Inauguration of Mismatch Repair

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, 20 Dec 2018

It is written "In the beginning was the Word", but despite this, I want to claim that the image gives the overview.

I have always been fascinated by science, and its use of imagery to "illustrate" these mathematical formulas when discussing the nature of mathematics.

The oldest known paintings are approximately 50,000 years old and were found in Spain. One of the cave paintings looks like a real aurochs with wounds, probably from arrows and spears.

Since the linguistic syntax of that time might have been limited, the aurochs have been used to plan the hurt. Just like science today uses images to open up common awareness of the nature of the phenomena.

Likewise this sculpture looked like the aurochs when I started modelling it, for the simple reason that they were created using the same method – hands and my imagination, as well as the same material, clay.

I therefore conclude that science and art for more than 50,000 years, have used the same methods; our imagination, creativity, curiosity and the willpower to create images that can continue leading us into the mystery of life’s origin and purpose. 

Common ground between science and art is this ancient unstoppable determination to identify our environment and conditions.

In a lecture Niels Bohr explains a scientific evidence as "a complete and irresistible explanation of a phenomenon".

Art does not want a complete and irrefutable explanation of anything. We leave the image open for everyone to interpret it. The idea of everything can be art, does not mean that everything is art.

In the Danish newspaper, Information, there was a note that mentioned that when Prime Minister Niels Viggo Kampmann set up the Ministry of Culture, he actually intended to set up the Ministry of Science and Art. A magnificent thought that would have given a completely different debate about society, if the department has been implemented.

The starting point is the Age of Enlightenment, when H.C.Ørsteds writes "Society rests on three pillars: Art, Science and Justice".

When the Age of Enlightenment abolished God and beheaded the King, they knew, that humans would continue their foolishness, therefore the free artists and free scientists were invited to provide and show criticism and enlighten the people and its rulers. An independent judiciary ensures that power is not arbitrary.

These three pillars are being conquered by today’s Populism.

Please let us, the artists and female and male scientists, do everything possible to defend this independence and willingness to criticize.

Mismatch Repair. While I was working on this sculpture, I read in the Danish newspaper, Weekendavisen, that two scientists had received the Nobel Prize for their research and evidence that describes the mechanics, that make it possible for the DNA to repair itself when it goes wrong, and it often does.

But it is not only the DNA inside ourselves that has to repair itself. If we want our liberal democracy to continue developing itself, art and science must constantly remind us of that without freedom and criticism, no Mismatch Repair.

The German philosopher and political theorist Hannah Arendt writes "the most beautiful thing written in the New Testament is – A child is born – without the birth of a child, nothing will happen". And please remember. It is a child being born, not an algorithm.

Just like Hannah Arendt writes: "The consequence of a human’s actions are unpredictable, and it is this unpredictability that makes life so beautiful".

Thanks to the foundation of Kirsten and Freddy Johansen. Thanks to Ulla Wewer, Dean from the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen.

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Ulla Wewer, Dean from the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen
Bjørn Nørgaard and Freddy Johansen