Symposium Black²: Malevich and ArtScience

Black²: Malevich and ArtScience

Wednesday May 6, 2.30–6 PM, Trippenhuis, Kloveniersburgwal 29
Participation is free, register in advance here

When he first presented the Black Square in 1915, Kazimir Malevich unleashed among the deepest secrets underlying the “objectless” nature of physical reality. From black-body radiation to the eventual prediction of black holes, the indelible Black Square evokes the quantum revolution that took the world by storm. A century later we see a new resurging convergence of art and science.

Over the years, despite the copious attention to the subject of Malevich, much confusion still surrounds his biography and artistic pursuit – from disputes over his place and date of birth and the disappearance of his gravestone and coffin at the end of the Second World War to the mysterious destiny of certain artworks and the mostly unexplored and untranslated scope of his philosophical writings. Having penned hundreds of pages of iconoclastic philosophical essays, Malevich was no less gifted a writer and theorist than a visual artist. Perhaps, because his writings are so deeply steeped in scientific musings, they have been practically inapproachable for the vast majority of art theorists and historians. Thankfully, in recent years the tide is changing due the double impact of Malevich on the trajectory of art-science and its historification. For the Black2 symposium, art theorists, artists, Malevich scholars and physicists will endeavor to pry open a new chapter in the Malevich legacy.

Igor Malevich (Minsk, BY), – award-winning scientist and author of  Kazimir Malevich. Ascension to the Cross of Fate discusses the contradictions and grey areas in the artist’s biography, as well as offer his interpretation of Malevich’s ideas from the perspective of contemporary physics.

Arthur I. Miller (London, UK), – historian, physicist, philosopher of science, and author of “Colliding Worlds: How Cutting-Edge Science is Redefining Contemporary Art” delves into the interaction between art and science underlying the 20th and 21 century avant-garde.

Evelina Domnitch (Amsterdam, NL), artist, symposium moderator. Dmitry Gelfand (Amsterdam, NL), – artist and art theorist ponders Malevich’s convergence with early twentieth century scientific research and with Russo-Soviet cosmism. He will also recount how Malevich’s ‘Objectless World’ informs his and E. Domnitch’s
collaborative aesthetic pursuit of macroscopic quantum phenomena.

Frederick De Wilde (Brussels, BE), – creator of blacker-than-black carbon nanotube sculptures explores the creative potential of hacking the substrate of our universe: quantum noise.

Sjeng Scheijen (Amsterdam, NL) – Slavicist, curator and historian of modernist Russian art elucidates the provocative guise of Malevich’s works, his 1918 writings for a Russian anarchist newspaper, and his
brewing conflict with communist authorities.

The symposium is organized in collaboration with Akademie van Kunsten, part of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and Synergetica Lab.

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Lectures/discussions, Performances, Public Program