Art and Science at Flat Time House, London

Vision Forum has since 2009 been collaborating with curator and Flat Time House director Claire Louise Staunton on the New Cities Project. One of Vision Forum's three research fields is "Platforms for Meetings between art and Science." In order to make use of the network that we have developed in this field and draw inspiration from John Latham's work Vision Forum and Flat Time House together arrange a workshop on art and science on January 27 at Flat Time House in London - 210 Bellenden Rd, London SE15 4BW.

Invited participants:  Fatos Üstek, Claire Louise Staunton, Mauricio Dwek, Aurele Duda, Elena Nemkova, IMS project, John Hill, Stephen Whitmarsh, William Stafford and Per Hüttner.

Programme of the Day

11.00 Per Huttner introduces Vision Forum and art/science project
11.20 Stephen Whitmarsh speaks about art from the perspective of Neuroscience
11.30 Claire Louise Staunton introduces John Latham and Flat Time
11.50 Fatos Ustek and Mauricio Dwek will introduce the topic of discussion, 0/0
14.00 Lunch at The Begging Bowl thai restaurant, Bellenden Rd
15.30 Presentation and video from IMS
16.00 Discussions

Art & Science Workshop Why and for Whom?

The world population has recently surpassed 7 billion and the number of living souls on this planet has doubled since the 1970's. There are growing pressures on the environment, global food supplies, and energy resources and we need new solutions to manage such demands. The world is in need of new ideas, new thinking - creativity in short.

The amount of research, production and publication in all creative fields (artistic and scientific) inevitably leads to a process of a higher specialisation and will continue to specialise in the coming decades. Today’s research and production in a single field is so immense that it is impossible to have an overview of all the exploration that is being undertaken. So, we have to accept that art is art and science is science.

A dialogue between art and science has two important advantages (from an artistic point of view):

- A dialogue in specialized field always runs the risk of becoming too self-contained. When we move outside our comfort zones, we become aware of our own vulnerability – and I mean this in the best sense of the word. We become aware of the limits of our knowledge and working methods. We have to remain far humbler in our ignorance when approaching another genre or discipline. 

- Certain fields of mathematics and physics offer concepts that are counter-intuitive. They function contrary to what our experiences in everyday life and at the same time can be proven mathematically and through experiments. These ways of thinking offer mental gymnastics that open to new ways of perceiving the world. Whether we believe that our perception of the world is too anthropocentric or not - we can find inspiration to deal with problems in novel ways.

Why 0/0?

The number zero is considered to be one of man's most important conceptual breakthroughs. Depending on the the position, its meaning changes greatly (examples: 01, 10, 0.1 etc.). We have chosen to use the idea of 0/0 as a starting point for a dialogue between art and science, because it offers a very interesting paradox where science is compelled to deal with philosophical questions much like those that art grapples with. 0/0 offers a platform where we can discuss on relatively equal terms.

Already any natural number divided by zero (a/0) poses a problem with many different 'solutions.' And zero is said to be divided by all numbers but itself. In other words 0/0 is a trickster that allow us to prove virtually anything true. Have a look at this:

For more information visit Flat Time House and Vision Forum's websites.