Art and Technoscience seminar

The beginning of the 21st century is characterized by an overwhelming awareness of environmental issues. Facing the threat of global warming, the findings of scientific research have become a subject of intensive political debate. The ethical questions traditionally discussed in the green-wing marginals have become mainstream, as science has become a coffee-table topic.

The field of art that interacts with the practices of science and its technologies is commonly referred to as art&science. During the past decades, this hybrid field has become more or less established, with landmark works, major institutions and written histories. However, with the new wave of environmentalism, a further wave of artists working with methods and questions related to scientific research has also emerged. The mediators of science and technology are unavoidable, whether dealing with global economy or animal rights, computer modelling or carbon emissions. Research has become a key concept in art, not only in the field of art&science, but also in university-associated art schools in general, with the development of practice-based PhD programmes around the western world. The front-lines between art and knowledge-production seem to be in transformation.

The conference seeks to contextualize the practices of art&science both in the contemporary political atmosphere and the history of contemporary art.

The first day of the two-day conference focuses on the practices in transformation as a result of research-orientation and cross-disciplinarity, characteristic to the field of art&science. What challenges and possibilities do artists, curators, residency programmes or art schools face, while trying to address questions coming from the field of sciences? What can scientific research gain from collaboration with artists, and what kind of research is done in the artist’s laboratory?

The second day of the conference looks at the technologies of encounter between human and non-human worlds. The aim is to address the ethical discourse taking place in art practices which look at the interaction between humans and non-humans. How is the traditional understanding of agency, community, interaction or collaboration challenged in these works of art? What are the political implications of these approaches? On the other hand, how are these practices dealing with the questions of manipulation, objectification and abuse of non-humans?

Speakers include Roy Ascott (artist, theorist, UK), Jill Scott (artist, researcher, AUS/CH), Andy Gracie (artist, UK/ESP), Ingeborg Reichle (art historian, DE), Adam Zaretsky (artist, US), Tuija Kokkonen (theatre director, FI), Terike Haapoja (artist, FI), Pau Alsina (researcher, ESP), Ulla Taipale (curator, FI/ESP), Anu Osva (artist, FI), Erich Berger (artist, coordinator ArsBioarctica, AUT/FI), Helena Sederholm (head of department of art Aalto University, FI), Laura Beloff (artist, researcher, FI), Manu Tamminen(microbiologist, FI), Eija Juurola (forest researcher, FI), Raitis Smits (artist, curator, LV), Jan Kaila (artist, professor, FI), Antti Sajantila (professor,  medical doctor, FI), Minna Långström (artist, FI) among others.


Erich Berger
Coordinator Ars Bioarctica
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Terike Haapoja
artist, PhD researcher
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