About

Fundamental Research creates dialogue between artists and scientists whose areas of investigation intersect.

The organization’s activities include the management of residency programs, exhibitions, and discussions, aiming to stimulate trans-disciplinary research and new forms of artistic production and social innovation. These encounters take place in a range of places: in traditional art spaces, scientific laboratories, and international European projects, among others. Their international approach raises awareness of the place of new scientific and technological developments in the global arena, and the challenges these bring about. Based in Brussels, Fundamental Research engages with the local community to drive innovation on a larger scale.

Team

Professor Beatrice de Gelder holds degrees in both Philosophy and Psychology, and received her PhD in 1972 from the University of Louvain, Belgium. She began her academic career teaching Philosophy of Science, first in Leiden and then in Tilburg. In the mid nineties de Gelder changed her field of interest to Cognitive Science. She is currently professor in the Department of Cognitive Neuroscience, Faculty of Neuroscience and Psychology, Maastricht University.

Harlan Levey is a Cleveland born, Brussels based arts worker. A regular guest lecturer at institutions including the Willem de Kooning Academy, The Royal College of Art (Den Hague), the Jan Van Eyck Academie, The Higher Institute for Fine Art (HISK), the Waag society, Burlington City Arts and others, he has been an external expert for the European Commission in areas related to ethics, science and culture since 2004. Levey is a member of the Brussels Gallery Weekend committee and advisor to Art Brussels. In 2011, he opened Harlan Levey Projects with his partner Winnie Kwok. In April 2021, they opened HLP 1080, a new exhibition space in the city’s Molenbeek neighborhood.

Artist Talks

Fundamental Research’s artist talks focus on creating encounters between artists and scientists with similar areas of interest. Emphasizing the intersections of both artistic and academic research, talks are moderated by Fundamental Research to highlight each participant’s practice.

Making Visible
March 2nd, 2024

Dr. Beatrice de Gelder moderated a talk between the artists Ira Lombardia, Günther Selichar, Jonathan Sullam, Emmanuel Van der Auwera, and curator Lara Pan in the context of the group exhibition Making Visible at Harlan Levey Projects. Together, they spoke about perception, the possibilities offered and risks posed by new technologies, and the role of art in the field of vision. This talk was supported by Fundamental Research and the Austrian Cultural Forum in Brussels.

Embodiment and Loss
March 23, 2019

Special screening of Chestmassage, Nullbreastchest Ritual and Mom Makes the Bed, followed by a conversation between Andrea Éva Győri and cognitive neuroscientist Beatrice De Gelder of Fundamental Research.

Drawing in the New Machine Age
February 3, 2018

As handwriting becomes obsolete, it maintains a key role in both scientific and artistic practice. In this discussion, visual artist Amelie Bouvier and post-doc neuroscientist and Manga artist Minye Zhan investigate the role of mark making, draftsmanship and speculative drawing in their respective practices. Moderated by Beatrice de Gelder.

Lived Experience, Trauma and Theory
October 21 & October 24, 2017

Marcin Dudek discusses #stepsandmarches with Prof. Dr. John Rijsman as two types of research and experience engage in a discussion over crowd dynamics, stadiums and social spectacle. Following this conversation, Dudek spoke with Professor Mark Levine on issues related to hooliganism, collective identity and origins of group violence.

Exhibitions

Making Visible

Fundamental Research and the independent curator Lara Pan worked together to create Making Visible, which was open from Jan 20 - March 23, 2024, at Harlan Levey Projects in Brussels. This group exhibition featured six artists from different backgrounds, whose works explore the limits of perception and communication, from the unseen parts of image technologies to the blurry boundary between abstraction and figuration.

Gluon Foundation

Fundamental Research accompanied artist Emmanuel Van der Auwera during his residency at the Brain and Emotion Lab, where he created work which was shown during the inauguration of Gluon Foundation in Brussels in partnership with Van de Weghe Marble.

SONAR

Working with Guggenheim Bilbao curator Manuel Cirauqui, Fundamental Research accompanies artists selected for Mindspaces’ STARTS residency to create a VR exhibition that translates scientific and artistic research into experiential fiction. The project will premier during Barcelona’s SONAR festival.

Residencies

Fundamental Research has experience managing open call residencies, constructing juries, spearheading the communication and dissemination activities, and acting as an artist liaison throughout the residency process.

Resilence

ReSilence is a residency project belonging to the S+T+ARTS initiative. The objective of S+T+ARTS is to connect thinkers across various disciplines; here, ReSilence combines the talents and skills of artists and scientists to think about sound in urban settings, and how new technologies might influence future soundscapes. In the context of this residency, the artist Marcin Dudek and Dr. Beatrice de Gelder are working together to research the sound and psychological impact of football stadiums.

Mindspaces

MindSpaces is a Lighthouse project belonging to the STARTS initiative. The main goal of STARTS is the inclusion of artists in innovation projects funded by the research programme Horizon 2020. To encourage collaboration of research projects and artists, STARTS funds starts residencies of artists in technology institutions and of scientists and technologists in studio of artists.

Penthouse Art Residency

From 2014 to 2019, artists from around the world came to Brussels to engage with the city and research, reflect, write, edit, and produce works in various media while liaising with a network of researchers and curators from various disciplines.

Events

Events organized by Fundamental Research focus on collaboration between actors in the arts, science, and technological fields. These events allow participants to test new possibilities of interaction, whether in physical or virtual forms.

Disembodiment VR Event

Fundamental Research welcomes you to attend a VR exhibition and discussion led by Dr. Beatrice de Gelder on body language in the age of the avatar. The event will take place online in Fundamental Research’s VR gallery and is limited to 50 guests. While the event can be followed on a phone or computer, it is meant to be experienced in a VR headset as it tests the grounds for digital gatherings and cultural presentations while imagining their social and emotional implications.

SYNX Symposium

Dr. Beatrice de Gelder participated in the SYNX symposium organized by SónarCCCB, Eina Idea and Mindspaces in Barcelona on October 29, 2021. The symposium reunited artists and designers to share ideas with leading voices in science, urban planning, artistic research, and design fiction to discuss the topics of SYNX. The full video is available on YouTube.