Visitors enjoy the 2011 MFA Graduate Exhibition at the Winery SF on Treasure Island.

Think Art-Act Science
Wednesday, September 21 - Saturday, November 12, 2011
Walter and McBean Galleries
San Francisco Art Institute
800 Chestnut Street
San Francisco,

Think Art—Act Science is an exhibition of projects by artists who took part in the Swiss artists-in-labs program, completing an immersive nine-month residency in a scientific research institute or a university science department. During these residencies, the artists gained deep insights into the methodologies of scientific research in areas ranging from biology and biodiversity to cognitive neuroscience and psychology to nanotechnology, robotics, artificial intelligence, and physics.

Featured artists are Alexandre Joly, Christian Gonzenbach, Pe Lang, Wenfeng Liao, Alina Mnatsakanian, Monica Codourey, Roman Keller, and Nicole Ottiger, many of whom will be in residence at SFAI working with students and faculty.The exhibition is arranged around three main research themes addressed by the artistic investigations: Ecology and Environment, Spatial Awareness and Emotions, and Exploration of New Technologies.

On September 21 at 7:30 pm, following the opening reception for the exhibition, Hou Hanru will lead a panel discussion with curator Irène Hediger and participating artists. In addition to this lecture there will be numerous events both at SFAI and swissnex San Francisco, including collaborative events with the Bay Area Science Festival.


September 21, 7:30 pm, lecture hall
Panel discussion led by Hou Hanru with curator Irène Hediger and artists
Alexandre Joly, Pe Lang, and Alina Mnatsakanian.

September 22, noon, SFAI galleries
Exhibition walk-through with curator and artists-in-labs co-director Irène Hediger

RESCHEDULED for September 30, 6 pm, SFAI galleries
New Ways of Documenting Art and Science Projects
Jill Scott (Zurich University of the Arts/ZHdK; artists-in-labs co-director)

September 24, 2 pm, SFAI galleries
Simple Mechanisms – Strange Behavior with Pe Lang

October 22, 2 pm, SFAI galleries
Landscape of Identity with Monika Codourey and Alina Mnatsakanian

November 3, 6 pm, lecture hall
Remaking the Universe
Discussion with Christian Gonzenbach and Martin Pohl (CERN, University of Geneva)
More details

November 10, 6 pm, lecture hall
When artists and scientists work together: Self-portraits, consciousness, and the brain
Discussion with Nicole Ottiger and Olaf Blanke (Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience,
Brain & Mind Institute, EPFL)  


730 Montgomery Street, SF, CA 94111

September 23, 6:30 pm: How Artists and Scientists Collaborate
Presentations by: Irène Hediger and Pe Lang
Susan Schwartzenberg (Exploratorium)
Joel Slayton (ZER01 – 01SJ Biennial)
Sound performance by Pe Lang, 9 pm: Untitled II
Watch a video of the event on

October 20, 6:30 pm: Smarter Air Travel:
Design Approaches for Global Travelers
Discussion with: Monika Codourey and Hou Hanru
More details

November 2, 6 pm: Best of LASER
(Leonardo, International Society for the Arts, Sciences, and Technology)
with QUARC - Quantum art crystal by Christian Gonzenbach and Martin Pohl
(CERN, University of Geneva)
More details

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The international Think Art – Act Science project developed out of the Swiss artists-in-labs program, which began as a collaboration between the Institute for Cultural Studies in the Arts at the Zurich University of the Arts and the Federal Office of Culture in Switzerland. The exhibition’s scenography was developed by Fontana.Hunziker.Design Works.

SFAI’s exhibitions and public programs are made possible in part by the Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund. Think Art – Act Science is generously supported by swissnex San Francisco and the Swiss Arts Council, Pro Helvetia and is a project of the U.S.-wide program ThinkSwiss-Brainstorm the Future.