О МедиаАртЛаб

ScienceArtFest (2009)

Conference and round table within "ScienceArtFest" Festival
"Creative technologies for science and engineering popularization in the contemporary museum"
16 - 17 March 2009

Winzavod centre for contemporary art

Organized by: Dmitry Zimin's Dynasty non-commercial programmes foundation
SNOB project
Media Art Lab centre for art and culture


Conference aim: to show the new interactive museum displays by concrete western and Russian examples.

The popularization of the contemporary scientific knowledge is, in the West, mostly the task for the museums of the relevant subject area. That's where the most interesting and creative projects concentrate, which our science museums lack very much to be attractive for the audience and answer that goals for which they were created: society enlightenment and spread of knowledge of science and engineering past and present.

On the first day the specialists from Europe, Canada and Israel will touch on the subject science museums displays' projecting, illustrating their lectures by many examples.

Round table

Round table aim: to create a space for productive opinion exchange in professional community.

Due to various technologies contemporary scientific and technical and natural science museums become attractive for people of all ages. Lessons of physics, chemistry and biology also take place here. Families attend these museums to combine leisure and learning. Museum staff often speak of interactivity, multimedia and theater elements as of universal means of museum practice perfection (to make scientific knowledge accessible to public and encourage natural human curiosity, which is not always evident).

However all means mentioned above are not effective without a creative mind, which makes both new and old technologies work for a long run objective - to educate the population. It is possible to teach how to be creative. You just have to show how to do it.


March, 16
11.00 - 19.00
Winzavod, Red Wine Hall

Conference  "Creative technologies in the Science Museums"

11.00 - Opening

11.15 - “Science centers as connection link between science and people: encouraging curiosity;”  - Maya Halevy, Director of Bloomfield Science Museum Jerusalem/Hebrew University, Givat Ram, Jerusalem, Israel;

12.15 - "Experience of science museums exposition building" - Alexei Lebedev, Laboratory of Museum Projects, Research Institute of Culture, Moscow, Russia;

- "Interactive exposition in the science museum" - Jan Willem Overdijk. Nemo Science Centre, Amsterdam, NL;

14.15 – Break

15.15 -  "Collaboration between art, science and technologies in the museum" - Lucas Evers, WAAG Society, Amsterdam, NL;

- "Interactive games in the museum practice" - Alexander Dremailov, Head of information systems department of Kremlin Museums, Moscow, Russia.

- "The Art and Science of Interface and Interaction Design" - Christa Sommerer and Laurent Mignonneau, University of Art and Design, Linz, Austria

18.00  - "Hexagram and the CIAM: Montreal duo arts and sciences" - Nicolas Reeves, Hexagram research institute, Montreal, Canada;

March, 17
Winzavod, Red Wine Hall

Round Table "Creative technologies in the Science Museums"

11.00 – First part: projects presentations and discussions

14.00 - Break

15.00 – Second part: projects presentations and discussions

Maya Halevy (Director of Bloomfield Science Museum Jerusalem/Hebrew University, Givat Ram, Jerusalem, Israel), Jan Willem Overdijk (Nemo Science Centre, Amsterdam, NL), Alexey Lebedev (Laboratory of Museum Projects, Research Institute of Culture, Moscow, Russia), Lucas Evers (WAAG Society, Amsterdam, NL), Nicolas Reeves (Hexagram research institute, Montreal, Canada), Alexander Dremailov (Head of information systems department of Kremlin Museums, Moscow, Russia).

Alexey Semikhanov (Sc.D in physics and mathematics,  leading researcher at the Lebedev physical institute of the Russian academy of Science, department of the theoretical physics);
Olga Shishko (Director of Centre for art and culture "MediaArtLab", Moscow, Russia).

