[Anti]disciplinary Topographies

The Garden Gazebo, LASER Linz

Christoph Thun-Hohenstein (AT), Monica Gagliano (AS), Martin Pfosser (AT), Gabriele Winkler (AT), Christa Sommerer (AT), Diana Ayton-Shenker (US), Fabricio Lamoncha (ES), Christiana Kazakou (GR/UK)

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In September 2021, Linz is joining the Leonardo Art & Science Evening Rendezvous (LASER) network. This international program brings together artists, scientists, scholars and the general public for inspiring presentations and conversations. The LEONARDO LASER LINZ, hosted by the Interface Cultures department of the University of Art and Design Linz, will be held during the Ars Electronica 2021 Festival. For the LASER launch event, more sustainable ways of living, local and global environmental protection and artistic and scientific developments for a “climate-modern” future will be given a special interdisciplinary focus. In a modernized “Gartenlaube,” themes such as Climate-Care, Climate-Digital and Climate-Social (as proposed by Christoph Thun-Hohenstein), will be debated and discussed. Other specific topics will be presented, including Interspecies Collaboration, The Mind of Plants, Herbal Pedagogy, Biodynamic Farming and an exploration and celebration of artistic and folk wisdom, to bring us all together for a “Gartenlaube Waltz”.

Please note this event will take place at the Kunstuniversität Linz, Hauptplatz 8 Courtyard, 4020 Linz, Austria. Due to limited capacity pre-registration is required – please see below for details. The event will be livestreamed at the university’s YouTube channel.

Livestream on Kunstuniversität Linz YouTube Channel
Registration via https://leonardo.info/civicrm/event/info%3Fid%3D657%26reset%3D1
Leonardo LASER Garden Program Info: https://leonardo.info/ars-garden-leonardo-laser/linz-garden-gazebo https://www.leonardo.info/Ars-garden-leonardo-laser


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Leonardo/ISAST(US), Interface Culture Department, Institute for Media, University of Art and Design Linz (AT), Vienna Biennale for Change (AT), Evolutionary Ecology, Biological Intelligence Lab – Southern Cross University (AU), Biologiezentrum O.Ö Landeskultur G.m.b.H. (AT), Leisenhof Gärtnerei (AT)

Christoph Thun-Hohenstein (born 1960): Head of the VIENNA BIENNALE FOR CHANGE, which he initiated in 2015. He was General Director and Artistic Director of the MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts from September 2011 to 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: 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 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: PhD in Genetics and Botany. He publishes on plant systematics and the molecular evolution of plants, and conceives and designs exhibitions on botany and plant domestication. He is the head of Botanical Collections at the Biocenter, OÖ Landes-Kultur GmbH, in Linz Austria.

The Leisenhof Horticulture: It is situated in Linz, right at the base of Pöstlingberg Mountain. It was founded in 1900 as a farming and gardening estate for the Petrinum seminary. While most of the farming activities were stopped in the following 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, alias Flora Fabulosa: She 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 and kindergartens, as well as private groups.

Christa Sommerer: 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. Her artistic practice deals with ecological and biological topics, aiming to raise awareness about plants and the environment through art. For 30 years, she has been collaborating with media artist and professor Laurent Mignonneau. In 2004, they set up the Department of Interface Cultures at the University of Art and Design in Linz, Austria.

Fabricio Lamoncha: Artist, designer and researcher. His practice explores the entanglements of media, ecology and bioethics. After graduating at the University of Art and Design in Linz, he joined the Design Research Lab at UdK in Berlin, led by Professor Gesche Joost. Since 2016, he has been the Assistant Professor at the Interface Cultures Master’s Program, where he started his PhD research under the supervision of Professor Christa Sommerer. He is also a member of the UCLA’s Art|Sci Center, led by Professor Victoria Vesna. He has exhibited internationally and was awarded with the Art and Artificial Life International Award Vida14.

Diana Ayton-Shenker: CEO of Leonardo/ISAST, ASU Professor & Director of ASU-Leonardo. The author of four books (including New Global Agenda) and co-creator of large-scale AR public art installations (New Babel, New World City) with William T. Ayton, she received 2012 Foundation’s 2020 Visionary Award. As a Fast Forward Fund founder, she was honored by Pres. Clinton, named #1 of “25 Leading Women Changing the World” (Good Business NY), and featured in “31 Inspiring Women in Nonprofit Management” (UNC).”

Christiana Kazakou: LASER Program Lead at LEONARDO/ISAST. She is a researcher, curator, producer and artist, acting, performing and reflecting trans-geographically. Her research with i-DAT.org explores transdisciplinary curatorial models and spatial trajectories within the art and science discourse, and is currently funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council (UK). Following her studies on Art & Science (MA) at Central Saint Martins in London; she has worked for numerous innovative companies, networks, festivals, cultural organizations, NGOs and social enterprises whose activities engage across the spectrum of the arts, sciences, technology and society.