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EUROPEAN COMMISSION

Art&Science
Creative Fusion

Directorate-General for Research


2008 Directorate D – International cooperation
Table of contents

Table of contents
Acknowledgments .................................................................................................................................. 3
Foreword ................................................................................................................................................... 5
Theory behind art & science .................................................................................................................. 7
Relection on art and science: creative fusion ........................................................................................7
What is the third culture? ...............................................................................................................................8
Practical application ............................................................................................................................... 9
Contemporary research art............................................................................................................................9
Biology beyond the lab ................................................................................................................................ 10
Biotechnology art .................................................................................................................................. 11
Art and science – evolving symbioticAlly .............................................................................................. 11
The lab is now a studio ................................................................................................................................. 12
Nanotechnology art .............................................................................................................................. 13
Communicating nanotechnology through art ................................................................................... 13
Cybernetic art......................................................................................................................................... 15
Are you a zombie-cyborg? According to Stelarc, we all are. ........................................................... 15
Speech and sound art – it’s electrifying! ................................................................................................ 16
Cybernetics – combing the human body and machines ................................................................. 17
Information art....................................................................................................................................... 18
Technology with a side of social commentary ................................................................................... 18
Junk or art? ....................................................................................................................................................... 19
Interview ................................................................................................................................................. 20
Marko Peljhan: between art and science
The Zaum (Transreason) of Civilization .................................................................................................. 20
Festivals ................................................................................................................................................... 24
Art & science in your neighbourhood..................................................................................................... 24
Interview ................................................................................................................................................. 25
Roger Malina and the New Leonardos ..................................................................................................... 25
Institutions.............................................................................................................................................. 26
Art + science = understanding .................................................................................................................. 26
Pushing the boundaries of art & science .............................................................................................. 26
Western Balkans Countries .................................................................................................................. 28
The Intermedia Centres of the Western Balkans ................................................................................. 28
Some conclusions .................................................................................................................................. 29

6 Art & Science


Theory behind art & science

Relection on art and science:


creative fusion
Ever since Plato, a large part of Western anything more relative than the world of somewhere between science and myth. One
civilisation has been convinced of the beauty? It is then also no surprise that one can element in all this may be useful: the wildness.
desirability of amalgamating the three pillars conclude that in the 20th century, the classic When looking again at the rules of science,
of intellectual life by trying to make Beauty, deinition of art failed and was substituted similarities abound. Art, too, is about thinking
Truth and Goodness coincide. Each of these by an institutional theory: “A work of art is while observing. Experiment is the basis of
worlds has its own method. Professor Willem an artefact of a kind created to be presented 20th-century avant-garde.
Elias of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel explores to an ‘artworld’ public. It is realised that this
the common ground and divergence between deinition too is very relativist, but for the The search for patterns, though, is less evident.
art and science. We can compare the world of moment the only one possible.”1 The artistic schools could be a parallel here. One
art with, on the hand, the world of value-based could always say that no artist escapes a certain
thought, as expressed in politics – the profane Similarities and diferences style, i.e. a broader category of design than the
– and on the other hand, science. individual contribution. And each style has its
It would be wrong to see too close a similarity theory of art. The need for veriication is not
While art and science have previously, and between scientiic and artistic work. Both really applicable and this is the big diference.
especially since the 19th century, been divided disciplines give a means of knowing an
into two separate and wholly unrelated worlds, individual, and thus the society in which they Scientists seek solutions, starting from their
today the links between them are increasingly live in a speciic time period. Both assume a knowledge of any number of potential
apparent and they are seen as complementary curiosity about what happens in the world alternatives. The artist inds ”their” solution.
rather than competing. Further research on this and the creativity and inventiveness that are The former is concerned with problems, the
area is needed and preferably at European level. necessary to make fascinating statements latter with ”their” problem. Science is better if it
Indeed, already in several corners of Europe and about it. Both presuppose a certain amount of reaches the same indings; art gets better as it
further aield, this “cross-performance” between curiosity about what’s going on in the world keeps inding something diferent. This is where
art and science is bringing new and fascinating and enough creativity and ingenuity to report the artist becomes very unscientiic indeed.
applications: creative fusion! But let us irst touch this in an interesting way. But fortunately so because if there were no
on the comparison between art and science. diference, there would be no need for artists.
Whoever wants to point out the similarities Moreover, one of the downsides of the strict
Science between certainty and doubt between science and art will inevitably use scientiic method is that there is little room to go
Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) as an example. He beyond the boundaries or rules. On the contrary,
Science is practised according to four standard raised drawing as a part of anatomical research to art does not have any limits. And it is precisely
rules. Firstly, data is sought through observation a high level. He started from the conviction that this artistic wildness that can be very fertile.
and supplemented through measurement. the eye is our main sense for gaining knowledge This phenomenon is especially interesting in
Secondly, patterns are sought, leading thirdly of the world. And he often pointed out that an the case of artists who have chosen a branch of
to a larger, cohesive whole, which is called a image, whether a drawing or painting, can show science as their subject matter.
scientiic theory. The cohesive scientiic theory is a lot more of what has been seen than can ever
arrived at by using a system of logic. If the science be described in words. The fact that during the Interface between art and science:
uses igures (quantitative), it is mathematics. If Renaissance no distinction was made between towards a third culture
the science primarily uses words (qualitative), the artist and the scientist is the proverbial
it concerns reasoning. Finally, the new theory quality typical of that time. “The third culture” is a concept from John
has to be tested in some way, such that it can Brockman (19953) that no doubt has its place
be conirmed, rejected or improved. Science is In the 20th century too, attempts have been here. The philosophy of science has seen major
there to solve problems. Through science man made to minimise the diference between debate over the past two centuries between
hopes to be able to predict or explain what the artist and the scientist. None other than two forms of knowledge acquisition: the
happens in the world. Claude Lévi-Strauss, the French ethnologist and humanities, linked to qualitative research,
philosopher, views art and science as two equal versus natural sciences, linked to quantitative
Art forms of ordering.2 Myths – the stories through research. The concept of a “third culture” seeks
which a culture wishes to represent itself – are to bridge this gap, and to reconcile these
If we are to deine science (in the world of also important forms of organisation. Lévi- opposing viewpoints in order to transcend their
truth), a method or rule can help; this appears Strauss called this “wild thinking”. He considers diferences with mutual enrichment.
next to impossible for art. Indeed, is there art to be a form of “contemporary wild thought”,

