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Les Labos du Renard: When Art meets Science!

Our founder and art representative speak about their projects!

By Rachel Pochat Selby and Lily Jiménez-Dabdoub

Les Labos Du Renard is an initiative from Renard Theater, they are series of conferences with guest speakers who focus their work on art and science ( #scieart / #artscie ). The latest conference was on February 5th, 2020. Then, we had the pleasure to hear from:

Madame Cosinus, scientific slammer

Madame Cosinus is the alias of Julie Dirwinner who got interested in conveying science to the general public. She has an incredibly engaging technique. She uses slam as a way to engage her audience mixing poetry and humor with science. Her passion for both, the art of words and science, is palpable in her performance. She delivers her slam in a powerful way which helps the audience interact with her words and get a sense of her thoughts and knowledge regarding sciences.

Cristian Zaelzer-Perez, researcher in neuroscience, designer and founder of the Convergence initiative

Cristian Zaelzer-Perez, founder of our Convergence Initiative, gave his first talk in French with grace and a lot of merit. Despite technical difficulties he managed to bring his charismatic personality up and talk about the amazing work he undertakes, teaching Art, neuroscience and culture with Bettina Forget to Concordia and McGill University students. So far, his experience teaching the course has brought him to bring up 2 collective exhibitions at Concordia 4th Space and Visual Voice Gallery. Opening an opportunity to become Art + Science advisor for the Faculty of Fine Arts at Concordia University.

Antonia Leney-Granger, creator of the Théâtre du Renard

Antonia Leney-Granger is a puppeteer and she specialises in object theatre. She founded Le Théâtre du Renard in 2015 which has since created shows that tackle complex subject matter such as quantum physics and present them in a fun and accessible way. The name of this project comes from the Fox, character of the famous book “Le Petit Prince” by Antoine de Saint Exupéry, due to his genuine interest to create bonds with the Prince. This metaphoring character taken by Antonia brings her company to use the pedagogic purpose of theatre and reach out to the genuine public interest of learning in an amusing way.

Bettina Forget, visual artist, gallerist and teacher

Bettina Forget spoke about her project Women with Impact currently being presented at the Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan. This project combines art and astronomy throught a feminist lens. This perspective is one that has long been absent within the scientific community and adds to the strength and appeal of Women with Impact. Bettina’s fascination with our natural satellite made her realize all the craters names’ are of male members of astrological and scientific society or even numbers. Thus, after thorough research work she proposed to rename 30 craters after female scientists. The project will soon launch a new stage of artist response which actually tackles the Impact part by creating “shoe soles” with these craters to mark these big steps of the female community.

François-Joseph Lapointe, biologist and bioartist

François-Joseph Lapointe is a biologist and bioartist working at the University of Montreal. After years of doing research he decided to pursue dance and visual art to satisfy a balance he needed between art and science. The project he discussed looks at the narrative around repairing the microbiome of babies born from emergency c-sections. The installation is a symbol for the issues surrounding the impact of this type of childbirth in childrens' immune systems.

Marion Spée, journaliste scientifique

Marion Spée collaborated as the presenter of this conference and mediator for discussion after presentations were done. She has collaborated over 4 years with Labos du Renard. Marion has developed her career as a scientific journalist and specialized on penguin behavior.

Experiences like this conference brings a great variety of public, above all we felt we were surrounded by both scientists and artists deeply interested in public outreach. This event definitely opens doors to future collaborations and public outreach to engage with more art+science initiatives. Bringing science and arts, particularly in this time, reaches up to humans sensitive and critical thinking skills.

To learn more about all these interesting art+science projects and the people behind them, check out their personal sites:

Images by Lily Dabdoub

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