Envisioning a sustainable future of our planet leads to many attempts to integrate scientific disciplines and respective research
methods. Biosphere 2 was a living model world with the aim to study the interactions between humans, farming and technology.
The ecological experiment was implemented in the 1990s in the Arizona desert and tried to build a closed, independent system
that resembled the most important factors of Earth’s ecosystem. Compared to today’s fine-tuned computational models, which
are used to understand, simulate and control real-world systems and tackle transformation towards sustainability, the project
of Biosphere 2 can serve as a model for an experimental and performative mode of living that dreams of new ways of doing the
natural and the social. The cooperation between students of the Art & Science master’s programme and the Doctoral School of
Sustainable Development uses Biosphere 2 as a starting point to develop a transdisciplinary play that enacts “biospherian”
versions of sustainability.
Metaphysics of Opportunity Costs – Shaping Spaces of Sustainability
Making decisions is a complex process. Not only does it require the individual to take into account various factors like opportunity
costs, estimated consequences of a decision and the workload involved, it almost always involves communication and collaboration
with others as well. The importance of a factor has to be considered and discussed. More often than not it turns out, that
what seems sustainable to one actor is considered beside the point and not taken as seriously by another.
By asking you to cooperate in small groups to construct a sustainable landscape and attach specific properties to the materials
involved, you are confronted with a (playful) decision making process. The outcome will be transferred to a model and assessed.
The collaborative creative action reflects the qualities of apparently mainly rational scientific and less rational artistic
decision making and gives an idea how those different approaches can cross-fertilize. The resulting patchwork landscape-sculptures
will be displayed in the foyer.
Meat the Action! Arena
Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes: Play the role of a stakeholder discussing and deciding on the issue of artificial meat.
Followed by an analysis of the discussion.
The Green Storm
The future of our planet is in your hands. A participatory performance and cross-media installation on environmentalism, power,
scientific models, fiction and decision-making.
maNature – The Missing Gap
IPCC-reports that agriculture contributes to a large extent to the greenhouse gas emissions from human activities. In a referendum
the public asked the government to enhance climate protection in agriculture.
Now, you as the government get a certain budget to develop strategies and to support and fund solutions and present them in
a press conference.
Emissions trading is a well-established market-based approach to achieve reductions in CO2 emissions. In this module you will
apply this principle to two sectors where exponential growth is taking place: scientific publishing and artwork production.
To limit the ever-growing output each scientist/artist will be allocated a certain quota that he/she is allowed to produce
per year. You will explore the consequences of such a system for various stakeholder groups.
Taste the Abstract
The transformation of scientific theses into edible taste experiences.
Biosphere 2 and Performative Research - Lecture by Ralo Mayer
From 1991–93 eight people lived inside a closed ecological system in the Arizona desert. The miniature world under glass included
its own ocean, rainforest and farm, its crew explored both future life in space and our planetary biosphere. Ralo Mayer’s
artistic research investigates Biosphere 2 in the context of socio-political and technological global changes of the past
Christian Baumgartner (Naturfreunde International), Konrad Domig (Institute of Food Science, BOKU), Josef Glössl (Vice Rector
for Research, BOKU), Katharina Gugerell (University of Groningen), Karl Hogl (Institute of Forest, Environmental and Natural
Resource Policy, BOKU), Bernd Kräftner (Art & Science, Angewandte), Rodrigo Lozano (Corporate Sustainability, University Utrecht),
Ralo Mayer (Artist), Andreas Muhar (Landscape Development, Recreation and Conservation Planning, BOKU), Christian Münchner
(ReThink), Marianne Penker (Sustainable Economic Development, BOKU), Kumela Nedessa (BOKU), Christian Pohl (Transdisciplinarity,
ETH Zurich), Michael Proschek-Hauptmann (Umweltdachverband), Martin Reinhart (Artist), Werner Schneider (BOKU), Martin Schönhart
(BOKU), Patricia Stokowski (Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, University of Vermont), Virgil Widrich
(Art & Science, Angewandte), Christoph Winckler (Sustainable Agriculture Systems, BOKU)
Michael Braito, Kerstin Böck, Margit Busch, Ana Daldon, Benedict Endler, Andrea Hermann, Matilde Igual Capdevila, Adrijan
Karavdic, Mathias Kirchner, Martina Lang, Tamara Mitrofanenko, Hermine Mitter, Gerardo Montes de Oca Valadez, Kiengkay Ounmany,
Anna-Sophie Santner, Katharina Schodl, Peter Walder