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Creating the Commons: Open Science, art and co-creation @ VU ART SCIENCE gallery

24 April 2023
Under the generic term Open Science the academic community is aiming for greater transparency and broader accessibility. In the arts, too, artists are increasingly producing community-based art. Ideals such as equality, collective interest and sustainability are central to these developments. The new exhibition in the VU ART SCIENCE gallery, Creating the Commons, examines the co-creation of art and science. The exhibition opens at May 11, from 5 till 7 PM, and runs until October 31.

In Creating the Commons artists and scientists share their work with the public through presentations, performances, workshops and conversations. Also the various dilemmas of co-creation will be addressed, including  authorship, inclusion, accessibility and control.

Data versus experience
What makes knowledge accessible? The academic project Cooperation Databank (CoDa) creates a meta-analysis of existing research on social behaviour to enable an easier search through this data. The artist duo Semiconductor makes scientific data on the lifespan of stars accessible by converting it to an immersive experience. Both projects make existing knowledge accessible, however they do that in a totally different way.

Striving for inclusivity
In the work of Aram Lee collective imagination is used to speculate on the future habitat of ethnographic objects. Inclusion and participation also play an important role in the work of researcher Luisa Schneider, who involves homeless people in her research, and the project Negotiating Health, which brings together the experiences of healthcare workers from diverse backgrounds.

Collective Soup
The artist collective Sunflower Soup aims to eliminate authority and hierarchy. In their approach the artists create collective work by deliberately accommodating each other’s actions, as well as those of raw materials, plants and the public, The tension between collective and individual is also present in the scientific project CaRe & DaRe. The project Case-study Research & Data Reuse is developing a new process to enable the reuse of qualitative data, which is difficult to share due to its sensitive nature, for use in communal research.

How can we avoid that commercial companies control and dictate collective efforts? Both artists and researchers are attempting to break free from the power of commercial companies by creating independent platforms. With Common Garden Constant Dullaart has created a platform built on his own values. SciPost is a self-built open publishing platform founded in the interest of academic freedom.

Creating the Commons
Exhibition: May 11 – October 31, 2023
Tuesday – Saturday, 12 – 6 PM

For current information about the ART SCIENCE dialogues and the participants:

In collaboration with VU Open Science Programme, Open Science Community Amsterdam (OSCA), Network Institute, Project Omboeken, LI-MA and Sanneke Huisman.

The VU ART SCIENCE gallery focuses on the interaction between art and science. Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam initiated the gallery, as it encourages the exchange of multidisciplinary knowledge. The urgency and complexity of today’s issues demand radical concepts which allow us to leave conventional paths behind and explore new directions. The gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday, from 12 to 6 PM. The gallery host is happy to tell you more about the exhibition and the artworks.

Cultural hotspot
Next to the VU ART SCIENCE gallery, opened in 2021, the New University Building of VU Amsterdam hosts VU Griffioen (theatre & courses), Rialto VU (cinema) and cultural café Bar Boele. At the heart of the inspiring university campus students and VU employees as well as visitors and Zuidas residents can meet and enjoy film, theatre, art and science.


New University Building
De Boelelaan 1111
1081HV Amsterdam


Curator art Vrije Universiteitsbibliotheek Amsterdam