Program designed by the entire Iméra scientific team and coordinated by Constance Moréteau, PhD in contemporary art history, scientific coordinator and head of development for Iméra’s arts and sciences axis.

The Arts & Sciences: Indisciplined Knowledge program of the Iméra, Institute for Advanced Study of Aix-Marseille University, is transversal in the sense that each of the partner residencies that constitute it is also linked to one of the three other interdisciplinary programs of Iméra: thus, the Mucem/Iméra residency is affiliated with the “Mediterranean” program, the Citadelle de Marseille/Iméra residency is affiliated with the “Necessary Utopias” program, and the ICI/Iméra residency is affiliated with the “Interdisciplinary Explorations” program.

The aforementioned calls are addressed to researchers working on art as well as with art, and to artists engaged in situated research from an artistic practice. At a general level, this transversal program recognizes the contributions of art to interdisciplinary and societal issues with multiple dimensions, ranging from individual construction to major social, political, identity-related, etc., challenges.

A collective space for collective reflection on research in art and on art

From a methodological and institutional point of view, the “Arts & Sciences: Indisciplined Knowledge” program is embedded in an academic, interdisciplinary, and international context. It represents a collective space for reflection on research in art and on art, recognizing the specificities of art, including the freedom not to be a discipline in itself, by combining, for example, knowledges from different natures and epochs. This program is collectively animated by all members of the Iméra scientific team with varied disciplinary profiles. The term “art” here encompasses all existing modes of artistic expression, including visual arts, literary arts, sound arts, architecture, cinematographic arts, including documentary, performing arts, and performance. Heritage can also be an object of research and creation.

From a thematic perspective, the affiliation with another program and one of its scientific axes allows the research and inquiries provoked by art (art research) or constitutive of art (research in art) to be nourished and invested in regular dialogue with other residents and associated researchers working on a common thematic field, and vice versa. As an object of research, mode of action, producer of critical thought and knowledge, art therefore occupies a central place in these exchanges, which, driven by strong curiosity, encourage the explication of each individual’s systems of thought and enunciation. The central role that imagination and creativity can play, as well as the practices of invention, are affirmed in the academic world and in society, regardless of the subject explored. These faculties also characterize many interdisciplinary research practices, including those beyond the realm of art.

Regarding researchers working on art and with art, they can come from various social sciences and humanities disciplines, including art theory, art history, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, geography, and more. Furthermore, it is also open to exact and life sciences as long as the research project has a close connection to art and/or artists. In all cases, the research concerned here should problematize the impact of art on society or its commitments to society and/or its position as a crossroads between various forms of knowledge, in relation to one or more challenges of the thematic programs (see the suggestions below and their general descriptions).

As for artists, Iméra can accommodate multiple phases of their projects as long as they require sustained dialogue with researchers from academic disciplines during the conception of a work, a thought, or a writing (whether it be theoretical, poetic, or of another nature) early in the process or a bit later in a phase of work development, but situated before production. Iméra does not provide means of production, but an unequipped workshop shared with another resident artist, allowing for a variety of configurations of knowledge that can also be spatialized and materialized in different formats. This can also be done for closed-door or semi-public exhibitions to share moments of research and initial outcomes. The development phase is understood as a constructive process of back-and-forth between “formal” experiments (written, visual, sonic, montage, etc.) and theoretical research, informed by artistic practice, the experience of that practice, and the sensorial, as practice-based research. In the context of a future production or publication, Iméra can be mentioned as a support in the genesis of a work, offering an extended period of time during these decisive phases of the work’s gestation and original thought. Like a moment of pause from the liberal economy of artistic production, this program allows human and scientific encounters to unfold without pressure, and for inquiries to be sources of fruitful developments, and for the disruption of art codes in the academic world to open new paths and paradigms.

Intersections with Iméra’s three research programs

In the case of the intersection with the “Interdisciplinary Explorations” program, in addition to the topics mentioned in its presentation and the associated partnership residency, the following can be developed: reflection on the use of art in medical therapies and psychotherapies, the relationship between the history of science and the history of art, the living relationships maintained by the sciences with artistic heritage, particularly when the former renew the history of the scientific discipline.

In the case of the intersection with the “Mediterranean” program, in addition to the topics mentioned in its general presentation and the associated partnership residency, the following can be developed: reflection on the Mediterranean as an artistic genre (“Mediterranean cinema,” “Mediterranean novel”) and as a museum category, representations of migrations in the Mediterranean through the arts, the dialectic between art and architecture in the Mediterranean, the role of the arts in the heritage-making of Mediterranean spaces, and the study of individual or collective trajectories of so-called “Mediterranean” artists.

In the case of the intersection with the “Necessary Utopias” program, in addition to the topics mentioned in its presentation and the associated partnership residency, the following can be developed: examples showing how art and invention can be used and/or conceived in the service of concrete utopias. In a non-exhaustive manner, creation is approached through the prism of artists’ engagement, seen as a means of resistance, even as a vector of civil disobedience, or as a bearer of social justice, reconciliation, regeneration, etc. More broadly, it can involve case studies analyzing the impact of artistic experiences in the realms of politics and society in connection with concrete utopias, or broader reflections on these dynamics.

Contact: Constance Moréteau, Scientific Coordinator of Iméra and responsible for the development of the arts and sciences axis,