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
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.
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.
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.
In a new paper for the Royal Society Blatchford has combed the Western artistic tradition for representations of eclipse. Here, he reveals how science and symbolism worked together over seven centuries to convey and understand the magic of the moment when the moon embraces the sun.
Blatchford points out, “the artist remains the most accurate witness of an eclipse, whose individual optical effects may appear and vanish in an eye-blink.”
Astronomers in search of eclipses. Engraving illustrating “The Devil in Paris”, Jean Grandville (1803-1847), publisher George Sand, Charles Nodier, Balzac, Léon Gozlan and P.J. Stahl (pseudonyme de Jules Hetzel). 1845-46. Roger-Viollet / Topfot
The Naturkunde Museum in Berlin host a very interesting project where contemporary artmeetsnatural historyand research“Art/Nature.Artistic interventionsin the Museum ofNaturalHistory in Berlin“.
The project features interventions in the areas of sound art, fine art and literature, in which an experimental space for interactions between art, museum practice and natural research will be defined.
Natural history museums have always been places where artists were intensively involved in the study of nature. Alongside travelling researchers, artists have contributed to recording and depicting the history of life on Earth. In line with this tradition, the Federal Cultural Foundation and the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin have embarked on a joint model project which invites international artists to develop interventions from 2014 to 2018 in one of the most renowned natural history museums in Europe.
At the outset of the 21st century any discussion of energy is inextricably linked to the politics of power and environmental catastrophe. The conference extends this understanding of energy to encompass a broader field in the arts. Art’s relationship with energy extends well beyond light and colour to the kinetic, sonic, electronic, metabolic, physical, physiological, neurological, solar and sensory. Scratch below the surface of global communications and you will find flashes and systems of energy.
The conference will be presented to overlap with the Energies: Haines & Hinterding exhibition. Attendants willhave the possibility to meet international scholars and artists and experience their latest research and practice.
Keynote speakers include
Professor Linda Dalrymple Henderson, Department of Art and Art History, The University of Texas in Austin Martin Howse, artist, Berlin Professor Marcus Boon, Department of English, York University, Toronto David Haines and Joyce Hinterding, artists, Lawson
A new EU programme supports nexuses of Science, Technology and the Arts to foster the emergence of joint arts and research communities.
“ICT can enhance our capacity to sense the world, but an artwork can reach audiences on intrinsic emotional levels.
Scientific and technological skills are not the only forces driving innovation. Creativity and the involvement of society play a major role in the innovation process and its endorsement by all. In this context, the Arts serve as catalysts in an efficient conversion of Science and Technology knowledge into novel products, services, and processes.
The constant appropriation of new technologies by artists allows them to go further in actively participating in society. By using ICT as their medium of expression, artists are able to prototype solutions, create new products and make new economic, social and business models. Additionally, by using traditional mediums of expression and considering the potentials of ICT, they propose new approaches to research and education.
The European Commission recognizes this and is therefore launching the STARTS programme: Innovation at the nexus of Science, Technology and the Arts (StARTS) to foster the emergence of joint arts and research communities. It supported the ICT ART CONNECT study which lead the way to the StARTS initiative by revealing new evidence for the integration of the Arts as an essential and fruitful component within research and innovation in ICT.”
Philosophical interest in design and design research is increasing in both philosophy and design research, offering the possibility of the emergence of the new scholarly field of philosophy of design. The first steps towards this possibility have been made by work by individual authors and with volumes containing reflective research on design. With thisnew edited volume we plan to make a further step by bringing together essays that survey philosophy of design either through research papers on specific topics or by explorations of issues this field could or should take up.
Given the past naturalistic and empirical turns in philosophy, outcomes and practices in design research can immediate inform philosophy of design, and philosophy heritage can strongly fertilize design practices and design research models. For facilitating this process, the volume is planned to also include essays co-authored by design researchers and philosophers.
All topics in the large range of design disciplines are welcome, e.g., topics in the applied arts, industrial design, engineering design and all new types of design practices (ecodesign, user-centered design, interaction design, UX design, service design, design thinking, social design…).
We therefore solicit:
• proposals for research papers on topics within philosophy of design
• candidates from design research and philosophy for co-authoring papers
Responses to the call for co-authoring will be used to create and propose matching pairs of design researchers and philosophers for co-authoring contributions to the volumes.
Topics for papers could be but are not restricted to:
• phenomenology of design: the use of hermeneutics in design processes and in design projects considered as lived experiences
• epistemology of design: the specificity of design research as compared to scientific research or considered as a new kind of scientific research
• ethics of design and responsible innovation
• design knowledge and ‘designerly ways of knowing’
• esthetics of/in design
• modelling and mapping design processes
• validation of design research
• June 2015, 1st: abstracts (500 words)
• December 2015, 1st: full papers (between 6000 and 12000 words)
• February 2016, 1st: decisions and feedback to authors
• March 2016, 1st: revised papers
• April 2016, 1st: submission to reviewers
• June 2016, 1st : reviewers feedback
• July 2016, 1st: final revised papers
• September 2016: release
Abstracts must be sent to:
• Pieter Vermaas, Delft University of Technology, firstname.lastname@example.org
• Stéphane Vial, University of Nîmes / Sorbonne Paris 1 University, email@example.com http://british-aesthetics.org/cfp-philosophy-of-design-an-exploration/