LASER Nomad Bellinzona / Utopia of the Landscape

16.05.2021 / 11:00 – 12:00 / Museo Villa dei Cedri – Bellinzona

Piazza San Biagio 9 – 6500 Bellinzona  – Svizzera

Machines, algorithms and data are increasingly entering the landscape. They are already present in our intimate spaces. During the current pandemic situation, algorithms and data are omnipresent due to our online presence. Further, our landscape is indeed becoming monasterial, because the pandemic forces populations to self-isolate. The utopian landscape is perhaps within oneself then ?

Ticino is the Italian speaking and southern part of Switzerland. In term of transit (cultural and economic), it plays a role as a geographical articulation between North and South of Europe. Inside, deep inside, in the entrails of the landscape of Ticino, the new world longest 57 km long railway San Gottardo tunnel was recently achieved. A utopian invisible landscape made by men and machines. On the surface, the Ticino architecture school is widely acclaimed worldwide since the 1960’s, an architecture, which has been described also as an architecture of resistance. In addition, since the early 1900’s the artistic avant-garde was indeed present in Ticino with the Dadaists for example, and Bauhaus architecture emerged there too between the two world wars. What to expect from an architecture when insights from augmented intelligence, cognition, data and machines are applied to it ? What kind of utopian landscape shall emerge in a not so distant future ?

Davide Macullo (b. Giornico, CH, 1965) is a Swiss architect. His international design studio, Davide Macullo Architects, based in Lugano, Switzerland, was founded in 2000.

The ethos of the studio is one that promotes an open and cultural exchange with architects, artists and collaborators coming from different backgrounds. The diverse contributions promote a dialogue between the specificity of the project, the universality of the contexts and the psychology of space. This ‘drawing from context’ encourages and helps sustain a local-meets-global, embracing approach to architecture, spanning from the theoretical to the practical and detail level, to territorial analysis, pedagogy and sustainability in construction.

The work of the studio includes graphic design, branding consulting and custom designed furniture, and spans to the creation of contemporary art collections for clients. They have also recently produced a customized collection of rugs for the new Chenot Palace Weggis, and a large series of Davide’s drawings (ca. 400nr.) is included in its art collection.

In Rossa, Canton Grisons, he is a founding member of the Rossarte foundation which promotes public and private interventions in situ by international artists to influence daily life through contemporary art.

The first building is the Swisshouse XXXII (Sinusoïde) created in collaboration with Daniel Buren and Mario Cristiani of Galleria Continua.

Prior to the foundation of his own studio, he was project architect in the atelier of Mario Botta with responsibility for over 200 international projects worldwide (1990-2010).

abstract

We are living in an historical moment of epochal change, where the attitude to inhabit the earth, built over millennia, does not reflect the current and future conditions. With the advent of new technologies, unimaginable scientific discoveries and the doubling of the world population, man faces, (with no way back), a completely new universe, in which he must affront from all points of view, taking care of all ecologies. Our generation has the urgent duty to prepare this new territory to allow new generations build on solid foundations and above all for our psychological health, manage an environment that has become extremely complex and potentially hostile.

The development of think tanks and laboratories focused on social sensitivity, inclusive of historical and scientific knowledge, are the terrain on which we move to respond to the call as citizens. The Rossa project in Valle Calanca seeks solutions that go beyond the economic revival of a region, bowing to the principle expressed by Bruno Munari, that a civilized people lives in the midst of their art.

Carole Haensler, born in Lausanne in 1974, was appointed curator of the Museo Civico Villa dei Cedri in Bellinzona in 2013, with the task of conserving and enhancing the artistic heritage of the Museum, redefining and strengthening the identity of the institution, developing the offer of cultural mediation as well as synergies with other city and regional cultural institutions. She also accompanied the creation of the Ente autonomo di diritto pubblico Bellinzona Musei – the new administrative structure created in 2017 that manages the Museo Villa dei Cedri – of which she is director since 1.01.2018.

Holder of a master’s degree in art history and archaeology from the University of Neuchâtel (1999), she has worked for various private and public collections in Switzerland, as well as the Thyssen-Bornemisza Foundation in Lugano and Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary – TBA21 -, Vienna, the Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern and the Centre for Contemporary Art in Geneva. She is mainly specialized in modern and contemporary art, in particular in French art and literature of the second half of the 19th century and in French and German art of the period 1900-1950, and focussed her programme at Museo Villa dei Cedri on the renewal of art language and expression after Second World War. She has introduced thematic exhibitions of contemporary art in Bellinzona seeking to reflect the concerns of art and contemporary society: “Dimensione Disegno. Posizioni contemporanee” (2016), “In(de)finiti luoghi. Utopie architettoniche e realtà artistiche” (2017), “Memoria del Sublime. Il paesaggio nel secolo XXI” (2019) e “Icone vegetali. Arte e botanica nel secolo XXI” (to come in 2022).

abstract

The Museo Villa dei Cedri is an interesting starting point to understand how to connect artistic, architectural and natural heritage. Starting from the considerations that led to the thematic exhibitions “Memoria del Sublime. Il paesaggio nel secolo XXI” (2019) and “Icone vegetali. Arte e Botanica nel secolo XXI” (to come in spring 2022), the presentation will also explore the role of the museum in its own ecosystem, which is that of art, and its ability to position itself as a place of critical reflection on contemporary society. Does the Museum have a role to play in building the future of society? And can it be an active role?

