Dementia Arts Society

2019

Dementia Arts Society

DEMENTIA
This umbrella term describes a chronic disease of the brain in which a gradual de-terioration of cognitive, emotional and so-cial skills occurs. Dementia usually arises in old age. Due to demographic developments in society, it has become a critical health topic. People with dementia suffer from cognitive impairments such as for-getfulness, short-term memory loss, and the loss of language and counting abili-ties, all of which lead to a need for profes-sional care (Statistikportal. de 2018). The World Alzheimer Report 2016 (Prince et al. 2016: VW) states that 47 million people are currently living with dementia worldwide, and estimates that the number will in-crease to 131 million by 2025. Around ten million people live with dementia in Eu-rope and Austria alone. Cases of dementia are expected to double by 2050 (Sütterlin et al. 2011; Höfler et al. 2015). People with dementia also experience social stigma. Ordinary tasks such as shopping and running errands, but also traveling to unknown places, usually become exceed-ingly difficult for people with dementia. Memory loss is accompanied by visual and hearing impairment. This often leads to a complete withdrawal from society so as to avoid both rejection and embarrassment.

THE RESEARCH PROJECT 
DEMENTIA. ARTS. SOCIETY.
Since 2009 the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) has offered funding for artistic re-search in Austria (PEEK).  “Dementia. Arts. Society.” (D.A.S.) was awarded funding in 2016 with the objective of instigating art and design strategies that could positively change both the public perception of  dementia and the individual circumstanc-es of people with dementia as well as their caregivers. People who do not have dementia should be enabled to empa-thize with people living with dementia via changes to their own sensual perceptions. Concepts for art works and design prod-ucts, interactive social processes, per-formative interventions and other creative tools are being developed to empower the autonomy and self-esteem of people who have been diagnosed with dementia, of-fering support for their greater participa-tion in society. Wide-ranging methods and techniques are applied in workshops and research: observing, dwelling, interacting with people with dementia as well as their caregivers; expert discussions and design strategies; narrative drawing, photogra-phy, video, and interventions via specific objects in public spaces, and much more. Art and design strategies offer new per-spectives on dementia at a time when so-cial policy, therapy, care and medicine are reaching their limits. Overall, D.A.S. proposes new and innovative forms of dealing with challenges that arise with dementia.

CONCLUSION
Dementia. Arts.Society. offers various ways for art and design to positively im-pact people living with dementia and those who are not. People with dementia share their resources with people without dementia, and this creates empathy and awareness. Where social policies, thera-pies, care and medicine reach their limits, art and design strategies aim to open up new perspectives for people living with dementia in regard to their own capabil-ities and their situation within the social environment. Workshops allow for diverse individual experiences; these are dissemi-nated and shared with caregivers, design-ers, family members and engaged people and conference attendees, including those who are “simply curious.” Finally, it is im-portant to remember that peoples’ capa-bilities and needs change over time and their support strategies need to be adapt-ed accordingly. Caregivers too need time for themselves, and our society needs to realize that we all experience situations of confusion even without any illness being diagnosed: we all need empathy and re-spect in precarious situations.

EXHIBITION DEMENTIA ARTS SOCIETY

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Politics of Fear Collective

Politics of Fear consists of a series of interventions in public spaces. The project is an explorative artistic research-based survey, that visualizes and negotiates current fears and concerns of people, and tries to collectively overcome them by creating interactions, links and common ground, as well as by listening as political a(rt)ction, listening as artistic research (LAR).

PoF collective approaches people of the city with actions in public to discuss and collect fears not without humor and with the help of various materials, that work as vehicles of communication. Emotions, outspoken, objectified or written down, are becoming part of an exhibition, a base for discussion and can then be negotiated, contextualized and mediated to explore different strategies of fear deconstruction to avoid their exploitation.

In a further participatory process with passersby, the project aims to create social spaces that stimulate interpersonal interactions, facilitating the deconstruction of fears through the emergence of new points of contact and through exchange.

The seminar Politics of Fear was initiated by Ruth Mateus-Berr. In succession a collective was founded.

socialdesign.ac.at/politics-of-fear/

pofcollective@uni-ak.ac.at

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Personal Curator

is a technical solution for customized art and culture education for groups of students from schools, young and elderly visitors and people with special needs in museums & fluxguide (Kasra & Andre Serafi, Luise Reitstätter)
(Projectresearch)

2015

Clean tech startups / smart energies (Seminar)

Cooperation with the University of Economy and Business Vienna, Institute for strategic management.
Wolfgang Sachsenhofer, design. PHD
Mag. Albrecht Karlusch
Dr. Nina Hampl

Science Center Activities in context of medicine

Science Center Netzwerk

Silence – Design of two meditation/learning/praying rooms

for students & Prof. Anton Falkeis
for Akademikerhilfe Studentenunterstützungsverein Vienna & Archdiocese Vienna
(Projectresearch)

St. Anna Children's Hospital

collaborator of University of Vienna
Institute for Scientific Computing, Theory and Practice of Subject Didactics; Univ.-Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Helmut Hlavacs, Head of Research Group; Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Karin Anna Hummel and
science Dept. stem cell transplant of St. Anna Children's hospital:
Dr. Anita Lawitschka, Dr. Barbara Brunnmair; T-Systems
(Projectresearch)

2014

Ludwig Boltzmann Institut for Human Rights
Dr. Patricia Hladschik
(Projectresearch)

St. Anna Children's Hospital

collaborator of University of Vienna
Institute for Scientific Computing, Theory and Practice of Subject Didactics; Univ.-Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Helmut Hlavacs, Head of Research Group; Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Karin Anna Hummel and
science Dept. stem cell transplant of St. Anna Children's hospital:
Dr. Anita Lawitschka, Dr. Barbara Brunnmair; T-Systems
(Projectresearch)

Visuality & Mathematics:
Experiential Education of Mathematics through Visual Arts

Sciences and Playful Activities & Universities in Finnland, Hungary, Serbia and Belgium
collaborator (EU-Tempus: http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/tempus/index_en.php)
(Projectresearch)

Art Lector is a transmedial technical solution for customized art

and culture education for groups of students from schools, young and elderly visitors and people with special needs in museums & fluxguide
(ZIT: Technology Agency of the City of Vienna).
Michaela Götsch, Fares Kayali, Kasra & Andre Serafi, Tomáš Mikeska
(Projectresearch)

2013

Slowenia, Schoolnetwork

Mag.a. Maria Dörfler, Mag.a. Gerda Sengstbratl, Mag.a. Florian Mayer

CAUCULT

Cultural Key Personel from Aserbaidshan, Armenia, Georgia
Tatia Skhirtladze
(Project, Armenia)

St. Anna Children's Hospital

collaborator of University of Vienna
Institute for Scientific Computing, Theory and Practice of Subject Didactics; Univ.-Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Helmut Hlavacs, Head of Research Group; Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Karin Anna Hummel and
science Dept. stem cell transplant of St. Anna Children's hospital:
Dr. Anita Lawitschka, Dr. Barbara Brunnmair; T-Systems
(Projectresearch)

Visuality & Mathematics: Experiential Education of Mathematics through Visual Arts

Sciences and Playful Activities & Universities in Finnland, Hungary, Serbia and Belgium
collaborator (EU-Tempus: http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/tempus/index_en.php)
(Projectresearch)

Art Lector is a transmedial technical solution for customized art

and culture education for groups of students from schools, young and elderly visitors and people with special needs in museums & fluxguide
(ZIT: Technology Agency of the City of Vienna).
Michaela Götsch, Fares Kayali, Kasra & Andre Serafi, Tomáš Mikeska
(Projectresearch)