Externally funded project


Project Details
Project duration: 20102011

The concepts of the membrane, the surface, and the boundary are of equal importance in technological research, in the humanities, and in the arts, and each yields access to important if highly disparate contents. By virtue of this multiplicity, these concepts are especially well suited to bringing together an important spectrum of contemporary and historic developments in various disciplines in innovative ways. Whether visible and utilizable in the everyday context or removed from the gaze in the realm of nanotechnological materials research or on the level of biotechnological and chemical processes, boundaries condition the reality of our lived world. They define and catalyze life processes, for example those of cellular membranes, or in the form of skin, immune systems, even the ecosphere. Phenomena which occur along material boundaries play a role in the applied natural sciences, for instance in chemical process engineering (catalysis, filtration, electrophoresis), thereby representing a link to artistic production. This is manifested in the material forms of the appearances of surfaces, in medial representations in photography, film, and digital image media, but also in experiences of indifference such as Duchamp’s concept of the “Inframince,” which characterizes the almost imperceptible separation (or “simultaneous delay”), between two adjoining processes or states.

In sub-projects, workshops and experiments, the reciprocal action between the theoretical and material manifestations of membranes, surfaces, and boundaries, and their transitional stages between everyday objects, technology, and aesthetic production will be explored. Encountering one another here are heterogeneous scientific and artistic practices and concepts, in the process generating new modi of understanding and sensuous experience via their differences.

An exhibition conceived by the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science and Kassel University jointly with several artists at the Aedes Campus Network Berlin serves as an upbeat to the research project. The intention is to generate a differentiated exchange between science and art. For the first time, surfaces become a space of interdisciplinary negotiation. The exhibition contributions correspond to the scientific positions of a workshop bearing the same name which was organized by the Max Planck Institute.

Last updated on 2017-11-07 at 13:50