All things inspiring, notable and newsworthy

Ariane Koek - ESSAY

Essay on the Tyranny of the Eye published online

I was super honoured to be commissioned to write a polemical and provocative essay about sight in the digital age by the Finnish Cultural Institute and Satu Herrala and Hans Rosenström as part of their extraordinary evolving series of exhibitions called AISTIT/coming to our senses.  

My essay talks about sight as the colonising sense which has over dominated humanity to the point of making us sense-less - and far less human and out of touch with nature, ourselves and all beings.

My essay is in the catalogue to the exhibitions as well as available online.

Ariane Koek - V-AND-A

V & A Friday Forum on Alice in Wonderland

I am thrilled to be taking part in the V & A Museum's Alice in Wonderland symposium which marks their wonderful exhibition in London. I am in discussion with the German born Bristol based artist Mariele Neudecker who was the last artist I invited to Arts at CERN when I was curator there.

She continues her collaborations with CERN to this day, and for the V & A she made a piece about the ALICE detecto at CERN. We  consider how her new work introduces ideas, metaphors and concepts to do with #physics, scale, #perception, portals, the #human and the #machine #eye...drawing links to both Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, and the physics at CERN.

Ariane Koek - mariele

Mariele Neudecker - Sediment

I was honoured to be asked to write the Introductory text to this new monograph about the work of the german born Bristol based artist Mariele Neudecker who works in the cross over between arts and science.

Her multi form practice incorporates sculpture, video, painting and sound, explores the processes and effects of perception, the complexities and contradictions of landscapes and visuality, and the politics of representation and territorialisation.

Ariane Koek - HELSINKI

FRAME Travel Award to Helsinki, Finland

I visited Helsinki for 4 days to visit AISTIT - Come to Our Senses exhibition at Taidehalli - for which I had written an essay, to meet artists and curators, as well as do a public in conversation with Erich Berger, the artist and director Bioart Society. This was courtesy of a travel scholarship from FRAME, which supports the networking of Finnish and Finland-based contemporary art professionals by inviting international art professionals to visit Finland. We discussed the many ways in which art, science and society can come together within artistic and curatorial practices.

Ariane Koek - You Fab

YouFab Global Creative Awards Judge 2021

I am honoured to be invited this year to be one of the judges for the Special "Panasonic Prize" for the YouFab Global Creative Awards 2021. The prize seeks works that  that will “energize the world and make our lives ideal”. YouFab Global  Creative Awards 2021.

I was in conversation recently with fellow judge Alex Ikenouchi, the Director of AkeruE the Panasonic Centre, Tokyo - the museum for children which encourage new ways of creating our reality through seeing, making, and communicating. Entries close October 31st 2021 and judging will take place in December.

Find out more here

Ariane Koek - emma-biennale-2

World Premiere in Official Italian Pavilion at Venice Architecture Biennale 2021

I had the honour to be invited by curator Alessandro Melis and the Italian Ministry of Culture to present the world premiere of  'Witness' by Emma Critchley at the official Italian Pavilion - Resilient Communities - at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2021 Fondazione La Biennale di Venezia  on Saturday July 24th 2021.

The piece which I curated and produced is the first production from the EarthWaterSky environmental arts and sciences research residency, commission and exhibition programme fully funded by Didier and Martine Primat Foundation at Science Gallery Venice Università Ca'? Foscari Venezia' which began in 2019. Emma was the first winner and her work was inspired by her selected scientific partner, the Italian climatologist Professor Carlo Barbante and his team on the Ice Memory Project.

Ariane Koek - CITYX-Venice--Ariane-Koek-Socials-05

Invited Creative Director to 17th Venice Architecture Biennale 2021

I have been invited as a Creative Director to the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale Italian Virtual Pavilion Sezione del Padiglione Italia. Curated by Tom Kovac, RMIT University and @Alessandro Melis Portsmouth University titled CITYX Venice responds to ‘How will we live together’ curated by Hashim Sarkis MIT, organized by La Biennale di Venezia.

Photograph by Julian Calo

Ariane Koek - Screen-Shot-2021-05-17-at-18.53.48

Art for Humanity

The Red Cross Museum in Geneva for the month of May is holding a wonderful symposium every Tuesday at 1600 CET on Art and Humanitarianism. 

