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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Kira O’Reilly (Head of Tissue Culture) features in an exciting new exhibition at St Paul’s Project Space, London called “Blank Promiscuity” until 12th August 2012. The exhibition includes “Refolding (Laboratory Architectures)” (pictured) which was made in collaboration with Jennifer Willet. See more about the exhibition here.
Plastic Viscera: Reconstruct & Regenerate - An interdisciplinary art and science symposium considering the historical legacy of reconstructive and regenerative medicine, directed by IUR Head of Anatomy Simon Hall and featuring a talk by IUR Director Anna Dumitriu. See here for booking information.
IUR Head of the Digital Simulacra Luke Robert Mason will be speaking at the Royal College of Art, alongside Stelarc, Nicola Triscott and Revital Cohen on “Imagining the Future” at 6:00 pm Thursday 28h June 2012 at The Hockney Gallery, Stevens Building, Kensington Gore SW7 2EU. Luke was recently elected the board of advisors for Humanity+ UK.
Anna Dumitriu has been awarded the 2012 Society for Applied Microbiology Communications Award in the Professional Communicator Category. She will attend the society’s summer conference to accept the award. Dumitriu said “I am so pleased that my work over many years has been recognised in this way, it’s a great honour”. Find out more here.
WetNet created by Tagny Duff (Head of Viral Contagion) for the exhibition Emergencies2012 explores the relationship between contamination, bioremediation and sustainable systems. This work in progress features the creation of “contaminated” wet sculptures in the form of disposable science equipment. See website here.