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University of Silesia in Katowice

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Logo European City of Science 2024

Love Week in the City of Science: 12–18 February 2024

26.01.2024 - 16:13 update 19.02.2024 - 20:11
Editors: wcyg
Tags: 50 tygodni w Mieście Nauki

Week #7: Love Week

Date: 12–18 February 2024

  • Curator: Anna Malinowska, PhD, DLitt, Assoc. Prof. (University of Silesia in Katowice)
  • Producer: Aleksandra Kwiatkowska (University of Silesia in Katowice)

Description of the week

The seventh week of 50 Weeks in the City of Science is Love Week. The event is part of the European City of Science programme, which will last throughout 2024.

The subject of Love Week’s investigations will be the mechanisms, contexts, nature, technologies and representations of emotions commonly associated with relationships between people, and at the same time not always perceived as universal for the physical world.

During lectures, expert speeches, as well as exhibitions and happenings dealing with the topic of love, you will be able to learn about its view from the perspective of various disciplines and practices. We will show, among other things, sensitive machines and an electroencephalogram of a kiss. We will talk about quantum entanglement, the components of which – physical objects – lose their individuality, as in a love entanglement. We will learn about the cardiology of a broken heart and its representations in culture. We will see how love is interpreted in music and videos, and how the psychological interpretation of relationships and feelings applies to them.

We will also take a closer look at the design of love in commercial buildings and its destructive power in city space. We will explore the problem of dating sites and codes predicting the success of a love relationship. And all this during popular science lectures in various disciplines, as well as experiments and artistic and research shows, meetings with specialists (including a sexologist) and other events.

The schedule covers only events carried out in English!

Love Week graphics with a cupid and the word love

  • 10.00 a.m. – 6.00 p.m.Emotion Control Unit Exhibition (Kato Science Corner, Katowice)

The work belongs to the Control Units series. Based on readings from sensors and microphones, the object recognises its surroundings, i.e. sounds, vibrations, and temperature, and generates emotional responses to the presence of the viewer. The artist has created an object whose form evokes nostalgia, reminiscent of the first radios, and has given it a semblance of emotional intelligence through special software. The built-in indicators show levels of fear, happiness, anger, surprise, stimulation, sadness, relaxation, and dissatisfaction, the basic behavioural reactions of living beings.

The viewer can empathically assist the machine by switching on and off the sensors responsible for three-dimensional vision, the sense of touch and hearing, therefore tuning it to a particular ‘feeling’. The simulation of basic emotional reactions gives the impression of contact with a human being and causes an involuntary anthropomorphisation of the object and the reading of its action as a manifestation of free will.

The event is addressed to schoolchildren and adults.


 

  • 10.00 a.m.– 6.00 p.m.Emotion Control Unit Wystawa Exhibition (Kato Science Corner, Katowice)

The work belongs to the Control Units series. Based on readings from sensors and microphones, the object recognises its surroundings, i.e. sounds, vibrations, and temperature, and generates emotional responses to the presence of the viewer. The artist has created an object whose form evokes nostalgia, reminiscent of the first radios, and has given it a semblance of emotional intelligence through special software. The built-in indicators show levels of fear, happiness, anger, surprise, stimulation, sadness, relaxation, and dissatisfaction, the basic behavioural reactions of living beings.

The viewer can empathically assist the machine by switching on and off the sensors responsible for three-dimensional vision, the sense of touch and hearing, therefore tuning it to a particular ‘feeling’. The simulation of basic emotional reactions gives the impression of contact with a human being and causes an involuntary anthropomorphisation of the object and the reading of its action as a manifestation of free will.


  • 11.00 a.m. – 12.00 p.m. – Lecture: Off love

Online dating applications have been positioned as the most effective response to the current social distancing measures, considerably increasing both the supply of the sector and the demand of the users. Since social interactions are limited exclusively to virtual space, In today’s intimate spaces, technology plays a fundamental role in our current intimate spaces. This type of experience consequently brings the rationalization of the desire, that is no longer determined by the unconscious, but by a conscious choice based on previously calculated parameters that precede in time and relevance one’s own feelings. Off Love aims to reflect on the standardized and repetitive model proposed by the digital market where emotions are exposed to public manipulation, limiting and fragmenting our capacity for emotional closeness. This talk explains those aims and outlines the project’s premises, outcomes and trajectories

The lecture will be delivered by Noemi Iglesias, a Spanish artist working with sculptural media and long-durational performative formats. She is a clear example of contemporary nomadism: since 2009 the artist has lived and worked in Greece, England, Finland, Italy, Hungary, China and Korea. In 2019 she finished her Master’s Degree at the Tainan National University of the Arts, where she researched on contemporary ceramic practices for the last three years thanks to the Taiwan ROC Scholarship from the Taiwanese government. Recently, her work has been exhibited at the Gimhae Clayarch Museum (KR), The Taipei Museum of Contemporary Art (TW), Alcora Ceramics Museum, CERCO International Ceramics Competition, Vendrell Ceramics Biennial (SP), Espacio Líquido – La Gran Gallery and the JustMad Contemporary Art Fair (SP). This year, She was an artist in residence at the Vista Alegre Porcelain factory in Portugal where she designed a line of functional products for the brand. Her work will be also part of the Yingge Ceramics Biennale (TW), the Faenza Prize (IT) and the Shanghai Academy of Arts and Design where she has been invited as a guest artist.

