something been lost along the way?
Much has been written about how facts alone do not convince people. A sideways approach that comes from an entirely different artistic perspective might therefore have a chance of penetrating established boundaries.
The art of science communication
Where once science was its own domain, this is no longer the case. Implications of research findings need to connect with broader audiences. But how can you explain something you barely understand yourself to multiple publics?
Our collaboration was initially largely unfunded and viewed as an irrelevant curiosity. However, support built quickly, to the point that the project was used to open a recent national Antarctic Science Conference.
Through all the phases of our work, we made connections with young people. We had sufficient support from teachers to develop workshops and extra-curricular activities for schools, and the climate topic made this part of our engagement more effective.
What is in it for science?
Lots, it turns out. The scientist is reminded of the power of curiosity, something that can get lost in times of targeted research. The artist also asks questions based on hours and hours of observing the system at hand. Somewhat unexpectedly in our case, the artist became a documentor of the work in a way that we hadn’t previously achieved.
Added benefits are embedded with the next generation of scientists who will more readily span the divide, to the extent that they may not know a gap once existed. Also, part of the future science cohort may exist simply because of the inspiration found in art that connects with science.
We are at a time where the entire collective knowledge of our species is available with a stab of a fingertip. It becomes possible, necessary even, to leap across disciplines to generate new ideas.
Agnes Meyer-Brandis (Germany) and the duo Otavio Schipper and Sergio Krakowski (Brazil) have been selected to participate in the artist-in-residence program KLAS
Within KLAS – “Knowledge Link through Art and Science” – the Max Planck Institutes of Colloids and Interfaces and Molecular Plant Physiology invite for the first time contemporary artists to develop their own project at the Potsdam-Golm Science Park (Germany) and the University of Groningen (The Netherlands). In the course of this eight month pioneering project, artists will work side by side with researchers in order to develop a new artwork bridging contemporary art practices and scientific research.
There are two Artist in Residence programmes that will take place at the MPI for Colloids and Interfaces, the MPI for Molecular Plant Physiology (both located in Golm, Germany) and the University of Groningen (The Netherlands). The Call is open until January 31st, 2017.
Synthetic biology is a thriving field at the interface between
molecular and cell biology and engineering disciplines. It is
predominantly based on design, construction and analysis of new
functions and unprecedented biological systems while it also allows a
better understanding of existing biological phenomena by means of its
synthetic “reconstruction”. AESTHETICS get SYNTHETIC: Knowledge Link
through Art and Science (KLAS) main goal is to initiate collaborative
artistic and scientific exchange to foster transdisciplinary dialogues
as well as to contribute to a wider understanding and appreciation of
The knowledge link established during the residency period intends to
influence both the work of the participant research groups and the
resident artists. This bidirectional feedback is expected to provide a
highly fertile ground for a dialogue that should also attract the
attention of non-specialized audiences much more easily than purely
scientific orientated discourses.
Artists interested in exploring the aesthetic and discursive
possibilities that are derived from the connections between innovative
creative practices, new materialistic approaches and synthetic biology
research are invited to submit an application.
This competition is open for artists to propose all kind of innovative
concepts and ideas in the field of visual art, interactive art,
digital music/sound art, sculptural art, hybrid art, performance &
choreography, architecture and photography.
The call is open to artists internationally to apply for a residency
program at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces and the
Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, both located in
Golm (DE) as well as the Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and
Biotechnology Institute of the University of Groningen (NL).
There will be two Artist-in-Residence stays within the time period
June to September 2017. The artists are expected to be present for a
minimum of two weeks in each of the two locations (Potsdam-Golm and
Groningen). Both Artist-in-Residence stays are intermitted by a
private time for the artist to develop the final project. It is at the
chosen hosting institution for the second Artist-in-Residence stay
where the work will be showcased later on. A commitment of the artist
to deliver an art-piece within one year after the starting date of the
residency will be requested.
Artists will be free to work on their own projects but will also be
expected to interact with their colleagues, participate in the
lectures and group talks during their stay and document/ share their
experiences for both academic and general audiences in an online form.
The artist will be expected to be in-residence for 2+2 weeks between
June and September 2017.
What’s Listening to the net? New prize question by The Junge Akademie. Which would like to focus on the social, political, economic, artistic and technical scope of networks and networks.
Computer networks, spy networks, traffic networks, survey networks, production and distribution networks, social networks in art, science, politics, neural networks…
What do they hear? How do they sound? What is their story? Who networks with whom? Who is connected? Who listens in and how much do they hear? Who is entrapped? Who is left out? What is unseen, but not unheard?
With this prize question, the Junge Akademie addresses the societal, political, economic, artistic and technical scope and significance of networks and networking.
The installation Smoking Mirror by Otavio Schipper and Sergio Krakowski, 2015. Photo by Nick As
Two linked exhibitions in Berlin – Mirror Images in Art and Medicine and Smoking Mirror– begin where Narcissus left off. The hero of Greek mythology wasted away gazing transfixed at his own beauty reflected on the surface of a dark pool. He left his name both to the narcissus (daffodil) that sprang up on the banks where he died, and to psychology.
The desire to see one’s own reflection – more conveniently than kneeling at the waters’ edge on a sunny day – appears universal.
READ the rest at: http://blogs.nature.com/aviewfromthebridge/2015/11/24/on-reflection/
The second STATE Festival, created and directed by Dr. Christian Rauch and his outstanding team, was a great meeting point and a content success!
The vibrant city of Berlin hosted this fantastic come-together @ Kühlhaus Berlin (Luckenwalder Str.3, 10963 Berlin, Germany) . It attracted several people of various generations to the engage and enjoy the talks, workshops, exhibits and projections delightfully curated by Pablo Rojas, Teresa Dillon, Daniela Silvestrin and Vena Ward respectively.
A round experience and an intellectual trigger, that we hope to be able to enjoy the following years.
Polyhedra was able to attend the events during all the three days. The events evolved around the importance of our emotions as fundamental source of experience as well as the application of those into different technologies.
Using simple and direct language the people involved presented and answered very relevant questions that society is currently facing. The purpose is to disseminate in an understandable language the elementary bases for identifying an emotional response. Also how Artifitial Inteligence is dealing with emotions. The events creatively interweave the most current scientific and artistic developments on the topic creating a very pleasant experience.
The two-day workshop „Art & The City: New Cultural Maps“ explores intuitions, approaches, views and actions from different perspectives and cultures, facing questions and dilemmas related to heritage management and governance in multi-cultural urban and metropolitan frameworks.
The discussion will focus upon the radical change affecting society and the economy, and transforming the cultural paradigm from a competitive and dimensional struggle into a participative and synergic challenge, with new needs to cross-fertilise tradition and innovation.
Economists, urbanists, jurists, architects, philosophers and artists will perform an intensive and nonprejudicial exchange aimed at crafting sharp questions and drawing credible trails to our future, in the awareness of the growing importance of art and culture in social dynamics.
download the programme
The event will be filmed and videos soon available!
If you would like to host a satellite edition of Innovate Heritage, please get in contact at firstname.lastname@example.org