New Forms in Art and Science
With Jean Baynham, Susan Beattie, Vera Bohl, Andy Flett, JJ Hastings, Sarah Hull, May Yeonok Jang, June Jung, Charlotte Wendy Law, Lingbo Liu, Roderick Macleod, Holly Owen, Rebecca Price, Kristina Pulejkova, Boris Raux, Brandon Ritom
Curated by Stéphane Verlet-Bottéro
This exhibition gathers the work of 16 participants about to graduate from the MA Art & Science at Central Saint Martins, concluding two years of transdisciplinary research. Somewhere between an art studio, an academic framework and a collaborative laboratory, this first-of-its-kind MA programme started in 2012 and has established partnerships with visionary institutions such as the Wellcome Institute, the Millenium Seed Bank, the Culham JET Fusion Reactor, Cape Farewell, the Science Museum and the British Library. Bringing together practitioners from the fields of visual arts, performance, multimedia, puppeteering, music, biology, psychology, oceanography, the resulting exhibition reflects a diversity of research practices and departs from the traditional degree show format. Refusing a singular vision, it aims to question the ontology of the artwork and explore its relationships with other knowledge horizons.
In his seminal essay Discourse in the Novel (1935), Mikhail Bakhtin contrasts the idea of stylistic unity in literature with the concept of heteroglossia, a process that subsumes a mosaic of genres in dialogue with each other. Drawing on this understanding of the dialogical imagination and articulated by a complex structure designed to accentuate qualities of permeability and entanglement, the exhibition follows a polyphonic process that features artworks, unfinished projects, notes, blackboards, diagrams, research materials, fragments, scraps, tools, actions, experiments and events which will altogether unfold in the space and time of the show. These concatenated elements investigate, embody and sometimes criticise the mutual fertilization of various artistic and scientific disciplines and the desire to experience the other's means of looking at the world. Rather than to remove boundaries between languages of knowledge, participants to the exhibition seek to present ways of seeing beyond their multiple intersections. The residual tension provides the dynamics for creative experimentation in order to expand and subvert existing disciplinary discourse.
Through a 2-day programme of workshops, informal activities, discussions and screenings, participants and external contributors will explore the position of the artist as an active interpreter mediating the production of truth and the politics of its reception, the role of the dissident scientist and the DIY amateur in refictionalising science and introducing ritual functions that put forth experience as knowledge, the poetisation of abstraction that recognizes the fantasy of objective languages and the generation of new simulacra from the virtual universes unlocked by technology and data networks.
The exhibition will be accompanied by an illustrated catalogue with essays by Peter Weibel, Chairman and CEO of the ZKM Centre for Art and Media in Karlsruhe and Matthew Fuller, Professor of Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London.
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