1 Elias, W., Signs of the time, Rodopi, Amsterdam, 1997, pp.98–110.


2 Lévi-Strauss, C., La pensée sauvage, Plon, 1962.
3 Brockman, J., The third culture: beyond the scientiic revolution, Simon & Schuster, N.Y. 1995.

Art & Science 7


Theory behind art & science

Already in modernism, art was often interested remain within the ivory towers of science. Thus far, there have only been demonstrations
in scientiic work. Classiications and science- Rather, the creative thoughts emerging from of what is possible rather than fully worked
based technologies have particularly inspired extraordinary gatherings in society must be out in collaborative projects. It is therefore
many artists. The intention of this type of made accessible to the public at large. This very important to study further the interface
art was to be either critical or poetic. Critical creative fusion between art and science can between art and science and to promote the
because, for example, the basis for some take many forms such as creating awareness potential of this cross-fertilisation or rather
classiications was questioned or because the on important societal issues as a result of creative fusion.
signiicance of some technological discoveries technological progress. Or simply the use of
was doubted. Poetic because the relationship information technology in art as demonstrated Professor Willem Elias
between art and science was felt, but above in digital art. Vice-Dean Psychology
all because one was interested in the form that and Education Faculty
science was taking.

With post-modernism, art took a completely


diferent direction. When a post-modern artist
gets inspiration from science, they no longer
get inspiration on the basis of an unrealistic
imagination, but rather on the basis of scientiic
knowledge that they themselves have, as an

© Wim Delvoye/cloaca, www.cloaca.be


artist, or that they acquire through contact
with scientists. The distinction is therefore very
small, if not non-existent.

The point of departure is that the above-


mentioned mutual fertilisation does not

What is the third culture?


© BridA Art Collective

Artistic research is an important element of both gap, according to Snow, negatively impacted in the 1950s has been overcome and arts &
the art and the science worlds. Artists no longer both ields. He predicted that a new generation science, the third culture, has brought the two
feel the need to create solely for an object- of scientists would close the communication worlds together.
centred art market. Instead, many artists are gap between these two cultures.
now exploring new creative forms where they The ideal projects we are envisioning and
ind and invent projects that do not it into the Today we can see Snow’s predictions coming presenting intend to strengthen the ield of
traditional art world. These people are reaching true. There is a growing and innovative ield artistic research at the interface of art and
across cultural barriers and forging something of art that has taken to using science and science. Both cultures, art and science, have
new and unique. research to make thought-provoking pieces. in common human curiosity, creativity and
Artistic research is becoming commonplace the desire to understand and represent the
Artists and researchers have taken elements and not only artists and scientists appreciate unknown. The initiators of theses projects are
from science and the humanities – two distinct it. The general public is becoming aware of of the opinion that the difering epistemics and
and well-established cultures – and created a this ield and being brought into the third forms of knowledge production can be used
third. This third culture – arts & science – is a culture as well. productively in the collaborative work of artists
bridge between the two old ones. Artists are and scientists.
now able to use elements of science in new and The third culture very much exists today.
exciting ways to generate creative results. Look around and see any number of artists In the form of collaborative art-and-science
who take elements of science – biology, research projects, reciprocal exchange and
The concept of the third culture was irst nanotechnology, cybernetics, information public presentations, these projects create an
introduced by C.P. Snow in 1959 as he lamented technology – and incorporate them into their intercultural landscape of aesthetic and ethical
the gap that had formed since the 19th century work. The extreme gap that Snow observed knowledge production.
between humanities and natural science. This between the humanities and natural science

8 Art & Science


Biotechnology art

The lab is now a studio


Portuguese Marta de Menezes explores the interaction
of science and art through her work. Working in
biology laboratories, she demonstrates how biological
techniques can be used as a new artistic medium.

Humans have been trying to manipulate Menezes has also used cell biology techniques
nature since the dawn of time. This has usually and DNA to produce art. With Nucleart, special
been for practical purposes, domesticating DNA is used to paint the nuclei of human cells.
animals, for example. Marta de Menezes uses By controlling what chromosomes or groups
this concept, but modiies nature for artistic of chromosomes are painted, the artist is
objectives. able to create a controlled image, one that is
only able to be viewed with a laser scanning
Nature? is one such project. Menezes modiied microscope. The images help researchers
butterly wings to create designs that have better understand the organisation of the
never before occurred in nature. Only one human nucleus.
wing has been designed by the artist so
the diference between the natural and the To paint brain activity, Menezes has employed
artiicially designed can be fully appreciated. MRI technology to photograph the brain.
In altering the wings of the butterlies, Functional portraits is an attempt to record
Menezes does not modify the DNA, keeping the brain while a subject performs a speciic
the genetic line pure. The art has a lifespan, task, like playing the piano. The brain produces
that of the butterly. complex activity patterns during diferent
activities which can be recorded by MRI and
“painted” by the artist.

