The EcoArtLab is a transdisciplinary think-and-do-tank at the Bern Academy of the Arts (HKB), which aims to initiate collaborations between artistic researchers, scientists, and the public. 2023-2027, the EcoArtLab, in cooperation with the mLAB at the Institute of Geography of the University of Bern, is conducting the research project 'EcoArtLab: Relational Encounters between the Arts and Climate Research'. The SNSF funded research project investigates how the intersection of artistic research, geography, and critical sustainability research can lead to new encounters and approaches that reflect on climate justice.
Relational Encounters between the Arts and Climate Research
Fridays for Future, climate crisis, net zero – the debate about climate change and ecological sustainability has moved to the center of society. The question is what options for action exist and what conditions must be in place for a societal transformation toward greater sustainability to be possible. Climate researchers seek exchange with artists or adapt artistic processes in the course of a creative (re-)turn (Hawkins 2020, Marsten & deLeeuw 2013, Crang 2010), while artistic practice is turning to ecological themes. However, it is debated to what extent the arts can actually generate sustainable ecological effects by fueling a thematic debate without questioning structures and logics of production in the sense of a critical practice. More and more initiatives and funding bodies are also trying to bring artists together with climate researchers. Little is known about what new processes of knowledge generation are produced by these experimental arrangements.
This practice-based research project at the Institute for Practices and Theories of the Arts at the Bern Academy of the Arts HKB investigates in cooperation with the mLAB at the Institute of Geography of the University of Bern how the interplay of expertise from artistic research, geography and critical sustainability research can be made fruitful for the climate debate. The main focus is on climate art projects that involve collaborative approaches between artists and scientists. What methodologies can be developed in the transdisciplinary collaborations to make climate change tangible as a hyperobject (Morton 2013) and to drive cultural change? The project is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF).
The synthesis of the three subprojects results in an overview of the current trend of climate art, which makes it possible to develop criteria for the evaluation of such works as well as to give impulses for innovative forms of transdisciplinary collaboration in dialogue with practitioners – researchers, artists and institutions.
Subproject 1: The Future Institution: Institutional Frameworks of Climate-Art Collaborations
analyzes the institutional frameworks of climate art projects in Switzerland (cultural institutions, funding agencies, universities) and asks to what extent this creates favorable conditions for artistic production (Brüggmann 2020). (Dr. Yvonne Schmidt)
Subproject 2: Methods of Knowledge Generation in Transdisciplinary Collaborations
investigates which strategies and methodological approaches emerge in the collaborations in interaction between ecologization of artistic practices and a creative (re-)turn in human geography (Hawkins 2020). (Johanna Paschen, PhD candidate)
Subproject 3: The Imagined Audience: Whom Climate-Art Projects Reach
focuses on the target groups addressed by these climate art projects in order to develop and implement an artistic mediation concept within the framework of an artistic-scientific doctorate. Theoretically, the concept of the ‘imagined audience’ or the ‘imagined layperson’ (Guggenheim et al. 2004) is used. Who are the projects designed for and who do they actually reach? (Riikka Tauriainen, PhD candidate)
Master Design Symposium CHANGE AGENT at HSLU Hochschule Luzern
The EcoArtLab is looking forward to being part of the Master Design Symposium “Change Agent” at HSLU Hochschule Luzern on the 24th of June. Yvonne Schmidt will talk about the Eco Art Lab and transdisciplinary collaboration. The keynotes, short provocations, and workshops at the Master Design Symposium reflect current challenges and best practices in Design, Digital Ideation, Service Design, and Eco-Social Design.
EcoArtLab joins the Symposium at the Master of Fine Arts Luzern
HOME: AT THE NEXUS OF ECOLOGICAL GRIEF, ARTISTIC RESEARCH, AND ENVIRONMENTAL
We are delighted to participate in the symposium FINDING HOME: AT THE NEXUS OF ECOLOGICAL GRIEF, ARTISTIC RESEARCH, AND ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE hosted by the Master of Fine Arts Luzern. The Project members Johanna Paschen and Riikka Tauriainen will introduce our research project ‘EcoArtLab. Relational encounters between the Arts and Climate Research’. The following filmscreening of the video work ‘Ecotone Encounters’ by Riikka Tauriainen is about the relationship between humans and the environment. The artistic research presented in the film deals with the issue of care and represents a place (a home) for different ecosystems.
The program takes place on the 13th of April 11am - 6 pm on site and via Zoom and is open to participate. More Infos on the Website master-kunst-luzern.ch.
SNSF-research project: ‘EcoArtLAb. Relational encounters between the arts and climate research’
We are glad to announce that the SNSF-research project has been approved. This practice-based research project at the Institute for Practices and Theories of the Arts at the Bern University of the Arts (BFH) in cooperation with the mLAB at the Institute of Geography at the University of Bern investigates how the interplay of expertise from artistic research, geography and critical sustainability research and climatology can be made fruitful for the climate debate. It connects current discourses of Artistic Research, Ecological Arts and critical sustainability research in Geography, which have so far only been considered in isolation.
Learn more about the research project in the HKB Newspaper article from September 2022.
Workshop Beyond Participation: Reaching Institutional Openings
Join our workshop on April 10th 2021. The session will complete the methodology workshop on new approaches to the research of the changing institutional contexts of contemporary theatre and art production, held online in December 2020 and organized by Prof. Alexandra Portmann, Bern University/CH, and Prof. Peter M. Boenisch, Aarhus University/DK
Learn more about the workshop in our flyer.
The research project ‘EcoArtLab. Relational Encounters between the Arts and Climate Research’ is a project of the Institute Practices and Theories in the Arts (IPTK) at the Bern Academy of the Arts (HKB) in cooperation with the mLAB of the University of Bern, founded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). Fotos Research & Team by Riikka Tauriainen