Milieus of Time – Familiar and Unknown at the same time
Fri, January 24, 2003 7 pm CET, Panel Discussion

The discussion will be about the relationship between the natural sciences and culture as seen from the perspective of the history of science, which is to identify the parallels between art and science in the search of determinants of scientific practice. The assumption that the media mediate between the practices of the natural sciences and the public will be questioned. 

Karl von Meyenn will introduce the speech of 1932 by physicist Erwin Schrödinger, who asked then: »Is natural science the result of a certain milieu?« In his speech, Schrödinger discussed parallels between the art of a »pure objectivity« and the quantum theory and thus, makes a theme of the mutual effects between social tendencies and epistemological questions concerning statistics and causality. 

Before the backdrop of a detailed study, in which he examined laboratory practices of biochemists at Massachusetts General Hospital from 1953 - 1963, Hans-Jörg Rheinberger sees parallels between artistic practice and scientific experimental technology. 

In the series of articles »Economies of the In-between«, Nils Röller will introduce creators such as Charles Wilp and Bruce Mau, who know how to use the discrepancies between local cultures of knowledge and the public for their production. Connected to this are general questions concerning time. First: whether a certain milieu is defined as culture by a spillover of scientific standards or by a bundle of contemporary practices from everyday or occupational obligations. Secondly: How do local scientific customs react to overarching tendencies such as acceleration, whose critical potential Peter Weibel deals with in his book of 1987 »Die Beschleunigung der Bilder in der Chronokratie« [The Acceleration of Pictures in a Chronocracy]? Thirdly: What chances lie in the artistic and scientific treatment of time?

Karl von Meyenn

Science Historian and Editor of the Pauli-Correspondence; since January 2001 Research Fellow in the Department of Theoretical Physics at the University of Ulm

Hans-Jörg Rheinberger

molecular biologist and Historian of science; since 1997 Director of the Max-Planck-Institute for History of Science in Berlin

Nils Röller

media theorist; since June 2002 Research Fellow at the ZKM | Institute for Basic Research

Peter Weibel

media theorist and artist; CEO of the ZKM⎥Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe