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Uni contributes cutting-edge projects to Esch2022 capital of culture

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Published on Thursday, 03 March 2022

The University of Luxembourg is proud to be a partner of the European Capital of Culture Esch2022. University researchers have designed cutting-edge projects blending art, science and research into spectacular performances.

Under the slogan “Remix Esch2022”, six University projects will set the pace of Esch2022 and showcase the creative cultural diversity and openness, which are among the pillars of the University’s values, through engaging topical presentations with strong interregional and territorial connections. 

The University's Belval Campus, mixing industrial heritage and contemporary architecture, provides an exceptional community environment for students and visitors alike. This unique venue is set to turn into one of the most vibrant stages of Esch2022 events.

Combining research, science, art, nature, history and innovation, the University projects highlight the University’s commitment to serve the greater community through innovation, research, teaching and societal transformation.

The University fields the following projects:

  • Petite Maison 
  • REMIX PLACE
  • A Colônia Luxemburguesa
  • Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Art (AIFA21)
  • THE SOUND OF DATA - Science Meets Music
  • Remixing Industrial Pasts in the Digital Age

Discover the projects

Petite Maison

“Petite Maison” is a materialised structure based on developments by Prof. Christoph Odenbreit of the ArcelorMittal Chair of Steel Construction at the University’s Faculty of Science, Technology and Medicine. The project evolves around designing, building and deconstructing a small house (100 m2) by adopting a circular approach. It works with salvaged, second-hand, recycled materials or with renewable and raw materials and/or materials with a high upcycling potential.

“Petite Maison” highlights the concept of circular collaboration. The house, designed and produced by architects and engineers from the University of Luxembourg, in cooperation with various local, international partners and experts, will set in motion a design apparatus that runs by shuffling the knowledge of various professionals from the local scene. The focus is equally set on the research, process and the final outcome.

With the help of all partners, the construction works of Petite Maison starts in March and will end in July 2022.

Web: esch2022.uni.lu/projects/petite-maison

REMIX PLACE

REMIX PLACE, conceived by researchers of the Faculty of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences, explores inhabitants’ attachment to places in the Alzette-Belval cross-border area. It combines the disciplines of geography, photography and theatre, reflecting individual experiences, stories and emotions associated with places. An exhibition and a play will invite visitors to a sensory artistic experience from the perspective of those living there.

The project questions the issue of local ties versus deracination as well as the notion of identity among citizens in the French-Luxembourg border region of Alzette-Belval. An original documentary theatre play will bring people from the border region on stage, acting as comedians narrating their own experiences, together with professional actors.

A hybrid exhibition explores the concepts of attachment to places and togetherness from the experience of cross-border workers and local residents. Visitors to the exhibition on Belval Campus will be able to experience a multisensory journey where photographs, recordings, maps and writing link significant places to emotions.

Web: esch2022.uni.lu/projects/remix-place 

A Colônia Luxemburguesa

A Colônia Luxemburguesa is a transmedia project exploring Belgo Mineira’s story (the Brazilian subsidiary of steel giant Arbed – today ArcelorMittal) in the heart of Minas Gerais in the 1920’s. At that time, the lack of qualified workforce provoked a massive movement of Luxembourgish migrants to Brazil in order to erect a steel plant and its surrounding industrial city.

On a journey in search of her own identity and roots, Luxembourgish-Brazilian history researcher Dominique Santana of the University’s Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C²DH) has made a prodigious discovery of the town of João Monlevade, a forgotten tropical version of the industrial southern Luxembourg site.

Developed in the framework of Dominique Santana’s doctoral research, A Colônia Luxemburguesa is a groundbreaking experiment involving the creative use of digital technology, transdisciplinary co-design techniques and public engagement. This unprecedented collaboration between the University of Luxembourg’s C²DH, Samsa Film and the Luxembourg Centre National de l'Audiovisuel (CNA), with the support of the Film Fund Luxembourg and Esch2022, has created new synergies between scientific research and the new world of media.