It is organised by Julie Enckell Julliard, Director of Cultural Development, Geneva Haute école d’art et de design, Pascal Hufschmid, Director, International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum, Geneva and Philippe Stoll, Communication Adviser. Strategies, Innovation and Research, International Committee of the Red Cross, Geneva

You can sign up for free in the link below as well as watch past lectures..

I was honoured to be the first speaker in the series, talking about the Artist as Visionary - debunking this commonly held idea on ideological grounds. The talk has been recorded and is found on this link too.

Ariane Koek - Screen-Shot-2021-03-04-at-20.21.12

Architectural Association Symposium

I will be speaking about Out of Our Minds: How Emotions became the New Truth and how Technology aided and abetted this and why.

This is at a free symposium about #creativity, #society, #technology and the #digitalageon Friday March 12th organised by Theodore Spyropoulos Architectural Association. Called All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace, the conference features Lucy McRae, @LibbyHeaney Sougwen Chung Minimaforms and Kenric Allado-McDowell leader of #Google #Artists and #MachineIntelligence programme.

Lucy McRae - Solitary Survival Raft (new commission HeK/MU 2020)

Ariane Koek - Screen-Shot-2021-02-26-at-15.04.37

In Elements - Sjoerd Knibbeler

How do you make wind visible? How do you create a picture of air?
Amsterdam-based artist Sjoerd Knibbeler deals with complex natural phenomena, which he makes visible in his photographic works.
I am honoured  to have written a text about Sjoerd Knibbler's experiments with cameras and light for his beautifulbook accompanying his new solo show virtually opening February 2021 at MKdW. My piece is about Isaac Newton and his early optics experiments examing the the physics of light, linking them with Sjoerd's photographs

Sjoerd Knibbeler In Elements (SE-NE), 2020

Ariane Koek - Screen-Shot-2021-02-12-at-07.43.41

Edgelands Institute

Three of the subjects I care passionately about in the world is role technology is playing in society, our social contract, and creativity. Even before my work as a policy advisor for the ICT directorate, DG CNCT, at the European Commission.

I am thrilled and honoured to be one of the members of the distinguished Global Advisory Board  of the Edgelands Institute  - an Interdisciplinary Pop-Up aiming to redraw our social contract in this era of mass-urbanization, surveillance and pandemics. The academic partner and incubator is The Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.

Edgelands Institute is the initiative of Yves Daccord, the former director of the Internationa Red Cross Committee

Ariane Koek - Screen-Shot-2021-02-08-at-11.14.34

The Getty Foundation

I was honoured in December to invited to moderate the opening convention of a wonderful initiative by The Getty Foundation. The new edition of their Pacific Time initiative focusses on Art x Science in Los Angeles and Southern California. In 2024 will culminate in an ambitious range of exhibitions and public programs that explore the intersections between the visual arts and science, from prehistoric times to the present and across different cultures worldwide.

#science #innovation #research #knowledge #inclusion #diversity #art#craft #LosAngeles #California


Science and the Artistic Imagination

I had the privilege of  being invited to take part in The Artian podcast to talk about art and science.

In my discussion with Nir, we talked about the interactions artists and scientists have, how scientists see the artists’ work, what is the role of imagination in both areas, and much more. Including the founding of Arts at CERN and the Earth Water Sky residency programme at Science Gallery Venice.

Ariane Koek - Emma-Haseeb-graphic-DEF

Water meets Sky

Venice exists on the edge of the earth, water and sky. Hence the title of the environmental arts and science residency programme I created and I curate for Science Gallery Venice in 2018. It is funded by Fondation Didier et Martine Primat. Listen to the first two artists in residence, Emma Critchley (Water) and Haseeb Ahmed (Sky) talk about their practices.


Wind at Ars Electronica Festival 2020

Haseeb Ahmed, the second Earth Water Sky artist in residence at Science Gallery Venice appeared as part of Ars Electronica Festival 2020. He presented his 2018 artist's film The Wind Egg, talked about his multi-dimensional artistic practice across architecture, sculpture, performance, technology and contemporary art focusses. And then he talked to me about the work he will do in Venice during his residency. 
Click on the link, watch and listen to this expansive 90 minute film on Haseeb's practice, which includes an interview with me at the end.

