Art as Research?

Salons & Symposia

Salon, June 2009: 1st Art + Academia Salon

Working in co-operation with the Berlin Academy of Arts, the RG Art as Research? held its first Art + Academia Salon in Berlin in June 2009. International guests joined the RG in investigating the following questions from both a historical and current, project-based perspective:

Is art becoming academic? Is academia becoming artistic? What happens when the systems of art and academia merge, and what does that mean in terms of their societal functions? What is the role of political and economic players who assert their interests with the aid of educational reform and the promotion of technology? Does the adoption of a research role open up alternatives in terms of commercialisation on the art market? To what extent are the results of projects carried out under the banner of interdisciplinarity – be those results new forms of gaining and imparting findings or knowledge from outside of academic boundaries – redeemed?

Salon, November 2009: 2nd Art + Academia Salon

The second Art + Academia Salon took the title “Klimakunstforschung” (literally “Climate Art Research”), and was held at the Berlin Academy of Arts on November 22, 2009. Its main focus was climate change and resource-related conflicts as worldwide phenomena that bring about radical change within the global society. Discussions dealt with the intersection between artistic and academic practices in this area.

Symposium, January 2010: Experimentation in Art and Academia

The symposium “Experimentation in Art and Academia” took place in Erlangen on January 29-30, 2010. The Latin word experimentum can be taken to mean attempt, proof, test, or sample, and this variety of definitions indicates the wealth of opportunities that experimental theory and practice have to offer. The event used a round-table discussion as a forum for artists (some of them also academics) and academics (some of them also artists) from a variety of disciplines to deliberate the relevance of experimentation to their own work.

Salon, July 2011: 3rd Art + Academia Salon

The third Art + Academia Salon was held at the Berlin Academy of Arts on July 1, 2011, and witnessed the launch of the book “Klimakunstforschung”. In addition, the American concept artist Mel Chin presented his “Revival Field” and “Operation Paydirt” projects, which saw him co-operate with scientists in order to remove heavy metals from soil at various locations. This was followed by a discussion between Mel Chin, Florian Dombois, Tue Greenfort, and editors Friedrich von Borries, Christian Hiller, and Wilma Renfordt.

Salon, October 2011: 4th Art + Academia Salon: Disturbances

Held at the Berlin Academy of Arts on October 14, 2011, the fourth Art + Academia Salon saw Dirk Baecker, Friedrich von Borries, Julian Gutt, Anke Jentsch, Markus Popp, and Christian Schneegass tackle the following questions: what influence do disturbances have on the dynamics of complex systems? How do we deal with the unexpected, uncertainty, and extreme events? Can we shape prerequisites and framework conditions to our advantage?

Salon, October 2012: 5th Art + Academia Salon: Archives

Archives are a material form of memory, and represent locations where objects, documents, thoughts, and dreams are stored. They are linked to notions of preservation, appreciation, and care. There is nevertheless a darker side to archives, as they necessitate decisions on issues such as importance/unimportance, holiness/profanity, permanence/transience, and value/worthlessness. Who decides what is kept? And who has the power to grant or deny access to the archive?

This salon took place in Erlangen on October 20-21, 2012. Participants included Lindy Annis, Stephan Günzel, Herbordt/Mohren, Evelyn Runge, Janine Schulze, Herbert Stattler, and other members of the Junge Akademie, as well as employees of the Institute of Theatre and Media Studies at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU).

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