Art & Science Research Group is a new initiative that aims at establishing a fruitful relationship between the Academy of Art and Design and the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research in Bergen, to further the research, dialogue and communication on Climate Change


— The course will run for 10 weeks (38-47) and will be jointly led by visiting artist Aleksandra Mir in coordination with Thomas Spengler, professor at the Geophysical Institute and Anna Nele Meckler, associate professor at the Department of Earth Science, including a number of climate scientists from the Bjerknes Centre.

— 12 Art and Design students will be invited to participate. Each student will be paired with a researcher and/or team that will mentor them in their specific field and according to their individual schedules.

— Aleksandra Mir will host a once weekly group session where students will share their progress and where diverse artistic strategies that converse with and illuminate science will be explored, such as: data visualisation, propaganda and other poetic, conceptual, narrative, documentary and speculative artistic forms.

— First Group session Monday 14 September via Zoom

— First Live session Monday 21 September (Room TBA)

— An initial seminar will introduce all participants to each other, give a general overview and Aleksandra Mir will give an introductory lecture: An Anecdotal History of Science and Art (Date/Room TBA)

— Additionally, the group will be invited to join select lectures, workshops, conferences and fieldwork sessions at Bjerknes so we are looking at a FULL PROGRAM

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The course is suitable for students at Bergen's Academy for Art & Design who:

— Have a declared passion for the subject or want to learn more about climate science and can formulate their interest in a short statement.

—  Are willing to make a substantial commitment to the subject over the ten-week period by attending scheduled meetings, open events and follow up with shared readings.

— Are self-motivated and organised enough to develop and honor an individual schedule and exchange 1:1 with their science mentor/s.

— Are willing to share their progress in the weekly group sessions, lead by curiosity, take an active part in discussions and contribute to the university website with visuals and blog posts.

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The Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research

The Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research is a collaborative organisation that brings together climate scientists from several institutions in Bergen: The Geophysical Institute, the Department of Earth Science, the Department of Biological Sciences (all University of Bergen), NORCE Climate, the Institute of Marine Research, and the Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Centre. Scientists at the Bjerknes Centre study climate on a range of different timescales (past, present, future) and with many different approaches, such as digital climate models, observations, experiments, reconstructions, theory, etc.

Geophysical Institute

Department of Earth Science

Department of Biological Sciences

Department of Physical Geography

NORCE Climate

Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Centre 

Institute of Marine Research

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Aleksandra Mir on Art & Science

The Artist as Astronaut, Nature, 20/07/2017

We Can't Stop Thinking About the Future, MIT Press, 2017

Space Tapestry, 2017

A Voyage Towards the South Pole, 2005

Antarctica: A Play, 2015

Failing and Falling: A Workshop on Gravity, 2015

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1 / Write a short Motivation (1 - 3 paragraphs) introducing yourself and stating your interest to be part of the project.

2 / Pick General Interest OR Specific Interest in one of the 12 research teams that will be hosting one art student each, covering a wide range of different types of climate research:

- ice sheet behavior (with computer models)
- global circulation pattern in the atmosphere
- DNA of ancient organisms from the ocean floor, to reconstruct the ocean state in the past (including DNA laboratory with "space suits")
- response of mountain plants to climate change in Norway (including fieldwork in Norway)
- predicting seasonal climate (instead of common weather prediction for the next week, predict what the next season will be like)
- ocean currents
- ancient dripstones from  South Africa revealing climate during the time of Early Homo Sapiens evolution
- sea level rise impacts in small South Pacific island states

- permafrost response to climate warming. This is a special opportunity for one lucky student to be part of an early fieldwork session already 4-10 September (week 36-37). You will join researchers Inge Althuizen & Hanna Lee in Finnmark where they will showcase their work on permafrost thaw in relation to greenhouse gas emissions. All expenses of the field trip for the student are paid. If interested and available the full week, let us know.

3 / Email your Motivation to: 
Subject Field: My Name - APPLICATION - Art & Science

DEADLINE August 21, 2020, 18:00

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Reading List


Dear Data, Giorgia Lupi & Stefanie Posavec, 2016

The Truthful Art: Data, Charts, and Maps for Communication (Voices That Matter, Alberto Cairo, 2016  

Information is Beautiful, David McCandles, 2012  

Storytelling with Data: Let's Practice! Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic, 2019  

DataStory: Explain Data and Inspire Action Through Story, Nancy Duarte, 2019

Visualizing Climate Change: A Guide to Visual Communication of Climate Change and Developing Local Solutions, Stephen R.J. Sheppard, 2012  

Visualizing Environmental Science, Linda R. Berg, 2013  

Picturing the Cosmos, Hubble Space Telescope Images and the Astronomical sublime, Elizabeth A. Kessler, 2012   



Designing Regenerative Cultures, Daniel Christian Wahl, 2016  

SOS: What you can do to reduce climate change - simple actions that make a difference, Seth Wynes, 2019  

Wilding: The Return of Nature to a British Farm, Isabella Tree, 2018 

Climate Justice: A Man-Made Problem With a Feminist Solution, Mary Robinson, 2019  

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, Naomi Klein, 2015  

Communicating Climate Change in Russia, Marianna Poberezhskaya, 2015  

The Green New Deal and Beyond: Ending the Climate Emergency While We Still Can, Stan Cox, 2020  

The Uninhabitable Earth: A Story of the Future, David Wallace-Wells, 2019  

There Is No Planet B: A Handbook for the Make or Break Years, Mike Berners-Lee, 2019    



The Sea Around Us, Rachel Carson, 2018 (first edition 1951)  

Overstory, Richard Powers, 2018  

Annihilation, Jeff Vendermeer, 2014  

Barskins, Annie Proulx, 2016  

Flight Behaviour, Barbara Kingsolver, 2012  

New York 2140, Kim Stanley Robinson, 2018  

The Swan Book, Alexis Wright, 2016  

The Water Knife, Paolo Bacigalupi, 2015  



Climate Changed, Philippe Squarzoni, 2014

Check back as this list will be updated