(edited by) Ann Bessemans, Marjan Doom, Frank Merkx and Nele Wynants – Overlap – The no man’s land between art and science


Komma, Uitgeverij, ISBN-13: 978-9083065502, English, 224 pages, 2020, The Netherlands

Overlap – The no man’s land between art and science has a structure that is conceptually similar to that of a classical almanac, a popular format linking art and science that predates the advent of movable type and which, for centuries, was the most popular publication (after the Bible). In keeping with this format, Overlap is divided into four sections (like the seasons), twelve essays (like the months of the year), and fifty-two artistic contributions (like the weeks of the year), each with an image at the beginning and a text at the end, including well-known media artists such as Dries Depoorter, Frederik De Wilde and Angelo Vermeulen. The first selection of essays is titled ‘Historical Framework’ and features essays co-authored by art historians and scientists. These explore specific visual representations through the centuries and social access to scientific developments. The section ‘Risk and gain of interdisciplinarity’ features three texts that address common misunderstandings between artists and scientists, while ‘Concepts’ follows this to establish a common territory from formal, legal and physiological perspectives. Finally, in ‘Outside the box’ there are two co-authored essays on specific collaborative research. With an inventive graphic design, Overlap is an enjoyable and noteworthy contribution to ongoing debates in art and science.