Elisabeth Weissensteiner's path into arts started by studying German language and art history at the University of Vienna. She obtained her PhD on a topic in literature under Wendelin Schmidt-Dengler in 1983. These intellectual roots are still characteristic for her approach to art: a subtle investigation of sense, of the space in-between is present in all her art work. Also a curiosity and a desire to explore is driving her, being suspicious towards default paths. Her art is often leaving us uncomfortable, being ourselves questioned in our certainties.
Elisabeth worked as an artist since her PhD. She soon became member of the Künstlerhaus, Vienna's oldest artist society, obtained a work study grant of the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts (Maine, USA, 1988), and is also a trained graphic designer (WiFi Designzentrum Pöchlarn (TAFE), Austria, 1995). Elisabeth has exhibited and studied in many countries (USA, China, France, Denmark, Germany, Hungary). Her work is represented in federal, state and regional public collections. She maintains links to academia as visiting lecturer and reviewer (Akademie der Künste, Vienna; RMIT University, Melbourne) and in projects linking science and arts (The University of Melbourne; University of Bremen).
Art-Science-Collaboration: Art as Metaphor of the Mind
The interactive computer installation Wolkenkuckucksheim (WKH) is a permanent part of the working environment of the Cognitive Systems Group (CoSy) at the University of Bremen, Germany. It was developed and built by the artist in collaboration with resident scientists Prof Christian Freksa and Falko Schmid. The artist Elisabeth Weissensteiner is interested in the syntax of space and the semantics of materials, whereas the scientists at CoSy research cognitive implications of ubiquitous computing. The artist employed interactive technology and theory of cognition as resource for ironic and playful metaphor. Additionally narrative theory as in reader response criticism combined with empiricist structuralism served as analytical tool kit. However, as an unexpected outcome the art work itself turned into an object of scientific inquiry as it presented slowness as driving force for generating mental images