Universiteit Leiden

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Festival

Ars Electronica @Oude Sterrewacht

Date
Thursday 10 September 2020 - Sunday 13 September 2020
Location
Old Observatory & Online

Visit Ars Electronica 2020 from your own living room, or in the Old Observatory in Leiden!

Ars Electronica is an Austrian cultural, educational and scientific institute active in the field of new media art. Ars Electronica’s activities focus on the interlinkages between art, technology and society. It runs an annual festival, and manages a multidisciplinary media arts R&D facility called Futurelab.

More about Ars Alectronica

The Observatory Leiden has partnered up with Ars Electronica, as both institutes focus on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) education. This September, The Old Observatory proudly hosts a series of events that are part of the Ars Electronica 2020 festival. Activities will take place both online (10, 11 and 12 September) and in the Old Observatory (13 September).  

Thursday, 10 September, 17:00 - 19:30

Watch on YouTube

  • 17:00 Opening Ars Electronica Festival 2020
     
  • 17:15 Behind the scenes of the current art-science exhibition "The Drake Equation", by photographers Andrew Phelps and Paul Kranzler

    Part of Thursday and Friday’s programme is the Sci-Art presentation from photographers Andrew Phelps and Paul Kranzler. They captured the unique mixture of people living in Green Bank, West Virginia; the rural population of a provincial town, the highly specialised scientists from the research facility and the electrosensitive civilisation refugees. Here you see one of their pieces: a radiotelescopes in the rural landscape. 
     
  • 17:45 The evolution of radio loud Active Galactic Nuclei, by radioastronomer Wendy Williams

    Almost all galaxies have at their centres black holes that are over a billion times more massive than our Sun. Though small in comparison to the galaxies themselves, when they accrete matter these black holes can influence the formation of stars in their host galaxies. The physical processes of black hole accretion and star formation both give rise to emission at radio frequencies. Thus, by surveying the sky with radio telescopes, we can map out the intricate interplay between black holes and their host galaxies as they grow and evolve in the Universe. Studying these sources is made possible with new generation radio telescopes and computer technology, including the Low Frequency Array and the Square Kilometer Array.
     
  • 18:30 Book launch - How to Future: Leading and Sense-making in an Age of Hyperchange, by authors Scott Smith and Michelle Kasprzak

    In a turbulent world, how do individuals and organizations design the futures they want? How can creating futures become a tool for all, not just an elite few? To mark the publication of a new book “How to Future: Leading and Sense-making in an Age of Hyperchange,” author and futurist Scott Smith of Changeist will discuss these and other issues in conversation with curator and writer Michelle Kazprzak. Co-written with science fiction author and futurist Madeline Ashby, “How to Future” distills over a decade of hands-on experience with brands, governments and NGOs mapping the future, and prototyping possibility.
     
    Scott Smith is founder and managing partner of Changeist, a respected futures consultancy, as well as a writer, educator and advisor. He has over 25 years’ experience in applied foresight and advises global corporations, governments, cultural institutions and NGOs. Scott has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, WIRED, Qz and The Atlantic. He is based in The Hague.

    Michelle Kasprzak is a curator, writer, artist, and teacher. Michelle recently completed her doctoral dissertation, "Curating-with: Artistic Methodologies for Social Innovation and Community-focused Acts of Care, Maintenance, and Repair" as part of the UT Austin|Portugal CoLab Digital Media PhD program. She is based in Amsterdam.

Friday, 11 September, 17:00 - 19:30

Watch on YouTube

  • 17:15 Behind the scenes of the current art-science exhibition “The Drake Equation”, by photographers Andrew Phelps and Paul Kranzler  

    Part of Thursday and Friday’s programme is the Sci-Art presentation from photographers Andrew Phelps and Paul Kranzler. They captured the unique mixture of people living in Green Bank, West Virginia; the rural population of a provincial town, the highly specialised scientists from the research facility and the electrosensitive civilisation refugees. Here you see one of their pieces: a radiotelescopes in the rural landscape. 
     