Credit: Haseeb Ahmed Wind Egg 2018

Ariane Koek - facs-paul-ekman-Coralie-Vogelaar-1

Real Feelings: Emotion and Technology

Exhibition opens @HeKBasel, Switzerland August 27th 2020 featuring 20 international artists exploring the accelerating interconnections between emotion and technology.

My fellow curators in Real Feelings: Emotion and Technology are the Director of HeK Sabine Himmelsbach and the Diretor of MU, Eindhoven, Angelique Spaninks with whom we collaborated with the wonderful artists in the show: AntoineCatala, @stine_deja & @mariemunkdk @hdeweyh , @justineemard , @cecilebevans , @eddfornieles, @maria_gucci (Maria Guta) & @adrnggg (Adrian Ganea), @esther.hunziker , Seokyung Kim, @clement_lambelet , @lorem_____ @laurenleemack & Kyle McDonald, @technoflesh (Simone C. Niquille), @daniploeger , @lucymcrae , Shinseungback Kimyonghun, Maija Tammi, @troika_london , @coralievogelaar and @liam_y (Liam Young)

Credit: Coralie Vogelaar, A research on emotion recognition software, 2018, Courtesy the artist

Ariane Koek - Screen-Shot-2020-06-30-at-16.31.54

Winner of Earth Water Sky Science Gallery Venice Open Call 2020

The research-based artist Haseeb Ahmed who lives in Brussels is the second winner of the three year Science Gallery Venice Earth Water Sky residency programme funded by Didier et Martine Primat Foundation.

The jury were unanimous in awarding it to Haseeb Ahmed due to the originality of his proposal in the connection of this year’s topic of the Wind. His proposal combines sculpture, architecture, performance and film in order to engage and work with both the audience of Science Gallery Venice as well as the people of Venice in a potentially unique, ground-breaking and dynamic artistic process which will also have a digital life.

There were nearly 160 entrants for the second Science Gallery Venice Earth Water Sky open call from 43 countries around the world.

Haseeb's residency begins this Autumn 2020 with a new and exciting digital life.

Ariane Koek - -MLI5460

Mind the Gap - In Praise of the Imagination

I was asked to write an essay in praise of the Gap for Clot Magazine. Here is an extract. The link to the full essay is below this selected paragraph.

"The gap enables the human spirit to go beyond its limitations, soar, create, make, discover and play. It's where our imaginations flourish and grow. We lose the gap at humanity and culture’s peril if we cede responsibility for our all actions, emotions and lives solely to the certainty of the digital realm and technocratic future-present. "

Goshka Macuga -The Institute of Intellectual Cooperation: Mikael Lundgren/Bildmuseet

Ariane Koek - BACKLIGHT(2)

Backlight 2020 Photo Festival Goes ahead

The Nordic Photography Triennale, Backlight2020, is happening now in September 4 – November 8, 2020 in Tampere, Finland. In addition to exhibitions, screenings and installations, the festival features lectures and seminars on photography, science and new technologies, as well as portfolio reviews.

I am one of the curators, together with the Finnish artist Maija Tammi, photography curator Lars Willumeit, and Director of Backlight Hannu Vanhane.

We have sifted through thousands of photographs in the past 8 months and selected 23 international artists on the theme of Related Realities.

Related Realities exhibition will be open at the Gallery Himmelblau, Tampere, Finland on 5.9. – 31.10.2020

Link to more information here

Sjoerd Knibbeler: Chandrayaan, Ultrachrome print in lightbox, 2017

Ariane Koek - iris

Disentangling Realities - Arts, Science and the Imagination

"The arts touches our hearts, minds, souls and senses is a way of understanding ourselves and our reality. Science is another way which humans have developed to do this. Together with sciences, the arts are our fundamental ways of knowing ourselves and our universe and our place in it. Put the two together, and you vastly expanded the field of knowing ourselves and our reality."

Clot Magazine interviewed me about my ideas on creativity, why I initiated Arts at CERN, and my work in arts/science for science laboratories and science museums.

Here is the interview in full.

