STEAM Imaging II – Amendment

April 15, 2020

STEAM Imaging II is an artist residency jointly hosted by the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Medicine MEVIS in Bremen, Germany, and Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria, in collaboration with the International Fraunhofer Talent School Bremen. For STEAM Imaging II, the Singaporean artists Jake Tan and Ernest Wu from Nanyang Technological University Singapore were selected for the artist residency.

The STEAM Imaging II residency program adds interdisciplinary methods and new aesthetic approaches to STEM teaching by connecting digital medicine to education and arts to foster the engagement with and ownership of future technology. It includes encounters that bring together the artists, Fraunhofer MEVIS scientists, and pupils from Bremen and Linz and the artists in cooperation with Fraunhofer Talent School. Following the residency, the resulting work of art will be featured at the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz in September 2020. However, the project requires an amendment. Essential changes to the artistic output of the program were necessary.

The collaborators Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Medicine MEVIS and Ars Electronica see the need to re-shaped this year's STEAM Imaging II program direction to adapt to the changed circumstances and further acknowledge the different faces and possible outputs of art-science programs. While in many of these collaborative experiments, art is assigned the role of a catalyst that propagates scientific and technological knowledge and skills among the general public and triggers innovative processes, artist residencies can also lead to fruitful inspiration among disciplines. The discussions of the artists and scientists serve a deepened understanding of different approaches and also acknowledge the value of the playful artistic vision and aesthetic excellence of a project. During the development of the STEAM Imaging II residency, the involved artists chose no more and no less than a strong inspiration for the playful artistic vision and aesthetic perception of the project.

Additionally, the current pandemic situation does not allow to finish the artwork in the planned way and requires a different presentation format in the framework of Ars Electronica. Unlike the projects intension to feature the resulting artwork at the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz in September 2020, Ars Electronica will present its outcomes through documentation based virtual means. Through a virtual tour to the artwork In Vivo, guided through experts from Ars Electronica, spectators will be able to dive into the artistic results and inspirational outcome of the residency.

The residency program STEAM Imaging fosters explorations of educational experiments for interdisciplinary collaborative practices. It is undisputed that digital technologies open up an unprecedented range of new options for artistic creativity. At the same time, the skills and experience that artists bring with them vary significantly and constitute, in many instances, a barrier that prevents them from being admitted to programs like international artist residencies.

A core element of this residency program, the collaborative development of STEAM Workshops for pupils in Bremen and Linz jointly held by Fraunhofer MEVIS scientists and the artists has been recently evaluated concluding that positive effects on the participating students and their self-determined learning were achieved. The pupils integrated a diverse range of subjects, theory and practice with the aim to help pupils to bridge theoretical knowledge to real-world situations, and to raise their interest in the topics. The workshops have efficiently contributed to the initially set goals of the STEAM Imaging residency program.

These differences in art-science collaborations and their effects on results and impacts can only become productive for society when the process involves the expertise from cultural organizations in facilitating and moderating the encounters and in presenting the results to prepared and informed audiences. We are convinced that presentations like this at the upcoming Ars Electronica 2020 will prepare the ground for future successful examples of mutually fruitful encounters of art and science and a continuous endeavor of STEAM Imaging.


June 2, 2020

Due to current conditions, Fraunhofer MEVIS, Ars Electronica and the artists will terminate the project and refrain from presenting the final results.