Karl Kaisel - Art&Science - Task 1
How does the experience of an art installation change the level of awareness of the spread of zoonotic diseases?
The risk of emergence of zoonotic disease in humans is increasing due to the conversion of natural habitats to urban and agricultural environments(1). One such sample is COVID-19. People’s lives have changed drastically due to the global pandemic yet the causes of this enormous change of everyday life are not so obvious and are not talked about. Our group’s goal would be to research how the acknowledgment of the topic changes through the experience of art installation.
The installation contains three rooms that have movable walls. Five participants of the experiment enter the first room that is sized 10x10 meters. This room is getting increasingly smaller as participants spend time in it. The room shifts from original size to being 7x7 over a span of 15 minutes. The room contains interactive installation that allows the participants to change the space according to their own liking. Room contains cutouts of animals and plants. People are encouraged to move those objects around to create a scene of their liking. At the same time scenes of nature are projected on the shifting walls that are getting increasingly smaller. After 15 minutes people are directed to the next room that is sized 7x7 and shifts over 10 minutes into room 5x5. The room contains same objects but there are elements of an urban environment added, for example tables, chairs. Also this room contains a video showing scenes of nature shifting with scenes of urban environments. People have 10 minutes to change the position of objects or look at the movie shown on the wall.
The last room will be 5x5 and shifting over 5 minutes into room 3x3. This room contains animals and man made objects all crammed together in the same space. only video showing destruction of urban environment. After that participants are guided out of the installation.
Going through this installation people are made aware of the shifting space. Especially in the times of pandemic when people’s need for personal space is higher. The tight space that people have to share in the last room with each other, animals and man made objects puts the pressure on the fact how the natural space is decreasing and due to that contact with animals and therefore zoonotic disease is increased meanwhile it’s people’s actions and need to shape their environment for their benefits that is causing this.
The research is conducted by questionnaires that participants fill in before they enter the installation researching their environmental attitude, their stress and anxiety levels and knowledge related to the zoonotic disease.
After going through the installation the participants are asked to fill in another questionnaire finding out how their attitude towards the topic has changed, how their levels of anxiety and stress have changed.
End of this experiment will shed light on how people’s attitude changes as they are exposed to the topic through experience of art. How effective it is, what are the effects of exposing people to art and science in combination. In the end people who experience the installation will be more informed on the topic.
I chose the layout to represent the shift walls of the installation to give the feeling that a person could get when interacting with the project. Also the scrolling gives a sense of interaction and control for the reader of this project.
Research should not limit itself to gathering data, but should also include the research of the reception of such data.
It is crucial to research what changes people's minds. Nowadays it's more important than ever because on the one hand people have more information available than ever before, on the other hand it can often be not based on facts and scientific research. Through this project people will be educated by the relevant topic and science can get data on how to use art as a tool of communication.