Menezes’ work has been shown across the


globe and her unique use of biotechnology
has worked to bring art & science to the
mainstream.
© Kapelica Gallery – Photographer: Miha Fras

SPOTLIGHT ON THE ARTIST


Name Marta de Menezes
Nationality Portuguese
Specialisation Biotechnological art
Website http://www.martademenezes.com/

12 Art & Science


Cybernetic art

Speech and sound art –


it’s electrifying!
1930s dictators, gas lames and birdcages. “Forgotten” inventor
Elisha Gray, a copper bath and music. We take a look at the work
of electronic media artist Paul DeMarinis.

Working since 1971, Paul DeMarinis has


created numerous performance works, sound

© Kapelica Gallery – Photographer: Miha Fras


and computer installations and interactive
electronic inventions which have been shown
all over the world. Emulating the artist as a
meta-inventor, DeMarinis asserts that he has
the freedom to explore and imagine because
he is neither a scientist nor an historian.
His research is experimental and he tries to
see what works and what fails.

Following the inventor analogy, DeMarinis


researches “forgotten” inventors such as Elisha
Gray who was beaten by Alexander Graham It comprises three parallel telegraph systems
Bell for the patent of the telephone. DeMarinis based on incoming imaginary email messages.
created his own version of Gray’s other One system is made of 26 electrolytic jars with
invention (the Musical Bathtub): Gray Matter metal electrodes in the form of the letters A
– a series of electriied objects that produce to Z that bubble when electricity is passed
sound and sensation when stroked with the through them. The piece takes telegraphy as
hand – explores the interaction of body and its point of departure for an examination of the
electricity to make music. In another piece interrelationship of electricity and democracy.
Firebirds, oracular lames kept captive within It deals with how electronic communications
birdcages recite speeches of 1930 dictators – technologies, in addition to enriching our
Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini. Gas lames, suitably lives and experiences, also contribute to our
modulated by electrical ields can be made to loneliness and isolation.
act as omnidirectional loudspeakers.
Through his work, DeMarinis seeks to
Much of DeMarinis’ recent work deals with highlight the interface between electronic
the overlap between human communication media and society. Not only did electronic
and technology. Inspired by 18th-century media reconigure our culture’s perception of
physician and naturalist Francesc Salva i the relationship between speech and sound in
Campillo’s output device for his telegraph the 20th century, the transformation of speech
equipment, The Messenger examines the into signal, signal into wave, to recording and
myths of electricity in communication. playback make apparent that meaning is
forever cast as sound, sound as signal, signal
as noise, etc..
SPOTLIGHT ON THE ARTIST
Name Paul DeMarinis
Nationality American
Specialisation Electronic media art
Website http://www.well.com/~demarini/

16 Art & Science


Andy Gracie: Autoinducer_Ph-1
http://www.hostprods.net/

Autoinducer_Ph-1 reworks a traditional Asian rice


cultivation technique which exploits a natural symbiosis
between Azolla plants and Anabaena cyanobacteria.
Here the relationship is forced into new parameters with
an additional symbiosis between the Anabaena and a
virtual bacteria colony.

An assemblage of pond-like structures, electronics,


robotic arms, rice plants, and laboratory equipment
probes into and interferes with symbiotic relationships.
Data and information systems inherent in the
relationships between organisms and how they may be
augmented with artiicial counterparts are brought into
focus as outcomes of the complex relationships within
the system determine the behaviours of the robotic
arms and the growth of the rice.

Andy Gracie ©
Artistic development and construction: Andy Gracie
Software development: Brian Lee Yung Rowe
Originally commissioned by Avfest for AV06
Completed with the aid of a grant from Arts Council of England
Developed during a studio residency at Comafosca, Alella,
Barcelona

Insert – Art & Science I


II Insert – Art & Science
Ken Rinaldo: Autopoiesis
www.kenrinaldo.com

Autopoiesis is an artiicial life robotic series of 15


musical and robotic sculptures that interact with the
public and modify their behaviour based on the both
the presences of the participants in the exhibition and
the communication between each separate sculpture.

This series of robotic sculptures talks with each other


through a hardwired network and audible telephone
tones, which are a musical language for the group.
Autopoiesis is “self making”, a characteristic of all
living systems. This characteristic of living systems
was deined and reined by Francisco Varella and
Humberto Maturana.

Ken Rinaldo ©
Photographer: Yehia Eweis
Photo: Kiasma Museum Central Art Archives/Yehia Eweis

Insert – Art & Science III


IV Insert – Art & Science
VI Insert – Art & Science
Dragan Živadinov and Dunja Zupančič
http://www.noordung.net/ www.nskstate.com

If choreography is writing with bodies in space, he is


the largest-scale choreographer ever. Dragan Živadinov
from Ljubljana is the irst artist in the history of space
travel to be trained as a cosmonaut. In conditions
of simulated zero-gravity – “parabolic lights” – he is
working on dances to be performed in the cosmos. With
Praying Machine Noordung, his earth-bound production
for the Ljubljana Ballet, he is also proving himself to be a
maximalist, temporally as well as spatially.

Živadinov plans to return to this piece every 10 years


with exactly the same troupe, replacing each member
they inevitably die over the decades with a recording
of music, until one day only a concert remains on earth.
The cremated bodies of the departed will continue
the choreography by orbiting the earth as satellites in
suprematist-style urns. He has chosen the ininite vastness
of space as an arena because only weightlessness can
ensure eternal movement. The dance of the space urns will
go on forever. This must be the most glorious monument
ever created by dance in honour of itself.

Dragan Živadinov ©
Photographer: Miha Fras

Insert – Art & Science VII


VIII Insert – Art & Science
COASTOMIZE! and other MIXED REALITIES
www.hedendaagsekunstindevlaamseardennen.be

COASTOMIZE! and other MIXED REALITIES is an


initiative by architect Marc Godts and art curator Sven
Vanderstichelen. COASTOMIZE! is experiencing new
space and time in a world where art, architecture,science
and technology are no longer means but become context
and environment. COASTOMIZE! and other MIXED
REALITIES explores the notions and dynamics of private
and public space. The changes in the coastline relect the
changes that happen everyday in our personal space.