The event is addressed to schoolchildren and adults.

The lecture will be carried out online; the link will appear soon.


  • 7.00–8.00 p.m. – Artistic performance: Unhappy Endings. Poems for the Broken Hearted (Hipnoza, pl. Sejmu Śląskiego 2, Katowice)

Unhappy Ending is a project dedicated to the morphology of heartbreak and the epiphanies of separation, which inexpressibly maps the stages and structures of suffering after the break-up of love. The project is based on the poetic artbook Unhappy Ending. Poems for the Broken/Hearted with poems by Ania Malinowska and guashas by Pola Dwurnik, which was created over the course of four years in various locations around the world: from New York, Katowice, Warsaw to the American desert. In 2021, the project took the form of an exhibition of Pola Dwurnik’s works Unhappy Ending (Krupa Gallery in Wrocław), to be later transformed into an improvised jazz performance illustrated by the music of double bassist Kamila Drabek. The project tells a journey through the wilderness of emptiness and despair, tracing the pursuit of meaning and disenchanting the experience of loss. In doing so, it shies away from genre drama, treating the neglected topos of an unhappy ending with affection and reverence.

The event is addressed to schoolchildren and adults. No registration required.


  • 10.00 a.m. – 6.00 p.m.Emotion Control Unit Exhibition (Kato Science Corner, Katowice)

The work belongs to the Control Units series. Based on readings from sensors and microphones, the object recognises its surroundings, i.e. sounds, vibrations, and temperature, and generates emotional responses to the presence of the viewer. The artist has created an object whose form evokes nostalgia, reminiscent of the first radios, and has given it a semblance of emotional intelligence through special software. The built-in indicators show levels of fear, happiness, anger, surprise, stimulation, sadness, relaxation, and dissatisfaction, the basic behavioural reactions of living beings.

The viewer can empathically assist the machine by switching on and off the sensors responsible for three-dimensional vision, the sense of touch and hearing, therefore tuning it to a particular ‘feeling’. The simulation of basic emotional reactions gives the impression of contact with a human being and causes an involuntary anthropomorphisation of the object and the reading of its action as a manifestation of free will.


  • 10.00 a.m. – 6.00 p.m. – Emotion Control Unit Exhibition (Kato Science Corner, Katowice)

The work belongs to the Control Units series. Based on readings from sensors and microphones, the object recognises its surroundings, i.e. sounds, vibrations, and temperature, and generates emotional responses to the presence of the viewer. The artist has created an object whose form evokes nostalgia, reminiscent of the first radios, and has given it a semblance of emotional intelligence through special software. The built-in indicators show levels of fear, happiness, anger, surprise, stimulation, sadness, relaxation, and dissatisfaction, the basic behavioural reactions of living beings.

The viewer can empathically assist the machine by switching on and off the sensors responsible for three-dimensional vision, the sense of touch and hearing, therefore tuning it to a particular ‘feeling’. The simulation of basic emotional reactions gives the impression of contact with a human being and causes an involuntary anthropomorphisation of the object and the reading of its action as a manifestation of free will.


  • 5.00–6.00 p.m. – Lecture: Extended-Self Love: Material Imagination and Healing from Eating Disorders

The talk will provide an overview of my PhD research project, which focuses on designing imaginative and material ways to care for Eating Disorders. The research is situated within the emergent field of Design for Mental Health and at the intersection of new materialism, the medical, and radical imagination. The talk will provide a critical overview of the medical models through which mental disorders have been historically framed and constructed and how the Eating Disorder self and body have been described. The talk will explore and borrow from different lenses to understand bodies, selves and alternative ways to consider mental experiences from social justice, materialist, and feminist lenses. The project aims to propose an alternative framework to describe Eating Disorders, moving the focus away from bodily and medical boundaries, while including historically excluded factors, entanglements, materials, and affect. Within this framing, healing can be approached through fictional and ontological design. The talk will show explorations and interviews with participants who experienced and healed from Eating Disorders and their socio-cultural and material networks. The talk will highlight the concept of radical self-love (Taylor, 2021) and how it interrelates with healing and the extended self.

