PARALLAX – A Lab Exploring the Intersection between art and science
Parallax is a lab aiming for an open, autonomous work environment in which participants can develop and build their own projects on the topic of transdisciplinarity. It stands for a close collaboration between anyone from artistic, scientific, and technological backgrounds with the aim of finding the intersection of these disciplines. In workshops, practical work and open discussions, science and art are considered from different perspectives and combined in innovative ways, breaking down the barriers which seemingly separate these two fields.
Parallax arose from the creative and scientific vision of its predecessor, the Light and Reflection Lab, which was created in the context of the Open Class Berlin and the Experimental Stage Project. The lab was inspired by the Open Class to work autonomously and with a flat hierarchy, whilst the Experimental Stage Project demonstrated how to communicate science through a creative medium, and to upcycle the available resources to realize projects. In the winter term of 2018/19 the lab became a TU Projektwerkstatt, thereby becoming an official, student-organised course with support from the TU. The autonomous project led by physics students from TUB was later on joined by a fine arts student from UdK, and both sides started to exchange perspectives on how to approach physical, aesthetical, technical and philosophical questions. Both sides showed great differences in approaching these topics, whilst at the same time sharing a common interest in learning about each other. Hence, the lab continued to meet once a week whilst the exchange of ideas and skills continued to keep the flow between both disciplines connected.
The aim of the lab was to find different mediums through which art and science could be connected in a material form. This exploration began to develop by trying to relate the method of expression from both disciplines, whether by looking at physical phenomena from a creative viewpoint or approaching the arts from a technical perspective. Hence, the meeting-point of these two disciplines allowed us to see a single matter from a dual perspective, which resembles the idea of the “parallax”.
Considering our different backgrounds in physics and fine arts, we decided to tackle the inconsistencies in language by creating a new language with which we can find a common means of communication. We soon realized that it was necessary for technical skills and creative knowledge to be cultivated in order to be able to create a project that could embody this hybrid perspective. Hence, we decided to implement workshops with technical skills and sessions, and creative exercises that could help students to develop projects of their own. This summer term, three workshops will be offered on the topics of video editing, Arduino introduction and wood cutting.
Alongside practical skills, we constantly try to confront the perspectives of artists and scientists on specific topics through dialogues and discussions, helping to create a manifold content that transcends the boundaries separating both disciplines. By creating a space in which these two fields of knowledge can merge through practical work, we hope to define a solid practice from which innovative perspectives and interdisciplinary approaches can emerge.
Clara R. Roca-Sastre - MSc Physik, TU Berlin
Emma Sokoll - BSc Physik, TU Berlin
Charlotte Maurer - BSc Physik, TU Berlin
Victoria Martinez - Fine Arts, UdK Berlin