The Science Gallery Garden at the Ars Electronica Festival will explore trust, technology, global challenges, arts innovation and new forms of digital storytelling. A showcase from the world’s only university network dedicated to public engagement with science and art, it will feature interactive workshops, experimental audio and visual experiences, livestreamed events and a specially-curated digital archive.
Igniting Creativity and Discovery where Science and Art Collide
When we think of water, we are mostly thinking of the 3% that is freshwater on Earth. What does it mean to think of water beyond its being a resource: water is after all a weird substance. It is present in the smallest of living cells as well in gigantic glaciers and oceans.
Water shapes landscapes, lives, and legacies. Yet, access to and use of water is neither equitable nor compassionate. Our oceans are polluted, our groundwater is depleting and our rivers and lakes are drying up.
Science Gallery Bengaluru’s first exhibition-season SUBMERGE (15 December – 30 January) showcased what could happen if geologists, hydrologists, artists, civil engineers, ecologists, social scientists, oceanographers, historians, and storytellers, among others, shared and created knowledge about water to address challenges and identify futures.
As a part of its Ars Electronica Garden, Science Gallery Bengaluru invites you to be a part of four incredible lectures that explore water from these diverse perspectives. Whether it is the tumultuous journey of a river and its people or the hidden processes of life triggered by water – these speakers capture water in its most intriguing forms.
Harini Nagendra, ecologist
Ecologist Harini Nagendra’s talk takes the audience on a journey through the history of water systems in Bengaluru – starting from the 6th century CE to the present day. She explains how lakes were built and how they became an important source of water for the city. Today they are used solely for recreation, environmental support and ornamental views. She argues that urbanization and water conservation can go together and that we need to look at our history to manage our future.
Arupjyoti Saikia, historian
From landscapes to livelihoods, the river Brahmaputra has shaped the history of Assam. Historian Arupjyoti Saikia’s Confluence lecture brings together history, geology and hydrology to present a comprehensive understanding of this mighty river. He speaks about how the river was formed, what makes it unique, and why it is important to think about its future. His lecture is based on his book by the same name.
Shashi Thutupalli , biologist
Biologist Shashi Thutupalli questions our understanding of life and death in his Confluence lecture. His lecture is based on his exhibit FrankenShrimp where dehydrated brine shrimp remain dormant until they are placed in water. Once in water, they begin their life processes. He speaks about how cells in living beings need to be in a liquid state to be active, highlighting the importance of water in life sustaining processes.
Veena Srinivasan, water researcher
In her Confluence lecture, water researcher Veena Srinivasan calls for a new approach to science that is problem driven, interdisciplinary and grounded in real-world questions. She presents three examples to illustrate why we must consider anthropologic changes in this new approach. She addressed the case of disappearing surface water in the Upper Arkavathy watershed near Bengaluru, the impact of droughts on Chennai and questions whether tree planting is good or bad for streams.
Project Credits / Acknowledgements
Science Gallery Bengaluru (SGB) is a not-for-profit public institution for research-based engagement targeted at young adults. We work at the interface between the natural and human sciences, engineering, and the arts through a Public Lab Complex, ever-changing exhibitions, and mentorship programmes. SGB is established with the founding support of the Government of Karnataka and three academic partners – Indian Institute of Science, National Centre for Biological Sciences, and Srishti Institute of Art, Design, and Technology. It is a member of the Global Science Gallery Network with sister galleries in Atlanta, Detroit, Dublin, London, Melbourne, Rotterdam, and Venice.