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A Poetic Dialogue of Art & Science

Marco Barotti is Bifold Artist in Residence

Together with TU Berlin’s Science Gallery Initiative, the Berlin Institute for the Foundations of Learning and Data (BIFOLD) at Technische Universität Berlin announced a call in spring 2022 for an artist in residence program titled “Art of Entanglement.” A jury led by Austrian curator Dr. Claudia Schnugg has now chosen Italian media artist Marco Barotti for the residency. The goal of the program is to combine artistic and scientific perspectives on artificial intelligence. Marco Barotti will receive a total of 30,000 euros to create an artistic project of his choice, shaped by his regular interaction with BIFOLD researchers.

“I am very excited about the opportunity to pursue a new dimension in my art working together with researchers at BIFOLD. My sculptures will both react to data but also become learning models themselves through a poetic and functional dialogue between art and science,” says Barotti. His planned project, CORALS, aims to create awareness for the climate crisis and ocean conditions by designing a kinetic sound sculpture reflecting a living coral ecosystem. The work will translate data sets from ocean research into sound and movement. Barotti has been living in Berlin since 2005. After studying music at the Siena Jazz Academy, he began merging sound with visual art. His works have been premiered and exhibited many times internationally.

Barotti’s artistic language finds its expression in data-driven kinetic sound interventions in natural and urban environments. His installations combine audio technology, everyday objects, waste and natural materials to create moving sculptures entirely triggered by audio frequencies. In his work, Barotti focuses on creating a “technical ecosystem” playing with similarities to animals and plants. His works serve as metaphors for the human impact on our planet and seek to make us aware of ecological and social issues.

“We were very impressed by the number, quality and diversity of artistic approaches of the proposals. Marco Barotti convinced the jury above all because his proposed project describes a clear goal, while elegantly combining a critical view of current global challenges with a technically demanding process with links to different research groups at BIFOLD,” said Claudia Schnugg of the jury’s decision.

Focusing on Creativity to Link Art and Research

The inaugural Artist in Residence program “Art of Entanglement” also establishes the partnership between BIFOLD and the Science Gallery Initiative at TU Berlin. “We are very excited about working with Marco Barotti and the Science Gallery Berlin. Art and basic research have more in common than we realize at a first glance: Both thrive on constantly creating new discoveries. Both involve trial and error and sharing results with society. It is the focus on creativity that unites researchers and artists. One of our main aims is also to inspire social engagement with the issues of AI using a combination of art and artificial intelligence,” say BIFOLD’s directors Professor Dr. Volker Markl and Professor Dr. Klaus-Robert Müller.