Visions in Dialogue: “Observer – Observed”

Visions in Dialogue: “Observer – Observed”

Associazione "Fare arte nel nostro tempo / making art in our time"

Giulio Paolini, Mimesi, 1975. Courtesy of Archivio Giulio Paolini, Turin, Italy.
October 14, 2014
Visions in Dialogue: “Observer – Observed”

Does the observer become part of the system that he observes or is he external to it?

Saturday, 15 November 2014, 11am–5pm

Università della Svizzera Italiana (USI)
Aula Auditorio
Via Giuseppe Buffi 13

[email protected]

The Association “Fare arte nel nostro tempo/Making art in our time” presents the third day in a series of meetings on Visions in Dialogue on the theme “Observer – Observed” in the Auditorio of the Università della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano.

Speakers include Carlo Rovelli, theoretical physicist, University of Aix-Marseille, one of the founders of the Loop Quantum Gravity Theory; Maurizio Ferraris,professor of Theoretical Philosophy at the University of Turin; Daniel Soutif, art critic, former Director of the Department for Cultural Development at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Director of the Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci in Prato, now independent curator; Giulio Paolini, Italian artist, in dialogue with Elena Volpato, art historian and curator. A special art project by American artist Sean Snyder will be presented.

After a welcoming speech given by Hon. Giovanna Masoni Brenni, Deputy Mayor and Department Head for Cultural Affairs in the City of Lugano, the meeting will be introduced by Marco Franciolli, Director of the Museo Cantonale d’Arte and the Museo d’Arte in Lugano.

If you want to come to certain forms of knowledge, not only in the anthropological and social sciences but in physics as well, the observer has to become part of his own observation. Observation is not only the accomplishment of perceptual recordings, but is also a search for meaning. Therefore, nothing exists that you could consider to be a pure observational experience, absolutely free from expectation and from any theory (K. Popper). According to Feyerabend, the experience of observing comes together with theoretical assumptions, not before. The process of knowledge thus takes place in a circular logic in which observer–observed reciprocally influence one another.

The eye dilates, shrinks, colours, fogs, transforms. And what we perceive transforms us at the same time. The world is in our mind which is in the world (E. Morin). When one walks, things change (Maturana).

In the visual arts, as in the cinema, the act of observing is a fundamental knot for the relationship between work and author. The author, in some way, is the prime observer of his work, sometimes in a position that differs little from that of the audience, just as the audience can become, at least in part, author of the work or part of it.


In collaboration with the Museo Cantonale d’Arte and Museo d’Arte, Lugano.
Partners: Pro Museo associazione degli Amici del Museo Cantonale d’Arte, Società Ticinese Di Belle Arti, L’Ideatorio Università della Svizzera Italiana, Chiassoletteraria


Associazione “Fare arte nel nostro tempo/Making art in our time” presents "Observer – Observed" at Visions in Dialogue

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October 14, 2014

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