Alexey Zemko (AZPI Electronics, Moscow, Russia), Nina Borisova (Popov Museum (RusTelecom), Saint- Petersburg, Russia), Evgeny Strelkov (Science Museum "RadioLaboratory", Nijny Novgorod, Russia),  Konstantin Bokhorov (MediaartLab, Moscow, Russia), Ilya Artamonov (State Museum of history and architecture «Kazanskyi Kreml», Kazan, Tatarstan), Natalya Anisimova (Saint-Petersburg State University of information technologies, mechanics and optic,  Saint-Petersburg, Russia), Yuriy Panebratsev («InterGrafika», Dubna, Russia), Tatyana Pavlova (Federal State Culture Museum "Kizhi", Petrozavodsk, Russia), Evgeny Kabakov (School # 169,Moscow University of Open Education, Moscow, Russia), Larisa Konevskykh (House of Scientists ("Science Museum Evrica!"), Troitsk, Russia).


Maya Halevy (Israel)

"Science centers connect people with science. Science centers encourage curiosity"

Science centers connect people with science; Science centers provide firsthand Experience with natural phenomena; Science centers encourage curiosity - this is how our professional community describes itself. In recent years we see more new interactive science centers and we get new evidence about their role in the society today, they all share the same vision but in order to serve their communities they need to develop their unique approach.
In my presentation I will discuss the way we create the model of the Bloomfield Science Centre in Jerusalem, the programs we run today and the challenges we expect in the future.


Maya Halevy has been part of the Bloomfield Science Museum Jerusalem almost from its first moments. Back in 1983 she joined Prof. Peter Hillman to lead the development team that created a new concept for Israeli society - an Interactive Science Centre. Her background as an Architect and Town Planner together with her Museology studies gave her the tools to develop the Exhibits Department in the new science centre as well as to guide the design of the new building that opened at 1992. From 1995 she has been the Director of the Museum.
As representative of Israel in the Science & Society Committee of the European Commission and with her background in Public Policy Studies she has promoted Science & Society programs in Israel, introducing the new perspective to Science Museums and Centres, as well as Academia and NGOs. In recent years Ms. Halevy has initiated and participated in several Israeli-Palestinian Science Museum programs as part of the people-to-people philosophy that encourages cooperation in science education programs in the Middle East.

About Bloomfield Science Museum, Jerusalem:

Main mission of the museum is to promote Science Culture & Education in all communities in Israel. In order to make a visit to the Museum as attractive and informative as possible, the staff creates, as its essential heart, exhibitions made up largely of interactive exhibits. Each exhibition is based on a carefully-chosen theme, and all the exhibits relate to that theme. The themes are chosen for their intrinsic interest, for their relevance to society and to the school curriculum, and where possible to ongoing scientific research, especially in Israel. The themes are science-oriented, but in the broadest sense, to include the contexts of technology, society and art. A general concept of the layout and physical and graphic design is then created. Each exhibit passes through a detailed design and planning process, and is then constructed. In some cases, a prototype is built, to see if the idea really works and to fix parameters. In parallel, text material (labels in Hebrew, Arabic and English, and background material) are prepared, and a Website is set up to complement and supplement the exhibition.

Alexey Lebedev
On the museum projecting nature

In the life of any, even most advanced institution functioning and reproduction are making the large share. They are provided by the well-known managerial technology which is called planning. The planning is, by definition, management of the operations. And projecting is the management of the innovations. There shouldn't be much of the projecting, because the development layer is always thin and full of different risks. A correctly made plan will certainly be carried out, but a project - as bright and considered as it could be - has only some chances for success. Nevertheless it is necessary to take this risks. As we know, if we stop thinking about our future, we will have no future at all.
Each museum from time to time encounters tasks that can't be solved routinely. At this moment its directors begin to be tormented by an almost Hamletian question: should they work out the project with the help of their own employees, or should they use the specialized organizations?


