21 - 23 JANUARY 2010

Aarhus University and the national art museum in Copenhagen, Statens Museum for Kunst, are organizing an international conference entitled The Artwork between Technology and Nature. The conference will take place at the museum in Copenhagen on 21-23 January 2010 and aims to raise questions and debate focused on art history and theory in continuation of the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen, COP15.

The museum will simultaneously be showing two exhibitions that are interesting in this context: Nature strikes back, which deals with concepts of nature in art from the Antiquity until today, and Re:think: Living in the age of climate change, in which contemporary artists comment on global climate changes.

The present climate crisis foregrounds the observation that during the last century human technology has come to play a crucial role in the overall behaviour of nature, both as a disturber of ecological balances and as a potential healer of them. Parallel to this development, art seems to have become more closely involved with both nature and technology, challenging, on the one hand, conceptions of art contemplating nature as a distant landscape and, on the other, art as being foreign to the social interaction and physical dynamics of technology. These approaches often highlight art?s critical and reflective function, and yet in art?s very interchange with nature and technology there are certain reminiscences of the ancient and medieval periods in which art and technology were aspects of a common area of cultivated products and their methods ? the Latin ars and the Greek technè ? and in which this area was thought to function according to principles imitating nature.

The conference is primarily aimed at the international circles of art historians and other scholars and students interested in the history of ideas, culture, technology and science. The conference is also relevant to all professionals interested in climate issues and conceptions of nature. Interested museum visitors will also find that the conference elaborates on the issues raised by the exhibitions at Statens Museum for Kunst. In addition, the conference is aimed at people interested in contemporary art, current affairs like the climate crisis, and the historical approach to the field of art, nature and technology.



Aarhus University:
Ass. Professor Maria Fabricius Hansen, dr. phil.
Professor Jacob Wamberg, dr. phil.
PhD student Lisbet Tarp

National Gallery of Denmark:
Senior research curator Hanne Kolind Poulsen
Curator Henrik Holm, PhD


Thursday January 21

Chair Henrik Holm

09.00 Registration

09.30-10: Welcome /Maria Fabricius Hansen and Introduction/Hanne Kolind and Jacob Wamberg

10.00-10.50: Keynote speaker: James Elkins
Unresolved Questions in the Scholarly Representation of Landscape

10.50-11.20: Coffee

11.20-11.50: Kristine Nielsen
A Perfectly Nebulous Experiment: The Making of C.T.R. Wilson’s Cloud Chamber

11.50-11.20: Hanna Johansson
Rain, Technologies of Observations/Representations and (Landscape) Art

12.20-13.20: Lunch

Chair Jacob Wamberg

13.20-14.10: Søren Pold
How to Experience Climate Change? Notes towards the Aesthetics and Poetics of Digital Climate Crisis Art

14.10-14.40: Ulrik Ekman
Blurred: Mixed Context-Awareness

14.40-15: Coffee

15.-15.20: Henrik Holm:
The Order of Things. Matching Artworks with Foucault’s Epistemes

15.20-16.50: Tours with the curators Henrik Holm, Hanne Kolind, and Marianne Torp in the two exhibitions, Nature Strikes Back and Rethink

Friday January 22

Chair Lisbet Tarp

10.15-11.05: Keynote speaker: Lorraine Daston
The Passions of the Unnatural

11.05-11.35: Coffee

11.35-12.05: Bjørn Okholm Skaarup
Science for the Artist: Artistic Anatomy and Mathematics in the Renaissance Academies of Art, 1563-1609

12.05-12.35: Alisa Luxenberg

Botanical Art or (Al)chemical Magic? Nature Printing in 18th-century Spain

12.35-13.35: Lunch

Chair Maria Fabricius Hansen

13.35-14.05: Lisbet Tarp
Midas Touch: Nature in the Hands of the Artist and the Alchemist

14.05-14.35: Pernille Leth-Espensen
Representations of Science in Art

14.35-15.05: Coffee

15.05-15.35: Michael Dürfeld
Artistic Ornamentation between Natural and Artificial Evolution

15.35-16.35: Linda Weintraub
Bio Art ? An Ethical Dilemma
Panel Discussion

Saturday January 23

Chair Birgitte Anderberg

10.15-10.45: Shannon McMullen
The Machine is the Garden: IBA Emscher Park and the Post-Steel
Convergence of Art, Nature and Technology

10.45-11.15: Robert Ferry and Elizabeth Monoian
Land Art Generator Initiative: A Transdisciplinary Approach to Clean Energy

11.15-11.45: Coffee

11.45-12.40: Keynote speaker: Olafur Eliasson
Reflections on my own work

12.40-13.00: Concluding remarks
Maria Fabricius Hansen, Henrik Holm, Hanne Kolind, and Jacob Wamberg