Art meets science at historic ensemble

10/04/2011 - „The most beautiful science campus of the continent“ is now even prettier: the small cupola of the former photographic refractor on Telegraphenberg was inaugurated – and with it the “Artist in Residence” program, which encourages a dialogue between the sciences and arts.
Art meets science at historic ensemble
Collage: Steven Pippin

Where once people worked on the first star map of the world, the building has been restored to its original beauty, and the ensemble of historic science buildings of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research is complete. For the time being, the building will serve as a studio for artists from all over the world. “For science, the connection with art can be fascinating and stimulating,” said Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of PIK, at the opening ceremony on Friday. “Here, artistic freedom meets scientific freedom.” As the first guest of the “Artist in Residence” program - which was initiated by the Potsdam Institute in cooperation with ‘Über Lebenskunst’ and DAAD - Steven Pippin, a British photographer and sculptor, had his work at display during the ceremony.

“Art and science live in different worlds,” said Sabine Kunst, Minister for Science, Research and Culture in her greeting. “The scientist might be astonished by art and discover new worlds for himself, the artist grasps interrelations completely new.” This dialogue creates a surplus for both sides. A question that was later also discussed by Hortensia Völckers of the German Federal Culture Foundation, Dorothea Rüland of DAAD, and Matthias Steinmetz of the Astrophysical Institute.

Succeeding Steven Pippin, Swiss author Peter Weber will arrive this week and become the second guest of the project at PIK.