Europe is facing immense challenges: social, economic, cultural, environmental, demographic etc… The answers to these challenges will be complex and multi-faceted, requiring radical and disruptive innovation throughout human systems. And these innovations can only be achieved if constructed upon social processes such as mutual understanding, dialogue and collaboration.
Culture and the arts are essential to these social processes, they are what bring people together. As such they are fundamental building blocks of innovation.
Innovation will rely heavily on science (both “hard” and “soft”) and the scientific method to identify and provide answers to these multiple and inter-related challenges. It is therefore essential that science connect with society. Citizens, policy makers, opinion leaders, and enterprises need to understand the importance of science, to accept the results of science, to support science in all of its forms, and to engage with it, constructively and unafraid.
Cultural activities, including theatre and other arts, when adequately used, can be the cornerstone to facilitate the connection between society and science.
So how might we use culture and the arts to generate a better understanding of science, its methods and implications?
CURIOUS relies upon the experience of the Jet Propulsion Theatre (JPT), an Arditodesìo project started in 2012 whose mission is to research, build capacity and showcase the power of performing arts to communicate science. JPT has connected artists, scientists and audiences through ground-breaking artscience productions. With this background, Arditodesìo will coach the partners in creating their own Augmented Lectures.
Over the two years of the CURIOUS project, the partners will create 8 Theatre of Wonder Festivals where local and non-local / international theatre and artscience plays and events will be showcased. Original Augmented Lectures will then premiere at each festival. They will be performed in the local language, but some will be in English, enabling them to tour within the network. There will be a learning curve, so that the 2021 Festivals will be smaller, local in nature and needed to fine-tune the creative methods and the collaboration. The 2022 Festivals will be of a much stronger European dimension where Augmented Lectures will tour among the 4 festivals.
The project will be carried by the following partners:
Italy (lead partner): The Arditodesio Theatre Company, which since 2012 runs the Jet Propulsion Theatre, a permanent laboratory for theatrical creation connected to science, the people of science and the scientific tale.
Bulgaria: Arte Urbana Collective, an artistic collective which organises cultural events and aims to create an international artistic dynamic in the country. Arte Urbana has engaged in a wide number of international projects.
Serbia: The Interactive Arts Laboratory of the Faculty of Dramatic Arts at the University of Arts in Belgrade, a research hub for new media and technologies which develops immersive artistic performances and experiences
Belgium: The Arenberg theatre is an open house of culture in the heart of Antwerp, with decades of experience in attracting a wide audience with a broad program of cultural activities. Arenberg explores the borders where culture transcends science, with events such as the annual TEDxAntwerp, Eurobest and ATYPI (design and graphics).
Our goal is to establish performing arts as a powerful tool to nourish a culture of science in Europe, so as to help people get involved in addressing Europe’s most pressing societal challenges.
Through the Augmented Lectures (a joint performance between an artist and a scientist) CURIOUS will pioneer experimentation and research in using Culture as a Unique Resource to Inspire, Outreach & Understand Science.
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