Arts & Media Archaeology
Performing Science, Mediating Knowledge
Step into the world of the history of spectacular science and the various forms of (un)conventional knowledge that circulated in the nineteenth century through performance and entertainment. Learn about the relation between performance, science, knowledge and its objects and media. Explore how panoramas, human exhibitions and various props such as the magic lantern shaped the public’s perception of science, and how eager audiences became acquainted with the ways in which venues and self-staging tactics were used to frame and communicate knowledge and scientific insights. Discover how art and performance can be analysed as major indicators of shifting ideas, new insights or changing discourses in the realm of science, and how they reflect the impact of new scientific knowledge, observations, and discoveries in cultural history.
The Summer School focuses on the entangled relation between performance and media culture and the history of science, knowledge and ideas. Participants are provided with an interdisciplinary framework for the analysis of science performance and the ways in which knowledge was mediated through popular entertainment and displays in the 19th century. Combining concepts from cultural and performance studies with the histories of science, knowledge and media, allows us to focus on both discursive articulations and imaginations of scientific knowledge as well as more implicit forms of information and understanding.
Sessions consist of (1) an extensive introduction by an international speaker, (2) a discussion based on a set of texts that will be made available to read beforehand and (3) participants will be invited to present research in progress in interactive poster sessions.
The following questions will be the focus of the plenary discussions: What is the relation between performance, science, knowledge and its objects and media? How can performance mediate scientific ideas or insights? What is the role of the venue, the props and costumes in the way knowledge is staged and received? Which forms of knowledge are communicated through bodily expression, imagery, narratives and imagination? What kind of knowledge is contained in scientific objects, media and technologies? And how does their meaning change when they move from the lab to the exhibition space or the theatre where they interact with an audience?
6 ECTS credits will be awarded upon successful completion of the program. This includes pre-reading material, attending all lectures, making and presenting a research poster and a writing-assignment.