Art & Science For Sale

6 & 12 March 2008, Vooruit Arts Center, Ghent

Science for Sale

Science for Sale

Philosophers of science claim that a value-free science is a fiction. Scientific research includes values and norms as well, and aims for applicable knowledge that brings about a good or better life. But how can we monitor the border between a humanized science and political or economical manipulation or abuse? For this reason, this symposium focuses, outdoors the university, on contemporary smoke screens of what is called 'science'.

For instance, when does the interplay between natural sciences and industry turns over in a sell out of patented knowledge in sake of the market and the banking business? Do hidden political agenda's intervene in the anonymous community that produces the apparently innocent and generous Wikipedia? To what extend is the academic enterprise liable to a deceptive, promising rhetoric in favour of an influx of funding? Finally, what ideological worldviews does the popularization of bioscience try to sell?

Art for Sale

Buy Buy Art

Art costs money. And artists cannot live from their love for art alone. Therefore, this symposium does not intend to be an elegy, an accusation or a manifesto but aims to explore and make explicit the multiple and often ambiguous relation between art and capital.

For instance, what mechanisms fix the prices at auctions and the rates of investments? Last summer, Damien Hirst sold a platinum scull set with diamonds for a record figure of 100 million US Dollar. Is this an interesting provocation or perverse speculation? Are the playfully actions of Hacktivists not far more critical due to their intervenient effectiveness? If works of art become investments, must art academies preserve their students or rather train them according to the conditions of the art business? Finally, if only fine arts seem to be subject to conditions of the art market, how then do other artists get a living?

Institutional Partners & Funding

CLEA (VUB), Vooruit Arts Centre & Interface