Art & Science in Times of Complexity and Crisis

Andrew Newman

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Andrew Newman, Producer – European Platform for Digital Humanism


  • Garden Amsterdam/Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam(NL)
  • Garden Gdansk/ Laznia Center for Contemproary Art (PL)
  • Garden Barcelona/ Quo Artist Foundation (ES)
  • Hypercomf (GR)
  • Roots&Seeds


It may seem unfathomable that we could ever grasp the sheer complexity of the interdependencies of Ecosystem Earth. Each and every one of our quantum computers would crash when faced with the task of mapping all interactions from our microbiomes to the zonobiomes. One human mind cannot comprehend it all, but multitudes of minds have tirelessly worked towards contributing to a shared scientific knowledge that together unravels these interdependencies. Standing on the shoulders of giants is the metaphor so oft used, originating with Bernard of Chartres who described how “we see more and farther than our predecessors, not because we have keener vision or greater height, but because we are lifted up and borne aloft on their gigantic stature”. And we have been borne so far aloft, our bodies of knowledge bringing us into the celestial bodies, where we could look back and see the whole Earth – a blue dot in the beyond. Yet this blue dot is at the edge of catastrophe – so in this We Guide You we ask – How can we integrate this scientific knowledge with the tacit and embodied knowledge of the arts, so that we can not only grasp the web of interdependencies of life on Earth – but are inspired to preserve them. As the Australian theorist Jill Bennett writes, “Change occurs at the edges of disciplines and practices, not only because it is here that those ill-served by the center congregate but because license granted in one filed is withheld in another”. We will ask this question to those working in art and science collaborations in EU programs STUDIOPTIA and Root&Seeds and from the Gardens Amsterdam, Gdansk and Barcelona.