aturday November 11 from 13.00 - 17.30

For many people the subject of art and science is still hard to grasp. Is there something like artistic science, or scientific art, and where is the boundary to be drawn as to whether something is art or science? Especially in the case of ‘invisible’ technology it is often unclear whether something is art or scientific research. For instance, to many people nano recording immediately suggests something aesthetic and artistic. The relation between art and science however has a long history, with the two going their separate ways only in the 19th century. Although since then they have cooperated less, alliances continue to exist that lead to mutually productive projects. The ‘invisible’ technology of the last few years has surfaced renewed interest in collaboration between artists and scientists. Perhaps it is the mythic aspects surrounding nano technology, biotechnology and genetics that lead to artistic ideas and concepts. That which cannot be seen and understood whets the curiosity and creativity of many artists. In many cases they try to embed scientific points of departure, methodology or research in a cultural discourse by – in the case of this exhibition – relating these to aesthetic, ethical or philosophical questions about nature and the relationship between nature and culture and the position of mankind in them.

Under the title ‘Art and Science in their Natural Habitat’, on the basis of a number of presentations and discussions the Netherlands Media Art Institute is calling for thought about the relation between artist and scientist. The discussion focuses on projects that manifest a new practice, in which the relation between nature and culture is central.

Saturday, November 11, 1:00 p.m.
I - Presentation

The first part of the Saturday afternoon will be devoted to presentations by artists who are showing projects in the exhibition. On the basis of their work they will explain their fascination with regard to art and science. Along with this, the problems that they encounter in the field of concept development and exchange, production and presentation will also be discussed.
Presentation and discussion with (tentatively) Evelina Domnitch & Dmitry Gelfand and Driessens & Verstappen.

Saturday, November 11, 2:30 p.m.
II – Discussion

In everyday parlance the term ‘nature’ is used to denote living plants and animals, and it sometimes refers to processes that are associated with non-living objects such as the weather, and the geology of the earth. In this sense, the ‘natural environment’ is a place that human action has not yet changed, an untouched environment. This way of looking at the natural environment makes a clear distinction between the natural and the artificial, in which the latter is seen as that which is introduced by man.

Particularly in science this view is still frequently maintained. That is striking, because the origin of modern science as we know it today lies in ‘natural philosophy’, the objective study of nature and the physical universe. The concept of ‘science’ itself is an invention of the 19th century, and until then the word was used only as a synonym for knowledge or study. However, in general those engaged in research were not much interested in practical tests of their ideas, but observed particular phenomena and connected philosophic conclusions to their observations. Presently this approach is rarely to be found in modern science; it is much more associated with the way people work in the visual arts. Yet the artist and scientist are increasingly often working together. It is a collaboration that, despite the frequently cited similarities between the two, a shared curiosity and creativity, very quickly comes across as paradoxical. How can the ambiguous character of artists ever be united with the reason of the scientist? How can the differences in language, visualization and methodology be overcome? To what degree can they understand each other? Within these collaborations, is there a new hybrid terrain and form arising?

A number of artists, theoreticians and scientist is asked to react to our Natural Habitat. They will be asked to offer their vision on what would happen if art, nature and technology all came together. Would new worlds be created? How would we relate to this changing nature and culture? Would we still need nature – or does nature need us? Coming from science and art, theory and practice, the invitees tell about their own experiences and those of others, looking at the necessity for a collaboration between art and science. The discussion centers around new projects that stem from a collaboration between artists and scientists. Projects that problematise the concepts of nature and culture and originate new hybrid forms and grounds.

(tentative list) Alex Verkade, Ben Schouten, Koert van Mensvoort, Robbert Dijkgraaf, Robert Zwijnenberg

Moderator: Awee Prins
Entrance 10,- (students 8,-)
Reservations 020 6237101, info@montevideo.nl

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