Greetings from Damocles: artists visit environmental scientists

10/26/2012 - The worldwide highly recognized Swedish writer Lars Gustafsson is the new Artist in Residence at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). Starting in november, for several weeks he will have the opportunity for encounters with scientists – he is already the fourth artist who visits the institute through a project together with the Berlin artists program of DAAD, ÜBER LEBENSKUNST.
Greetings from Damocles: artists visit environmental scientists
Writer and thinker Lars Gustafsson at work. Photo: DAAD

“More and more scientists and artists engage with climate change, because it poses a threat in a seemingly comfortable situation,” says Margret Boysen who organizes PIK´s Artist in Residence program. “Art lets the sword of Damocles sparkle, science is preoccupied with the hair that holds it. But art also provides a description of the beauty we may lose. Artists have the wonderful skill to make abstract findings tangible. This opens a new field for dialogue.”

On November 7th, Gustafsson will read from his work at PIK, on the 20th he will share the stage of Deutsches Theater Berlin with PIK-director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber for an event titled “Über Lebenskunst”. One of the best known books of Gustafsson is “The Death of a Beekeeper”, one of his latter works is “Towards zero. A mathematical fantasy”. The manifold awarded author was honoured with the Goethe Institute medal, because he shaped the image of Swedish literature beyond popular crime stories and children´s books.

Currently the British installation artist Nick Laessing uses the building of the former photographic refractor where, in the last century, scientists worked on the first photographic star map of the world. Now the building is given to artists as a studio. Laessing has had solo exhibitions in Paris, London, Turin and Geneva. In his works he elaborates on energy and machines, among other things. “It is truly unique that a research institute provides the opportunity for artists to stay,” he says. “It is great to be here.”


Weblink zur Veranstaltung im Deutschen Theater

Weblink zum Berliner Künstlerprogramm des DAAD



A cooperation between the project ÜBER LEBENSKUNST with the Berliner Künstlerprogramm of DAAD and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. ÜBER LEBENSKUNST is an initiative of Kulturstiftung des Bundes in cooperation with Haus der Kulturen der Welt.