Art and Industry

Art Industry Work Group
© Stéphanie Gygax

To be defined by group members.


To be defined by group members.


Jan Van Ordt, Cora Piantoni, Stéphanie Gygax, Petra Koehle.

The group ‘Art and Industry’ aims to develop artistic dialogues with industrial heritage and the contemporary industrial landscape in Switzerland. It looks at industrial history throughout the ages in Switzerland – from medieval ‘pre-industrial’ to 21st century ‘post-industrial’ activities – in order to nurture artistic discourses that respond and engage with this history’s continuing influence on societal, economic and cultural horizons. Such an outlook implies an engagement with sites, both historical and present, from former textile warehouses and shipbuilding factories, to existing transportation, pharmaceutical, and data industries, and their actors. If industrial production implies the physical transformation of the world, it is necessarily enlaced in discursive reflexivity, which commands its strategical orientations through entrepreneurial flair, structural imitation and repetition, labour organisation, and the mediatisation of consuming patterns. Furthermore, industrial development has become inseparable from ecological pressure and issues of environmental sustainability in the planetary age. ‘Art & Industry’ aims to reflect and engage with infrastructural organization and debates as they unfold in the present. The group will foster dialogues with past and present actors, in order to ‘ruminate’ the real and to ‘express’ it, in the tradition of old, infused by the chorus of voices carried by texts and materials alike.

Second, the Art & Industry Group will also consider the imbrication of the contemporary arts practices themselves with industry at the outset of the 21st century. What are the current presences of industrial realities in art practices, intentionally and, significantly, unintentionally; this leads to a critical reflection on the direct and indirect use of industrial material in the arts. The focus places its initial emphasis within both strands on the Swiss territory; in considering the local-global interconnectedness that has been a characteristic of industrial infrastructure, the project is keen to explore in due course international factors and actors as they come to impact the Helvetic context, past and present.

The SARN ‘Art & industry’ group will aim to foster critical enquiry into industrial heritage and environments through artistic mediation, conversation, and re-appropriation. Anticipated outputs include collective workshops, site-visits and interactions, digital presentation of research and research-processes (including on the TETI group website

The group is opened to additional members who are interested in taking an active role in the group’s activities.