It’s all in the meme?

  • An online workshop on unconscious bias with Freddy Paul Grunert 

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    It’s all in the meme?

    An online workshop on unconscious bias with Freddy Paul Grunert


    An interactive online session concerning the notion of (unconscious) bias in which the hidden perceptions concerning societal/cultural/scientific ideas will be deconstructed.

    Unconscious bias happens when we make judgments or decisions on the basis of our prior experience, our own personal deep-seated thought patterns, assumptions or interpretations, without being aware of it. Our experience of our actions is biased towards what we expect: we might see what we believe. The irony is that prejudice and discrimination are inevitable by-products of the efficiency of human cognition. Although we all like to think we are open-minded and objective, research shows consistently across all social groups that this is not the case. Human agency, aggressive and strong-willed is no longer the subject of history. Will the rise of AI catalyse the decline of human agency? We are heavily influenced in ways that are completely hidden from our conscious mind in how we view and evaluate others, our surroundings and ourselves.

    The workshop consists of developing new perspectives which deal with our (collective) unconscious bias and prejudice. How not to be hindered by policies and technologies that obfuscate our thoughts, ideas, our visions? The very act of realising that we all have hidden biases can enable us to mentally monitor hidden attitudes before they are expressed in our decision, in which even minor changes in behaviour can make a world of difference.

    Objectives of the session:
    • Raising questions that we often take for granted, such as the very process of thought construction in order to identify our own blind spots. Once we accept that we will naturally use subconscious mental shortcuts, we can take the time to reflect on whether such implicit thought processes are inappropriately affecting the objectivity of our decision-making.
    • Creating dialogues aim to open up a relational group dimension, where every session is an intersection of something yet unknown. Consequently, we will look at the practice of embodiment and reflect how notions of mutuality and well-being can be enhanced. Will this allow us to reflect on ourselves differently and create new paths?
    • At the end of the session, we will invite participants to reflect on their own bias and how the workshop changed their perceived reality and how this will affect their behaviour in the future.

    The workshop is developed for 12-15 participants, involving professionals in education, technology, design, art, science and research.

    Would you like to join the workshop? Please send an email to lorenzo@baltanlaboratories, stating your role and why you’d like to participate, before June 28th. We will send you the Zoom link via email. The workshop is free of charge.

    The workshop is organized with Baltan artistic advisor Freddy Paul Grunert.

    Freddy Paul Grunert gained extensive experience in curating international Art-Science exhibitions and research trajectories. He is an artist and was both associate curator at ZKM Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe (1992-2017) and curator in the JRC_European Commission for the SciArt Initiative. From the XLV Venice Bienniale multimedia installation Xenografia (1993) he launched a series of cross researches into new media art, philosophy and physics, presented in several festivals all around the world. He was engaged in political activity, cultural advisory in Strasbourg at The Council of Europe and the Brussels European Parliament. He is involved in the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen and Rio. Furthermore he runs a Scientist in Residence Program at ZKM.

    Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI)
    The Workshop It’s all in the Meme? is part of the EU collaboration NewHoRRIzon on Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) which Baltan Laboratories attended between 2017 -2020. RRI is an European program about involving all the stakeholders in the research and innovation process, for a better science with and for society. We are trying to make RRI happen in real life, with the participation of all the concerned stakeholders in research, business and industry, policy-making, education, NGOs.

    Baltan Laboratories would like to thank GenØk - Centre for Biosafety, Fern Wickson, Micheal J. Bernstein, Raj Kumar Thapa and all other participants for their support, creativity and input.

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