A sculptor at CERN, a sound artist in a neuroscience lab, an architect embedded in the department of psychology. The results of these unlikely pairings make up the exhibition, Think Art – Act Science, which showcases eight works developed during a nine-month residency called Swiss artists-in-labs, which places, you guessed it, artists, in research institutes and university science departments.
The exhibition is built around three main themes: Ecology and Environment, Spatial Awareness and Emotions, and Exploration of New Technologies. In parallel with Think Art – Act Science, swissnex San Francisco and the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI) host a series of lectures, conferences, and workshops to discuss and deepen the partnership between science and the arts.
Swiss artists-in-labs began in 2003 to broaden dialogue, generate ideas, and raise awareness of the creative solutions artists and scientists can find to today’s challenges. To date, 28 artists have worked alongside scientists and scholars as part of the Artist in Lab program at institutions including CERN, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology, the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape, and the artificial intelligence lab at the University of Zurich.
Think Art – Act Science is an initiative of the Institute for Cultural Studies in the Arts at the Zurich University of the Arts. The exhibition has been shown in Switzerland and in Barcelona, Spain. The San Francisco installation is made possible by Pro Helvetia, the Swiss Arts Council and is a project of the U.S.-wide program ThinkSwiss-Brainstorm the Future. As a leading country in science, research, and technology, Switzerland is working with its American counterparts to address key global topics such as sustainability to better understand trends and arrive at solutions.
Full Program Details
21 September, 5:30 – 7:30 pm, SFAI
Opening reception with curators Irene Hediger and Hou Hanru and the artists Alexandre Joly, Pe Lang, and Alina Mnatsakanian. Performance by Alexandre Joly.
23 September, 6:30 pm, swissnex San Francisco
Conference: How Artists and Scientists Collaborate. Presentations from Irene Hediger, Pe Lang, Susan Schwartzenberg, and Joel Slayton plus special sound performance by Pe Lang.
24 September, 2:00 – 4:00 pm, SFAI
Public Workshop: Simple Mechanisms – Strange Behaviour. Build your own kinetic speakers with sound artist Pe Lang.
20 October, 6:30 pm, swissnex San Francisco
Panel Discussion: Smarter Air Travel: Design Approaches for Global Travelers. With Monika Codourey and Hou Hanru
22 October, 2pm, SFAI
Public Workshop: Landscape of Identity. With Monika Codourey and Alina Mnatsakanian.
November – Bay Area Science Festival Events
2 November, 6:30 pm, swissnex San Francisco
Best of LASER, a Leonardo (International Society for the Arts, Sciences, and Technology) event,
Includes a talk on QUARC – Quantum art crystal from Christian Gonzenbach and Martin Pohl (CERN, University of Geneva).
3 November, 6:00 pm, SFAI
Discussion: Remaking the Universe. With Christian Gonzenbach and Martin Pohl (CERN, University of Geneva).
10 November, 6:00 pm, SFAI
Conference: Mind’s Eye, Self-portraits, consciousness, and the brain. Discussion with Nicole Ottiger and Olaf Blanke (Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience, Brain & Mind Institute, EPFL).
Photo: Myleen Hollero