Iris van Herpen - dress from the Aeriform Spring Summer 2017 collection: Mikael Lundgren/Bildmuseet

Ariane Koek - earth-water-sky

Earth Water Sky Science Gallery Venice Open Call 2020

Here is the second Open Call for artists in any art form to come to Venice for #EarthWaterSky artists residency programme Science Gallery Venice Università Ca' Foscari Venezia.

This is a unique chance to work with a leading historian of the science as well as environmental scientists from the Veneto on the subject of WIND.

Applications by January 6th 2020.

Jacopo di Barberi - Map of Venice with the winds (1500)

Ariane Koek - Screen-Shot-2019-10-08-at-19.08.38(2)

The Matter of Painting

Claude Monet is one of the greatest painters of light and the passing of time. The largest collection of his paintings in the world is housed at the Musée Marmottan Monet in Paris.

On Monday October 22nd, the second in their new series called Unexpected Dialogues opens. Each year, the museum commissions a leading international artist to respond to works in the collection. This year it is the Turner prize winning artist Keith Tyson - known for his interrogations of the nature of reality using different materials.

One of the many things I love doing, is being invited to write about artists and their work and witness the creative process in action. I had the great pleasure of interviewing Keith whilst he was making the works in response to Monet and to talk to him about the process. 

My interview with Keith is published in the catalogue of the exhibition and it reveals many things, including his thoughts about arts and science, and the process behind the paintings he has made in response to Monet's. There are some surprises - you have been warned.

Image: Musée Marmottan Monet

Ariane Koek - BACKLIGHT

Open Call - International Photography Triennale

I am delighted to be one of 4 judges and curators for the oldest and largest photography Triennale in Northern Europe. 

Backlight Festival has an open call for photographers to engage with its theme - Related Realities - to be chosen for the exhibition in Tampere, Finland, near the Arctic circle September 2020.

Related Realities is about crossing boundaries - between the arts, sciences, and other ways in which we look at our realities and beyond. It also welcomes artists who work across technologies and is not just confined to pure photography.

Deadline October 31st. Apply here

Image: Ilkka Halso: CUBE-outside, 2003


My First Book - Entangle: Physics and the Artistic Imagination

It's really happened!

My first book :

The book is connected with the exhibition Entangle: Physics and the Artistic Imagination which was at Bildmuseet, Umea, Sweden early this year.

The book contains essays on Entanglement by Carlo Rovelli, Surrealism and Physics by art historian Gavin Parkinson, Physics and Imagination by science writer Philip Ball, Physics and Culture by the Director of FACT Liverpool, Nicola Triscott, and one by me about the Entanglement of contemporary art and physics.

The book features the work shown in the Bilidmuseet exhibition of 14 international artists -including Iris van Herpen, Julian Charriere, Goshka Macuga, Ryoji Ikeda, Sarah Sze, Julius von Bismarck, Davide Quayola, Jorinde Voigt, Carey Young, Rafael Lozano Hemmer, Keith Tyson, Solveig Settemsdal, William Kentridge, and the architect Sou Fujimoto.

The book includes a series of dyptychs - with six different artists and physicists separately reflecting on different phenomena - Matter, Light, Time, Space, Entropy, Gravity. It's in the gap between different ways of looking at the world as well as the connections that the imagination grows.


First Earth Water Sky Residency begins in Venice

This June one of the world's underwater artists, Emma Critchley, began her 2 month Earth Water Sky residency  which I created for Science Gallery Venice, generously funded by Fondation Didier et Martine Primat. She is working with one of Italy's leading environmental scientists, Professor Carlo Barbante who is based at Ca Foscari University and is one of the leaders of the Ice Memory Project - an extraordinary project to create a library of non polar ice cores which record the changes in climate  and which will be stored in Antarctica.

The bubbles of gas stored in the cores give clues as to how the climate has changed. Tiny particles organic materials stored in the ice core can give clues also to people's movements across time and space - across continents and the centuries - prooving also that migration and movement are facts of life.

Emma's residency continues in September and October. At the end of the residency she will bid for a 26,000 Euro production grant to make an art work inspired by her work with Professor Barbante. It will be exhibited during the Venice Biennale.


Documenting Entangle

The biggest joy of working on projects is collaborating with the artists, scientists, cultural institutions and individuals who work with you to make things happen. Without that, nothing happens.

