About the symposium

The international symposium ‘Times of Entanglement’ at the Shanghai World Exhibition presents two panels on the interplay between art and science, from quantum structures to contemporary culture, in a world in transition. Fifteen years ago, the groundbreaking international symposium held in Brussels, titled Einstein meets Magritte, was the start of interdisciplinary research on integrating worldviews at the Leo Apostel Centre (Clea). The general theme of this conference was an interdisciplinary reflection on Science, Nature, Art, Human Action and Society. The Clea research centre, under the guidance of its director, Diederik Aerts, is now engaged in follow-up reflection, starting with two panels as part of the Brussels Body Speech event at the Shanghai World Exhibition, by readdressing the crucial themes of the earlier conference and the research that flowed from it. More specifically, in Shanghai, we are aiming at an up-to-date reflection on science and art, and their role in today’s world. What is the role of human creativity in these topics? In modern times, humanity increasingly strives to take fate into its own hands. What will human intelligence and intuition contribute to this endeavour? The acceleration and complexity of current global changes, however, can be seen as leading to a sense of disorientation. Does not the pace of change prevent us from standing still, listening to the world and ‘being touched’ by it (Levinas)? The rapid growth of the sciences reveals new insights, sometimes seemingly disconnected, and often enigmatic (quantum, relativity, complexity). In quantum physics, an unavoidable paradigm shift away from classical reality is taking place. Do these transitions of knowledge empower us to rebuild an encompassing paradigm, or better qualify us to tackle global problems? In the first panel, we engage in a deeper reflection on the notions of ‘body speech’, ‘being touched’, intuition, creativity and intelligence. In the second panel, we reflect on the issues of transition in our knowledge systems. We consider the paradoxical state in quantum physics of the deep inseparability of parts, referred to as ‘entanglement’. How can this theoretical scheme shed light on a formal theory of creative processes? We envisage how technology increasingly relieves man’s burdens in life. Will it potentially entangle both in a trans-human state?

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