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Perceiving Art: Physics Principles & Research Challenges
A workshop funded by NSF
16-18 October, 2023, Institut Henri Poincaré, Paris

Beata Bajno, artist, architect
Sylvie Benzoni, Director, Institut Henri Poincaré, Paris
Andrzej Herczyński, Boston College
Joanna Dreszer, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Toruń

Jacek Rogala, University of Warsaw (Principal Organizer)

The workshop held on October 16-18, 2023, at the Institut Henri Poincaré (IHP) in Paris. It is a part of a wider program funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) on Exploring the Intersection of Science and Art and is supported by the NSF and the Institut Henri Poincaré.

Founded in 1928, the Institut Henri Poincaré is an international research center for mathematical sciences and their applications and a part of Sorbonne Université and the CNRS. The primary mission of the Institute is to promote and host scientific exchanges and to organize international research programs in mathematics, physics, and related fields. For more information please see: .

The aim of the workshop is to explore how viewers experience visual art by integrating a variety of different research approaches and techniques, such as EEG, fMRI, eye tracking, psychological and behavioral studies, and explainable neural networks. While a number of researchers work on these subjects individually, the workshop will hopefully help start a more cohesive community. The interest, from the scientific point of view, is to identify general principles of the perception of art and promising new approaches. We anticipate that a multidisciplinary character of the workshop, bringing together physicists, mathematicians, biologists, neuroscientists, computer scientists, cognitive scientists, and psychiatrists—as well as practicing artists—will prove conducive to a productive exchange of ideas, and will stimulate new research directions.

Art and Science as Ways of Knowing and Experiencing the World: Creativity, Abstraction and Learning
11th Peripatetic Conference, Zakopane, October 27-30, 2022

Yanna Popova (Centre Q)

Daniel Sobota (IFiS PAN)

Ilona Iłowiecka-Tańska (Copernicus Science Center)

Wiesna Mond-Kozłowska (Researcher in the field of Comparative Aesthetics, Choreographer, Polskie Stowarzyszenie Antropologii Tańca)

Jacek Rogala (Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology)

Beata Bajno (Artist)

The aim of the conference is to look at the experiences and practices of artists and scientists in their respective fields, in order to establish whether they reflect similar or dissimilar processes. Over the years there have been attempts (mainly in the literature devoted to creativity research) to argue that they are largely similar courses of action in a creative process of discovery, while many have also claimed that they are essentially distinct ways of epistemic relating to the world that cannot communicate with each other. On the one hand, in both art and science, there is a clear process of cultivation of skills and proficiencies: authors, musicians, painters create but also reflect on and revise their reflections, a procedure that resembles the honing of scientific hypotheses. On the other hand, there exists a strong consensus that art is somehow an expression of emotion and sensory experience (aesthesis), while scientific research is assumed to aim at truth and express some kind of objective description of the world.

Co-organiser of exhibition and workshop:
"Mysterious things happen here and no one knows about it but me"
11.01 – 08.02.2022
The exhibition is part of a research project of the Centre for Systemic Risk Analysis at the Faculty of Artes Liberales, University of Warsaw.
The project is organised by the Centre at Artes Liberales UW in cooperation with the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń.
The workshop organized by the Centre for Systemic Risk Analysis together with the Institute of Psychology of Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun on February 9th, 2022 brought together scientists and artists interested in the investigation of art appreciation and perception.
The goal of the workshop was to explore points of view presented by scientists and artists attending the workshop including: theoretical physics, neuroscience, psychology, art historians and artists.
There exist scattered studies on the art perception in specific fields, but little systematic work on joining them together including artists. This interdisciplinary goal required the assembly of researchers from a diverse array of interrelated fields. The participants were selected as those reaching out from their traditional academic disciplines to study the appreciation of art.
The seminar was attended by representatives of Polish universities: Warsaw University, Jagiellonian University, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, John Paul II University in Lublin, Pedagogical University of Krakow, Polish Academy of Sciences.
The lectures and discussions were focused on the investigation of art perception, understanding of art, and challenges posed by the application of artificial intelligence in art.
The Workshop was combined with an exhibition of images created by artificial neural networks "Mysterious things happen here and no one knows about it but me".
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