Einstein said: “If we knew what it was we were doing it wouldn’t be called research, would it?”
“The Institute of Unnecessary Research” presents a new paradigm in the way artists are engaging with the world through transdisciplinary practice and connective aesthetics. Bringing together art, science and philosophy by creating participatory audience experiences, performances and installations. Sometimes humorous and sometimes grotesque, their work pushes the boundaries and critically questions the means of knowledge production in the 21st Century. Artists are innovators, if a new piece of technology or a new medium, becomes available; artists want to try it, to experiment with it- from microbiology to robotics; from tissue culture to neuroscience. Some artists take on the role of a scientist in almost a performative way and some scientists become artists themselves. Philosophy and ethics is always at its core and the work unpacks the instrumentalization of science for commercial and political ends. Forms of “connective aesthetics” are used to engage the audience in a participatory experience that extends and generates new outcomes throughout the exhibition and go beyond simple interactivity, throwing authorship into question, as members of the audience are inspired to become Unnecessary Researchers in their own rights. The IUR is a hub for researchers and artists working experimentally and deeply engaged with their specific research areas. We present our research through performative and experiential methods, engaging the public and new audiences in our ideas. We organise performance events (many of which can be seen here) in art galleries and other non-traditional settings (including: universities, businesses and festivals) to engage the public in our research and meta-research. We also create participatory workshops, where participants become the researchers and learn about our work experientially. We are specialists in our specific research fields and deeply committed to making our work accessible. We offer exhibitions (curated around specific themes in our research), talks and organise symposia and are able to suggest speakers for events. To organise a special IUR event, get involved with our work, be kept informed about events or for permission to use images please contact us. For more information contact email@example.com
Anna Dumitriu’s major groundbreaking new solo exhibition “The Romantic Disease: An Artistic Investigation of Tuberculosis” opens on at 6pm on 15th January at Watermans in London, UK. The show is then open daily noon until 9pm until 24th March, and features artworksmade with a combination of textile art, altered historic objects, and biological matter including sterilised strains of mycobacteria. Supported by The Wellcome Trust.
Anna Dumitriu will lead an intensive ‘open lab ‘workshop over five Saturdays in February and March 2014 as part of “The Romantic Disease: An Artistic Investigation of Tuberculosis”. The workshop, in collaboration with Dr Simon Park and Dr Melissa Grant aims to significantly progress techniques and methods for artistic engagement with bacteria. Participants will work with live bacteria, dyes, stitch, and natural and clinical antibiotics. Book here.
Anna Dumitriu’s exhibition “The Romantic Disease: An Artistic Investigation of Tuberculosis” will culminate in a fascinating and accessible multidisciplinary symposium on World TB day, 24th March 2014 at Watermans in London, UK. The event brings together the project team and expert project advisors to tell stories of their own relationships to the disease across art, science, ethics and healthcare, with opportunities for debate and discussion. See the full programme and book here.
Head of Projective Geometry Alex May has been commissioned to create a site specific installation for The New Sublime as part of Brighton Digital Festival. The sculpture, created from found objects, is digitally augmented with multiple layers of video filmed in Brighton over several years. Video is mapped to individual elements using Alex’s own custom “Painting with Light” video mapping software to create a hypnotic digital remix of the city. The show takes place at 68 Middle Street, Brighton and runs until 6th September. See more here. The piece is part of a series of site specific video mapped works he has created in different locations.
Several works by IUR Director Anna Dumitriu were exhibited as part of “Gone Viral: Medical Science and Contemporary Textile Art” at the Cathy and Jesse Marion Art Gallery, Rockefeller Arts Center, State University of New York, Fredonia, NY, USA. The show was curated by art historian Leesa Rittelmann and includes The Infective Textiles Dress, The MRSA Quilt, Bed Flora and The Art and Science of Linen. The exhibition ran from 8th March - 7th April 2013. Dumitriu also gave a public lecture on 7th March 2013 as part of the gallery’s visiting artist programme. See images here.
A new exhibition by Head of Textile Abuse Bettina Schülke opens at Galeria Voima in Kemi, Finland at 6pm on 1st February 2013 and the show is open from 2nd February - 22nd March 2013. The show is entitled “In the Blink of an Eye”and deals with the perception of time. This can be a moment, which becomes frozen in time, or a duration, apparently seeming to last forever. The exhibition design is characterized by the combination of the use of Old and New Media. Big-scale drawings, a “storyboard wall” comprising photography and text, and a video-installation dealing with the idea of extending a certain moment to infinity are building the main components of this exhibition. See more here.
We are pleased to announce that Dr Heba el Aziz has joined the Institute of Unnecessary Research asHead of Art and Science in The Arab World. Her work focuses on the challenge of developing links between the art and science communities across the Arab world.
Head of Robotics Paul Granjon will be speaking about his work at 6:15pm on 28th November 2012 at The Royal College of Art as part of the Computer Arts Society lecture series. Paul’s often humorous artwork investigates the co-evolution of humans and machines. All welcome!
Head of Ethics Ellen Ter Gast will be speaking this evening in The Hague, Netherlands, about the moral and political dilemmas that are brought up by the works in the exhibition “Uncommitted Crime”. In the debate, organised by Quartair, she will reflect on the role that art can play in articulating the feelings evoked by the developments in the (bio) technology.