The Arte Institute in partnership with Mute, Cultivamos Cultura and Ectopia has the pleasure to announce the first FACTT – Festival Art & Science Trans-disciplinary and Trans-national.

The Festival took place in Lisbon in September and will arrive to New York City on September 30 and October 1.


General Theme for FACTT 2017 

Repetition and difference


We write only at the frontiers of our knowledge, at the border which separates our knowledge from our ignorance and transforms the one into the other. 
Deleuze, Preface of Difference and Repetition

The general theme chosen for FACTT 2017 comes from a variation on Deleuze’s famous title. The trans-disciplinary focus of this festival asked for a theme which allowed any artist, scientist or thinker, regardless of their area of expertise, to embrace the common ground to all these fields which is rarely addressed. This way one can analyze the importance of “trial and error”, serendipity, repeatability, originality, convergence/divergence, creativity, nature/nurture, subjective/objective and many other concepts or ideas connected to it.

Theme for New York and Mexico City: Art & Health

The proximity between Art and Health is far greater than most can imagine. In fact, artists and scientists often have very similar perceptions of the world. One of the main differences is the fact that they represent them with different languages.

Being Health such a crucial field in Science it makes sense to consider how it can influence Art. Regarding its absence one has to take in consideration disease, addiction or other psychiatric issues which possibly gave rise to many art works and even historical movements. But if we take into account what it can offer to Art we need to start with the new knowledge and technologies this field allows artists to use as “new media”. Eventually, among many other possible connections, Health research will inevitably bring new insights of ourselves and what we create including Art in particular and culture in general.

On the other hand it is critical to pay attention to what Art can offer to the health sciences. We can think in immediate and specific terms and remind ourselves of art therapy for example. However, in very broad terms one can take note of Art’s contribution to lateral thinking which is often essential to molecular biology and many other Health-related research. Also and maybe even more relevant is the influence artistic practice can have on any psyche (healthy or otherwise) including the artist’s and the public’s psyche… if we extend this to the future we can even consider the production, understanding/sensitivity of Art and  less logical/poetical connections as being essential for artificial intelligence to simulate human behavior perfectly and maybe even be able to develop an emotional dimension.

The theme chosen by the curatorial team for FACTT New York 2017 was Norm and Mutation. Each of these words have to be taken in their broadest sense. Which means they can be interpreted in social, philosophical, scientific, artistic or poetical terms since both are inherent to creativity, thought, experimentation, social analysis, meme theory, etc… Norm as copy/repetition. Mutation as variation/difference.


Norm and Mutation

1.1.  Norm – The Generalization as generality of the particular

 Norm is a scientific definition based on statistics one could try to relate with normality in Art. What is the meaning of “normal” in each of these fields? From a sample one can establish a generic theory which will inevitably include elements that were not part of the study. Induction makes generalization and creates universal propositions from particular propositions. In scientific research generalization is crucial since it allows the extrapolation from observations of some particular cases to a hypothesis, enunciating a universal knowledge.

In the artistic process repetition is often seen as a way to improve a technique, and to reach perfection. Not a mere mechanical reproduction but a means to achieve new knowledge. Despite this traditional methodology, the peculiarities and divergences typical of the artist come through to create new norms and conventions. Is it possible that the norm results from the accumulation of mutations? Could it be more than that?

1.2. Mutation – Repetition as production of the singular and the different

Mutation is the transformation and changing of something, introducing diversity and heterogeneity into a group or series. The multiplicity generated in that population, when confronted with limited resources (selective pressure), leads to evolution. This is both true biologically and artistically, as it may even be crucial in the progress of science and knowledge in general.

Mutation as a way of subverting the norm: Man himself carries mutations which define an identity. One can be true to oneself, due to consciousness and memory which bring the past to the present. Or one can be a mutant…

Repetition can and eventually will lead to mutation, resulting in something unidentical to the original and consequently to the production of singularities and internal differences. In a sample we look for difference trying to establish a particular theory which might be able to integrate it.



2:00-6:20 PM

NYU Langone Health – Smilow Seminar

550 First Avenue, New York City


Norm and Mutation Talks

2:00 – Manuel Furtado

2:15 – Pedro Arrifano

2:30 – Ellen K. Levy

2:45 – Q & A

3:00 – Amy Youngs

3:15 – Paulo Bernardino

3:30 – Joana Ricou

3:45 – Q & A

4:00 – Coffee Break

4:15 – Maria Manuela Lopes

4:30 – Ken Rinaldo

4:45 – Gunalan Nadarajan

5:00 – Q & A

5:15 – Artists’ talk from the exhibition “Herbarium” at the NYU Langone Art Gallery curated by Katherine Meehan. Artists in the exhibition: Tatiana Arocha, Nancy Blum, Jody Guralnick, Portia Munson, Christopher Russell, Francesco Simeti, and Joy Taylor.

6:00 – Q & A



6:30 PM

School of Visual Arts
BFA Fine Arts Department
335 W. 16th St. / 3rd Floor, New York



Amy Youngs

Andrew Carnie

Joana Ricou

Ken Rinaldo

Marta de Menezes and Luis Graça

Pedro Miguel Cruz (artist talk)

Suzanne Anker (artist talk)

Tarah Rhoda and Andrew Cziraki


The Festival will continue in Mexico the following month.

NYU Langone Health
School of Visual Arts