COASTOMIZE! questions the roles design and planning


have in limiting the space of the coast and their role in
afecting everyday life. Artists explore these questions by
playing with the boundaries of art, science, design and
technology.

www.hedendaagsekunstindevlaamseardennen.be

© FLC extended/COASTOMIZE!

Insert – Art & Science IX


X Insert – Art & Science
BridA Art Collective
http://www.brida-kud.si/

The BridA Art Collective comprises Tom Kersevan, Sendi


Mango and Jurij Pavlica. Based in Slovenia, the Collective
was formed during the artists’ studies at the Academy of
Fine Arts of Venice in 1996 and chose the name “BridA”
as it cancels traces of individuality within the group
and establishes a new body capable of existing and
functioning autonomously.

BridA Art Collective ©


Photographer: BridA Art Collective

Insert – Art & Science XI


Interview

He worked for UNESCO and at why do we need such an agency, resolution in 2007 that Slovenia
the same time dealt with kinetic Slovenia is too small …” I responded: should cooperate more closely
art. In 1967, he established the Is it not true that all scientiic and with the European Space Agency
journal Leonardo, which is a key engineering applied knowledge (ESA), which was followed by
publication linking art and science. areas come together in aerospace? the visit of a delegation from
At the irst glance, these worlds are Are these not some of the most this agency to the Institute
incompatible and people often roll integrated systems enabling that “Jožef Štefan” and the Chamber
their eyes or do not see a connection one can work more and better, and of Commerce and Industry of
between the military industrial be internationally connected? We, Slovenia. The agreement on
complex and art, but to me this is a artists, however, wish to have our cooperation between Slovenia and
highly organic whole and one of the own department, since we have the ESA was prepared last autumn,
key worlds I work in. put everything on the table for you. and it was envisaged that it would
I knew this was possible, as in 1998 be signed at the beginning of this
How about the establishment of with the assistance of the Russian year. Seven years later, things have
the Slovenian Space Agency (SSA) space agency we established the inally started moving …
initiated by you, together with irst Slovenian video link with the
Dragan Živadinov and Primož Russian space station Mir, followed In addition to space, you are
Pislak? by Dragan Živadinov’s performance interested in two territories, the
and the show Biomechanics Arctic and the Antarctic, where you
When we presented our idea Noordung in a lying micro-gravity intend to build living and working
about the SSA for the irst time in laboratory as well as the projects laboratories. At last year’s Ars
2001 at the Slovenian Academy of in the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Electronica festival in Linz, you
Sciences and Arts, namely at the Training Centre in Star City. said that if one deals with both
irst Noordung forum, the scientists Poles, one deals with everything
there stared at us in amazement, As far as I know, the Slovenian in between – no doubt particularly
saying “who are these lunatics, government adopted the with geopolitics. …

Climate change and continued within the consortium shape our futures. In this session
art & science Interpolar Transnational Art the participants, which included
Science Constellation, a network Marko Peljhan, debated how these
As one of the most pressing issues of individuals and organisations archives might well claim to hold
facing the world today, climate working across the ields of the world’s knowledge.
change has become a popular art, engineering, science and
source of inspiration and topic to technology. Noah’s Ark
be explored in art & science. We
look at some projects here. Polar Given Europe’s rich cultural heritage
and the threats posed by climate
Makrolab To boost awareness of climate change, Noah’s Ark – funded by the
change and address the broader European Commission – pinpointed
One such work is Marko Peljhan’s cultural and policy-related themes, a number of climate change factors
Makrolab – a mobile laboratory Arts Catalyst – a science art gallery that were likely to impact various
built for the research and work of in London (UK) – together with the building materials. It is the changing
artists, scientists and the media. Open University and the British water cycle that may prove most
First set up in 1997, it has been Library ran a programme of talks critical, not rising temperatures. To
displayed across the world. called Polar. This project brought present the project’s results, the
During 2007–08, the International together artists, scientists, Inuit Vulnerability Atlas was created,
Polar Year, the Makrolab project writers and experts from other outlining the prevalence of each
produced installations in Antarctica disciplines. One talk focused risk factor across Europe. The maps
and Nunavut. Many projects have on the iconography of climate indicate the dangers posed by
been carried out within the lab – change: ice cores, glaciers and climate change. The project also
from research on local ecology to ield stations can be thought of as provided guidelines for addressing
telecommunications testing. The archives and spaces of knowledge each threat and suggesting what
project ended in 2007, but it is being that change how we imagine and should be done.

22 Art & Science


Interview

© Spectral-system civilian unmanned aerial vehicle and ground control station,


very careful about what the white
man, who is again destroying
their environment, intends to do

Budapest, 2006 – Authors: C-Astral team (Trost, Stopar, Peljhan) –


there. We have established contact
with the media-aware group of
the Inuit, who again wish to live
as nomads, in a system of mobile
isolation, on the land, at the same
time they wish to be connected
to their community and the world
through networks, and to have the
possibility to exchange experiences

Photographer: Nejc Trost


and open media production. This
is where their and our interests
coincide perfectly. Our initiative
was presented in 2006 to the elders
in Igloolik and was accepted after
many questions and explanations.