The event will be carried out by Silvia Neretti, a Fulbright fellow, a social designer, and currently a doctoral candidate in The Design School at Arizona State University. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design from the Free University of Bolzano (Italy) and a master’s degree in Social Design from the Design Academy Eindhoven (Netherlands). Silvia’s work is situated at the intersection of fictional and ontological design, new materialism, social justice in mental health and relational healing. Her research focuses on designing material ways for relational change, and artistic and activist healing practices, and uses design to disseminate healing in everyday life.

The event will be carried out online; the link will appear soon.


  • 10.00 a.m. – 6.00 p.m. – Emotion Control Unit Exhibition (Kato Science Corner, Katowice)

The work belongs to the Control Units series. Based on readings from sensors and microphones, the object recognises its surroundings, i.e. sounds, vibrations, and temperature, and generates emotional responses to the presence of the viewer. The artist has created an object whose form evokes nostalgia, reminiscent of the first radios, and has given it a semblance of emotional intelligence through special software. The built-in indicators show levels of fear, happiness, anger, surprise, stimulation, sadness, relaxation, and dissatisfaction, the basic behavioural reactions of living beings.

The viewer can empathically assist the machine by switching on and off the sensors responsible for three-dimensional vision, the sense of touch and hearing, therefore tuning it to a particular ‘feeling’. The simulation of basic emotional reactions gives the impression of contact with a human being and causes an involuntary anthropomorphisation of the object and the reading of its action as a manifestation of free will.


  • 12.00–2.00 p.m. – Artistic and research experiment: EEG Kiss, Lance&Matt (SpinPlace, ul. Bankowa 5, Katowice)

Can we transfer a kiss and its intimacy online? Can we measure a kiss and what kissers feel together? Do we want to save our private kisses in a transparent database – to be used by others? In E.E.G. KISS the artists investigate how a kiss can be translated into bio-feedback data. They deconstruct the kiss, to reconstruct a new synesthetic kissing ritual. In a Global Kiss-In, through feeling, seeing, hearing, and touching all participants together share a kiss. The artists: “Tele-presence technologies extend our bodies beyond biological boundaries in time and space, but they prevent us from touching. In a poetic, electric environment for kissing and measuring, for synchronizing and merging, we research a shared neuro-feedback system for networked kissing.” In performances and live kissing experiments with Brain-Computer Interfaces, visitors are invited to kiss. While kissing and wearing E.E.G. headsets, their brainwaves are measured and visible as E.E.G. data. A floor projection encircles the kissers with the real-time streaming E.E.G. data, as an immersive datascape. A soundscape is generated by the Brain Computer Interface, which translates the real-time E.E.G. data of ‘kissing brains’ into an algorithm for a music score: an E.E.G. KISS symphony. The public around is part of the kiss, of the sound and the immersive E.E.G.-data-visualization; both as an aesthetic experience and based on acts of kissing resonating when mirrored in the brain.

The lecture will be delivered by Karen Lancel and Hermen Maat duo Lancel/Maat, based in Amsterdam) work in multi-disciplinary fields of art, science, technology and society. They are considered pioneers in exploring shared experiences of embodiment and isolation, empathy and intimacy, fluid identities, privacy and trust, in posthuman bio-social-technical entanglement with (non-)human others. At the heart of their work are visionary concepts of ‘Trust Rituals’ and ‘Trust Systems’. In these concepts, empathy and intimacy play a fundamental role in supporting sustainable eco-systems in a changing climate. Lancel and Maat critically repurpose AI and control technologies to explore a new potential of reciprocal intimate bodily connections. They create poetic meeting spaces and dialogue platforms, for the audience to experience and share storytelling about ‘togetherness’ in future forms of co-existence. Lancel and Maat’s awarded and prize-winning works have been presented internationally. The works consist of media art, performance and spatial installation in hybrid and mixed realities; video and internet art. Their artistic research resonates with Techno-Feminist concepts, in interplay with Lancel’s (PhD, 2023) scientific research into HCI Complex Participatory Systems.

The event has two registration forms: one for attendees (registration form) and the other for people willing to take an active part in the experiment (registration form).

The event is addressed to people over 15; you have to be at least 18 to take an active part in the experiment.


 

  • 10.00 a.m. – 6.00 p.m. – Emotion Control Unit Exhibition (Kato Science Corner, Katowice)

The work belongs to the Control Units series. Based on readings from sensors and microphones, the object recognises its surroundings, i.e. sounds, vibrations, and temperature, and generates emotional responses to the presence of the viewer. The artist has created an object whose form evokes nostalgia, reminiscent of the first radios, and has given it a semblance of emotional intelligence through special software. The built-in indicators show levels of fear, happiness, anger, surprise, stimulation, sadness, relaxation, and dissatisfaction, the basic behavioural reactions of living beings.

