Today Art & Science student Simon Sailer opened the roundtable with his presentation about different aspects of taste. He
was inspired by last week’s “train-your-taste”-experiment by Margit Busch who based her research on the book “Geschmacksschule”
by Jürgen Dollase. Margit let the participants take notes about their taste sensations and gave those notations to Simon
who took a closer look at them. What stood out was that taste is often described as a succession of taste that takes place
in time. He also noted that distinguishing various tastes and finding the precise words to describe them properly could be
a challenge. As a visual input and to show what the lack of a sense can generate, parts of the movie “Perfect Sense” by
David Mackenzie were shown. In that movie different senses of all citizens are simultaneously and gradually lost and the
effect in their daily life routine is displayed. Professor Virgil Widrich linked to the filmmaker and artist Derek Jarman
and stated that his movie “Blue” would be the logical endpoint of such a movie. Simon poses questions to connect food and
art: Can food be seen as art? Can art be enjoyed/consumed/treated like food? He quoted Peter Kubelka who sees food as a
tool to be a master, to dominate nature. Food as domesticated nature on a plate – domination versus consoling. According
to Kubelka astronauts could not survive on food-pastes with authentic taste and all required nutritional values as other
sensations where lacking. “There is an accounting for taste” is the conclusion of Simons presentation, quoting Paul Valéry
“We should discuss about taste and color” and Theodor Adorno “De gustibus est disputandum”.
Joan Ballesté followed up and presented his research about biofilms. A biofilm is a micro ecosystem composed by different kinds of microorganisms, attached to a surface and enclosed into a matrix. For Joan interesting aspects of biofilms are the black void as well as the small matters. He has drawn relations to ontogenesis, psychology (Sigmund Freud) and self-censorship. In the end he developed the project ANIMA out of his investigations on self-censorship: Joan wants to encapsulate organisms in a box (adding light, microphones and a camera) and hang it up. The box will be animated (by moving, hitting) and the technical tools would make a streaming to the outside world possible. ?In his current research Joan is engaged with Ernst Haeckel’s book “Kunstformen der Natur”. According to Joan, Haeckel wants to show something nice, powerful and impressive in his book and is in a constant search of beauty and symmetry in the forms of nature. Presenting the image “Chiroptera” which shows different types of bats, he questions whether it is really artistic or rather adopting an artificial look as they may remind us of cultural figures in Thailand. As Juan is dealing with silk screening and lithography he wants to take those images and print them in color (also inverted image) to set a special accent on this artificial appearance.
Harold Vladar closed the Roundtable presenting his research on sound and experimental music. Experimental music (from artists like Autechre, John Cage, Masami Akita -Merzbow, Bernard Parmegiani) helps him to concentrate and that’s why he went deeper into that matter. He started by introducing us to the work of Luigi Russolo and his futurist manifesto “The art of noises” (1913). Harold wants to create self-generating music, using the generative nature of certain sounds, noises and silence. Creating a feedback system and the possibility to interact with it: Sound is evolving – “you” interfere – new sound is generated (and also encoded). He sees wave as a genome, each wave as a unit and wants to iterate sound through a filter for several times. The sounds as genes can be recombined. There is a possibility as well to diphase the sounds. The aim of his project is to have a horde of sounds to take and breed them – evolutionary biology applied to sounds, sounds creating their own dependencies and thereby creating an acoustic organism from iterated sounds.