Daria Martin, Schering Stiftung Projektraum

 

Cooperation at a Crossroads? For Opportunities and Risks, Ask Your Artist or Scientist. Experts meet for a status workshop in Berlin on December 8-9, 2008

Art and science have always been interconnected by a history of uneasy yet productive relations. Since 2005, the “Forum on Science and Art” of the Ernst Schering Foundation has focused on the contemporary development of this interrelationship. After three years of interdisciplinary study and work, a status workshop now took stock of the current situation. At the invitation of the Ernst Schering Foundation, 35 scientists, curators, artists and art historians with a background in cultural studies met in Berlin on December 8-9, 2008 to take up the challenges of an increased cooperation between science and art.

27web.jpg

Art and science have always been interconnected by a history of uneasy yet productive relations. Since 2005, the “Forum on Science and Art” of the Ernst Schering Foundation has focused on the contemporary development of this interrelationship. After three years of interdisciplinary study and work, a status workshop now took stock of the current situation. At the invitation of the Ernst Schering Foundation, 35 scientists, curators, artists and art historians with a background in cultural studies met in Berlin on December 8-9, 2008 to take up the challenges of an increased cooperation between science and art.

The workshop both reflected on new forms of cooperation between artists and (natural) scientists and examined the new possibilities of an interdisciplinary transfer of knowledge with regard to the reciprocal processes of influence, reflection and appropriation of scientific and artistic cognitive processes and methodologies. In this context, one aspect that was inevitably highlighted was the notion of artistic research. On the one hand, artistic means are employed to try out forms and strategies of generating knowledge and experiences and contrast them with scientific procedures, on the other hand, the appropriation of scientific approaches and methods leads to new ways of artistic expression. This also moves the artistic focus away from the production of a work of art or image to the documentation of processes such as artistic and scientific working methods. That is, artistic strategies become instruments of gaining knowledge, while scientific processes and methods themselves serve as media of artistic expression. Whether art is able to meet the expectations of science – namely, that it applies its competencies in the development of images also to the communication of science and the ‘public understanding of science’ – was one of the questions discussed in the workshop.

The developments in the field of artistic research and in other areas contain both opportunities and challenges for the “operating system of art,” in particular for established art institutions, but also for modern scientific research. Although SciArt projects and exhibitions are booming right now – with topics ranging from art in space to art and climate change and art from the lab –, the encounter and intercommunication between art and science have to be continually re-negotiated. The possibilities of institutional collaborations (e.g. integration of interdisciplinarity in the design of training and study programs) and the conditions of artistic and scientific production have to be examined in light of the internationalization of the art market and the exhibition industry as well as of scientific research and the distribution of financial resources.

As a result, the Status Workshop on Science and Art focussed on the following questions:
  • What are the actual interactions between the systems of art and science?
  • Which relationships do currently exist between artistic and scientific working processes and methodological approaches?
  • How can we adequately describe the economic, political, technological or scientific conditions relevant to the relationship between science and art?
  • Which strategies for cooperation and the mutual transfer of knowledge are conceivable and desirable for both art and science in the future?

These are some of the questions that have been addressed at the status workshop. The meeting has been run according to the Open Space method; introductory presentations by six renowned artists and scientists were followed by workshop discussions. The speakers were:

Frank Rösl, Head of the Division of Viral Transformation Mechanisms, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg
“Creativity, Art and Basic Research: Innovation through Synthesis?“

Christa Sommerer, Artist and Head of the Interface Culture Program, University of Art and Industrial Design, Linz
“The Art and Science of Interaction”

Susanne Witzgall, Curator and Research Associate, Department of Art History, Academy of Fine Arts, Munich
“The Other Knowledge. Artistic Knowledge versus Scientific Knowledge and the Idea of Synthesis”

Bergit Arends, Curator of Contemporary Art, Natural History Museum, London
“Host and Symbiont. Give and Take. Forms of Symbiosis for Art and Research at a Natural History Museum”

Florian Dombois, Head of Y – Institute of Transdisciplinarity, University of Arts, Bern
“Art as Research”

Jens Hauser, Curator, Filmmaker and Journalist, Bochum and Paris
“‘Lebenskunst’, die ‘Wissen’ schafft? From Deconstructing the Method to Subverting the Means

The Status Workshop on Science and Art was on invitation only. The results of the workshop in form of a summary by Christine Heidemann are available in German:

Bericht über den Status-Workshop Wissenschaft und Kunst.pdf

For additional information, please contact:

Andrea Lehmann
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
030-20 62 29 60

Fotos: Daniel Flaschar

70web.jpg



58web.jpg



Project Space

Address: Unter den Linden 32-34 | 10117 Berlin Opening hours during exhibitions:Thursday through Monday, 1 - 7 p.m. | Admission is free Since 2009, the Ernst Schering Foundation has ...

more