Artists in Labs

Artists in Labs (website) is a Swiss based collaboration between the Zurich University of the Arts, the Institute of Cultural Studies (ICS) and the Swiss Federal Office for Culture.

The program is devoted to current debates and discourses that can help art and science to gain a closer understanding of each other. The intention of the ail program is to share common goals, to broaden the dialogue, generate ideas and raise awareness of the contributions both artists andscientists can make to the larger challenges of our time. The ail co-operation with Swiss Science laboratories is a conscious attempt to encourage the development of the "primary creative forces" shared by both art and science: the quest for interpretationsAil aims to promote ‘knowledge transfer’ between artists and scientists, reflecting on the implications of technological developments for society, encouraging ‘artists to acquire technical and scientific expertise and to mediate art and science into the public domain’.

The programme, running since 2007, links international artists to Swiss based scientists through residency programmes, in 2011 four residencies will be awarded. The residencies have occurred in a range of labs including genomics and AI labs, and biological and physics labs as well as ‘mountain hazard labs’. In 2009 they developed links with China, in which four artists (2x Chinese, 2x Swiss) engaged in an ‘immersive five-month creative dialogue’ with environmental scientists from both countries.
Lab-sites for the 2011 residencies (running March-December) include Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research; Recherche Centers in Neuroscience and Affective sciences, University of Geneva; Computer Systems Institute, Zurich and the Cardio-Vascular Research Lab in Lausanne.