Laboratoire espace cerveau - Station (1)0

Launching of the “towards a cosmomorphic world” programme

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Co-founded in 2009 by artist Ann Veronica Janssens and Nathalie Ergino, director of the Institute for Contemporary Art (IAC), the Laboratoire espace cerveau investigates theoretical and practical research that allow for the interconnection of space, time, body and brain.

In the light of both recent-day scientific achievements -in neurosciences, astrophysics, anthropology- and the reassessment of practices such as hypnosis, telepathy, shamanism and animism, the Laboratoire espace cerveau offers itself, from the perspective of artistic experimenting, as a gathering point for researchers and artists willing to share intuition as their driving force, collective vision as their common ground, and exchange as their working method.

Transdisciplinary by nature, the Lab evolves on a gradual scale, in various stages. These stages make up so many investigative units, and may assume various forms, such as workshops, lectures, or a particular focus on a body of works, whether in-site or off-site, as the 2012 display at the Centre Pompidou-Metz bears witness to

→ Since 2009
Elisa Brune, writer (novelist and essayist) and science journalist
Denis Cerclet anthropologist, lecturer at Université Lumière Lyon 2
Arnauld Pierre, art historian, professor at Université Paris IV-Sorbonne
Jean-Louis Poitevin has a doctorate in philosophy and is a writer and art critic
→ Since 2016
The artists: Clarissa Baumann ; Benjamin Blaquart ; Groupe FRAME (Alys Demeure, Jérôme Grivel, Héloise Lauraire, Sandra Lorenzi, Stéphanie Raimondi) ; Célia Gondol ; Lola Gonzalez ; Linda Sanchez ; Vahan Soghomonian ; Mengzhi Zheng

November 2016 Workshop
Friday, 4th & Saturday, 5th
→ Research team:
Camille Chenais, projects coordinator Bétonsalon - Center for Art and Research
Didier Debaise, Doctor in Philosophy, researcher for the FNRS, teaches philosophy at the Free University of Brussels
Philippe Eydieu, reserache co-coordinator at the ESACM (School of Art Clermont Metropole)
Tran Minh Duc, artist in residence at the Living AcademY, an experimental Resersearch Laboratory (collaboration between CNRS/ Paris-Diderot University and Bétonsalon - Center  for Art and Research)
Pierre Montebello, Philosopher, teaches modern and contemporary philosophy at University in Toulouse
Thierry Mouillé, artist & coordinator of the Laboratory Intuitions and professor at the national school of art of Tours
Cyrille Noirjean, director Urdla & psychanalyst
Gyan Panchal, artist, curator and  researcher associate at the ESACM (School of Art Clermont Métropole)
Alexandre Wajnberg, science journalist at the RTBF (Spoken Journal of Radio One) in Brussels

Work shown for study
→ Clarissa Baumann, Hicham Berrada, Benjamin Blaquart, Michel Blazy, James Lee Byars, Gilles Clément, Walter De Maria, Tony Di Napoli, Hubert Duprat, FRAME, Hamish Fulton, Célia Gondol, Lola Gonzàlez, Jérôme Grivel, Pierre Huyghe, Joan Jonas, Barbara et Michael Leisgen, Antti Lovag, Helen Mirra, Matt Mullican, Otobong Nkanga, Katie Paterson, Abraham Poincheval, Evariste Richer, Linda Sanchez, Vahan Soghomonian & Tomi Yard, TAKIS, Charwei Tsai, James Turrell, Maarten Vanden Eynde, Mengzhi Zheng.

Launching of the “towards a cosmomorphic world” programme
Ever since 2009, the Lab has been providing us with a variety of ever-renewed approaches both on space itself and on space as a possible extension of the eye, the brain or the body. It has up to this day been primarily concerned with the study of the mechanisms of perception: spatialisation, loss of landmarks, altered states of consciousness. New ways of defining our relation to space, our apprehension of the world through sensory experiments, have emerged.
By delineating a new “field of passage” -from perception to fusion, from immersion to osmosis- the Lab now opens up a new research cycle with stage 1 (0). Its aim is to examine the interrelations between man and its environment -in the widest possible meaning of the term- towards a cosmorphic word. 

From stage 1 (0) on, the Lab initiates a new cycle, widening the scope of its research field in such a way as to include  the organic bonds that connect man with cosmos. Issues raised by the Anthropocena are indeed a strong incentive for man to acknowledge its relative position within the life chain. The dramatic, now unquestionable, shifts in biology, geology and climate, combined with the outcome of recent scientific studies, all point to the necessity of reconstructing a human, and a non-human, world. This growing awareness induces fundamental changes in our relationship to the world: the dual principles behind the Western approach -which consists in tearing man apart from nature, and opposing matter and mind-, give way to a cosmologic pattern, a vision of the world that is no longer anthropomorphic but “cosmomorphic”. Recent scientific developments (in neurosciences, in astrophysics, in biology, in geology) prompt us to re-examine the boundaries between body, space, time, and brain, and to “broaden” ” our perception of the environment, somewhere between the infinitely large and the infinitely small. The new lines of research developed by scientists contribute to the present renewal of interest in the bonds connecting us with Earth, the recreation of the ties between matter and life, and the inscription of man within cosmos.

After the experiments in “enlarged perception”, we are now led to experience even more intense ones, such as the vital fusion with the elements, the yearning for oneness with the Universe. In the wake of new research on the life chain -as for instance in epigenetics, where the environmental impact on the genome has been measured over several generations, or in astrology, where common ground between Mars and the Earth has been searched for within the scale of the infinitely small- we are inclined to think in terms of coexistence and dynamic links.
From such a transitive, relational approach may emerge the fundamental notions of milieu, passage and motion. A unified apprehension of cosmos arises, after the fashion of Oriental conceptions, deprived of any form of cleavage.

How can creation and research contribute today to this change in paradigm and establish a new way of looking at the world? Could a common responsibility, shared by artists, scientists and intellectuals, pave the way for alternative action? NE
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