Julian Calo was my first formal coordinator at Arts at Cern for the last 18 months of my work there. I won funding for him after 3 and half years of establishing the Arts at Cern programme. As a present, I gave him the opportunity for him to see Entangle: Physics and the Artistic Imagination at Bildmuseet,  to say thank you. In return he made me this film, documenting the exhibition for me.

Today Julian runs with his partner Margot a sustainable lifestyle and fashion blog, called Bloomers. Thank you  very much Julian for the joy and hardwork you did with me in the past! And the  wonderful work you are doing in the present and the future! 

Here is the film of the exhibition for you all to see.

Dark Matter 2012 by Sarah Sze/Photography by Mikael Lundgren

Ariane Koek - Bucky Ball

Exploring the Exploratorium

The Exploratorium, San Francisco is one of the most beloved institutions in the world. It is a unique museum dedicated to curiosity, learning and critical thinking founded in 1969 by Frank Oppenheimer, brother of the father of the bomb, Robert Oppenheimer.

The museum has always had at the heart of its mission inspiring the public to question, learn and look below the surface of reality and phenomena. It does with over 640 extraordinary hands-on, interactive exhibits which are all made in the museum workshop. Often prototypes of the exhibits are put out, tried and tested on the museum's visitors.  As one artist put it to me:

'You think the visitors are going to react in a certain way. But the exhibit only truly comes alive with an audience and by truly testing it out  you discover what it really is.'

I have the honour to be invited as consultant by this world famous Museum of Science, Art and Human Perception, to investigate and develop their arts engagement with science. I am resident with the Exploratorium in San Francisco for 2 months as part of the research and development of this 3 month assignment.

Reflection of 'Buckyball' by Leo Villareal outside The Exploratorium. Photograph: Ariane Koek

Ariane Koek - FiguresOfSpeech1

First Winner of Earth Water Sky Residency Programme

The UK artist Emma Critchley who specialises in underwater work has been announced as the first winner of the residency programme funded by Didier et Martine Primat Foundation, initiated for Science Gallery Venice.

Emma won from an open call of nearly 150 entrants from 32 different countries.

She will begin her residency this June 2019, working with the world renowned environmental scientist, Professor Carlo Barbante, based at Ca Foscari University of Venice, the partner university of Science Gallery Venice. He is the Italian lead on the Ice Memory project which is building a library of ice core samples from glaciers  to be stored in Antartica. 

The jury who selected Emma comprised Pedro Gadanho, Founding Director of MAAT, Lisbon, members of the Didier et Martine Primate Foundation, Claudia Schnugg Creative Director of Science Gallery Venice and Professor Carlo Barbante and I.

Figures of Speech: Emma Critchley

Ariane Koek - IrisVan-Herpen-MLI3864

Entangle: Physics and the Artistic Imagination

Bildmuseet for the first time achieved national television coverage due to Entangle: Physics and the Artistic Imagination which I devised and curated.

The exhibition is based on my knowledge, experience and passion for the field of particle physics and contemporary art.

A catalogue based on the exhibition will be published in April 2019 by Hatje Kantz with essays by best selling physicist Carlo Rovelli, the Director of Arts Catalyst, Nicola Triscott, art historian Gavin Parkinson,  and the popular science writer Phillip Ball.

Mikael Lundgren/Bildmuseet

Ariane Koek - ERICA

One of Them is A Human

I was commissioned by the Finnish artist and photographer Maija Tammi to write the text about her ground-breaking work  - One of Them is A Human -  for her first solo show in Berlin, Germany which opened on December 7th 2018.

One of the images in the series, Erica, won two awards at the world's largest photographic portrait prize competition hosted by the National Portrait Gallery in London in 2017, the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize.


The mere shortlisting of the portrait as one of the finalists became a media event; The New York Times wrote: "Do androids dream about being featured in portrait competitions?" and Xinhua news in China wrote: "Portrait of android shortlisted in human portrait competition".


The rules of the competition state that the image "must have been taken by the entrant from life and with a living sitter." 


Whether or not an android is a living sitter naturally depends how "alive" is defined. Welcome to a posthuman era.

My text for the solo show looks at these issues.


Erica by Maija Tammi from the series One of Them is A Human

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