Toolbox | Y Institute HKB:

«Relational Encounters II: Migration - Climate - In/Justice»

Based on the cooperation between the EcoArtLab, the Open-Air Museum Ballenberg, Helvetas and the mLAB of the Institute of Geography at the University of Bern, another toolbox took place at the Y Institute of the HKB from April 15-19.

The toolbox offered students the opportunity to critically examine the topic of "Migration - Climate - In/Justice".
The focus was on the process of transdisciplinary exchange between HKB students and students from the Institute of Geography at the University of Bern.

Following inputs from Yvonne Schmidt (EcoArtLab), Johanna Paschen (EcoArtLab), Christina Aebischer (Helvetas) and exciting insights into the ongoing Residency "Dialogue as a means to understanding and empathy" by Alisha Dutt Islam and Nora Gailer, as well as a field research as part of an excursion to the Ballenberg for the opening of this year's themed trail "on the move across the world", students were able to develop their own project ideas.

Thus, in this short time, a sound video performance on ‘Slow Violence’; a mediation project on the topics of migration/home/identity; an illustration based on mushrooms/mycelium, which takes up both communication and the complexity of the topics; a critical examination of greenwashing and a game with borders was created and were presented and discussed at the end of the toolbox.

Concept Toolbox: Yvonne Schmidt & Anna Van der Ploeg (Helvetas)
Guided Tour through the themed trail: Nadja Buser (Co-Kuratorin, Helvetas), Barla Pelican (Helvetas) & Anna Van der Ploeg

Pictures: Thubten Shontshang; Mirko Winkel; Yvonne Schmidt

Panel disussion & workshop, March 2024:

«The Future of Art and Science Collaborations»

In March 2024, the EcoArtLab in collaboration with the mLAB (Institute of Geography, University of Bern) organized a panel discussion in which representatives of various Swiss funding institutions and the diverse audience discussed how exactly the future funding of collaboration in art and science and civil society can look like.

Collaborations between the arts, the sciences, and society are becoming more and more common. Artists and designers are collaborating with scientists, and science is looking for ways to integrate artistic practices. These approaches foster new ways of producing knowledge by engaging with diverse communities, in contrast to traditional science communication. Yet our understanding of their impact is limited.

Mirko Winkel, artistic collaborator of the EcoArtLab and mLAB coordinator invited Katharina Schneider-Roos, an innovation & society specialist form Pro Helvetia, Julia Schneerson, the Agora Program Manager of Swiss national Science Foundation and Katia Weibel, the deputy director of Stiftung Mercator Schweiz and Yvonne Schmidt, head of the EcoArtLab moderated the talk.

They discussed what funding schemes are needed for future collaboration between art, research and social engagement; what characterizes successful projects; what art can achieve in this context; or how researchers and artists can work together on an equal level. On a second day, artists, scientists and representatives of funding institutions were invited to a workshop to exchange knowledge and experiences and to create an open space for discussion, reflection and a better understanding of each other's perspectives. The goal was to discuss the productive, frustrating, and unusual experiences of different art-science collaborations. Under the guidance of cultural activist Martin Schick, they developed alternative ideas for collaboration, challanged them, and then formulated questions to take forward.

Pictures: Lukas Batschelet | Thubten Shontshang 

ProHelvetia Synergies 2024:

The project «Plankton ecosystems» led by Riikka Tauriainen, PhD researcher at the EcoArtLab, was announced as one of 11 selected Projects for ProHelvetia – Synergies 2024.

«Plankton ecosystems»

– Shaping the narrative of climate change with art and community science practices

Plankton Ecosystems is a participatory art-science programme focusing on community science technologies, collaborative art formats and experiential learning about marine ecology, plankton diversity and ocean literacy in collaboration with the European Research Institute (Turin) and Kunsthaus Pasquart (Biel). The programme is driven by a need to understand and mediate human impact on the marine ecosystem. It asks how the oceans are affected by human-induced shifts such as climate change.

By applying an artistic research-based approach, the programme will explore the intersections between art, science, and technology. It will ask how technology can enable encounters with plankton ecosystems, acting as an intermediary that enhances engagements between humans and the microscopic world of plankton. By building on a critical engagement with artistic research, Plankton Ecosystems will address the democratisation of knowledge production, considering science as a social practice, exploring justice and care, and how the accessibility of technology intersects with these considerations.

The programme will feature a study group and series of public events at the Kunsthaus Centre d’art Pasquart in Biel as well as presentations in various scientific and artistic contexts.

—> kickoff study group: May 4
—> public think tank: June 26, 19.00, Kunsthaus Centre d’art Pasquart

Picture: Riikka Tauriainen

Insights into Residency 2024:

«Den Samen der Veränderung säen»

Nora Gailer and Alisha Dutt Islam gave interesting insights into the their plans within the EcoArtLab Residency «Climate Change, Migration, In/Justice».

Read the full Article in German: HERE

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