How artists can support the global transformation towards sustainability
Dance, a form of nonverbal communication, is inherent to human nature. But, is it fulfilling its potential in our world today? In 2007 This question prompted Benedikt to pursue her academic education next to her artistic career. Through her daily commute between the artistic and academic worlds, she became more and more interested in exploring the potential of art if it was taken out of traditional parameters and connected to other disciplines.
At the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), she explored for over five years how partnerships between artists and scientists can effectively support the sustainability transformation. While developing and presenting artistically innovative, impact-driven art projects with dozens of artists and scientists around the world, she has developed a method for artists to effectively work with scientists to address the knowledge-to-action gap by supporting a cultural shift toward sustainability.
The Art of Systems Analysis, the first publication on the topic, was released in 2017.
Science and Art for Life's Sake - How partnerships between artists and scientists can support the sustainability transformation, the first extensive report on the science-art-sustainability interface, was published in 2020. It establishes the intellectual foundation for science and art collaboration and explores the reasons why such collaboration is worth pursuing in the first place. It provides a rich description of the creative process used to explore how music, theater, and dance can partner with science to tackle a vast range of topics from resource depletion to biodiversity loss, from game theory to climate change, and from mechanisms of cooperation to migration. Creating these works has yielded a framework and methodology for artists and scientists to work together. Simultaneously appealing to reason and emotion, the framework was designed to create active learning experiences that help us understand the complexity of and ethical dilemmas inherent to the challenges we face, question deeply held beliefs, inspire better-informed decision-making, and generate new solutions while telling good stories. along the way.
In the climate podcast produced by the news magazine profil (2022), Benedikt analyses why the performing arts world has so far barely responded to the climate crisis and existential threats more generally and urges established arts institutions to join the quest to imagine and create a more sustainable world for future generations.
In 2023 Benedikt was one of twenty authors from around the world who contributed to the first academic volume on artistic engagement with the climate crisis, published by The Drama Review (Cambridge University Press).