Pro Helvetia launches a podcast series that brings together artists and scientists

Bubbles in rainbow colours
© Jean-Vincent Simonet

Today sees the launch of the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia’s first series of podcasts at the intersection of art, science and technology.

Each of the seven episodes, titled « Art meets… », features an encounter between an artist and a scientist and covers topics such as astronomy, biohacking and robotics. Produced in English and intended for a broad audience, the « Art meets… » podcast is available on most platforms.

From a glacier to New Delhi, from an astronomical observatory to an artist’s studio: moderated by Jennifer Khakshouri, this new series of podcasts takes listeners to the heart of diverse encounters and worlds. Each episode addresses a specific theme and features an artist and a researcher who have worked together. Listening to these conversations enables discovering how these different worlds collaborate and inspire each other, but also where friction and difficulties occur. Produced in English, « Art meets… » has a global scope, both in terms of its speakers, who come from Pro Helvetia’s international network, and in terms of its audience.

The podcast is launching as part of the Arts Council’s « Art, Science and Technology» focus (2021-2024 Federal Cultural Policy Statement), which supports collaboration, exchange and production between these three fields. «With this podcast, Pro Helvetia is giving artists and scientists from different regions of the world and from different perspectives a voice. Precisely this openness to dialogue and transdisciplinary forms of work is central to the «Art, Science and Technology» focus. The podcast format enables translating the sometimes abstract idea of transdisciplinarity into concrete stories accessible to all audiences», says Seraina Rohrer, Head of Innovation & Society at Pro Helvetia.

Overview of the seven episodes:

«Art meets astronomy»

Artist Rohini Devasher and astrophotographer Ajay Talwar — both based in India — discuss the different expeditions they have undertaken together and the challenges of their collaboration in the field.

«Art meets smell research»

Artist Isabel Lewis and olfactory researcher Sissel Tolaas discuss their long-standing collaboration and how they integrate scent into their performances and create unique experiences.

«Art meets polar sciences»

Swiss author Sabine Harbeke and scientist Margit Schwikowski collaborated in the PolARTS programme. They discuss the challenges of working at very high altitudes and transferring the outcome of ice drilling into a play.

«Art meets technology»

Drawing on her experiences during her Artist-in-Labs residency in Zurich, South African artist Miranda Moss talks to Swiss scientist Oliver Jäggi. They explain their passion for mechatronics and how they are both working on the same composition despite being geographically separated.

«Art meets biohacking»

Indian artist Yashas Shetty and Japanese bioengineer Sachiko Hirosue are mainly interested in critical territories where science intersects with society. They will discuss the Scientist-in-Residency programme as well as bio-design and the Hackteria project.

«Art meets environmental science»

Argentine musician Sebastián Verea collaborates with Jorge Viñuales, Professor of Environmental Studies. In this episode, they explore the transformation of scientific climate data and its transfer into a sound installation.

«Art meets robotics»

The AATB collective explores the concept of non-industrial robotics and has developed several kinetic and interactive works and situations. They have just been selected for the 2022 Connect residency at CERN.

«Art meets …»

Available on:
Apple Podcasts
Google Podcasts

Episode duration: 15-20 minutes

Host: Jennifer Khakshouri

Composer and sound designer: Lukas Fretz

Production: Audiobande