LEONARDO LASER LINZ at the Academy of Thoughts
Linz is joining the Leonardo Art & Science Evening Rendezvous (LASER) network with an international program hosted by Interface Cultures at Ars Electronica 2021. Artists, scientists, scholars and the general public are invited to join conversations about sustainable ways of living, environmental protection, and artistic and scientific developments for a “climate-modern” future. In a modernized “Gartenlaube,” Climate-Care, Climate-Digital and Climate-Social — terms proposed by Christoph Thun-Hohenstein — will be debated and discussed with a focus on Interspecies Collaboration, The Mind of Plants, Herbal Pedagogy, and Biodynamic Farming. It will be supported by the exploration and celebration of artistic and folk wisdom, to bring everyone together for a ”Gartenlaube Waltz.”
Christoph Thun-Hohenstein (AT): Christoph Thun-Hohenstein (born 1960) is Head of the VIENNA BIENNALE FOR CHANGE, which he initiated in 2015. He has been General Director and Artistic Director of the MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts from September 2011 (until August 2021). While working for the Austrian Foreign Ministry, he held posts in Abidjan, Geneva, and Bonn. He was Director of the Austrian Cultural Forum New York from 1999 to 2007, after which he served as Managing Director of departure, the Creative Agency of the City of Vienna, until August 2011. Christoph Thun-Hohenstein has published on topics dealing above all with European integration, contemporary arts and culture, and climate care, and has held numerous lectures on these topics.
Monica Gagliano (IT): Monica Gagliano is a Research Associate Professor in evolutionary ecology at Southern Cross University where she directs the Biological Intelligence (BI) Lab as part of the Diverse Intelligences Initiative of the Templeton World Charity Foundation. She has pioneered the brand-new research field of plant bioacoustics, for the first time experimentally demonstrating that plants emit their own ”voices” and detect and respond to the sounds of their environments. Her work has extended the concept of cognition (including perception, learning processes, memory) in plants. Her latest book is Thus Spoke the Plant (North Atlantic Books, 2018).
Martin Pfosser (AT): Martin Pfosser holds a PhD in Genetics and Botany. He publishes on plant systematics and molecular evolution of plants and conceives and designs exhibitions on botany and the domestication of plants. He is the head of Botanical Collections at the Biocenter, OÖ Landes-Kultur GmbH, in Linz Austria.
The Leisenhof horticulture (AT): The Leisenhof horticulture is situated in Linz, right at the base of the Pöstlingberg mountain. It was founded in 1900 as a farming and gardening estate of the Petrinum seminary. While most of the farming activities ceased in later years, the nursery, with its 0.75 hectares remained and switched to biological cultivation methods in 1980. Since 2005 the Leisenhof horticulture became a Demeter enterprise, adopting purely bio-dynamic farming principles. Besides growing, selling and processing vegetables, fruits and herbs on site, organic and Demeter seeds are also cultivated for the company Reinsaat.
Gabriele Winkler (AT): Gabriele Winkler alias Flora Fabulosa graduated in cultural anthropology at the University of Vienna and has spent several months in the tropical rainforests of the Amazon basin in South America. Today, she works as ethnobotanist and permaculturist in Upper Austria, where she passes on her knowledge about the “wild greens” and their uses with great passion at various educational institutes, schools, kindergartens as well as private groups. Flora Fabulosa: interactive infotainment in ethnobotany and phytotherapy.
Christa Sommerer (AT): Christa Sommerer is an internationally renowned media artist, researcher and pioneer of interactive art. She originally studied botany and anthropology before completing a study in sculpture in Vienna. She later studied with media art pioneers Peter Weibel and Roy Ascott. In her artistic practice she deals with ecological and biological topics, aiming to raise awareness about plants and the environment through art. She has collaborated with media artist and professor Laurent Mignonneau for 30 years. In 2004 they set up the department of Interface Cultures at the University of Art and Design in Linz, Austria.
Fabricio Lamoncha (ES): Fabricio Lamoncha is an artist, designer and researcher from Spain, currently based in Linz. His practices explore the entanglements of media ecology and bioethics. After graduating MA at Interface Cultures, Kunstuniversität Linz, he moved to Berlin to be part of the Design Research Lab, UdK. Since 2016 he is back in Linz to work as technical assistant and lecturer at the Interface Cultures Master Program, and since 2018 he pursues his PhD under the supervision of Univ. Prof. Dr. Christa Sommerer. He is member of the UCLA’s Art|Sci Center, led by UCLA Prof. Dr. Victoria Vesna, and regular instructor at the Sci|Art Lab+Studio summer program, Los Angeles. His work has been exhibited internationally and awarded the Art and Artificial Life International Award Vida14.
LEONARDO LASER LINZ is hosted by Christa Sommerer and Fabricio Lamoncha