Sunday, March 11, 2007

Flach & Arends: Response to first three questions

From: Sabine Flach and Bergit Arends
Date: Sun, 11 Mar 2007 18:21:02 -0400

Dear all

Sorry to have been a little absent from this symposium. Sabine Flach and myself have been at a conference abroad and are actually now sitting in front of the computer in London before dashing to the Big Apple (from where we will do a posting early next week) So, thank you all very much for the interesting debates. We had hoped that a paper we sent earlier for the first session could make a contribution to the discussion in the role of images and science. We are not sure if you all saw this paper and attach here again.
Now, we would like introduce ourselves and then make a response to Session Three.
Sabine Flach is Head of Research for Arts and Sciences at the Centre for Literature and Cultural Studies in Berlin and has become known for her lecture series ‘Wissenskuenste (The Arts of Knowledge and the Knowledge of the Arts) in cooperation with the Museum of Contemporary Arts Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin. Sabine is historian of art.
Bergit Arends is now curator of contemporary arts at the Natural History Museum London. Beforehand I headed the arts and science funding programme supported by the sciart Consortium and later by the Wellcome Trust.
At the time of the sciart programme I was lucky to be able to fund a collaborative project by artist Jacqueline Donachie and scientist Darren Monckton entitled ‘Tomorrow belongs to me’. The work was shown recently at the Hunterian in Glasgow and a publication followed. The project deals with the cultural and ethical prejudices and the undoing of these prejudices in the study of ‘anticipation’, a genetic condition that determines Huntingdon’s and Myotonic Dystrophy as well as Fragile X syndrome.
Currently Sabine and I are developing an exhibition on the basis of recent advances in neurosciences and scientific research into emotions and its interrelations with the arts and literature. This research doesn’t directly spring out of the work in the life sciences, but is an example of cultural coding of the body and how this is read through the sciences and in this case the boundaries of the neurosciences, i.e. where the sciences seek recourse to artistic production to further their research.
A brief description attached. (Sorry I now realize that this is in German, I’ll send an English Version from work at the earliest opportunity)

Sorry, all the best, more from NY, The cab is outside.
Best wishes Bergit and Sabine

[second post]
Dear all
I am adding a couple of texts to the discussion. Not having checked the current status of the debate we hope this makes a relevant contribution to this stage of the discussion.
One of the papers entitled ‘Knowledge in the Arts – Life Sciences – Art – Media’ talks about the knowledge production within the arts by drawing on the installation ‘Genesis’ by Eduardo Kac.
Images of the installation are not included in the paper, but can be viewed at
The second paper ‘Thought Experiments’ deals with the discussion about the knowledge generated by brain images.
All the best
Bergit Arends and Sabine Flach

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