• Art & Science Research Group


Updated: Oct 29, 2020

Data is the most fundamental building block in science. From a world full of complexity, nuggets of crystal clear data are generated, collected, analysed, questioned and verified over and over again, so to support a thesis that will convincingly explain the world back to us.

To make data more comprehensible to the general public, it is also very often visualised. As part of this course, we have looked at various forms of data visualisations, from Roman-era infographics and Emma Willard's fabulously innovative 19th century Maps of Time to contemporary computer graphics, which with their clinical ‘sciency’ look bring impeccable precision to the game, leading us to what can be described as a 'personalised data revival' via designers such as Giorgia Lupi & Stefanie Posavec who propose putting a hand crafted stamp on data collecting again.

Here an infographic inspired by all of the above, describing the evolution of the social connections within this course—thus far!

1 .The Players

2. The idea for the course was born when the Director of the Art Academy Frans Jacobi met scientists Nele Meckler and Thomas Spengler from the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research in Bergen and decided it would be great to work together.

Frans Jacobi then invited artist Aleksandra Mir to lead the course and who began planning the programme and organisation together with the scientists. No less than six other people within the administration were also involved, working at the Library, Housing, Human Resources and Finance Departments.

The course was then announced separately to the faculty and the students at the Art Academy, as well as to all scientists at the Bjerknes Centre who were invited to host a student each in their labs, lectures and fieldwork sessions. 13 scientists signed up right away!

3. A full month was then spent on Recruitment and Match-ups of participants. Interested students ware asked to write a motivation letter, and out of the 24 received, we were able to select 13 who were then carefully matched with a scientist according to special interests and preferences. This was the most nerve-wrecking part of the course preparations as what if we got it wrong and people didn't click? We shouldn't have worried. As soon as everyone receives each other's contact details and started making their 1:1 arrangements, the course took off!

4. The Monday 3h seminar hosted by Frans Jacobi and led by Aleksandra Mir brings the student group together weekly to report on their 1:1 sessions with their scientists, to share what they are experiencing during the week. This way we are able to turbo-charge the learning with everyone's contributions. A weekly theme with shared readings focuses our attention on formal problems within the Art & Science relationship and on the bigger debates within climate change and society.

We were also invited to attend the Bjerknes Center annual meeting where we listened in on a full day of the latest in climate research presentations.

Due to Covid, the seminar is now run entirely on Zoom. Despite of this physical separation, students have still manage to form their own interconnections, generating an internal dialogue and a student-run film programme. Amazing!

5. Halfway into the course and we are now also open to the PUBLIC by publishing this blog with our reflections, fieldwork reports and all sorts. Stay tuned for more to come in the next few weeks and SUBSCRIBE below!



Mosaics of Knowledge: Representing Information in the Roman World, M. Riggsby, 2019

Maps of Time, Emma Willard (1787–1870)

Dear Data, Giorgia Lupi & Stefanie Posavec, 2016

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