Looking at art: Understanding the world?

Science creates objective knowledge. Objective knowledge solves problems. However, subjective knowledge as created when looking at art is maybe even more important for today‘s society. Join us on our journey through the rabbit hole. To a world, where the importance of subjective knowledge is understood.

After climbing through the third rabbit hole, we landed in an artsy world. A world, in which we were directly confronted with the individual perception of art. We faced a blank canvas, that was about to be sprayed by the artist Elia Varini. As he started spraying, he knew just as much about to-becreated piece of art as us, the spectators looking over his shoulders. The hissing of the Elia’s aerosol cans intermingled with the clicking sound of the acoustic art installation as trains of thoughts, expectations, imagination from both, the audience and the artist began to fill the gallery Römerapotheke.

After this attunement, Simon Stammers (student of philosophy and German literature and linguistics at UZH) shared his thoughts on the subjective perception of art. Looking at art, he claimed, is structurally quite similar to having a conversation with a person. In both cases, there will inevitably be a gap: A gap between our own subjective perception and either the subjective perception of the other person or the meaning of the piece as intended by the artist. By suspending a piece of art of the category ‘art’, we gain freedom, but lose orientation. However, orientation is regained in the process of allowing the piece of art to act on us, allowing us to question our own categories, find new ones and liberate our judgement. This helps us not only to accept a multitude of truths but shifts our perspective of the very category of truth itself: plurality truth as a value cannot be taken for granted.

In small groups, we compared Simon’s statements to the perception based on objective, scientifically measurable knowledge; shared our thoughts in plenum and found ourselves in yet other interesting conversations during the ensuing apéro. A rabbit hole’s apero, of course, with plenty of carrots and dips.

Here is the Flyer of this event.
Here you can read the entire speech of Simon Stammers.






Jannes Jegminat (reatch)
Matthias Gröbner (reatch)
Valeria Eckhardt (reatch)
Joel Spiegelberg
Luca Rey
Simon Stammers
Elia Varini