NaturArchy: Towards a Natural Contract aims to explore – through artistic, scientific and legal expressions – how providing nature and its phenomena with a contract that integrates her juridically into our society, can redefine our anthropocentric attitudes and help us shift persepectives towards an EU Green Deal.
Kickstarting the cycle, a Summer School will take place 20-24th June 2022. Artists selected from an internatioanl Open Call will be exploring discourse, practices and consequences of NaturArchy together with researchers and scientists from the JRC and EC policymakers.
Online Talk by Ariane Koek Join us on Thursday, 19 May 2022, 12:30-14h CET
The COVID pandemic continues to expose the fault-lines in human society – including lack of diversity, equity, and mutual understanding. In this age of hyper-flux, what role can art, science and technology play in helping society ride the waves and shifts? Why is ecology often left out of this discussion? And what are the implications of all four working together in sharing and shaping our world and humanity? Drawing on the work of theorists Karen Barad, vital materialist Jane Benett, philosopher Timothy Morton and indigenous scientist Robin Wall Kimmerer this talk will be illustrated by key international artists whose work shows the way.
Founding director and designer of the Arts at CERN programme (2009-2015), Ariane Koek is an independent specialist consultant, curator and producer in art science and technology. She works for example as creative partner to the Cavendish Arts Science programme, (Cambridge University UK), curator and creative producer of Earth Water Sky, environmental arts science residency (Ca’ Foscari University, Venice, Italy). She is on the Advisory Board for the JRC SciArt project and in 2021 was a Creative Director at the Venice Biennale. www.arianekoek.com
Related talks: “Changing the Ground. Quantum Ecologies” by Derrick de Kerckhove, 28/10/2021 “What next for Science Communication in Times of Planetary Crisis?” by Michael John Gorman, 16/12/2021 “Who is Afraid of Artificial Intelligence? Posthumanism, Technology and Society”, byFrancesca Ferrando, 20/01/2022 “Quantum Theory as Critical Theory: Entanglement and the Politics of Social Physics”, byAlexander Wendt, 10/02/2022 “Re-thinking Race, Identity and Migration: Cultural Inquiry as Curatorial Strategy”, by Nicola Triscott, 17/03/2022 “Beyond Black Swans · Educating towards unpredictability to inhabit hypercomplexity”, by Piero Dominici, 31/03/2022
Online Talk by Prof. Piero Dominici Join us on 31 March 2022, 12:30-14h CET
“We will debate the illusions of the hyper-technological, hyperconnected civilization and its ongoing anthropological transformation, including: 1) the “tyranny of concreteness” and “great mistake”: the belief that all problems can be solved by delegating solutions solely to technology, and that (hyper)complexity can be measured, managed and predicted through data, algorithms, formulas and statistics. 2) The fracture between the sciences and the humanities, and between the natural and the artificial represented by “false dichotomies”. 3) The illusions of social control and elimination of error. 4) the vision of an ordered, regular society occasionally interrupted by “black swans”, without recognizing that emergency, error, uncertainty and unpredictability are intrinsic to all complex adaptive systems, which follow an irreversible arrow of time.”
Prof. Piero Dominici is a sociologist and philosopher, Fellow of the World Academy of Art & Science (WAAS), UN Invited Expert and Speaker, is Scientific Director of the International Research and Education Program CHAOS and Director of Scientific Listening at the Global Listening Center. He teaches Public Communication, Sociology of Social Complexity, Sociology of Cultural and Communicative Processes and Intelligence. Complex Systems and Networks at the University of Perugia. As scientific researcher, educator, author and international speaker, his main areas of expertise and interest encompass (hyper)complexity, interdisciplinarity and knowledge sharing in the fields of education, systems theory, technology, innovation, intelligence, security, citizenship and communication. Member of the MIUR Register of Revisers, (Italian Ministry of Higher Education and Research), of the IPSA (International Political Science Association) and of the WCSA (World Complexity Science Academy), he is also standing member of several of the most prestigious national and international scientific committees. Author of numerous essays, scientific articles and books. He is involved in research, education and international projects, including the EU-funded Horizon project (2020-2023).
