Opening of the 9th Swiss Biennial on Science, Technics + Aesthetics The Large, the Small and the Human Mind - Part 2 on 31 March 2012 (René Stettler, 11'20'')
I think it is safe to say that no one understands quantum
R.P. Feynman, Nobel-Prize-winning physicist, 1973
A scientific world-view which does not profoundly come to terms with the problem of conscious minds does not have serious pretensions of completeness.
Sir Roger Penrose, University of Oxford / UK
Epistemological revelations at the 4th International Symposium on Science, Technics and Aesthetics "The Enigma of Consciousness" (2001), Picture 3.9 MB (left) Picture right: "Consciousness and Quantumcomputers" (2007)
An On-Line Laboratory the New Gallery Lucerne was ranking
in the year 2000 among Switzerland's 50 top galleries according to
the Swiss economic magazine Bilanz. The New Gallery Lucerne was founded in 1987 at the Schlössli
Götzental, a small castle in the village of Dierikon near Lucerne. An institution supported by the Federal Office of
Culture, the Canton and the
City of Lucerne, the New Gallery Lucerne defines itself as a cultural
laboratory. It is not connected exclusively to one or more
faculties, but aims to involve people from all faculties, schools
of thought and walks of life in a critical dialogue concerned with science, technological innovation, art and society, which they have
long sought themselves but for which there has been no point of
contact to date. The New Gallery Lucerne sees its role as that of a touchstone
for such dialogues. Its interdisciplinary activities and projects
are concerned with new challenges posed by widely varying fields
of knowledge and research.
For some time now, the Swiss Biennial on Science, Technics and Aesthetics, and the meetings organised in Lucerne with internationally accredited topics from the natural sciences, technics and aesthetics, have put their focus on the polemical relationship between quantum physics and brain research. The aim of the Lucerne Lectures and Talks is to explore a more comphrehensive understanding of physical reality and consciousness. This includes critical epistemological positions and debates that venture into the relationship between knowledge and reality, science and rationality, language and understanding, and cognition and sociality.
The Biennial is developable. Regarding the trend to increasingly commercialise all knowledge in the global culture industry, the public mediation and representation of science has become an important and challenging issue, which may turn into a Biennial topic itself in the future.
In the coming years, the Biennial will be increasingly concerned with the interrelations between human activity, ecological and evolutionary processes, values and goals, which concern scientific research and the cultural production of knowledge. This is important since the growing commercialization in the globalised market and consumer culture, the destructive side of globalization and environmental destruction must be considered as essentially humanly constructed, and a discussion about the creation of new social values in cultural production is at stake.
Images (3.6 MB left, 2.3 MB right): Biennial 2005 "Consciousness and Teleportation," Museum of Transport, Lucerne, Courtesy: Felix von Wartburg, Lucerne. Film left 6'23: The Swiss Biennial on Science, Technics and Aesthetics (2004). Film right 5'12: Ernst von Glasersfeld and Roger Penrose debating about the nature of reality, the nature of theories and human experience ("The Enigma of Consciousness," Lucerne Theatre, 2001).
The Swiss Biennial on Science, Technics and Aesthetics has no competition in Europe. There is no need to host the Swiss Biennial's discourses in metropolises such as New York or London, as they have taken place in Lucerne on the periphery and on a high discursive level in the past 15 years.
The Swiss Biennial on Science, Technics and Aesthetics’ target group comprises interested people from a broad scope of the population. Among them are scientists, students of Swiss and German Universities of Applied Sciences and Arts, and an audience from the Anglo-Saxon countries. The Swiss public, scholars and specialists from different countries – on average, approx. 300 to 400 persons – form a curious group, which participates actively in debates and discussions. According to a survey taken in 2003, approx. 85 percent of visitors have a background in science, education and art. The sale of specialist literature demonstrates that the Biennial provides also an important trigger function. Many visitors deepen the live-lectures and discussions through books and literature, which they acquire at the Biennial.
The Lucerne Lectures and Talks
The Lucerne Lectures and Talks founded in 1994 with top scientists and researchers from the disciplines of quantum physics, neuroscience, philosophy, ethnology, and the media sciences and media art, are framed by the discourses of science theory, epistemology and philosophy. The transcriptions are connected to the hope that new spinned threads may this way become a “firm constituent” of our future knowledges.