Field Research

This week’s roundtable welcomed guest Prof. Christian Walzer from the Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology Vienna. The students working with him and his institution presented their trip to Budapest where they witnessed the process of the dissemination of a white rhinoceros at the Budapest Zoo. Following that, Prof. Chris Walzer talked about notable details from his work. First, the misunderstanding in the term “white rhino” which is a misinterpretation by the English of the Afrikaans word “wijd”, which stands for wide and not white. He then talked about Stereotyping, an occurrence when animals keep making repetitive movements in a zoo. He then added this to human stereotyping which is the same as in animals, and happens when an individual is depleted from environmental stimulus, and the repetitive movements are made to produce endorphins. He then talked about an interesting fact, that there are no completely wild natural surfaces left in the world whatsoever and that all of them are managed somehow. A large part of his work encompasses work in huge natural areas, reserves and zoos. His recent work spanned in the natural areas from Iran, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, China and Mongolia where he talked about the political concerns when working on cross-border projects.
Next up was a research presentation of Konstantinos Politis, collaborating with IST Austria, who gave an insight into his interest in the work by Ernst Florens Friedrich Chladni (1756 – 1827), known also as “the father of acoustics”. Cymatics is a technique of creating shapes and patterns from different grainy powders by applying frequencies of sound to the surfaces. He explains how his project would be to rebuild the Chladni experiment itself, and to research it more deeply as the use of frequencies as a method of communication and healing.
Finally, Sergio Valenzuela, who presented the cooperation with quantum physicist Robert Bücker, gave a presentation. His work is centered on creating fake equations, a fake science approach and a fake time machine. He proposes a new kind of art called “attraction art”, through the same approach and also discusses the role of the public as an equal part of the artwork in a performance piece.