ArtSci 2018 – La Rencontre

Where Art and Science meet – La Rencontre – was the inaugural exhibition of ArtSci. Newly founded in October 2017, ArtSci for the first time celebrated the art science interface at ETH Zürich in April 2018 with this two week exhibition. La Rencontre took place at the green floor at the ETH CHN building, showcasing the work of more than 35 art-scientists from Germany, Switzerland, France and the US. The exhibit was accompanied by a range of events, made possible thanks to our collaborators and supporters.
Special thanks go to Chiara and the Art Science Collaborative for their awesome workshops, the Technorama museum Zürich for their hospitality and Miriam Martinovic and the Fine Art Collective for amazing support both with materials and leading a workshop in person. We also would like to thank Dr. Emily Scott and Christoff Kuefer for their intriguing talks and of course Peter and Urs from SOSETH, Gabrielle Attinger from D-USYS and Gazmed Halimi for their never-ending logistical support.

We were overwhelmed by the amount of marvelous submissions received for La Rencontre. Please refer to our gallery to take a look at what ArtSci 2018 had to offer and be inspired – perhaps for your own submission, this year at ArtSci 2019 Hémisphères?

Although ArtSci is no competition but a peaceful, egalitarian festival of what we call our passion, we would like to highlight three of La Rencontre’s submissions that were awarded a special prize from our partners at the Fine Art Collective and Boesner.

Past Winners

Hans Thierstein: Quatroscopy and the Beauty of Earth Science
Professor Emeritus ETH Zürich, Switzerland

Fascinating new views of common images are possible with my recently invented Quatroscope. I show eight such views as printed images (quatroscopies) of various objects and themes I dealt with in my former teaching and research activities at the Earth Science Department of ETH and UZH. To appreciate the peculiarities of these images it is helpful to know what a Quatroscope is: a square tunnel of four long mirrors. I set a large one up: Look through it with your partner at the other end! Shouldn’t you preserve the unique portrait with your handy? After that, have a look at my eight printed earthly quatroscopies. For the specific objects shown, consult one of the printed guides available. More at

Caitlin Proctor: Seeking Correlations
Post Doc in Drinking Water Microbiology, Eawag, Switzerland

This piece was inspired by the data analysis process. When you focus only on the black in the image, you can find a positive correlation with lots of scatter. This is the original data. However, plotting the data is only the first step. When you add the ‘color’ of theory, opinion, and discussion, the data itself is only one part of the larger story. Sometimes the original data is obscured by these colorful elements. Theory can explain the data that doesn’t fit, and extra experiments can contribute to the correlation. In the end, we can find that correlation (R^2 = 0.99), that explanation for a phenomenon, that final narrative, but only by pouring our hearts (including both rage and elation) into the work.

Lucia Bernasconi
Student in Agricultural Sciences, ETH Zurich, Switzerland

“Agriculture is extremely fascinating and important at the same time. Agriculture is nature. Agriculture is equilibrium. Our task is to try to move this balance in support of humans. Agriculture connects the deep study of nature to sociology, economy, politics, ours traditions and is so multi-colored and complicated that could become a real challenge. Plant diseases, malnutrition, obesity, pollution, energy production, landscape protection, biodiversity, high productivity for the growing population… are all problems that keep agronomists busy.”

Acrylic, pencil, pen, china, watercolor, collage, guache, pastels… on paper.

Simone Fontana
Post Doc at WSL, the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL

Francesco Pomati
Group Leader at Eawag, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology

With contributions by Fabio Crivelli (music) and Studio Asparagus (film)

Check out this winning video that translates about three months of phytoplankton monitoring into a few seconds of music and images! Simone and Francesco tracked temporal changes in the variability of morphological and physiological features of cells in Greifensee every four hours at six different depths using automated scanning-flow cytometry. Rescaled data was played by Fabio’s vintage synthesizer, assigning a different instrument to each depth. The higher the note, the higher the diversity of shapes and pigments in the corresponding community. The conceptual video realized by Studio Asparagus makes these changes visible and suggests how new generations have the power to contrast the detrimental effects of global change.

Madeline Koczura, Laurette Koczura
PhD student in animal nutrition, ETH Zürich

Once Upon A Cheese
This project was a collaboration between two sisters, Madeline and Laurette. Since they were children, both of them were highly interested by science and attracted by arts. In our society, we are asked at one point to choose between being an artist or a scientist. However, both sisters truly believe that science and arts can live happily together and need one another. Laurette is 21 years old. She has a bachelor in biology and is now studying at Emile Cohl School of Art, in Lyon (France), in her first year. Madeline is 3 years older. She graduated as an agricultural engineer in France, specialized in sustainable development of agriculture. She is now in her last year of PhD at the ETH, in the Institute of Agricultural Science. During her doctoral project, Madeline was brought to work in the Alps in Italy and the Massif Central from France. She had always been subjugated by mountains and their strength, and she loves the feeling that develops while living up there. In her PhD, she studies the sustainability of alpine farming systems. Her work and subject have always been difficult to explain to other people. She always felt that science had to be shared and understood by everybody, even from different fields, in order to work together. She wanted to find new ways to pass her knowledge and raise awareness amongst people. Her sister had also always been fascinated by animals, nature, biology. She aims to use her designing and painting talents to bring science to people, from children to elderlies. This project was therefore the first opportunity to concretize their desires, and may be the start of a new adventure….

Scientific tale. Watercolor, acrylics, watercolor pencil, numeric.

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