PhD in history of art, chief of the Museum Projecting Laboratory of Russian institute for cultural research, head of the ANO "Museum of the Future". Manager of the distance education programme "Management in the field of culture" at the Moscow High School of the Social and Economic Sciences (Moscow, Russia).
Specializes in museum projecting, study of art, media-technologies in culture.
Manager of the big museum projects (Moscow Kremlin museums, Tretiakov Gallery, Russian Museum, Tsaritsino and others), co-author of many programmes of the urban and regional cultural development) Author of more than 150 publications in academic and popular press.

About "Museum of the future" - Museum projecting laboratory RIK and ANO

Museum projecting laboratory's goal is to promote modernization and innovation processes in the region of the museums of Russia (http://www.future.museum.ru/lmp). The laboratory organizes theoretical research, carries out experimental projects and their execution in close cooperation with the museum work practices.
The Museum of the future is an autonomous non-commercial cultural organization (http://www.future.museum.ru) that works out the development conceptions for the museums and other organizations functioning in the museum sphere or using museum technologies. Among their latest achievements are the conception of the building museification and display scenario in the Ivan the Great bell-tower (Moscow, Kremlin), State museum of Leo Tolstoy (Moscow) development strategy, web-site "Solovki - UNESCO online", "Literature museums development strategies" project-analytical workshop and others.

Jan Willem Overdijk (The Netherlands)

"Building an interactive exhibition in a science museum"

Just like art and literature science is a component of our culture. Knowledge in this area must be preserved and transferred to next generations. Sciences centers such as NEMO in Amsterdam can play an important role here. But communicating with a mostly young target group on such a subject is not easy. How to attract the attention of public and how to keep it - these are the central questions in this presentation. We need a closer look on the kitchen of the largest sciences center of the Netherlands, NEMO in Amsterdam. Maybe the way NEMO is handling these subjects can be useful for other museums as well.


Jan Willem Overdijk is responsible for the marketing and the communication of a number of activities such as sciences center NEMO, several Internet sites and the October month of Knowledge event. He has worked at NEMO since the beginning of 2006. Before that he fulfilled a similar function at another major museum in Amsterdam. Overdijk now has 10 years working experience in the cultural sector, before that he was employed in various public companies and marketing agencies.

About Nemo

NEMO is the largest science centre in the Netherlands, which was opened by Queen Beatrix in 1997. With five floors full of exciting things to do and discover, it is the perfect place for anyone with an inquiring mind. Everything in NEMO is connected to science and technology. Exhibitions, theatre performances, films, workshops and demonstrations. You will smell, hear, feel and see how the world works. After a visit to NEMO, you will know why bridges are so strong, what you will look like in 30 years, why you look so much like your parents, how to purify water, what happens when you kiss, how lightning and satellites work and much more. In other words, a day at NEMO is a pretty smart thing to do! NEMO is great fun for children, their parents and grandparents. Adults without children will also find more than enough of interest in NEMO. For schoolchildren, NEMO is the largest interactive non-classroom-based learning environment and an essential part of any course about science and technology. Even though the term 'science center' is not yet very established in the Netherlands, around 400,000 people visit the green building above the IJ Tunnel in Amsterdam every year. The name NEMO has been used throughout history by many famous authors to describe events and people who find themselves on the border between fantasy and reality. In Latin nemo means 'no one' and indicates a world between fantasy and reality. Visitors to NEMO science centre can become a scientist, technologist or technician for a day. Suddenly dreams are real.

Lucas Evers (The Netherlands)

"Experiences of art and technology interaction in the sphere of science museums"

Assuming science museums have a significant role or even responsibility to inform and emancipate an audience about life in a technological society and in a world more and more designed, one can ask whether exhibition concepts in which so far exhibiting is the main feature shouldn't be enhanced as to actively involve their visitors in the processes of science and design.
In those participatory models it is mostly artists and designers that play can a role. The presentation will firstly focus on a number of examples in which artists interact with science, use scientific methods or/and are complementary to those methods. Secondly I will focus on examples of concepts that are feasible to science museums in which visitors take part in open design processes and the way in which art plays a role in analyzing the science industry in a critical and participatory fashion - again - to offer agency to the people living in technological society.



