In the first part of the Art&Science Roundtable session David Palme presented his conceptual approach to his master thesis. He illustrated his method with a participatory performance, which encompasses the renovation of “die Angewandte”, with a special focus on the different actors and interest groups like students, professors, employees, the new buildings and meeting points.
He started with a presentation of the e-mails correspondence and the opening of letters connected with the university. The letters concerned the relocations of the different classes, the financial situation of the building process and the reasons for the renovation.
David Palme invited the students to participate in his experiment. Everyone was asked to choose a character that is involved or affected by the relocation plans of the university and to interact with the other participants. To achieve a better emersion into the different roles he used several methods. To improve the experience of a free space of expression, he used icons from 'the Sims'. Sometimes students were asked to take control over other persons, by verbal commands, to explore different ways of inter-subjectivity and problem solving. His approach was inspired by experimental forms of governance in South America, which tried to combine participatory theatre with processes of law making.
In the second and last part of the session Slawomir Bobola presented his project, which he developed in the previous semester and the outlines of his master thesis. The first project was about the question of identity, with a special focus on the aspect of the roll of memory. The identity of a person depends strongly on the subjective relation to experiences in the past. He used a childhood memory of him and his brother, of chasing the source of a river to construct a mnemonic path to connect his personal past with everyday tasks of memorisation. To do that, he revisited the river and documented his journey to the source. To finalise this project he build a projector that visualises his personal memories as a slow floating stream of photos, which function as a bridge through time.
Slawomir Bobola's master thesis "Flowers for Wagner" explores the boundaries of science and art. The starting point of his reflections are the well-known parapsychological experiments of C. Backster, which try to show that certain plants can feel and predict pain. In his approach he tries to contrast this research with the roll of nature in art. Especially Richard Wagner's relation to nature, due to his problematic political views and the instrumentalisation of his work, is often discussed very ambivalent. To embody this overlapping and problematic character of production of believes he planes to reconstruct the experimental setup of C. Backster with a polygraph test attached to plants, while playing Wagner's compositions.