New forms of research, art under the sign of climate change

© Snowsculpture at Sapporo Snow Festival, Endangered Species. Foto: Nina Fischer

© Snowsculpture at Sapporo Snow Festival, Endangered Species. Foto: Nina Fischer

While in sumnmersemester 2020 Nina Fischer and Christina Landbrecht engaged in dialogue with scientists to better understand how the relationship between art and science has changed as a result of the current pandemic, their focus shifted to how the relationship between art and science is being affected by climate change in wintersemester 2020/ 21.

The seminar begun with a workshop by the biologist Alessandro Volpato: “Mind the Fungi. Pilze und die Biotechnologie der Zukunft”, which had been held at Top Lab* in Neukölln/Berlin (*Top Lab is a collaboration between the Art Laboratory Berlin and the  Institute for Biotechnology, TU Berlin). Participants learned how to cultivate vegan materials like fungi in the laboratory with the objective of testing different climate-neutral artistic strategies.

In November they spoke with scholars from the research network Climate Crisis Thinking in the Humanities and Social Sciences, which was founded in 2019 at the University of Oxford and is currently doing work related to the animal perspective.

This is a long overdue paradigm change. While until now scientific insights have been the primary basis for political and social measures to curb the climate crisis, this approach shifts the focus to the perspective of nature and animals, which could help achieve new insights into manners of dealing with climate change.

Conversations with artists, curators and scholars in the humanities followed for January and February. They examined the sustainability and carbon neutrality of the work of artists and the art scene and discussed exhibition concepts that place focus on climate change not just in terms of content but also in their approach, for example the exhibition "Down to earth" at the Gropiusbau in Berlin.

A conversation with Professor Daniel Irrgang (HfG Karlsruhe), media expert and member of the academic advisory board for the exhibition "Critial Zones" (ZKM Karlsruhe, curated by Peter Weibel and Bruno Latour) was also planned, as was an excursion to this exhibition in January 2021.

The seminar offered the chance to learn about the research project Animal Perspective in the Age of Climate Change that is being carried out by the class for experimental film and media art, which is part of an exhibition project being organized in collaboration with the University of Oxford that will be presented in 2022.

The main seminar on Wednesday was alternate for the first time with the practice-oriented film seminar offered by Lilli Kuschel, in which students examined the altered behavioural patterns of wild animals in Berlin and documented these behaviours on film.

Location: GRU, Galerie, EG
Introduction: November 4th, 2020
(Funghi Workshop: November 18 / December 2 / December 16 + 17)
Further dates:
13.1., 27.1., 10.2., 24.2.
Type of seminar: artistic / creative / art history seminar
Registration: Please via the specialist class. ni.fischer(at)
The seminar is compulsory for students in the experimental film and media art class.

This seminar was part of the series of seminars on "Art & Science" by Nina Fischer and Christina Landbrecht, which previously focused on "New Forms of Research - Artists in Dialogues with Sciences".

Student contributions: