Art x Science Dialogues: Polar Science and Art

Join us in this edition of Art x Science Dialogue and hear about the artist-scientist collaborations happening at PolARTS.

With year-round extreme weather and perilous landscape, the polar regions remain some of the scarce areas where few people tread. Yet these lands are nevertheless enticing – from scientists to artists to the general public, people have been fascinated by these areas of mystery for centuries and value them immensely.

To stimulate the exchange and foster the collaboration between art and science, PolARTS was launched in 2020 as a joint initiative of the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia and the Swiss Polar Institute. PolARTS supports several artist-scientist tandems, who meet on a regular basis on different sites ranging from laboratories to artistic events, and exchange on their research and other aspects in their professional lives.

In this edition of Art x Science Dialogue, we will first hear from Seraina Rohrer, Head of Innovation & Society Sector of Pro Helvetia. Seraina will present the Art, Science and Technology focus area of Pro Helvetia, which is the framework for PolARTS. Then, Barbara Schibli and Gabriela Schaepman-Strub will introduce their work as one of the four tandems that participated in the PolARTS pilot project.


16:00-16:05          Welcome Speech
Cissy Sun, Head of Art-Science at Swissnex in China

16:05-16:20           Presentation
Pro Helvetia & Swiss Polar Institute

16:20-16:35           Presentation
Barbara Schibli & Gabriela Schaepman-Strub

16:35-17:00          Q&A


Special Thanks to:

Pro Helvetia promotes Swiss arts and culture with a focus on diversity and high quality. As the Swiss Confederation’s cultural promotion institution, we support projects that are of national interest.


Science conducted in and around polar and high-altitude regions is critical to understanding the evolution of the Earth’s climate. It provides the opportunity to make unique scientific observations in pristine conditions and to develop new technologies for research.

Due to the complex logistics, challenging access, and difficult safety conditions in these extreme environments, the Swiss polar community requires specific competencies and dedicated support.

The Swiss Polar Institute (SPI) supports scientists based in Switzerland who work in polar regions and remote high‑altitude environments. The SPI is a foundation under Swiss law and is recognized by the Swiss Confederation as a Research institution of national importance for 2021–2024.

Art x Science Dialogues

The Art x Science Dialogues is a new webinar series initiated by Swissnex in China in 2020. The webinar series not only presents artistic projects where scientists and research engineers are deeply involved but also looks into new interdisciplinary initiatives and trends. Through the dialogues between artists and scientists, we try to stimulate the exchange of ideas between the two different worlds and explore opportunities for collaboration.