Dialogues bet. an Artist and a Scientist

There will be a series of Dialogues between Artist and Scientist on the theme of measurement at Kunstraum, Leuphana University.

Dec. 11, 2013      Politics of Measurement / Chihiro Minato x Sophie Houdart  

Measuring measurer – an observation of hyper-measurement society                     by Chihiro Minato, Prof. Tama Art University, Tokyomeasuring mesuarer_smallMinamisoma,Fukushima,from Measurement Project 2012

After 3.11 north-eastern great earthquake, our everyday life has been submerged under numbers and ratios. The probability of next “big one” was communicated through an interminable tables and schemas of numbers. At the same time new measuring posts for radioactivity were massively installed in every play grounds for kids around Fukushima, even we see no kids playing any more. Under such circumstance I imagined “the measuring project” not to measure the air nor earth but to measure the life under endless measurement.

Chihiro Minato: Artist, writer, founding member of Institut for Art Anthropology, currently head of Information Design Department.at Tama Art University. His latest works presented after 2011 includes “Distance/Continuity” (Nantes,France) “Gourd Museum”(12th Taipei Biennale ) “Peace meets Art ”(Hiroshima Prefectural Museum) “Shiori project” (Heidelberg) “Thinking Landscapes” (Ulaan Bator,Mongolia).

What’s in the air. Or how we get to know what we know about invisible                 by Sophie Houdart, Laboratory of Ethnology and Comparative Sociology, French Center for Scientific research (CNRS), Paris

sophie houdart

The Tôhoku earthquake and the subsequent nuclear explosion that happened on the 11th, March 2011, have constituted a disruptive experience for many people, in Japan as elsewhere. Since 2011, many things have been published or diffused trying to catch what really happened then. As an anthropologist of science, I started a project on the measurement of air following the disaster. Part of the idea is to scrutinize how people got to learn about their new environmental situation as a consequence of what happened when the earthquake, the tsunami, and then the nuclear explosion occurred. On this particular aspect I met meet groups of governmental experts, citizen association members as well as farmers who have been working on producing (more or less…) reliable numbers. But the aftermaths of the disaster and the disruption of lives that it involved could only be understood if we cross these numbers with other aspects that are very often disconnected: the “natural” aspects and the industrialized ones. In terms of experience all these aspects are linked for most of the people and the event produced a “perturbation” in their life (but also at the scale of the country, and of the world at large) very much like a perturbation or turbidity in geophysics. For all these reasons my talk will also deal with geophysics and the way geophysicists produced measurements of their own to get a glimpse of the tiny, invisible, movements that occur underneath.

Sophie Houdart: She gained her Ph.D., Nanterre University, France, 2000) belongs to the French Center for Scientific research (CNRS) and is a member of the Laboratory of Ethnology and Comparative Sociology. Trained in social anthropology, she has been focusing in various practices within the field of innovation studies, in the realm of science as well as of art, especially in Japan. She is the author of several books, among which Kuma Kengo. An Unconventional Monograph (Ed. Donner Lieu, 2009) dedicated to the studio practice of the famous Japanese architect; and also Humains, non humains. Comment repeupler les sciences sociales (with O. Thiery, La Découverte, 2011).

Jan. 15, 2014      Epistemology of Measurement/ Lucy Powell x Oxana Timofeeva 

We Are Here
by Lucy Powell, artist.
My interests lie in our efforts to make order and sense of the world: language, belief systems, taxonomies, the pursuit of knowledge, the struggle to understand and the catalogue of absurdities that are thrown up along the way. From the signalling proteins that plants share with animal neuron systems to the scientists that spend a lifetime studying a single molecule – I am fascinated by all forms of intelligence and knowledge. Working mostly in video and text my art practice runs parallel to my ongoing inquiry into the nature of the mind and the mind of nature, feeding off it and inspiring it. I will show and read a selection works which all take the form of the list or the loop, accumulating meaning and emptying it out again, from 50 photographic portraits of sheep to a lyrical list of triple-word scientific terms.

Lucy Powell, Aritst (Berlin/London): Lucy Powell is an artist based in Berlin who works mainly with text and video. Recent exhibitions/screenings include “Screening Nature” Whitechapel Art Gallery, “Amateurism” Kunstverein Heidelberg, “The Worldly House Archive” Documenta 13, “The Animal Gaze Returned” London Metropolitan University and Sheffield University, “Animal Kingdom”, Schinkel Pavilion Berlin, “Tier und Film”, Oberhausen Kurzfilmtage, “Derridas Katze” Kunstamt Kreuzberg. She has recently had residencies at the Sirius Arts Centre, Cork, L’Entreprise Culturelle, Paris and Künstlerdorf Schöppingen. In 2011 she co-founded the Satellite Salon for art-science conversations based in Edinburgh and Berlin.

Oxana Timofeeva is a senior research fellow at the Institute of Philosophy of Russian Academy of Science and currently a Humboldtian fellow at Humboldt University in Berlin. She is an author of “History of Animals: An Essay on Negativity, Immanence and Freedom” (2012, Maastricht).


Jan. 23, 2014       Aesthetics of Measurement:  Matt Mullican x Patricia T. Clough

The Calculative Aesthetic, Objects and Unconscious Desire in the Age of Big Data by Prof. Patricia T. Clough
In this presentation, I will address the contemporary concern with measure and big data. I will take up both the unconscious desire of childhood memory and the epistemological unconscious of sociological research in order to situate myself in the non-conscious and impersonal space of objects and the calculative aesthetic. This will allow for a reconsideration of the distinction of quantitative and qualitative measure as well as objects and systems.

Prof. Patricia T. Clough: She is Professor of Sociology, Women’s Studies, and Intercultural Studies at Queens College and the Graduate School of the City University of New York. Currently she was President of the Cultural Studies Association 2010-2012. Her books include Beyond Biopolitics: Essays in the Governance of Life and Death, with Craig Willse (eds.) Duke University Press, (2011), The Affective Turn: Theorizing the Social with Jean Halley. Durham: Duke University Press (2007), Autoaffection (2000), Feminist Thought (1995) and The End(s) of Ethnography (1992, revised 1998).

Matt Mullican is an artist and a professor of Visual Art, Art Academy Hamburg (HFBK). He deals with questions of perception of reality, fiction and the imaginary and the possibilities of its representation.

Dialogue between an Artist and a Scientist is in supported by institut francais, Heidelberger Kunstverein and Kunstraum of Leuphana University of Lüneburg.





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