The interests of the superpowers


in the Antarctic are most probably
The initiative that follows Makrolab nature destruction, whale kills, the energy resources…
is called I-TASC (Interpolar the disposal of radioactive waste,
Transnational Art Science submerged nuclear submarines, The Antarctic Treaty signed in 1961
Constellation) and was included electromagnetic pollution with was intended to ensure that the
in the International Polar Year antiballistic radars etc. The Arctic continent was entirely dedicated
Programme. The goal of our project is an area of sublime beauty and to peace and research. Territorial
is to establish mobile systems and at the same time the theatre of claims are frozen – frozen but
communication infrastructure in Armageddon thrown open. Due not void! – by this Treaty until
the Arctic, in consensus with the to global warming it is becoming 2041, which was negotiated by
local Inuit population, and in the increasingly interesting, since it the countries with territorial
Antarctic in cooperation with the is easier to drill there and search aspirations there. The Antarctic
scientiic and military geopolitical for energy resources; due to is an extraordinary archive of
complex, in accordance with the the melting of ice, the so-called the atmosphere on our planet;
Antarctic Treaty. History in its Northwest Passage between by analysing its ice cores it is
rhythms is again working in favour Europe and Asia has opened possible to view the geologic and
of our project – and is endangering there. Indigenous people, the atmospheric history of the planet.
it at the same time. As was well Inuit, victims of classical genocide In the Antarctic last year, the I-TASC’s
publicised, a Russian lag made in the 20th century, are not taken team built a self-maintaining
of titanium alloy was placed last into consideration by anyone. weather system using solar energy
year at the North Pole at the Geopolitics has a short memory which sends data to networks. At
bottom of the Arctic Ocean; there there. the moment, there are two I-TASC
is namely a desire that the Russian team members in the Antarctic,
epicontinental belt expands What did you propose to the Inuit, Siphiwe Ngwenya and Ntsikelelo
to Canada, and also vice versa what do they expect from you? Ntsinghila; they are building and
from Canada to Russia; the USA, testing a larger energy system for
Denmark, and Norway also have The Inuit have a destroyed social our polar architecture. In addition,
interests in the Arctic. structure, as in the 1950s and they as artists operate an open FM
1960s Canada moved them into radio station, which was launched
The Arctic is one of the most towns and killed their dog teams, last year, and are making a ilm
“neuralgic” points on the planet; which were a precondition for their documentary. With our presence
nuclear submarines meet there; nomadic way of life; when alcohol and sustainable approach we
ballistic missiles between the US entered the picture, the result would like to change the logic of
and Russia would ly above its was an almost total destruction of behaviour in the Antarctic.
surface; this is an area of massive their culture. That is why they are

Art & Science 23


Festivals

Art & science in your neighbourhood


Ars Electronica Art + Communication
Where: Linz, Austria Where: Riga, Latvia
When: Annually in September When: Annually each summer
Purpose: Since 1979, Ars Electronica has celebrated art, Purpose: Since 1998, RIXC has been bringing together a
technology and society. It brings together experts large group of international artists. Each year
and artists from around the world to discuss and the festival focuses on a diferent theme and
create avant-garde art and installations merging the exhibitions explore how it relates to media,
art and technology. technology and culture.
Website: http://www.aec.at/en/ Website: http://rixc.lv/

Transmediale Break Festival


Where: Berlin, Germany Where: Ljubljana, Slovenia
When: Annually in January–February When: Biennially in November
Purpose: Founded in 1988, Transmediale has developed into Purpose: Starting in 1997, the Break Festival was originally
a festival for art and digital culture. Its artists and a venue for new artists to showcase their work.
exhibitions explore and relect the socio-cultural Now it provides a way for artists from all over the
impact of new technologies. world who combine art and technology to show
Website: http://www.transmediale.de/site/en/transmediale their art to everyone - from established artists
and scientists to the general public.
Dutch Electronic Arts Festival (DEAF) Website: http://www.break-festival.org/

Where: Rotterdam, the Netherlands COASTOMIZE! and OTHER MIXED


When: Biennially in April
REALITIES
Purpose: Organised by the Institute for Unstable Media
since 1994, DEAF focuses on art, technology Where: Velzeke, Belgium
and society. Through art, concerts, seminars When: Biannually
and performances, developments in art and Purpose: Part of the Contemporary Art in East Flanders
technology are brought to a diverse audience. biannual event, COASTOMIZE! builds on previous
Website: http://www.deaf07.nl/ relective design experiments on how the Belgian
coast could evolve. Artists blur the edges between
International Festival of Computer Arts art, science, design and technology, creating a
new reality that mixes real and virtual.
(IFCA)
Website: http://www.hedendaagsekunst
Where: Maribor, Slovenia indevlaamseardennen.be
When: Annually in May
Purpose: Launched in 1995 by the Video Section of the
MKC Maribor Youth Culture Centre, the IFCA
explores intermedia art, which connects art and
new media technologies. Artists are encouraged
to create with the Internet, robotics, virtual reality
and other technology.
Website: http://chp.uni-mb.si/mkc/
© ars electronica

24 Art & Science


Interview

Roger Malina and the New Leonardos


Dr Roger Malina, astrophysicist, is Could you explain what your thoughts professionals. In some cases individuals
Chairman of the Leonardo organisation on this are? have irst-rate linked careers both as
and the Executive Editor of the research engineers or scientists, and
Leonardo publications dealing with art C.P. Snow had two major pre- also as professional artists or other
& science issues. He is also the former occupations: one was the fact that the cultural professions. There are teams
Director of NASA’s EUVE observatory cultures of science and the cultures of which bring together artists, scientists
and of the CNRS and University de the arts and humanities were in social and engineers for speciic project
Provence Laboratoire d’Astrophysique communities that interacted little purposes. There are also artists who
de Marseille in France. He currently with each other and that this social through their research for art are
worls in observational cosmology on segregation was harmful to creating making make signiicant contributions
the SNAP satellite. The following is an art forms appropriate to our time. The to science or technology.
excerpt from an interview between him second was a concern that in order
and Marko Peljhan. to address the needs of economic Because of the nature of art–science
and social development, science practice it is very much distributed
Could you explain the history and the literacy was necessary and general rather than centralised. We need to
main visions behind the Leonardo public policy-makers were lacking it. ind ways to make the community
organisation and its publications, Progress has been made in 50 years visible to itself but also to make the
such as the Leonardo Journal, now to address these issues and much work accessible to a larger public both
celebrating its 40th anniversary? remains to be done. in civil society and government.