Education: 1994 - 1997 Political Science: University of Amsterdam; 1987 - 1993 Master of Arts, Academy of Visual Arts, Maastricht, Netherlands.
Work - projects: 2007- current- Waag Society - head of culture programme; 2007-current - Dasarts - Advanced Studies in the Performing Arts - advisor, block 27, 28, 29, 30 (www.dasarts.nl); 2001-2007- Stichting Melkweg - head of media arts programme; 1999 - 2004 De Balie, Centre for Culture and Politics - editor film, new media, politics (www.balie.nl). Board member of the Barooni Foundation and Optofonica Foundation, platform for synaesthetic media and sound spatialisazion. Commission member of the Mondriaan Foundation, visual arts and design commission.


About WAAG Society

Waag Society develops creative technology for social innovation. The foundation researches, develops concepts, pilots and prototypes and acts as an intermediate between the arts, science and the media. Waag Society cooperates with cultural, public and private parties.
Waag Society was founded in 1996 by Caroline Nevejan and Marleen Stikker. Stikker initiated the Digital City, the first internet community in The Netherlands. It has developed into a interdisciplinary medialab, where besides research and development there is room for experiment with new technology, art and culture. Waag Society divides its activities in five social domains: Healthcare, Culture, Society (public domain), Education and Sustainability. Waag Society has a strong focus to to let user groups participate in internet, new media and technology that otherwise have limited access. Examples are The Storytable, a multimedia table for elderly people to share stories and BoardMessenger, a tool for mentally impaired people to communicate. In 2003, Waag Products was established to market the ideas and concepts developed by Waag Society. In 2006, the new cultural hotspot Pakhuis de Zwijger was opened, a renovated warehouse in the former Amsterdam Dock area that houses Media Guild, an incubator for creative start-ups, the Creative Learning Lab and Waag Society's Fablab. Many of the projects of Waag Society found national and internal acclaim and were awarded over the years.
Culture: Researching and experimenting with arts and culture in networked environments Artists and designers are researching our position in this world, how we form our identities, tell stories and give meaning to our environment. Technology in this is form as well as content; not only a cultural means of expresison but also a cultural product. Software, hardware and interaction models are all dramaturgies. 'Computer as Theatre' as Brenda Laurel called this back in the eighties of the last century. The work of art that Waag Society creates does not only lives in a museum, but melts with other worlds: with social reality, with cultural identity and the drama of the street. Research methods, collaboration types and applications that play a central role in media art and digital media are the working methods of Waag Society. Not the autonomous art project, but the autonomy of the arts domain one works from is essential. This domain involves research, lectures and exhibitions, and also has an artist-in-residence program.

Alexander Dremaylov (Russia)
Developing the concept for the Energy Museum (RAO UES of Russia) we saw as our target audience young people (12-16 year olds) in search of their vocation. We proceeded from the fact that the choice of a future profession is often influenced by first impressions of the profession's key mission comprehension. For example, for a future doctor it may be formulated as "disease -healthy person" through the technology of diagnosis and therapeutic methods/ for a future metallurgist -"ore - metal" through the high temperature technology, for a future power engineer "steam energy - electric energy" through the energy conversion technology. How can young people get to know the key moments of power engineering - generation, transportation, distribution? We decided to use the computer game technology - a popular pastime for teenagers. The game is a puzzle, where the key elements are hydraulic turbine, generator, cable lines and end users. It is easy to assemble this chain in a game. The authors of this idea hope that it is at this moment - bingo! -the teenager understands how electric energy comes into being.

