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 artists-in-labs, which places, you guessed it, artists, in scientific settings such as 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 host a series of lectures, conferences, and workshops to discuss and deepen the partnership between science and the arts.
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.
IrÃ¨ne Hediger is Co-Director of the Swiss artists-in-labs program at the Institute for Cultural Studies in the Arts (ICS) at the Zurich University of the Arts and curator of the travelling exhibition Think Art â€“ Act Science. After her studies in business administration, she got a degree in organizational development and group dynamics (DAGG) and a Master of Advanced Studies in Cultural Management at the University of Basel. She specializes in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary creative processes and practices and in the development of inclusive and participatory outreach concepts for a general public. She is part of a think tank on new media arts in Switzerland and has developeded international art-science collaborations with China and India.
Peter Lang is a Swiss artist living in Berlin, working under the artist name Pe Lang. His access to the latest developments in micro-systems and nano-technology during his residency at the Swiss Centre for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM) inspired him to develop kinetic speakers to analyze site-specific attributes and human perception of sound. The installation, Kinetic Speakers, shown in Think Art â€“ Act Science, permits the variable listening and processing of external sound sources. As a versatile sound artist, Pe Lang has exhibited and performed in several museums, galleries, and festivals in Europe and North America, including the Gosia Koscielak Gallery in Chicago, the Espacio Menosuno in Madrid, the Transmediale in Berlin and the Elektra Festival in Montreal. Among other honors, he received the sitemapping/mediaprojects award in 2008 from the Swiss Federal Department of Culture. He continuously performs his works in Europe and abroad.
Susan Schwartzenberg is a photographer/visual artist. Her work is realized in multiple forms, investigating themes including; biography, memory, urban life and the psychology of place. She exhibits internationally, and has public works in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Phoenix and Seattle. She is currently developing a project with the School of Medicine, Stanford University and holds a senior staff position at the Exploratorium in San Francisco.
Joel is the Executive Director of ZER01: The Art and Technology Network. An artist, writer and researcher, Joel is also a full tenured professor at San Jose State University where he is Director of the CADRE Laboratory for New Media, an interdisciplinary academic program in the School of Art and Design dedicated to the development of experimental applications involving information technology and art.