The Leonardo organisation was I don’t see the problem as developing The main problem for art/science
founded by a group of artists and a third culture, which I think is not collaborative work and projects is
researchers who were interested desirable, but rather creating within funding, since the practices do not it
in promoting new kinds of contact our institutions enough cross- well within the art domain and of course
between artists and scientists and bridging systems so that art/science also not in the science one. Due to your
engineers. At that time the public interaction can be facilitated and decades-long experience in working
discussion was framed by C.P. Snow’s enabled. The problem of course is that within the ield, would you have any
concept of the two cultures. until you experiment, it is often hard funding policy recommendations for
to tell which art–science–technology this new and important ield?
The Leonardo organisation has interaction will be productive.
articulated the idea that the artist The Leonardo Education Forum
could also be the researcher, in the Artists have an important role to play is currently developing a White
model of Leonardo da Vinci; that some in this cultural revolution that will Paper with recommendations for
artists made technical inventions, as need to take place. There is a need education. We also held recently an
did scientists, even though technical to create platforms for art–science online discussion called “To PhD or
invention was not the central objective and art–technology interaction not to PhD” on the topic of whether
of either scientiic or artistic practice. within our strategies for mitigating art–science and art–technology
anthropogenic climate change. practice requires more PhD-like
The Leonardo Organisation is now training programmes. One goal is to
40 years old and has published the The cultures of art and the cultures of develop diferent kinds of platforms
work of some 5 500 “New Leonardos”. science are complex complementary that enable these practices.
Leonardo publishes a series of print landscapes. You, as a scientist, have
and electronic journals and book had numerous interactions with artists, It would be good to take stock again
through MIT Press. There are now due to the nature of your work. How do of the situation in Europe, identify
over 30 Leonardo Books in print. Our you see this relationship developing best practices and examples, and
websites can be found at www.olats. in general and where would you like establish a new road map to favour
org (French) and www.leonardo.info to see improvement? Do you think the appearance of “New Leonardos”
(English). that the relection of the art/science in Europe that can contribute to
practices is adequate? the resolution of the burning issues
In one of our conversations, you said facing us in the decades ahead.
that you couldn’t subscribe fully to the There is a growing professional I think existing funding mechanisms
notion of “third culture” as it has been community of “New Leonardos”. can readily be adapted to address the
advocated by a number of thinkers. By this I mean a variety of types of work of “New Leonardos”.

Art & Science 25


Institutions

Art + science = understanding


Arts Catalyst – the science art agency – is devoted to bringing together the art world and the
science world to foster understanding between the two through unique projects and commissions.

Arts Catalyst is an organisation that of workshops, residencies, art from a cultural perspective.
works to promote cooperation and exhibitions, events, laboratories, “Polar: the art and science of
understanding between art and conferences, research projects climate change” combines art and
science. By bringing together and educational and participatory public discourse to draw attention
artists, scientists, researchers and projects which develop upon these to the efects of climate change.
the general public, Arts Catalyst ideas and exchanges. The “UK amphibians study”
is able to foster a wider discourse brought together the public and
about art and science in society. Arts Catalyst presents its works in a ield researchers to investigate
The role and impact art and science variety of venues such as galleries, the declining number of certain
have is largely overlooked and the museums and public spaces in the species of amphibians in the UK.
idea of art & science, a single entity UK, across Europe and all over the These projects, along with the
and a unique ield in its own right, world. This allows the message of other projects and commissions
needs to be promoted to a wider Arts Catalyst, the ability of art and the Arts Catalyst has organised
audience. science to work together to impact or produced, are intended to be
society, to reach the widest range provocative, playful and risk-taking,
Founded in 1993, Arts Catalyst of people possible. with the aim of sparking a wider
is a London based organisation interest in the topic explored and
but collaborates with artists and A range of diferent projects initiating a wider public discourse.
scientists from all over the world. analysing diferent intersections
Its goal is to create a dialogue with of art and technology have been By working with international artists
the contemporary arts and to look undertaken by Arts Catalyst. The who focus on diferent elements of
at the relationship between science “Space Culture Symposium”, for research and technology and who
and everyday society. This is example, examined the intersection explore them through diferent
achieved through the organisation of space science, technology and media, Arts Catalyst is able to foster
an extremely diverse network.
SPOTLIGHT ON THE ORGANISATION Programmes and exhibitions
Name Arts Catalyst organised by Arts Catalyst work to
Country United Kingdom foster not only the understanding
Established 1993 of art & science as force in society
Specialisation Fostering understanding and cooperation between art and science but also cultural understanding
Website http://www.artscatalyst.org/ across borders.

Pushing the boundaries of art & science


Are you looking for a place where artists push the boundaries of what is art,
combining what might traditionally be conined to scientiic ields with artistic expression?
If so, the Kapelica Gallery in Ljubljana (Slovenia) may be the answer.
An institution for the promotion posing questions which do not thus not only a space into which
of contemporary investigative lend themselves to simple answers, inished artworks are exhibited, it
art, the Kapelica Gallery aims co-shapes the understanding is an active production platform
to present artistic practices and and interpretation of the which encourages, facilitates and
projects which topicalise every contemporary world. The gallery showcases exploratory artistic
form of contemporary life. We presents works of art that actively production, and stimulates a
perceive investigative art as a examine socially acknowledged critical understanding of the time
socially responsible production values and invite visitors to relect we live in.
of values and meanings which, by on them. The Kapelica Gallery is