Chair: Luca Forcucci

LASER Nomad Porto / Sense of Place and Migration: Embodiment, Cognition and Borders

28.11.2019 / 17:00 – 19:30 / School of Fine Arts / University of Porto

Av. de Rodrigues de Freitas 265 / Aula Magna / Porto, 13 4000-421 / Portugal

The sixth edition of Laser Nomad at the Fine Arts School of the University of Porto explores contemporary issues of migration. The focus is about the sense of place from a cognitive perspective. Neuroscientists have already proposed the existence of a grey zone around us named peripersonal space, which is an extended boundary of our body. From a technological perspective, mobile devices and gps helped war migrants, for example, to stay in touch with their families and share migration routes. What is the relation between embodiment and borders?

CHAIRED BY: Luca Forcucci


Rosemary Lee (ITU Copenhagen) Rosemary Lee will speak about themes from her PhD research on the influence of algorithms on notions of the image. Several consequences arise from the formalisation of the image as sets of instructions to be executed, including variability, a turn toward non-opticality, and increased automation by machines. In this way, machine learning not only affects the image on an ontological level, affecting what an image may be considered to be, but also its aesthetics and its symbolic relation to the real.   Rosemary Lee is an artist and PhD fellow at the IT-University of Copenhagen, where she is researching how notions of the image are impacted by algorithmic media. Her PhD project analyses and contextualises artistic and technical examples in terms of their earlier precursors and considers what this means for what an image is today. Lee’s research and artistic work have been shown in international contexts including SCREENSHOTS: Desire and Automated Image, machines will watch us die, a new we, and her book, Molten Media, which was published in the context of the transmediale Vilém Flusser Archive Residency for Artistic Research.    

Rui Penha (ESMAE) Existence and Extension / Lenses and Lentils   Rui Penha was trained to see the world through the lenses of musical composition and media art. He is a father of two, a professor of a few more, a thinker and a tinkerer. He is currently employed as an assistant professor at ESMAE and as a senior researcher at INESC TEC. More info at http://ruipenha.pt

Miguel Carvalhais (FBAUP)

Host

Miguel Carvalhais teaches design and computational media at FBAUP. When asked for a short bio he normally presents himself as a designer and a musician, two activities that he finds closely connected and central to his practice. In this talk Miguel will explore how his work hinges on space: on using it as canvas, on manipulating or transforming it, on creating entirely new spaces. http://carvalhais.org

Jill Scott: Media Arts, Bodies and Perception

In this interview, Jill Scott and I are sitting in a Ethiopian restaurant in Berlin. We learn about her large body of work spanning from performance, video to sonic arts, media arts and neuroscience. How all this could possibly connect ? A series of travels, experiments and encounters informed this important and very inspiring artist, which are embedded into a unique research in art and science.

Jill Scott / Interview by Luca Forcucci – September 1st 2019 / Berlin

Professor Dr. Jill Scott is an artist, teacher and context provider with 40 years experience in the unique transdisciplinary field of art, science and technology interactions. Her research spans neuroscience, electronics, ecology, sociology, sculpture, performative installation and media art. Her artwork is focused on the human body, the social and physical impact of technology on our bodies and the health of our environment. She asks: How does technological and biotechnical “progress” affect way we “see” our body? How can artists raise awareness about the human body and the scientific structure of sensory perception? How can artists shed light on the health affects of our physical environment? To address these questions, she builds interactive media installations that immerse viewers inside designed environments. She explores how visual metaphors and poetic analogies might create an alternative forms of art and science communication to help others learn more about sensory perception and reflect on their own ideological, biological, ecological, gendered and ethical futures.

 www.jillscott.org

Potential Realities and Perspectives: Dreams, (Mental) States and (Electronic) Sheep

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The Italian director Federico Fellini’s movies were based on his own dreams, and as part of a Jungian psychotherapy with the psychoanalyst Ernst Bernhard.

In the book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? The American author Philip K. Dick questions realities and perspectives from the machines in a dystopian science fiction novel.

It seems that the (virtual, augmented and mixed) contemporaneous realities are about to join the fiction. The main question for the current talk observes the different typologies of realities, being in dreams, pathological, from machines or computers. This will be explored through the work and research of an artist and a neuroscientist.

Michael Gaebler / Cognitive Neuroscientist

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in the Neurology Department’s Mind-Body-Emotion group and the MindBrainBody Institute.

Biography

Michael Gaebler studied cognitive and neurosciences in Osnabrück, Montreal, Paris, and London, before he completed his PhD at the Charité/Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. In his research at the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, he investigates how mental processes (i.e., thinking and feeling) are neurophysiologically realized. To this end, he also combines virtual reality with measurements of brain activity.

Abstract

The mind is situated, that is, mental phenomena depend on an organism’s interaction with the environment. I will discuss why virtual reality (VR) can help the cognitive and brain sciences and present own projects, in which we use VR in neuroscientific and clinical investigations. I will also mention previous work with depersonalization-derealization disorder patients, for whom the real world feels unreal or dream-like.

Mert Akbal / Artist and Researcher in Neuroscience

Saarbrücken Art School and Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in the Neurology Department’s Mind-Body-Emotion group and the MindBrainBody Institute.

Biography

Mert Akbal explores as a cognitive artist phenomena from cognitive science field. He teaches and researches  in two institutions: Academy of Fine Arts Saar in Saarbruecken and Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Berlin. His works are presented on diverse platforms such as by ZKM in Karlsruhe, Prix D’Arts Robert Schuman, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Kunsverein Ulm, Amber Art and Technology Festival in Istanbul, IEEE in Boston, ISEA 2016 in Hong Kong and ISEA 2018 in Durban.

Abstract

I follow my curiosity to observe, understand and question cognition and consciousness through visual art. I aim to reproduce  dream image and experience in artistic media in order to explore them as models of conscious experience. I will present some of my current works at the intersection of art and science.