Head of the research and production information systems department of the Moscow Kremlin Museums, Moscow, Russia. Research work on using computer technologies in the museum sphere. Development of concept and management of adoption of the information infrastructure in Moscow Kremlin Museums: local network, server center, multimedia studio, the complex automated information system of the museums (Collection, Architecture, Archaeology and Archives modules), digital photography studios, automated ticket booking and selling system, the public center of museum files, library information system, automated book-keeping and financial arrangements system, exhibition presentation system on PDPs, touch screen kiosks information system for the visitors, museum websites and e-guides on palmtops.
Projects include: Standards of digital description for objects of cultural heritage (2001-2002): Information on cultural heritage - interaction of Russian and European regions (2001, the Soros Foundation), TATNEFT corporate museum (Almatyevsk, 2002-2003), 3D historical reconstruction of the Moscow Kremlin 12th to 21st century (2003-2008); M.T. Kalashnikov's museum (Izhevsk, 2003-2004); Solovky sound audio exposition, Solovky museum and nature reserve (2004); The heritage of Chukchi Peninsula museum (Anadyr, 2003 - 2005); the History of Moscow Kremlin audiovisual museum (2003 - currently); The Energy museum (RAO UES of Russia), Moscow, 2007; ROSNEFT corporate museum (Moscow, 2008) member of the board, coordinator of projection and information of the exhibition - and "Who needs that museum" project. ADIT national association panel member, 1996-2004 president of the ADIT. Panel member of the ICOM. Since 2006 panel member of the ICOM Russia. CIDOC membership. Member of the administrative board of the Cultural Policy institute.

About the Energy Museum
It took a few years to launch the project with painstaking efforts of experts from diverse fields, such as power engineering, history and history of art. The museum presents an integrated image of power industry as a source of light, heat, movement and power, and the basis of the modern civilization. The exhibition shows both history of the industry, its current state and prognosis on development. Historical relics and documents are exhibited here side by side with the state-of-art information systems, which provide access to unique databases, and with projects that promise to change power engineering as we know it. The visitor will be introduced to scientific, technological, administrative, artistic and consumption aspects of electricity. Museum activities are oriented towards both the industry professionals and the young, towards scientists, cultural and social workers - i.e. the largest audience possible. We attract society's attention to the history, achievements, problems and prospects of power engineering in Russia in order to raise the status of the industry, its workers and veterans, to create an atmosphere conductive to successful completion of its reforms and to motivate the young towards a career in power engineering.

Christa Sommerer and Laurent Mignonneau (Austria)
The Art and Science of Interface and Interaction Design.
Artists and designers in the area of interactive art have been conducting artistic research in human-machine interaction for a number of years now. Interaction and interface design have not only had their roots in human computer interaction engineering but have also seen parallel developments in performance art, media art and specifically in the interactive arts. With products of interactive technologies increasingly spreading into our private and professional lives, it is interesting to see where early notions of interactivity came from and how artists and designers over the past 40 or more years have already looked at the merits of interaction in their artistic and conceptual work.
From media art archeology to contemporary interactive art - the term interactivity is based on a vivid and ongoing discourse in the fields of interactive art, interaction design, game design, tangible interfaces, auditory interfaces, fashionable technologies, wearable devices, intelligent ambiences, sensor technologies, telecommunication, media facades and new experimental forms of human-machine, human-human and machine-machine interactions.
In this lecture artistic and social notions of interactivity will be addressed and the general question on how art and science can merge in the area of interface culture will be discussed.