26 Art & Science


Institutions

The gallery programme comprises of contemporary art with critical the Ars Electronica festival in Linz,
exhibitions, performances concerts and theoretical lectures by artists, one of the most important festivals
and lectures. The exhibitions are experts and scientists from of media art in the world. We will
largely participatory installations particular specialised ields. present Slovenian intermedia art
or responsive environments in in relation to the international
which the visitor is a part of the In the 12 years since its inception, artistic scene, with emphasis
artistic process. Responsiveness, Kapelica Gallery under the leadership on the exploration of changes
interactivity and indirect of Jurij Krpan has managed to form injected into society by science,
responsibility are concepts which a distinct and inluential production technology and novelty which
visitors are faced with on a regular platform which was even entrusted drive contemporary society.
basis. In performances the artists with several projects of national
address the public as directly importance. In 2003 we carried out Through active cooperation with
as possible, transforming the the Slovenian presentation at the institutions that are involved in a
visitors through participation into national pavilion of the 50th Venice similar enterprise (networking),
eyewitnesses. These live events Biennale, in 2006 we realised the 5th ongoing activities to establish
are typically devoid of the stage Triennial of Contemporary Slovene connections between art and
logic that characterises traditional Art U3 at the Ljubljana Gallery science and art and the economy,
performing arts; instead the of Modern and Contemporary as well as eforts in cultural
audience is instructed into the event Art, and in 2007 we launched the policy, Kapelica strives to position
with a visual language that excludes conceptual gallery Cosinus, which contemporary investigative art
the spoken word. Visual intelligence showcases Slovene artists at the among activities that crucially
is also stimulated by sound and European Commission building in co-shape the values of modern
music projects where forms of Brussels. In the next three years we society – a part of society which
sonority may be experienced at the will tour major European galleries sees beyond purely commercial
level of individual objects, texture, with the group exhibition Ecology interests and is historically
construction or soundscape. We of a Techno Mind, which will be interested in contributing to the
nurture a better understanding launched in September 2008 at civilisation of diferent cultures.,

SPOTLIGHT ON THE ORGANISATION


Name Kapelica Gallery
Location Ljubljana, Slovenia
Specialisation Active relection on science and technology through the arts
© SKUC Gallery – Photographer: Dejan Habicht

Website http://www.kapelica.org/

LJU COSINUS BRX Gallery thereby promoting the ield of exhibition on the Makrolab project
art & science. Since the opening by Projekt Atol Institute. Makrolab
In September 2006 the LJU project Umbot Noordung by Dunja is an ongoing mobile laboratory
COSINUS BRX Gallery was set up Zupančič and Dragan Živadinov, set-up for open and integral
on the initiative of the Slovenian the programme has featured research and the common work
Ministry of Foreign Afairs. Located Modux 2004–2006 by the BridA Art of artists, scientists and tactical
in the European Commission Collective, Recycling Strategies by media workers in the ields of
(Brussels), the programme is run by Sašo Sedlaček and from October telecommunications, migrations
the Kapelica Gallery. Its goal is to 2007 to February 2008, Situational research, weather and climate.
feature artworks based on topical Awareness by Marko Peljhan. In
issues in science and technology, addition, the gallery presented an

Art & Science 27


Western Balkans Countries

The intermedia centres


of the Western Balkans
Many intermedia centres based in the Western Multimedia Institute (mi2), The Visual and Cultural Research
Balkans emerged in the mid-1990s, thanks to an Zagreb, Croatia Centre (VCRC), Skopje, FYR of
initiative by the Open Society Institute, which was www.mi2.hr Macedonia
founded by George Soros. This private initiative mi2 is an NGO established in 1999 and opened www.euba.org.mk/eng/index.asp
mobilised groups of intellectuals and socially its public space, net culture centre MaMa, which VCRC is part of the Euro-Balkan Institute. Since
conscious individuals. To overcome the state’s became a popular meeting spot in 2000. mi2’s its creation in 2006, VCRC has been committed
control over the low of information in Eastern goal is to promote and educate the public on to interdisciplinary research in the ield of visual
Europe, multimedia platforms were established to media culture, socially oriented approaches to new culture and interpreting the social and political
provide access to the Internet, email and desktop technologies and developments in social theory. implications of art, culture and media. VCRC’s
publishing. The institute’s activities include informal education projects deal not only with the ways in which art,
and training in technology and digital media, free culture and media relect society’s hidden patterns
Today the centres are supported by public and software development, promoting critical social and mechanisms, but also explore new models of
private funds and enjoy a synergistic relationship theory and policy and advocacy work. art-based social and cultural change. These projects
with government. They have outgrown their basic address the urgent question of how to handle local
activities and now act as spaces for analysis and The Sarajevo Center for and marginalised cultures during the transition to
relection on newly emerging social paradigms Contemporary Art (SCCA/pro.ba) EU membership.
that are accelerated by scientiic and technological www.scca.ba
innovation. SCCA was founded by the Open Society Fund KONTEJNER | bureau of
Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1996. It is a mobile contemporary art praxis,
Multimedia Centres Network art centre without its own gallery space. Most of Zagreb, Croatia
of Slovenia (M3C) its projects are realised in Sarajevo’s open spaces. www.kontejner.org
www.m3c.si/dat/M3C/ The shift from an art-oriented space to non-art- KONTEJNER is an independent not-for-proit
M3C is an informal network of centres which oriented places has created a new art scene. organisation that was founded in 2002. KONTEJNER
connects digital technologies that are based SCCA’s multimedia production department, supports the critical examination of the role and
on an open, knowledge society, culture & art, pro.ba, produces original work in new media, meaning of science, technology and the body in
innovation and education. The network was encourages students and others to realise their contemporary society. It is interested in multimedia
established in the 1990s and expanded with own projects using digital technology and and interdisciplinary projects at the junction of
support from the Slovenian government. In provides assistance to artists in creating works science, technology and art. KONTEJNER also
2004 a network of nine Slovenian multimedia in new media. started a production platform, DIY_ARTLAB, which
centres obtained funding from the European stimulates collaboration between local artists and
Regional Development Fund to further develop New Media Center_kuda.org, Novi experts from various scientiic and technological
infrastructure and information that supports Sad, Serbia disciplines.
information technology and digital culture. www.kuda.org
New Media Center_kuda.org founded in 2000 is Tirana Institute of Contemporary
Ljubljana Digital Media Lab an independent organisation bringing together Art (TICA), Tirana, Albania
(LJUDMILA) artists, media activists, researchers and the wider www.tica-albania.org/index.html
www.ljudmila.org public. Kuda.org supports cultural dialogue and TICA is the irst permanent platform for
LJUDMILA is a not-for-proit digital media laboratory. alternative methods of education and research. It contemporary art in Albania. It organises
It was founded in 1994 by a group of new media focuses on, among other things, the inluence of exhibitions, ilm screenings and performance events
artists and has extensive experience in connecting electronic media on society, and the creative use in addition to creating a forum for discussions
new media technologies with artistic and activist of new communication technologies. It provides and debates. TICA also ofers an original artist-
projects. LJUDMILA is now a centre for media information via its library, mediatheque and digital in-residence programme giving support to local
consulting, digital media production & archiving, archive; organises lectures, workshops and public artists and promoting cross-cultural exchange in
as well as free software and hardware development presentations by artists, media activists, scientists the Balkans. Through its work, TICA aims to create
and support. The lab hosts the Slovenian Creative and researchers; and supports not-for-proit artistic an independent outlet for socio-politically engaged
Commons initiative and organises events dealing production as well as interdisciplinary research and contemporary art.
with free culture. experimentation.