The premiere of A Colônia Luxemburguesa docufilm is on 4 March 2022 at the Maison des Arts et des Etudiants on Belval Campus (registration closed). An additional screening is scheduled on 5 March at Centre Neimënster at 19.00.

The docufilm is also programmed within LuxCityFilmFest as of 5 March 2022 and includes masterclasses in the presence of author Dominique Santana.

The project welcomes any contributions from individuals related to the Colônia Luxemburguesa (personal photos, correspondences, postcards, documents, etc.) and interested in sharing their memories about ties between this shared heritage between Luxembourg and Brazil.

Web: esch2022.uni.lu/projects/a-colonia-luxemburguesa

 

[L]AÇO: Steel ties between Brazil and Luxembourg 

The “A Colônia Luxemburguesa” project is accompanied by the installation of two connected physical platforms called [L]aço (kiosks), placed on Place de l’Académie, Belval Campus, (from 4 March till 1 October 2022) and in Brazil, in Belo Horizonte, Circuito Liberdade and then in João Monlevade/Minas Gerais. The two concepts of 'laço=ties' and 'aço=steel', translate into 'ties of steel' in Portuguese. This concept embodies the main objective of the project: to resurrect the transatlantic ties forged over a century between the two steel-making communities. Those “Laço” will serve as a venue for crowdsourcing (digitisation of archives) where visitors are invited to share part of their life stories via documents or personal objects. 

The [L]aço is composed of two containers of 6 meters (235 x 240 x 600), transformed into a kiosk with a multimedia exhibition space; an original ARBED cabin from the 1930s, transformed into a “digi-cabin”; an interactive digital board for the digital archives collection screening; a digital phone booth called Orelhão" to communicate directly with the Brazilian [L]aço and inspired by the authentic Brazilian phone booths. A [L]aço Bar for tasting Brazilian specialties from Minas Gerais, including caipirinha and the famous pão de queijo, completes the installation. 

The [L]aço is open to the public from Wednesday to Sunday, until October 2022. 

Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Art (AIFA21)

AIFA 2021 explores the growing interactions between artificial intelligence and art. Held at the AI&ART Pavilion, a multidisciplinary and interactive venue, AIFA 2021 addresses a wide range of topics involving both scholars and artists, such as the role of artificial intelligence as a tool for art creation in visual and performing arts, how it becomes a material component of an artwork, its role in the evolution of contemporary art and how artists may inspire or trigger scientific and technological innovation in AI.

The AI&ART Pavilion consists of three branches:

  • Singularity 42! collects initiatives in which artists reflect on the interaction between our physical and digital existence. Scientists and artists provide high-level technical and scientific support for the realisation of art projects, and conversely, artists are involved in designing blueprints for creative engineers whose concepts require the artistic expertise of visual artists;
  • The Project Corner(stone) offers playful and interactive initiatives for visitors to experiment, discover and rethink their own beliefs. These small projects can use techniques of symbolic and sub-symbolic AI to create an art product;
  • The Magneto project consists of various events that aim to inform and engage the audience in discussions about the role of AI. The events are open to students, general or specialised audiences. 

Web: esch2022.uni.lu/events/aifa21-ai-and-the-future-of-arts

THE SOUND OF DATA - Science Meets Music

The Sound of Data - Science Meets Music – is a joint project of the University of Luxembourg, the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR), the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) and the Rockhal concert Hall, aiming at transforming scientific data into music in an innovative and experimental approach supported by data sonification.

The project unfolds in four phases, starting with data collection. Four different datasets are used to explore societal topics familiar to residents and visitors: traffic data, historical data, data from crowdsourcing art as well as 3D body scan data.

The public has an opportunity to be actively involved during this first phase in the context of crowdsourcing art, where terminals in public spaces allow to create a piece of digital art, and of the 3D body scan, where interested individuals can have their body scanned.

During the second phase, the collected data will be processed and transformed into sounds by Valery Vermeulen, a Belgian electronic musician, music producer, mathematician, new media artist and author.

