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Art Meets Science – James Turrell and the Ganzfeld Effect

Talks in the Program Surrounding the Art Installation by James Turrell

“Seeing yourself see” is how James Turrell describes the experience of his Ganzfeld pieces. In the diffuse field of light that is his installation Ganzfeld “Aural” – on show at the Jewish Museum Berlin until 6 October 2019 – the boundaries of space disappear, a sense of disorientation unfolds and at the same time a peculiar floating feeling.

Turrell’s works have their origins in the Art & Technology program of the University of California and the Los Angeles County Museum, where artists and scientists have explored the Ganzfeld theme in the context of further developing space travel.

Past event

Map with all buildings that belong to the Jewish Museum Berlin. The Old Building is marked in green


Old Building, level 2, Great Hall
Lindenstraße 9–14, 10969 Berlin

What are the scientific findings behind the Ganzfeld effect? On this interdisciplinary evening, Ernst Pöppel, former director of the Institute for Medical Psychology at the LMU Munich, will explain the physiological and psychological principles of perception effects; Margarete Pratschke, guest professor for art and visual history of modernity and the present, HU Berlin, will provide insight into the Art & Technology program and places Turrell’s works and light art in the historico-scientific context of their origins.

With an introduction to the installation Ganzfeld “Aural” at the Jewish Museum Berlin by Gregor H. Lersch, head of temporary exhibitions.

The Speakers

Margarete Pratschke is an art and image historian and researches the history of images in science and technology as well as the visual culture of the digital present. After completing her doctorate at the HU Berlin, she worked as a postdoc at ETH Zurich and at eikones in Basel. She has been at the Institute for Art and Visual History at the HU since 2017, currently as guest professor for art and visual history of modernity and the present. In 2016, she was awarded the Caroline von Humboldt Prize for her research on the Ganzfeld experiments at the Berlin City Palace.

portrait photo of a woman

Margarete Pratschke, photo: Alfred Steffen.

Professor emeritus Ernst Pöppel studied psychology and biology in Freiburg and Innsbruck. At Max Planck Institutes and MIT in Cambridge (USA), he researched visual perception and time experience, and at the LMU Munich he headed the Institute for Medical Psychology and the Human Science Center. He has been a guest professor at Peking University for many years, and he has colleagues from over 40 countries. “Scientists are Natural Ambassadors” is his work motto.

A cooperation with the Ernst Schering Foundation

portrait photo of a man

Ernst Pöppel, photo: private

A cooperation with the

Logo Schering Stiftung

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If you reserve a ticket for a for a free event, please remember that your ticket will be forfeited if you do not pick it up 15 minutes before the event begins. If you have not collected the ticket by then, it may be given to a visitor who is waiting for a ticket.

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Where, when, what?

  • When Tuesday 10 September 2019, 7 pm
  • Where Old Building, level 2, Great Hall

    Lindenstraße 9–14, 10969 Berlin

    See location on map
  • Entry fee

    Free of charge

  • TicketsThere are no tickets left for this event. However, it is still worthwhile to ask at the box office on the evening of the event. Unclaimed tickets are given to people from the waiting list approxi­mately 15 minutes before the event starts.

    For journalists Phone: +49 (0)30 25 993 419

    Please note
    Visitors to the event will have the exclusive opportunity to visit Ganzfeld “Aural” from 5.30 pm onwards. Just show your event ticket – purchased online or at the museum – at the entrance to the installation. Please note that the installation can hold a maximum of 6 people at a time – we can therefore not guarantee that all visitors will be permitted admission.

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