This panel brings together scientists from environmental and material science at KAUST and ETH Zurich and artists from Saudi Arabia and Switzerland to discuss the potential of connecting heterogeneous knowledge from the Arts, Science and Technology.
How can the explorations of scientific and artistic practices provide a more holistic understanding of situated knowledge and disciplinary quests? How can pushing the disciplinary boundaries contribute to shaping sustainable futures? What is the potential of shared visions to help solve global challenges?
These are some of the questions that Francesca Benzoni (Red Sea Research Center), Nicola Spaldin (Material Science ETH Zurich), and artists Ahmed Mater (KSA) and Julian Charrière (Switzerland) will explore together.
To connect art and science, in 2016, KAUST started a partnership through the Enrichment of Office with the artists-in-labs program (AIL) of ZHdK. The partnership brings a collaboration between scientists and artists to enhance the dialogue between art and science. It is co-financed by KAUST, Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, and Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK).
Dr. Francesca Benzoni is an Associate Professor of Marine Science in the KAUST Red Sea Research Center (RSRC). Prof. Benzoni is a marine biologist and her research has focused on the evolution, diversity, and ecology of corals and coral-dominated assemblages in the Indo-Pacific region, with a strong focus on the seas around Arabia.Prof. Benzoni has contributed to major advances in the field of hard corals integrated systematics and biogeography through a multidisciplinary approach. Her work has led to the discovery and description of new coral taxa and to the revision of the whole lineage. Concurrently, she has studied the short and mid-term effects of local and global environmental changes on the composition and structure of coral-dominated benthic communities.Prof. Benzoni has organized several international oceanographic expeditions and workshops aiming at the exploration and study of coral reef diversity throughout the Indo-Pacific. Moreover, she has led training activities in various countries to promote and sustain the knowledge transfer to local communities and stakeholders. As a consultant, she has led or been involved in different coral reef monitoring and habitat mapping studies in the Arabian region.At KAUST, her fundamental research addresses the diversity, characterization and evolution of benthic marine organisms and habitats. Her applied research questions concern the patterns of spatial and temporal changes in reef benthos diversity and distribution in a time of environmental change in the Red Sea.
Julian Charrière & egrave;re is a French-Swiss artist born in 1987 in Morges, Switzerland, and based in Berlin, Germany .Charri & egrave's research-based work varies between photography, performance, intervention, and sculpture. His artistic practice includes working in remote places with acute geophysical identities such as volcanos, ice-fields, and radioactive sites, where he investigates the relationship between human civilization and the natural landscape. Charri & egrave studied with artist Olafur Eliasson at his Institute for Spatial Experiments at the Berlin University of the Arts. He has exhibited his work at museums and institutions worldwide, including the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lausanne in Switzerland; Centre Culturel Suisse in Paris; Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin; Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna; Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin; the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo; The Kochi-Muziris Biennale in India; 12th Biennale de Lyon in France and at the 57th Venice Biennale in Venice.Julian Charri & egrave received several awards and residencies. Amongst other the Kaiserring Stipendium f& uumlr junge Kunst, 2016, and the Kiefer-Hablitzel Award in 2013 and 2015.In 2018, Charrière is entering a collaboration with La Prairie. The Swiss luxury skincare brand is acting as a patron towards his film «Towards No Earthly Pole» shot during expeditions to the frozen landscapes of the Arctic regions and Switzerland. The film will be shown at Charrière’s upcoming exhibition, opening in October 2018 at MASI Museo d’Arte Della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano, Switzerland. With La Prairie Charrière will present exclusive material from his expeditions, including behind the scenes footage. The images will highlight an otherwise hidden majestic landscape: a poetic interpretation of the “power of light.” The collaboration will be presented at Art Basel Hong Kong in March 2018 where Julian Charri & egrave will assemble a special installation within the La Prairie collectors' lounge.
Nicola Spaldin is the Professor of Materials Theory at ETH Zurich. A native of Sunderland, she studied Natural Sciences at Churchill College, Cambridge, and obtained her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley. After postdoctoral research in Applied Physics at Yale University, she joined the Materials Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara as Assistant, Associate then Full Professor before returning to Europe in 2010. Spaldin developed the class of materials known as multiferroics, which combine simultaneous ferromagnetism and ferroelectricity, for which she has received the American Physical Society's McGroddy Prize for Materials, the Körber European Science Prize, and the L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Award, among many other honors. Spaldin is a passionate science educator, author of a popular textbook on Magnetic Materials, director of her department's study program, and holder of the ETH Golden Owl Award for excellence in teaching. When not trying to make a room-temperature superconductor, she can be found playing her clarinet, or skiing or climbing in the Alps.
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