Vision Forum announces collaboration with Wellcome Collection


Vision Forum is proud to announce its first collaboration with the Wellcome Collection in London. The project is initiated by Vision Forum director Per Hüttner and uses the logic of art to discuss issues that are central in the human body and medical science. It takes its starting point in the work of Aristotle, one of the most well-known and oldest of the names on the Wellcome Reading Room’s frieze. The event will unfold during an afternoon and will unlock hidden potential of the space and inspire the audience to find new ways of thinking and interacting. The project will activate all the 10 stations (face, breath, mind etc.). It will start in ‘travel’ and move around the room. Some of the interventions will be on-going throughout the afternoon while others might last only a few seconds or simply be a poem posted on a wall. Some will be clearly announced and visible, while others are made to remain virtually invisible.

The project will focus on Aristotle’s dichotomy of potentiality/actuality. It is a central aspect to his thinking and also one of the most debated. Something’s potentiality is its possibility to become something else. A brick can be used to build a house, but it can also be thrown through a window. Once the brick has reached its designation (forming a wall or having broken a window) it assumes its actuality. Aristotle takes it further:
•    We speak of an entity being a “seeing” thing whether it is currently seeing or just able to see.
•    We speak of someone having understanding, whether they are using that understanding or not.
•    We speak of corn existing in a field even when it is not yet ripe.
•    People sometimes speak of a figure being already present in a rock which could be sculpted to represent that figure.
The scope and implications of this dichotomy are immense. How something can come from nothing, is not only a question for art and creativity – but is also central for biology as well as virtually all the other sciences. It is therefore important to narrow the questions down and at the same time focus on issues that resonate in the context of the Reading Room and corresponds to its concerns.

Contributions by: Theodore Zeldin, Per Hüttner, Natasha Rosling, Sara Giannini, Vilma Luostarinen, Kihlberg & Henry, Samon Takahashi and The Drifters.