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ARBOR 2 - Conférences electronic music, abstract video, poetry and science

Images Text by David Britain

This week a group of artists will be coming together to celebrate the double anniversary of the illustrious scientists Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and Charles Darwin. Arbor 2-Conférences is a remarkable melange of electronic music, abstract video, poetry and interviews with scientists. All of this is rolled into two holistic 40-minute spectacles, the first being dedicated to Lamarck and the second to Darwin.


VINGT paris spoke with two of the contributors to the project Gino Favotti, responsible for the music and video, and Patrice Cazelles, a poet. They explained that Arbor as an idea arose eight years ago partly as a reaction to the homogenisation of work in their fields and partly as a result of conversations Favotti had had with scientists. Conceived with the intention of being innovative and experimental, the project aims to present a dialogue between art and science in the form of a socially relevant multi-disciplinary work.

The socially relevant aspect is of course due to the well publicized clash between Darwinism and creationism that has erupted in the last decade or so. While Arbor 2 is not inherently a political work, the unfortunate truth is that the shadow of creationism and intelligent design is never far from any contemporary discourses concerning Darwin the man or his theories. Appropriately, Favotti and Cazelles were keen to stress the inbuilt educational facet of Arbor 2. As they themselves are not scientists their interviews with scientists that form part of Arbor 2 take on this educational role while trying to avoid didacticism. While belief in creationism remains a predominantly American issue, Favotti and Cazelles believe Europe is underestimating the importance of this fundamentally dangerous ideology and is not doing enough to combat the its spread. The two men hope Arbor 2-Conférences will in its own small way address this problem and bring it to the attention of a wider audience through celebrating and discussing the work of the two great biologists.

Arbor 2 also boasts the perfect Parisian location for such an event by taking place in the marble clad Grand Amphithéâtre of the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle located on the edge of the Jardin des Plantes. If you intend to attend you are advised to get there early due to limited space.

23 November : Lamarck et le transformisme : 11h – 11h45 (Free entry)
24 November : Darwin : sélection naturelle : 15h30 – 16h10 (Free entry)

Muséum  National d’Histoire Naturelle

57 rue cuvier

Paris5

Bonapart Paris apartments

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