Related talks: “Changing the Ground. Quantum Ecologies” by Derrick de Kerckhove, 28/10/2021 “What next for Science Communication in Times of Planetary Crisis?” by Michael John Gorman, 16/12/2021 “Who is Afraid of Artificial Intelligence? Posthumanism, Technology and Society”, byFrancesca Ferrando, 20/01/2022 “Quantum Theory as Critical Theory: Entanglement and the Politics of Social Physics”, byAlexander Wendt, 10/02/2022 “Re-thinking Race, Identity and Migration: Cultural Inquiry as Curatorial Strategy”, by Nicola Triscott, 17/03/2022
Online Talk by Dr. Nicola Triscott Join us on 17 March 2022, 12:30-14h CET.
When many people think of an art gallery or museum, they picture a serious place where visitors stand quietly contemplating rows of paintings on white walls. But art institutions are far more than containers and displayers of art objects – they are complex reflections of the cultures that produced them and continue to produce them. Directors of art institutions are increasingly aware of their role within the broader social, political, and cultural landscape, and the responsivity that is needed to serve the intellectual, cultural and social needs of their diverse communities. Most also struggle with issues of social relevance, elitism, and ownership. My talk will explore an approach to directing a contemporary art institution in which ‘curating’ is centred in developing cultural collective inquiries that involve artists, scientists, researchers, audiences and participants in addressing an important societal topic. In this case study, the topic is our shifting perceptions of race, identity and migration
Nicola Triscott PhD is Director/CEO of FACT Liverpool, the UK’s leading organisation for the support and exhibition of art and film that embraces new technology. Previously, she was founding Director of Arts Catalyst (1994-2019), a London-based art and research organisation. A curator and researcher specializing in the intersections between art, science, technology and society, she lectures and publishes internationally, and has edited books on art and technology in the Arctic, art and space, physics in culture, and ecological art.
An art-science theatre play about women in science, commissioned by the Joint Research Centre – European Commission.
The theatre & science initiative Parola di Donna@JRC is culminating 1.5 years of deep cross-disciplinary work at the intersections of artistic inquiry and science for policy, with the play
“Feeling Science: un esperimento teatrale” Friday 11th of March 2022 Teatro Santucci, Varese (IT)
“ These are complex times for our European history, and we have personally felt the complexity of the relationship between science and policy. We need to find a new order, a new way to deal with the cognitive power that science offers policy. At this very moment, as a group of women, scientists who work to support European policy, we feel the urgency to step on stage and challenge ourselves. Western theatrical tradition has long given us female bodies that are sacrificed in the name of new social orders, starting from Antigone and Iphigenia. So what happens if political and scientific language meet in the ritual field of theatre, using female bodies, for once not as scapegoats, but bodies that are thinkers, agents, writers of a new “logos”? Conscious of these nuances and issues, we are trying to understand how to make them interact in a new way, that allows a new TECHNE to make itself known; using artists and scientists as willing guinea pigs, as human bodies with agency in a ritual space. A techne that in fact uses rationale and absurdity, consciousness and the subconscious, and scientific and emotive language, in new, possible, combinations…“
Project by Angela Dematté and Simona Gonella. Jointly directed by Simona Gonella and Andrea Chiodi. Screenplay by Angela Dematté. Assistant playwright – Gianluca Madaschi. Scientific counsel provided by JRC SciArt. Video recording directed by Fabio Bilardo. Light design by Marco Grisa. Music by Ferdinando Baroffio.
Joint creation and performance by JRC researchers: Sandra Coecke, Naouma Kourti, Matina Halkia, Alba Bernini, Isabella Cerutti, Rosanna di Gioia, Agnes Hegedus, Nicole Ostlaender, Joanna Bartnicka in collaboration with actress Franca Maria de Monti
Organised by JRC SciArt in collaboration with Parola di Donna Varese.
Tickets are fully booked. The play will be performed again in October 2022. Stay tuned!
As a melting pot of perspectives and disciplinary backgrounds, the Summer School will be a fertile ground for fermenting ideas on the theme of NaturArchy: Towards a Natural Contract. The programme reaches out to artists exploring the rich lands between art and science, whose work engages diverse audiences, and who show strong interest in scientific inquiry. Artists across creative disciplines, countries, and at any stage of their career are invited to submit an application.
The Summer School offers up to 20 payed positions to visit and explore the JRC in June 2022. More information about NaturArchy + link to apply are available hereunder.
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.
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 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!
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