Lopud Seminar – let's go MENTAL
May 2008 | Lopud Island, Croatia

The most prominent interdisciplinary areas of human interest today are probably those often referred to as generative sciences. The chaos theory, information theory, social network analysis, philosophy of science, epistemology, cybernetics, systems theory and process physics, to mention just a few, belong to this category. A salient "member" of the group, the complexity theory, explores concepts essential for our understanding of nonlinearity underlying to all reality. It deals with emergence, a construct used to describe a universal phenomenon of a system's increasing complexity spawning processes and/or properties which cannot be detected in the constituting elements or subsystems. The logic of this quantum leap relentlessly applies in a single cell or a living organism, whole eco-systems or man-made structures and systems, whether they are real or virtual, concrete or abstract, material or theoretical. This workshop is the third in a series of such investigations and shall deal with conservation, architecture, design, music, toxicity and botany as well.

Often, the related dependency graph is counter-intuitive and a largely non-symmetrical function - our knowledge of any particular level may be useless when it comes to understanding the workings of the next one. We need a different set of tools and concepts, new sciences. This is a broadening field, which is reflected in the foundation's commissions and events. 
Moderated by Beatriz Colomina (theoretician, Princeton University) with Benjamin Aranda/Chris Lasch (architects, Aranda/Lasch), Florian Hecker (artist), Tony Myatt (MRS York), Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza.

Shamanism, healing, religious practice, collective experiences, rituals... Indigenous medicine appears to implicitly rely on emergent properties of both the cure and the organism. If rituals can be understood as markers of transformation, does the proverbial use of entheogens have an analogue function? 
Moderated by Carsten Höller (artist), with Mark Oppitz (ethnographer, Ethnographic Museum, Zurich), Barbara Ozimec (botanist), Christian Rätsch (anthropologist), David Rych (artist), François Roche (architect), Boris Ondreicka (artist, director transit).

thegardenofearthlydelights alias Toxic Garden engages with the historical site of the Renaissance garden on Lopud by trying to create a continuity of its actual history and adding a new layer. Alongside with the tangible, the intangible heritage is revived and further transformed into an active element of the project - an experiment involving (phyto-) therapy and the confrontation, incorporation and embracement of danger and fear through the actual presence of the toxic substance. 
Moderated by Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza with François Roche/Stéphanie Lavaux (architects, R&Sie(n)), Klaus Daniels (ecological sustainable architecture), Helene Furján (architect, Princeton University), Marc Fornes (architect), Jorge Otero-Pailos (architect, preservation, Columbia University).

Concepts of sustainability and sustainable environmental technologies are essential when contemplating development ranging from the urban landscape to Mediterranean islands. Which role could and should be played by architects in designing and implementing those strategies? What are the incentives for artists and architects to work with and within such systems in introducing change? 
Moderated by Klaus Daniels (ecological sustainable architecture) with Ognjen Škunca (UNDP Coast Project), Maroje Mrduljaš (architect, architectural critic), Goran Stojanović (Dolphin Dream Organization), Olaf Nicolai (artist), Dinko Peracic (architect, Platforma 981), Kresimir Rogina (architect).

How can one actively make use of or revive the information that is stored in today’s places of memory? What strategies do art and contemporary architecture follow in this process? How can cultural heritage be made accessible without transforming the city and countryside into a big open-air museum? 
Moderated by Mark Wigley (architect, Columbia University) with Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza, Jorge Otero-Pailos (architect, preservation, Columbia University), Helene Furján (architect, Princeton University), Bjørnstjerne Christiansen (artist, Superflex), Ognjen Škunca (UNDP Coast Project).

Implementing the results of our experiments and the creation of new radical projects as a result of these departures is instrumental to create a spirit of change and collaboration. We all want that so lets go MENTAL! 
Moderated by Benjamin Aranda/Chris Lasch (architects, Aranda/Lasch) with Neri Oxman (architect, MATERIALECOLOGY), Helene Furján (architect, Princeton University), Marc Fornes (architect), Antonia Majaca (curator, critic), Alisa Andrasek (architect, BIOTHING)
May, 2008
Lopud Island, Croatia