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27 Oct 2020

Curating in Art, Science & Technology - Online Course by Node Center

Image by Adrien Converse

Curating in Art, Science & Technology: Potentials and Pitfalls
Node Center for Curatorial Studies Berlin


Duration: Nov 17 - Dec 8, 2020 Enrol before: Nov 12, 2020 Lecturer: Isabel de Sena Participation Fee: 154€


Node Center for Curatorial Studies Berlin
Wrangelstr. 5
10997 Berlin

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The term 'Art-Science' is currently a hyping topic in contemporary art, and is capturing the attention of a growing number of curators and artists. This course delves into the broader history of artistic practice at the intersection of art, science and technology to chart some of the key debates defining the field today. Through its focus on specific case-studies, while spanning a wide array of scientific disciplines (ranging from biotechnology and human enhancement to quantum- and astrophysics, and environmental engineering), it addresses the potentials and challenges of curating exhibitions within this field through a series of four discussion-rich sessions.

The introductory class delves into the ongoing debate around C.P. Snow's seminal lecture, 'The Two Cultures', in order to discuss the urgency and particular demands of working at the intersection of art and science today. The second explores previous waves of engagement within the field and relates them to the current upsurge of interest, while the third addresses curatorial positions to complex issues around ethics and autonomy, as well as common pitfalls in actual practice. The last session takes a more pragmatic approach in discussing what curators can do to safeguard the quality, value, and integrity of art-science projects, and thereby cultivate an environment in which interdisciplinary collaborations can become meaningful.

** Video conferences every Tuesday at 7 pm CEST. Recordings will be available in case you miss a live session!

-Duration: Nov 17 - Dec 8, 2020
-Enrol before: Nov 12, 2020
-Lecturer: Isabel de Sena
-Participation fee: 154 euros




Week 1 – The Third Culture: An Ongoing Debate

- Introduction to interdisciplinary curatorial approaches: motivations and potentials

- The conflict of methods (a myth?): positivism versus interpretivism

- Tracing the debate through C.P. Snow's 'The Two Cultures' (1959)

- Beyond generalization: The particularities of different fields of science (biotechnology, human enhancement, neuroscience, quantum- & astrophysics, environmental engineering, etc.)

Week 2 – Historical & Contemporary Perspectives

- Waves of engagement: interdisciplinary artistic approaches in the 20th & 21st centuries

- State of the art: curatorial tendencies, thematic focal points and potentials characterizing the field today.

- Dissolving niche culture: curatorial approaches that can counter the increasing specialization of 'Art-Science' as a discrete category

Week 3 – Positions: From Spectacle to Meaningful Engagement

- Responsibility, integrity and ethics

- Curating as knowledge-making, not 'Public Outreach': potentials and traps

- Removing the smoke screen: decoding and translating specialist language and imagery

Week 4 – Setting the Frame: Practical Guidelines

- Initiating collaborations: marking boundaries while cultivating the unexpected

- Disciplinary politics and regulations, obtaining licenses and navigating geo-specific policies
- Curating the unknown: residencies and new commissions
- Keeping a finger on the pulse: websites, journals, magazines and social media platforms

- Sites and audiences: awareness and adaptation

- Concluding discussion: shifting perspectives and outstanding questions