Art x Science Dialogues: Bridging the Future – New Interdisciplinary Initiatives

We have invited Prof. Sarah Kenderdine from EPFL, Ms. Maximiliane Okonnek from ETH Zurich, and Prof. Zhijie Qiu from CAFA in China for a collaborative discussion on the topic.

Event Details


Zoom Webinar


[Online] August 11, 2020, 16:00 - 17:00 (China) / 10:00 - 11:00 (Switzerland)


Free, RSVP required

In recent years, collaborations between artists and scientists have increasingly become a feature of the cultural landscape. Over the past years, a hybrid set of research-based or experimentally-driven initiatives have emerged where artists and scientists work together to explore the creative possibilities and producing many exciting projects. Such interdisciplinary initiatives are observed as a trend in future education and research. 


In the final edition of the Art x Science Dialogues series, we will introduce the interdisciplinary initiatives from the two top Swiss universities – ETH Zurich and École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), as well as the art-science practices of the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) from China. We will invite Prof. Sarah Kenderdine, Director of Laboratory for Experimental Museology (eM+) & ArtLab EPFL, Ms. Maximiliane Okonnek, Managing Director of ETH Library Lab, and Prof. Zhijie Qiu, Dean of the School of Experimental Art of CAFA for a collaborative discussion on the opportunities and challenges in building up such initiatives. We are also trying to explore long term communication as well as collaboration systems within art and science through the dialogue.



Event Rundown

16:00 Webinar Starts
16:00-16:05 Opening Remarks
Ms. Cissy Sun
Head of Art-Science at swissnex China
16:05-16:20 Presentation
Prof. Sarah Kenderdine

Director of Laboratory for Experimental Museology (eM+) & ArtLab EPFL

16:20-16:35 Presentation
Ms. Maximiliane Okonnek

Managing Director of ETH Library Lab

16:35-16:50 Presentation
Prof. Zhijie Qiu

Dean of the School of Experimental Art of CAFA

16:50-17:10 Discussion | Q & A


Speakers & Organizations

Prof. Sarah Kenderdine

Director of Laboratory for Experimental Museology (eM+) & ArtLab EPFL

Sarah Kenderdine researches at the forefront of interactive and immersive experiences for galleries, libraries, archives and museums. In widely exhibited installation works, she has amalgamated cultural heritage with new media art practice, especially in the realms of interactive cinema, augmented reality and embodied narrative.  In 2017, Sarah was appointed Professor of Digital Museology at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), where she has built a Laboratory for Experimental Museology (eM+). She is also director and lead curator of EPFL’s new art/science initiative ArtLab, located in a seminal Kengo Kumar building, inaugurated in 2016.

Laboratory for Experimental Museology (eM+)

eM+ is a new transdisciplinary initiative at the intersection of immersive visualization technologies, visual analytics, aesthetics and cultural (big) data. eM+ engages in research from scientific, artistic and humanistic perspectives and promotes post-cinematic multi-sensory engagement using experimental platforms. eM+ occupies 1500sqm with 8 major custom designed visualization systems.



Ms. Maximiliane Okonnek

Managing Director of ETH Library Lab

Maximiliane is a dedicated innovation and technology strategist with long-standing expertise in project development, building digital products and coordinating innovation and cooperation projects. She is passionate about building and leveraging innovation ecosystems in order to accelerate digital transformation in the public sphere. Maximiliane studied Japanese Studies and Management & Economics at University of Zurich (Switzerland) and Doshisha University, Kyoto (Japan). Later she also received a MSc in Digital Media Management from Steinbeis School of Management and Innovation, Berlin (Germany).



ETH Library Lab

ETH Library Lab is striving to advance information infrastructures and services for science, research and education. Its core is the Innovator Fellowship Program. It welcomes thinkers and doers, whose ideas have the power to reshape workflows and information environments for the future of science. During their time at the lab, Innovator Fellows are bringing their own idea to prototype level while being backed by inspiring mentors, well-grounded experts and academic supervisors. With its mission, ETH Library Lab acts at the intersection of technology, knowledge society and public service.


Prof. Zhijie Qiu

Dean of the School of Experimental Art of CAFA

Born in 1969 in Zhangzhou, Fujian Province, China, Qiu Zhijie is a leading figure in conceptual art and new media. The artist, writer, curator, and teacher has earned critical recognition worldwide for his concept and practice of “total art,” which forges new cultural meaning from various philosophies and systems of thought from anytime, anywhere. He graduated from the Department of Printmaking at the Zhejiang Academy of Arts (now China Academy of Art), Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, in 1992, and was instrumental in developing its Department of Intermedia Arts, where he is a professor. Since 2016, Qiu has served as dean of the School of Experimental Art, Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing. He has co-curated seminal exhibitions of experimental art in China, including Image and Phenomena: ’96 Video Art Exhibition (1996) and Post-Sense Sensibility: Alien Bodies and Delusion (1999). He was chief curator of the Shanghai Biennale (2012) and curator of the China Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2017).


School of Experimental Art (SEA), Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA)


School of Experimental Art (SEA) of Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) was officially established in 2014. The school has three majors, Experimental Art, Science and Technology Art, and Social Art. The Experimental Art has direct connection to the core of the discipline by studying the traditional and contemporary practice. It has two curriculum systems, the traditional language courses and the courses of materialization of presentation. The Science and Technology Art focuses on the new technology fields as AI, biotech, human-computer interaction, digital media, and new material. It is a realm with interaction between art and science, and with great potential of social need and creativity. The Social Art concerns more on the connection between art practice and the public space. The students are encouraged to exceed their ego and reach the larger self by social practice, accomplish their experimental and creative work in the waves of the society, and eventually realize their self-fulfillment.



Art x Science Dialogues is a new webinar series initiated by swissnex China in 2020. It will take place once per month from May to August via Zoom, covering topics of Design x Materials Science, Sonic Arts x Neuroscience, Photography x Environmental Ecology, and New interdisciplinary Initiatives. To view past events, please access here.