Philipp Lachenmann: DELPHI Rationale


Science & Art

The dialogue between disciplines – in particular between the sciences and the visual arts – has been burgeoning for years. Especially science institutions have discovered art as a medium to intelligibly communicate their specialized knowledge to a broader public. The Ernst Schering Foundation, however, is interested less in science communication than in a dialogue between artists and scientists at a more fundamental level. To this end, it launched the Forum on Science and Art as early as 2005. The Forum aims both for an exchange of methods and approaches and for a dialogue on socially relevant issues and topics.

In addition, the Foundation in 2009 opened the Project Space for Art and Science at Unter den Linden, which serves as a platform for exhibitions, lectures and workshops at the interface of science and art. One focus is on the presentation of "art as research."

Perspective Isomorphs – an Experimental-Artistic Approach as Theoretical Approach in Organic Chemistry

27.09.2017, Berlin | A new project at the Justus Liebig University of Gießen fosters an unusual interdisciplinary encounter between the visual arts and organic chemistry. The epistemologies of both disciplines overlap in an experimental research setting: In this conceptual art project, sculptures are modeled in the size of a molecule with the tools of chemistry, while an epistemological principle of art, the so-called central perspective, is applied to the analytical framework of chemistry.

Propin und Acetonitril



Seminar Art & Science

24.03.2016, Berlin / Basel | What our lives and our society will look like in the future is a question that preoccupies both science and art. “The Next Society” is therefore the title of a professorship dedicated to the sciences at the Institut Kunst (Art Institute) in Basel. Appointees are visiting scholars from a variety of disciplines who present their work and collaborate with the art students on selected topics. A two-part seminar entitled “Art and Science” featuring scientists Prof. Dr. Hans-Jörg Rheinberger and Prof. Dr. Alexander Tarakhowski and the artist Julieta Aranda, will be held on April 7-8 and June 9-10, 2016.

“The Next Society” Professorship

The professorship aims to rethink the society of the future – beyond the ideas traditionally provided by art history and art theory. By linking different ideas about research and a new understanding of form, development and cause in the sciences and arts, it wants to break down the functional division of the disciplines. The program strives to bring art closer to scientific topics and ideas and wants to build an ongoing relationship between the arts and the sciences. After all, the scientific debates on emotions and the brain, the role of genetics in human memory, the origins of the cosmos do not just concern scientists, but also artists. To achieve the program objectives and to intensify the dialogue between science and art, the professorship will be accompanied by seminars, days-with-a-scientist, days of science, and a public lecture series.

The Ernst Schering Foundation supports “The Next Society” professorship, since it is convinced that the boundaries and barriers between the disciplines hamper both artistic and scientific research. It is only through curiosity and an openness beyond one’s own discipline that something new can emerge. “The Next Society” helps create new forms of communication and teaching that have the potential of serving as a model for other art academies.

More information is available here.



The Earworm, or The Melody of Horror

05.03.2014, Berlin | What makes a melody an earworm? This is the topic of the next musical soiree on March 24, 2014, featuring Prof. Dr. Eckart Altenmüller, Jardena Flückiger, and David Santos. It is the second event in the concert series entitled Music Creates Knowledge: The Neurosciences and Music in Dialogue. Initiated by Ulrich Köstlin and the Ernst Schering Foundation, the series presents music from different centuries, followed by a discussion with renowned neuroscientists.

© Schering Stiftung



Artist-in-Residence program starts at the Max Planck Institutes

20.12.2016, Berlin/Potsdam | The Max Planck Institutes of Molecular Plant Physiology and of Colloids and Interfaces have established the international artist-in-residence program “Knowledge Link through Art and Science” (KLAS) that brings two innovative artists to the Potsdam-Golm Science Park. From June 2017, the selected artists will work for two weeks each side by side with researchers from the host institutions in Potsdam-Golm and the University of Groningen. More details on the call for application can be found here. The application deadline is January 31, 2017.




+ultra. knowledge & gestaltung

01.09.2016, Berlin | Knowledge is Gestaltung (design) and Gestaltung produces knowledge. However, the fact that design actively shapes our perception of the world has been mostly overlooked so far: images, models and tools are consciously formed, and they also shape the knowledge they produce. Opneing on September 30, 2016, the exhibition “+ultra. knowledge & gestaltung” at the Martin-Gropius-Bau reveals the fundamental role that processes of design play in the sciences and humanities. From the hand axe to the digitally monitored organ, from active matter to image-guided actions – the exhibition deals with the increasing interdependence of the human and technological spheres and the challenges that arise from this development.

David Georges Emmerich, Structure autotendante



“Fast Forward Science 2015” - Looking for Web Videos that Foster Excitement about Scientific Research

28.05.2015, Berlin | They are informative, full of surprises – and filled with scientific research. And they are once again wanted! This year, the web video competition “Fast Forward Science” again invites researchers, veteran web video creators, artists, communicators, and just plain science buffs to submit exceptional videos on current research topics. The challenge: The videos should be entertaining, scientifically solid and at the same time easy to understand. Deadline for submission is July 31, 2015.




Music Creates Knowledge

30.08.2013, Berlin | September 4, 2013 will be the first concert in a series initiated by Ulrich Köstlin and the Ernst Schering Foundation: a presentation of musical works from different centuries followed by a discussion with renowned neuroscientists.