The viewer can empathically assist the machine by switching on and off the sensors responsible for three-dimensional vision, the sense of touch and hearing, therefore tuning it to a particular ‘feeling’. The simulation of basic emotional reactions gives the impression of contact with a human being and causes an involuntary anthropomorphisation of the object and the reading of its action as a manifestation of free will.


 

  • 2.00–4.00 p.m. – Artistic and reserach experiment: EEG Kiss, Lance&Matt (SpinPlace, ul. Bankowa 5, Katowice)

Can we transfer a kiss and its intimacy online? Can we measure a kiss and what kissers feel together? Do we want to save our private kisses in a transparent database – to be used by others? In E.E.G. KISS the artists investigate how a kiss can be translated into bio-feedback data. They deconstruct the kiss, to reconstruct a new synesthetic kissing ritual. In a Global Kiss-In, through feeling, seeing, hearing, and touching all participants together share a kiss. The artists: “Tele-presence technologies extend our bodies beyond biological boundaries in time and space, but they prevent us from touching. In a poetic, electric environment for kissing and measuring, for synchronizing and merging, we research a shared neuro-feedback system for networked kissing.” In performances and live kissing experiments with Brain-Computer Interfaces, visitors are invited to kiss. While kissing and wearing E.E.G. headsets, their brainwaves are measured and visible as E.E.G. data. A floor projection encircles the kissers with the real-time streaming E.E.G. data, as an immersive datascape. A soundscape is generated by the Brain Computer Interface, which translates the real-time E.E.G. data of ‘kissing brains’ into an algorithm for a music score: an E.E.G. KISS symphony. The public around is part of the kiss, of the sound and the immersive E.E.G.-data-visualization; both as an aesthetic experience and based on acts of kissing resonating when mirrored in the brain.

The lecture will be delivered by Karen Lancel and Hermen Maat duo Lancel/Maat, based in Amsterdam) work in multi-disciplinary fields of art, science, technology and society. They are considered pioneers in exploring shared experiences of embodiment and isolation, empathy and intimacy, fluid identities, privacy and trust, in posthuman bio-social-technical entanglement with (non-)human others. At the heart of their work are visionary concepts of ‘Trust Rituals’ and ‘Trust Systems’. In these concepts, empathy and intimacy play a fundamental role in supporting sustainable eco-systems in a changing climate. Lancel and Maat critically repurpose AI and control technologies to explore a new potential of reciprocal intimate bodily connections. They create poetic meeting spaces and dialogue platforms, for the audience to experience and share storytelling about ‘togetherness’ in future forms of co-existence. Lancel and Maat’s awarded and prize-winning works have been presented internationally. The works consist of media art, performance and spatial installation in hybrid and mixed realities; video and internet art. Their artistic research resonates with Techno-Feminist concepts, in interplay with Lancel’s (PhD, 2023) scientific research into HCI Complex Participatory Systems.

The event has two registration forms: one for attendees (registration form) and the other for people willing to take an active part in the experiment (registration form).

The event is addressed to people over 15; you have to be at least 18 to take an active part in the experiment.


  • 11.00 a.m. – 3.00 p.m.The Human Library (University of Silesia Rectorate, Kazimierz Lepszy Lecture Hall, ul. Bankowa 12, Katowice)

Do you want to face your own stereotypes and prejudices? Do you like talking and are not afraid of diversity? Would you like to find out what people exposed to social discrimination and misunderstanding have to deal with on a daily basis? If so, the Human Library is just for you!

The Human Library offers a unique opportunity to have an intimate and honest conversation, discover your own vulnerability and open up to new relationships. Love Week offers the perfect chance to do this, as this area of life is also diverse. Take the chance to hear and share your own insights and experiences. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and remember: love does not exclude!

The event is addressed to the general public. No registration is required.


 

 

Profile of the curator

Anna Malinowska, PhD, DLitt, Assoc. Prof. – researcher of new technologies, cultural semiologist, author, poet and clinician in the field of therapeutic hypnosis. It is easy to guess that her scope of research revolves around the semiotics of love in the context of the cohabitation of people and intelligent machines as well as the culture of emotions and affection. Prof. Anna Malinowska is the winner of the Polish-U.S. Fulbright Commission scholarship (Senior Research Award 2018–2019), within which she conducted research at the New School University, New York. She has published in leading scientific publishing houses in the country and around the world. She is the author of the monograph Love in Contemporary Technoculture (Cambridge University Press 2022). Since 2019, she has been running the experimental project – Textrapolations, dealing with a neo-Dadaist approach to text and the act of writing. Its first part consists of poems created from fragments of scientific and literary books.

Funded by European Union

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Research Executive Agency. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

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