  • 18:15 Panel discussion on the Powers of Ten “how to scale and visualize the Universe?”, with Vibeke Mascini, Oscar Santillán, Ana María Gómez López and Frans Snik. 

    Powers of 10 (1968) is the famous short film by Charles and Ray Eames featuring scientific visualizations of humans, Earth and the universe through scales of magnitude. The acknowledged inspiration for Eames’ Powers of 10 was the book by Dutch educator Kees Boeke titled Cosmic View: The Universe in 40 Jumps (1957). Yet an entirely unknown source behind the publication that inspired this iconic short film was recently uncovered. Through a series of fortunate circumstances, Dr. Frans Snik, Professor in the Department of Astronomy at Leiden University, received the curious donation of a notebook with a series of handmade sketches illustrating the “scale-jumps” characteristic of Powers of 10. The date of this notebook was not fully clear; however, the scientific framing of this visual narrative suggests that these were made prior to Boeke’s Cosmic View. In addition, this unearthed sketchbook was authored by Dutch astronomer Henk van de Hulst, who would then be the first person to have graphically envisioned these specific step-by-step connections from the sub-atomic to the macroscopic. 

    This original notebook by Henk van de Hulst will serve as a point of departure for a performance lecture that will present operations analogous to plays in magnitude. Artists Mascini, Santillán, and Gómez López will activate artifacts taken from different scientific Leiden-based collections, in order to activate notions of scale ranging from a speck of dust on a telescope lens to the entirety of known biological species on the planet—and possibly beyond. This presentation is part of a larger collaboration between the artists and Dr. Frans Snik.  

Saturday, 12 September, 14:00 -19:00

Watch on YouTube

Close Cosmos is a collective installation which looks close to ourselves and into the distant space. As beings we stand in-between the microscope and the telescope, in-between our cells and the galaxies, under and above... These notions of the extremes can give us purpose and help answering the fundamental questions about life.
 
The moon gallery is invited to exhibit at the Leiden University Observatory, the oldest still operating observatory in the world founded in 1633. This historical monument still plays an educational role for the University and the city of Leiden. The Observatory is designed for research and the development of the capacity of perception of our universe. Like the Observatory, the artists of the moon gallery aim to raise perception by asking fundamental questions about life. Questions close to ourselves and the cosmos we inhabit. 
 
Close Cosmos will feature 36 micro artifacts that represent universal values and human aspirations envisioned and materialized by the Moon Gallery artists. 
 
Participating artists: Annamaria Zanella, Alberta Vita, Jone Suardi, Niek Verschoor, Francesca Andreozzi, Renzo Pasquale, Valdas NeuroVirtual, Lakshmi Mohanbabu, Andy Gracie, Emmanuele Villani, Eduardo Kac, Mary Kuiper, Renato Japi, Minna Philips, Johan Recén Larsson, Martin Sjardijn, Dana LaMonda, Thomas Heidtmann, Maria Beaumaster,  Sarah Bovelett,  Lisa Van Casand, Mateja Šušteršič Dimic, Eva Petric, Jamal Ageli, Aneta Zeleznikova, Ronald Vles, Gabriele Lorusso, Hady Milani, Isabella Douzoglou, Mai Wada, Anastasia Kokori, Oded Ben-Horin,
Priyanka Das Rajkakati, Sophie Hooghiemstra, Studio Samira Boon, Anna Sitnikova, Hans Brooymans, Guy Livingston, Jorick de Quaasteniet

  • 14:00 - 15:30 EuroMoonMars TV. How to send an artwork to the moon?
     
  • 15:45- 16:30 ArtMoonMars TV
     
  • 17:00 - 18:00 Art-Science & Space, presentation by Bernard Foeing
     
  • 18:00 - 19:00 "Close Cosmos" exhibition inauguration by curators Elizaveta Glukhova & Anna Sitnikova"

Sunday, 13 September, 14:00 - 19:00

  • 10:00 - 18:00 Visit the Old Observatory Visitor Center with the new exhibition "Close Cosmos"
     
  • 14:00 - 16:00 Moonwalk through the Hortus Botanicus Leiden with Astronauts in moonsuits
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