These sounds will then be used in phase three to compose, arrange and produce music in the context of workshops and artists’ residencies. A call will be made to local musicians and artists of the Greater Region to participate in these workshops and artists’ residencies, hosted and led by Rockhal’s “Rocklab”.

In phase four, the results of the data sonification process will be brought live on stage. The project will conclude in December 2022 into a Rockhal music festival where the artists in residency will perform alongside a headliner. The whole project will be accompanied throughout the year by science communication activities and conferences about data sonification and the links between science and music.

On Sunday 1 May 2022, the FNR, together with Rockhal, the University of Luxembourg and LIST, organise a “science meets music” event at the Rockhal in Esch/Belval. It will be a small science Fair, where the general public can discover interactive workshops that link science with music. 

Web: esch2022.uni.lu/projects/the-sound-of-data-science-meets-music

Remixing Industrial Pasts in the Digital Age

“Remixing Industrial Pasts in the Digital Age”, conceived by The Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C²DH), encompasses diversified sub-projects exploring the history of cultures, populations and territories of the Minett region from different perspectives and angles. They investigate the circulation and flow of ideas, people and goods between Luxembourg, France and other European countries.

The main part of this project is the multimedia exhibition curated by the Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C²DH) REMIX team in collaboration with the Milan-based artist collective Tokonoma and 2F Architettura: “Remixing Industrial Pasts: Constructing the Identity of the Minett”, taking place at the Massenoire, a former industrial hall on Belval Campus.

The central theme of the Remixing Industrial Pasts exhibition is the continuous process of transformation in the Minett region from the beginning of the 20th century to the present day.

Although once an industrial heartland, the Minett was also a complex urban society with visible hierarchies, characterised by a real social mix in its towns and cities that demonstrated the ability to live together despite social and national divides.

In the Massenoire exhibition hall, which has been turned into a sort of time machine, the audiovisual narration unfolds around three main themes: industry, people and landscape. These three axes intersect, alternate and combine, creating a “remix” of images and voices that attempts to reinstate the complexity of Minett identities.

Based on the juxtaposition and combination of contrasting perspectives, the exhibition leads visitors on an exploration of the history of the Minett region, providing insights into the various issues that have shaped identities: from industrial production to environmental and urban developments; from a thriving industrial society to an awareness of health and social issues; from a dominant institutional representation to the need for self-representation through the medium of social photography; from public and private spaces designed around industry to a gradual change in the role of people in society and a continuous adaptation of the image and structure of urban spaces; and finally, from the construction of national borders – closed and controlled but permeable – to the idea of an open border, but one which in reality functions as a socio-economic barrier.

The exhibition is open until 15 May 2022 at the Massenoire Hall.

Opening days and hours: 

  • From 27 February - 3 March 2022: Monday to Sunday from 11.00 to 18.00 (closed on Tuesdays)
  • From 1 April - 15 May 2022: Monday to Sunday from 11.00 to 19.00 (closed on Tuesdays)

For further information: esch2022.uni.lu/events/remixing-industrial-pasts-constructing-the-identity-of-the-minett

 

The Minett Stories Rallye: A treasure hunt through the former ironworks of Belval 

Accompanying the exhibition at the Massenoire Hall and starting on 28 February 2022, the C²DH has launched a new digital treasure hunt.

Developed in collaboration with the VR/AR Lab of the University of Luxembourg, the mobile game takes the players on a journey through the old landmarks and relics of the former Ironworks of Belval. Solving riddles and following a trail of clues leads to the discovery of nine secret locations connected to the history of Belval’s industrial past. The Rallye extends the exhibition outside the walls of the Massenoire, strengthening its connections to the territory and its stories, while providing an experience that is both fun and educational.

The first five people to complete the treasure hunt will receive a grand prize, with additional rewards given to the other successful players. To join the Rallye via a mobile device: minett-rally.lu

 

For more information about the University of Luxembourg’s Esch2022 projects: esch2022.uni.lu