Art and Science – Hybrid Art and Interdisciplinary Research

Autumn Symposium

“Art and Science – Hybrid Art and Interdisciplinary Research”
(organized by EAA)

16 –17 November 2012

Estonian Academy of Arts (EAA)

Kiriku plats 1, Rüütelkonna hoone


Hosting institutions: Estonian Academy of Arts, Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, Graduate School of Culture Studies and Arts

Supporters: European Union Structural Funds, Estonian Academy of Arts, French Institute in Estonia, British Council Estonia, Cultural Endowment of Estonia

The autumn symposium “Art and Science – Hybrid Art and Interdisciplinary Research” poses a question that despite a tendency towards ‘mutual incomprehension’, there are aspects of art and science which overlap and intertwine. The interrelation between music, art, natural and computer sciences can be seen in new media art, biotechnological or telecommunication art and other contemporary artistic practices that have an experimental character.

It is a second event in the process that will culminate in a conference and exhibition in 2014 under the same title. Our goal in the context of this inter- and transdisciplinary exhibition and conference in 2014 is to form a synergetic cooperation of art and science.


SYMPOSIUM – Friday, 16 November 2012 (open for public)

Venue: Rüütelkonna hoone, auditorium 201, Kiriku plats 1

10.00 – Introduction, Raivo Kelomees (EAA)

10.30 – Alan N. Shapiro “On the Conditions for the Valid and Invalid Uses of Trans- and Trans-disciplinary”

11.30 – David Rothenberg “Survival of the Beautiful”

12.30 – Erich Berger – The Finnish Bioart Society

13.30 – Lunch

14.30 – Marina Gržinić “Necropolitics, Biopolitics, Form and Content”

15.30 – Carolyn Wittendal and Benjamin Jacquemet – Microclimax “Hybrid for Generous City”

16.30 – Michael Weinstock “System Cities – Infrastructure and the Space of Flows”

17.00 – Coffee break & conclusions

CONCERT – Friday, 16 November 2012 (open for public)

Venue: Chamber Hall of the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, Rävala pst 16

20.00 – David Rothenberg „Bird, Whale, Bug: Music From Nature“

SEMINARS – Saturday, 17 November 2012 (for registered participants)

Venue: Rüütelkonna hoone, auditoriums, Kiriku plats 1

11.00 – 16.00 – group seminars and discussions led by the keynote speakers

Registration (necessary for the second day only): Heili Sõrmus,

Deadline: 9 November 2012

The language of the symposium is English. Participation in the symposium is free of charge.

Keynote speakers:

Alan N Shapiro, interdisciplinary thinker who studied science-technology at MIT and philosophy-history-literature at Cornell University. He is the author of “Star Trek: Technologies of Disappearance” (Berlin: AVINUS Verlag, 2004), a leading work in science fiction studies and on the conception of futuristic technoscience. He is the editor and translator of The Technological Herbarium by Gianna Maria Gatti (Berlin: AVINUS Verlag, 2010), a major study of art and technology. He is a practicing software developer. Alan has worked as a consultant to many large companies in several European countries. He is working on projects like “Computer Science 2.0,” “The Car of the Future,” “The Library and Museum of the Future,” and robotics. At his website “Alan N. Shapiro, Technologist and Futurist” (, he has already published more than 200 articles (by himself and others). He is recognised as one of the leading experts on the philosophy and cultural theory of Jean Baudrillard. He is currently starting a book project called “The Prisoner: Confinement and Freedom in the Global Village.”

Marina Gržinić, professor of the Academy of Fine arts, Vienna, Institute of Fine Arts, Post-Conceptual Art Practices. She is a researcher at the Institute of Philosophy at the ZRC SAZU (Scientific ad Research Center of the Slovenien Academy of Science and Art) in Ljubljana. She also works as a freelance media theorist, art critic and curator.

David Rothenberg, musician and philosopher, the author of Why Birds Sing (Basic Books and Penguin UK), also published in Italy, Spain, Taiwan, China, Korea, and Germany. In 2006 it was turned into a feature-length TV documentary by the BBC. Rothenberg has also written Sudden Music, Blue Cliff Record, Hand’s End, and Always the Mountains. His articles have appeared in Parabola, Orion, The Nation, Wired, Dwell, Kyoto Journal, The Guardian, The Globe and Mail and Sierra, and his writings have appeared in at least eleven languages. His latest book is Thousand Mile Song (Basic Books), about making music with whales, currently being developed into a feature documentary for Canal+ in France.

As a musician Rothenberg has performed and recorded with Jan Bang, Scanner, Glen Velez, Karl Berger, Peter Gabriel, Ray Phiri, and the Karnataka College of Percussion. His latest major label music CD, One Dark Night I Left My Silent House, a duet with pianist Marilyn Crispell, came out on ECM in 2010. Rothenberg’s next book, Survival of the Beautiful: Art, Science, and Evolution was published by Bloomsbury in 2011.

Rothenberg is professor of philosophy and music at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Erich Berger, artist and cultural worker based in Helsinki/ Finland. His interests lie in information processes and feedback structures, which he investigates through installations, situations, performances and interfaces. Currently he is a lecturer at the Fine Art Academy in Vienna/ Austria and the director of the the Finnish Bioart Society in Helsinki/ Finland

Erich Berger

Benjamin Jacquemet-Boutes and Carolyn Wittendal – Microclimax

Microclimax is a creative practice founded by Carolyn Wittendal (Artist, Architect and Urban Designer) and Benjamin Jacquemet (Architect, Artist and Urban Designer), working on the social and human relations in urban or rural environment, in public or private space. Their interventions are living processes defined by action rather than style.

The site, the uses and the User are the bases and the matter of their projects. The forms are not pre-defined but vary with the context and develop by producing interaction with their environment.

Microclimax uses sampling, absurdity, diversion, collage, recycling, provocation, … as tools to produce hybrids of art, architecture, design and landscape and to set poetry in function in the reality.

Michael Weinstock, architect and the founder and director of the Emergent Technologies Masters Programme at the AA School of Architecture. Michael Weinstock studied Architecture at the Architectural Association and has taught at the AA School of Architecture since 1989. His research interest lies in exploring the convergence of biomimetic engineering, architecture, emergence and material sciences and has published widely on these topics since 1989. The potential of the convergence for the materialization of intelligent materials, structures, and ultimately, the organization of cities, provides the motivation and suggests the long-term goal. He received Acadia Award for Excellence in 2008.

Program organizers: Piibe Piirma, Heili Sõrmus, Veronika Valk, Liina Siib, Raivo Kelomees, Stacey May Koosel

Program manager and student coordinator: Heili Sõrmus