Christa Sommerer and Laurent Mignonneau are internationally renowned media artists and researchers, they have jointly created around 20 interactive artworks, which can be found at http://www.interface.ufg.ac.at/christa-laurent. These artworks have been shown in around 200 exhibitions world-wide and are installed in media museums and media collections around the world, including the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the Museum of Science and Industries in Tokyo, the Media Museum of the ZKM in Karlsruhe, the Cartier Foundation in Paris, the Ars Electronica Center in Linz, the NTT-ICC Museum in Tokyo, the NTT Plan-Net in Nagoya, Japan, the Shiroishi Multimedia Art Center in Shiroishi, Japan, the HOUSE-OF-SHISEIDO in Tokyo and the ITAU CULTURAL Foundation in Sao Paulo.
Mignonneau and Sommerer's interactive artworks have been called "epoch making" (Toshiharu Itoh, NTT-ICC museum Tokyo) for developing natural and intuitive interfaces and for often applying scientific principles such as artificial life, complexity and generative systems to their innovative interface designs. They have won mayor international media awards, among others the "Golden Nica" Prix Ars Electronica Award for Interactive Art 1994 (Linz, Austria).
Mignonneau and Sommerer published on Artificial Life, Complexity, interactivity and interface design and they lectured extensively at universities, international conferences, and symposia. They have worked as researchers and professors at ATR Research Labs in Kyoto Japan and at IAMAS in Ogaki Japan for 10 years and are currently heading the department for Interface Cultures at the University of Art and Design in Linz Austria which specializes on interactive art, interactive media and interface design. The currently published two books: The Art and Science of Interface and Interaction Design, C. Sommerer, L. C. Jain, L. Mignonneau (Eds.), 2008. Springer Verlag, XIV, 190 p. 69 illus. Hardcover, Studies in Computational Intelligence, Volume 141, ISBN: 978-3-540-79869-9 and Interface Cultures - Artistic Aspects of Interaction, C. Sommerer, L. Mignonneau, D. King (Eds.) August 2008, Transcript Verlag, 348 pages, kart., ISBN: 978-3-89942-884-1.

Nicolas Reeves (Canada)


The month of December 2001 was an important date in Montreal Media Arts history, since it was at this time that Hexagram (Institute for Research-Creation in New Media and Technologies) and its university counterpart, the CIAM (Centre Interuniversitaire des Arts MГ©diatiques) initiated their activities. Both organisms gather today more than 80 artists-researchers and 250 students from four Montreal universities, working on about 200 research-creation projects. Their emergence has catalyzed a wealth of collaborations between university researchers, between university labs and independent organisms, and between researchers and independent artists.
The lecture will briefly describe the context that led to the birth of the Hexagram / CIAM duo, and the main thematics around which their researchers currently work, which go from artificial life to robotic arts, from weather art to interactive clothes, from emergent cinema to new narrative forms, from new environmental strategies to variable architectures, and many others. Most of these works are characterized by a highly poetic use of science and technologies, whose potential is often tapped for quite unexpected ventures. A selection of research projects will be presented to illustrate the amazing diversity of interests of Hexagram/CIAM members and associates.


Full professor, School of Design, University of Quebec in Montreal. Director for Research-Creation, Hexagram Institute (2001-2008). Director, NXI GESTATIO Design lab for Computers, Arts and Architecture. Vice-President of the Society for Arts and Technology (1997-2007). Dual education in Physics and Architecture allowing to join to the practice of arts and design the intensive use of bioclimatic, scientific and computer science data. Research-Creation questioning the basis of the concepts of order, organization, and information, through the exploration of the potential of computers for morphogenetic processes. Many on-going research-creation projects based on algorithmic systems that develop different kinds of evolving architectonic or sound structures. Installations and lectures in many countries on five continents. Many papers published in arts and critic magazines. Regular jury member for several Canadian art councils. Though Nicolas Reeves's exhibitions are not that frequent, his pieces, which demonstrate a highly poetic and sensible use of sciences and technologies, have been shown in major exhibition centers. Reeves is the author of the Cloud Harp, a meteo-electronic instrument that converts real-time the shape of passing clouds into sounds and music. This instrument was shown in many countries and mentioned worldwide in about all kinds of medias.

About Hexagram Institute
Created in 2001 by the Universite du Quebec а Montreal (UQAM) and Concordia University, joined by McGill University and the Universite de Montreal in 2006, Hexagram brings together a network of 79 artists-researchers from the university milieu, assisted by more than 350 graduate and post-graduate students, who collaborate on research projects in film and digital television, robotic arts, artificial life, variable environments, interactive games, performing arts, the immersive world and interactive multimedia.