Köstlin Salon



ON RESEARCH – Knowledge Generation in Art and Science

16.04.2012, Berlin | What scientific methods are used by artists, and what artistic approaches are used by scientists? These and other questions will be at the heart of ON RESEARCH, a two-day program at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), which takes place in the context of a conference on “Research in Art and Science. Challenges to Discourses and Systems of Knowledge.” The conference and the artistic program, which is open to the public, are a collaboration of the Center for Movement Research at the Free University of Berlin, the HKW, the Ernst Schering Foundation, and Sigrid Gareis.

On Research

The program will kick off with Hito Steyerl (Berlin University of the Arts) and Rabih Mroué (Beirut and Berlin), whose work “Probable title: zero probability” will premiere at the HKW on May 4, 2012. After several joint projects, the film maker and the theater director, in this new production, engage in a dialogue about the (im-)probability of events. The lecture-performance weaves a poetic-fictional web of interconnections among Mroué’s father, a mathematician, his scientific focus, the probability theory, and his experiences in the Lebanese Civil War.

On May 5, 2012, a panel discussion on “Research in Art and Science” will examine the current state of this presently much-observed debate between science and art and what it means for the generation of knowledge. The potentials of an alternative definition of research and of an art of knowledge production will be addressed by speakers including Beatrice von Bismarck (art historian, Leipzig Academy of Visual Arts), Gabriele Brandstetter (professor of dance and theater studies, Free University of Berlin), Tom Holert (art historian and cultural critic, Berlin), Sybille Krämer (philosopher, Free University of Berlin) (tbc), Kirsten M. Langkilde (artist, Berlin University of the Arts), and Bernd M. Scherer (honorary professor of European Ethnology, Humboldt University of Berlin, and director of the HKW).

The discussion will be followed by two artistic events that, discursively and performatively, present processes and procedures and examine the status of knowledge as a product.

With “Kuhle Wampe Remix, or: Who Owns the City?,” artist and curator Ina Wudtke (Berlin) and philosopher and writer Dieter Lesage (Erasmus University College and Vrije Universiteit, Brussels, and Berlin) focus on current gentrification debates in the context of academic studies. The lecture-performance launches a multi-year project that includes, among other things, a remake of Brecht’s and Dudow’s 1932 film “Kuhle Wampe, or: Who Owns the World?” Wudtke and Lesage take the film as a starting-point to show their solidarity with low-income households in the city of Berlin, which is undergoing ever-rapid gentrification.

Finally, in “Product of Circumstances” (1999), choreographer Xavier Le Roy (Montpellier), shows how a Ph.D. in molecular biology like himself became an artist. In his autobiographical lecture-performance, he combines fragments of dance with an academic lecture format. Le Roy’s work reflects both worlds: his dance performance focuses as much on the body as did his dissertation about cancer cells, investigating the mechanisms and hierarchies he is subject to as a “product of his circumstances” in both the academic and artistic communities.


Haus der Kulturen der Welt
John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10
10557 Berlin

Friday, May 4, 2012
8:30 p.m.: “Probable title: zero probability” – A lecture-performance by Hito Steyerl and Rabih Mroué
Admission: 5€ | 3€

Saturday, May 5, 2012
7:00 p.m.: “Research in Art and Science” – A panel discussion with Beatrice von Bismarck, Gabriele Brandstetter, Tom Holert, Sybille Krämer (tbc), and Kirsten M. Langkilde, moderated by Bernd M. Scherer
Free admission.

8:30 p.m.: “Kuhle Wampe Remix, or: Who Owns the City?” – A lecture-performance by Ina Wudtke and Dieter Lesage
Admission: 5€ | 3€

10:00 p.m.: “Product of Circumstances” (1999) – A lecture-performance by Xavier Le Roy, followed by a conversation with the artist
Admission: 5€ | 3€

Combination Ticket for Saturday: 8€ | 4€

ON RESEARCH takes place in the context of “Research in Art and Science. Challenges to Discourses and Systems of Knowledge,” a non-public conference supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

Haus der Kulturen der Welt
ON RESEARCH | May 4 and 5, 2012
Xavier Le Roy | “Product of Circumstances” (1999)
© Katrin Schoof



Seminar Art & Science

06.03.2017, Berlin / Basel | On March 22–23 and April 27–28, 2017, a two-part seminar entitled “Art and Science” will be held at the Institut Kunst in Basel. The seminar is conducted by Chus Martinez, head of the institute. Invited guests are David Gruber, marine biologist and ocean explorer (New York), Volker Sommer, Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at University College London, and Marcus Coates, artist (London). The seminar examines what art and science share. Both art and science explore, in depth and often in amazed wonder, the questions “What is true? Why does it matter? How can we move society forward?” The seminar takes place as part of the professorship “The Next Society,” which is dedicated to the sciences at the Institut Kunst in Basel. Appointees are visiting scholars from a variety of disciplines who present their work and collaborate with the art students on selected topics.






Never Mind – a “Neuro Performance” at the Sophiensæle

10.01.2012, Berlin | What is our self, what is capable of destroying it, and how can it be recovered? These and other difficult questions are at the heart of “Never Mind,” an interdisciplinary stage production by choreographer Sommer Ulrickson and molecular biologist and writer Giovanni Frazzetto. The play “Never Mind” an experiment at the interface of science and theater, will premiere at the Sophiensæle on January 25, 2012.



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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 ...