Roche Continents is a partnership between Roche and the Salzburg Festival that joins students and post-doctorial researchers from the arts and sciences across Europe. Questions like "how do science and art influence each other?" and "what are the links between innovation in music, arts and science?" are amongst the many explored during the course of the week that included concerts, talks, workshops, evening drinks and dining.
Although the division between artists and scientists participating in this year included clearly more of the latter, many of the scientists had backgrounds in music practices and therein lay a natural link for discussions of creative processes.
Salzburg, often referred to as the heart of Europe, is of course a cultural centre for contemporary music, and this year’s festival focussed on the music of Giacinto Scelsi.
Discussions amongst us ensued on the diversity of the disciplines and lead to debates on the very notion of creativity and innovation.
As part of Team 12, we produced a creative moment named "Le Penseur" - a series of non-linear video compositions of our (micro) creative moments.
A notable difference between the art and science cultures points to the prominent issue of subjectivity that may create a schism between these two disciplines. For scientists, the inclusion of subjectivity does not enhance the science rather the opposite, while for artists (though they may not use subjectivity per se) it’s embedded in its theories and practices.
The week was an excellent networking event with a busy program, discussions and laughs. Many thanks to the organizers for putting together a spectacular event!