Summer School 2019 | Seveth Sense

This year’s umbrella theme is the Seventh Sense .

“The brain is our computing machine that integrates stimuli from the environment and orchestrates responses to these stimuli. Here, I propose that the defining role of the immune system is to sense microorganisms and to inform the brain about them.” Kipnis 2017

This year the Summer School explores the limits and boundaries of understanding the self. Inspired by the article about the immune and the neurological systems by Jonathan Kipnis, published in January of 2018, we aim to carve paths and engage with some of the possible embodiments of the self and the non-self.

Kipnis tells us a tale of two systems, the central nervous system and the immune system. As the two systems were believed to function separately from each other to ensure a person’s health Kipnis explains that while there are many commonalities shared by both systems, the interaction between them, when it occurs, has been considered for decades as pathological. Kipnis continues explaining that we have five we accepted senses— visual, olfactory, gustatory, somatosensory, and auditory.

The intersection of Art, Biology and the Environment offer unique opportunities to visual artists. This innovative summer course, which is already on its fourth edition, will allow non-specialists to acquire theoretical and practical skills in biological and environmental sciences in connection to the visual arts.

The Summer School explores the interdisciplinary relationship between art, life and environmental sciences through hands-on exercises, combining theory and practice in an informal environment, e.g.: seminars, debates, visits, and the creation of artworks with biological media.

The activities will address issues such as the cultural representations of technology and science, ethical concerns and the evolution of bioart as a cultural phenomenon. One week program with the opportunity to extend the stay for one or two additional weeks to develop an art project in a collaborative environment.

The practical component will focus on hands-on exercises in the laboratory, workshop, and within the natural environment. The possibility of transforming abstract concepts into art objects, the collection and selection of organisms for artistic purposes will be highlighted, and, finally, visits to different parts of the natural park, will take place.

The course will leave plenty of room for informal activities, and a cultural and social program.

The cost will be 690€ for the first week and 590€ for the optional 2 weeks after. The price includes accommodation at Cultivamos Cultura (a farmhouse), meals, tuition and general consumables for the course; from 1st July to 6th July for the first week and 8-12 July for the second week and 15-19 July for the third week (weekends are included between course weeks and will be dedicated to socialising and leisure activities).


Marta de Menezes, artist, curator, art director of Cultivamos Cultura

Luis Graca, MD, PhD, Head of Cellular Immunology Unit and Professor at the University of Lisbon Medical School.

Dalila Honorato, Ionian University, Corfu.

Mark Lipton, University of Guelph, CA. ( Mark Lipton is an Associate Professor in the School of English and Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph. He is an advocate for media literacy and is currently working with social media to advocate for Ontario public school teachers. His current work with theMedia Education Project is funded by the Canadian Council on Learning and the Social Science and Humanities Research Council.)

Ana Baleia, São Luis, Odemira, PT

Maya Kempe, São Luis, Odemira, PT

Crystal Kershaw, São Luis, Odemira, PT

Residents at Cultivamos Cultura during the Summer School:

Hege Tapio (

Ellen Wetmore (

Adam Zaretsky (

Byron Rich (

Screenshot 2019-04-30 at 18.19.30

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