28 Art & Science


Some conclusions

Venice, June to November 2003 – picture taken by the Quickbird satellite in July, 2003
© Markolab markllex Campalto Operations, Venice Biennale, Campalto Island,
Some conclusions
Where are we after having looked and read through this publication: in a visual art gallery? In an
artistic laboratory? Lost in space? In the Antarctica, wondering what is going to happen to the
human race and hoping that the cross-fertilisation between art & science will save us?
From this publication we have On one thing there seems to be First it seems that this new
seen that artists no longer only use consensus and this is conirmed discipline – whether you call it
their paintbrushes but are making by the Leonardo Education Forum: ‘third culture’ or not – is a discipline
full use of the new materials further research is necessary to worth analysing further. Some
and technology available in the explore the boundaries between more academic analyses on the
beginning of this 21st century: art–science and/or science–art. history, the current state of the
new materials, recycling methods, art and best practices should help
electronics, cybernetics, software, Some are calling for more study understanding the potential of the
telecommunications, information into the interface between art and cross-fertilisation between art and
systems and so on. And it is not science to discover new applications science. A roadmap to stimulate
just a question of equipment – and argue that there should be more development of art & science
the actual mode of presenting room for experimenting on the would be a useful tool.
art has altered, with performance interaction which in turn can lead
art, for example, interacting with to further and other applications. Secondly, the idea of using art
and involving the audience. This Others are calling on the need to to communicate on science and
too has meant changes in the use more the mix of art and science technological progress and the
way that artists operate; many to create public awareness. role it can play in creating public
now work with scientists on awareness and communicating
interdisciplinary projects and in From the above, some conclusions need to be considered more. As
joint art–science spaces. can be drawn. the articles already demonstrated,

Art & Science 29


Some conclusions

their work can be used to tackle Thirdly, it seems that a new type publication Art & science: creative
topical themes – climate change, of researcher/scientist is being fusion suggests, art & science can
poverty, waste management or born called artistic researcher help to bridge cultures; in particular
genetic modiication. The project who is involved in the applications the example of the Western Balkan
“Communication outreach in of art & science and who needs, Countries has been highlighted.
nanotechnology”, funded by in order to pursue the thinking
European Commission, is a solid and the applications, to acquire Finally, why not consolidate and
step in the right direction. By looking more knowledge about science expand on the knowledge on art
at how best to communicate about and technology. Dr Roger Malina, & science by creating a platform
nanotechnology, it concluded that Chairman of the Leonardo enabling and facilitating artists
art was well suited to the task of organisation suggests a PhD-like and scientists and policy-makers to
catching people’s attention. But training programme. Could next to meet and exchange ideas, means
more needs to be done. the well-known Marie Curie grants and knowledge? Indeed, to develop
under the EC research Framework this ield further, there needs to be a
In pursuit of the successful project, Programme, grants be considered place where the diferent teams can
it seems that doing something for the “New Leonardos”? meet. Artists and scientists do not
similar to create awareness on work in isolation. A major drive for
climate change is the next topical Fourthly, the idea of facilitating the coordination and information and
issue in point. We will all be afected integration of the Western Balkan exchange of data and knowledge
by the results of climate change. It is Countries through intercultural would help establish a cutting-edge
one of the greatest environmental, dialogue and “cultural” in the ‘third culture’ that combines the
social and economic threats facing broad sense – i.e. stretching it to work of artists and scientists. And
the planet. How therefore could art & science – needs also to be of course, such platform should be
art & science be used to boost further examined as a means to open to the world, as we have seen
the public’s awareness of climate provide better understanding and that this creative fusion is already
change? In this, artists have an acceptance of a new region with shaping in diferent corners of
important role to play. EU perspective. As the title of this Europe and the world.

30 Art & Science


European Commission
Art&Science - Creative Fusion
Luxembourg: Oice for Oicial Publications of the European Communities
2008 — 42 pp. — A4, 21.0 x 29.7 cm
ISBN 978-92-79-08819-3
DOI 10.2777/96175