Research Forum@EDHEA

An exchange between EDHEA and HSLU

Learning from others is essential in developing a research practice, as is building a community and nurturing dialogue. Research Forum@EDHEA aims to initiate exchange and foster synergies between researchers, students, and staff members. It is organised by Jelena Martinovic (Head of Institute in Fine Arts, EDHEA) and Pablo Müller (Head of Research Affairs at Lucerne School of Art & Design HSLU) as a first step of cooperation between the two institutions. Six project leaders will share their ideas, work in progress, and methods of interdisciplinary cooperation to engage in a conversation about creative research results.

Information and registration

November 8, 2023
EDHEA (Route de la Bonne-Eau 16, Sierre)


13h00 Welcome Jelena Martinovic & Pablo Müller
13h15 HSLU Samuel Frei (online) (Besucherlenkung und nachhaltige Erlebnisvermittlung in sensiblen Naturschutzzonen - Data Visualisation and Narration)
13h45 EDHEA Anja Martinez (Making Invisible Power Visible: project AR Sorcières)
14h15 HSLU Isabella Pasqualini (Alpine Ecosystem’s Memory)
15h15 EDHEA Andrea Bagnato (Haunted Images: project Medical Borders)
15h45 HLSU Maia Gusberti (The Image as Relational Space)
16h15 EDHEA Petra Köhle (At Your Earliest Convenience: project EPOD)
16h45 Closing
17h30 Apero


Andrea Bagnato is concerned with the nexus of architecture, public health and political ecology. He is the author of the book Terra Infecta (Mack Books, 2024) and co-author of A Moving Border: Alpine Cartographies of Climate Change (Columbia/ZKM, 2019) and Rights of Future Generations (Hatje Cantz, 2021). With Ivan Lopez Munuera, he curated the public program and exhibition Vulnerable Beings at Maat, Lisbon, and La Casa Encendida, Madrid.

Medical Borders: Haunting Images
This intervention outlines the curatorial approach to the Medical Borders project, which starts from the medical files prepared during border checks on migrant workers, held by the Archives de l’Etat du Valais. Through individual and collective interventions that are not bound to any single discipline, the project problematizes the logic of medical objectivity by showing its proximity to state power. The circulation of archival images and the architecture of border controls become the basis to frame the history of saisonnier workers in novel ways.

Samuel Frei is a design researcher at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. He initiates and leads research projects and implements them with partners from the field. He teaches on topics of visual communication and storytelling, questions design knowledge and explores creative processes at analog and digital interfaces. Since 2020 he leads the module "Data Visualisation and Narration" within the Master in Applied Information and Data Science. He can sometimes be found in Dublin, where he is working on his PhD at the SMARTLab at University College Dublin.
Throughout his academic education and later professional career, Samuel worked as a freelance exhibition designer and scientific illustrator in the conservation and education sector.

Sustainable experience communication and visitor management in sensitive nature conservation areas
The Rhine Gorge in the Grisons is a highly sought-after tourist destination that also sees frequent visits from the local population. Being an already well-established and popular recreational area, it holds the potential for continued economic use through tourism (creation of touristic value). However, it also carries the risk of conflicts, as the influx of visitors often encroaches on and overlaps with delicate nature conservation areas, resulting in significant disruptions to the sensitive wildlife and plant life.
Through collaboration with partners in the tourism industry, nature conservation, and experience service providers, the research project aims to:

  • Serve as an exemplar for a comprehensive visitor management plan tailored to sensitive nature conservation zones.
  • Utilize a case study to develop and test potential strategies for guiding visitors and facilitating their experiences at a heavily frequented excursion spot. This approach aims to mitigate the existing potential for conflict.

Maia Gusberti studied Visual Media Arts at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, and Critical Images at the Royal Institute of Arts in Stockholm. She is a PhD Candidate at Lucerne School of Art and Design (HSLU) and LUCA School of Arts/KU Leuven. Her practice includes curatorial projects i.e. the film programme series Komplexe Bilder (Complex Images) at Cinema REX in Bern and the exhibition project Choreography of the frame at Kunsthalle Exnergasse in Vienna. She is an artistic research assistant at the Lucerne School of Art and Design (HSLU).

The image as relational space – unfolding agency through photofilmic and performative re-imaginations (Abstract PhD Research )
Our worldview is increasingly formed through visual media depicting and framing global crises as well as everyday life. Fleeting images on screens, filtered live feeds and virtual realities take over the experience of the/our world. In the face of these developments, visual literacy becomes a necessity to orient ourselves, stay in touch with reality and develop new forms of framing, imagining and storytelling. The photofilmic strategies Maia Gusberti develops and observes suggest that the knowledge and thinking about images can be fostered through images themselves. In her artistic practice, she explores how the agency upon (lens-based) images can literally be taken into our hands. Images are approached as complex relational spaces, unfolding across multiple framings involving the viewer. By transforming, staging, and contextualizing these images, she suggests that a performative, physical handling allows for possibilities of learning with and from images. In her research, she aims to further develop these strategies as tools to strengthen critical image practices and encourage an emancipated gaze. Through discursive and curatorial collaborations with researchers, artists, and audiences, she intends to exchange and share specific artistic strategies that complement theoretical discourse, increase our agency, and allow us to reimagine and redefine our position in relation to images.

Petra Köhle has studied photography, theory and fine art at the Zurich University of the Arts and at Central Saint Martins University of the Arts, London. She has been collaborating with Nicolas Vermot-Petit-Outhenin since 2003. Köhle/Vermot's latest works and researches are investigating how technologies and more specifically the medium of photography relates to the process of archiving and how its mechanisms of selection imposes certain rules. Their work was shown at Aargauer Kunsthaus in Aarau, Palais de Tokyo in Paris, Museum of Modern Art Frankfurt, Kunsthaus Glarus, Shedhalle Zurich and at the Sinop Biennial in Turkey. They made presentations and performances at Kunsthalle Baselland, Piano Nobile in Geneva and during Printed Matter at PS1 in New York. Köhle/Vermot have published several artist books in the edition fink such as There where I should have been yesterday. I am here today (2010), Pour les Oiseaux (2005) and Frankfurter Auszug (2012).

At Your Earliest Convenience
The interior of the Palais des Nations in Geneva, today the European headquarters of the UN, is a stage-like amalgam of gifts from its member states and reflects aesthetic concepts of international politics since the 1930s. Many gifts are still in sight and bear witness to these historical national representations. Others were stored, displaced or just disappeared in the aftermath of historical unrest. Their absence points at inherent power structures and whispers stories of changing political concepts and aesthetics.
The publication At Your Earliest Convenience photographically scans the conference halls, corridors, offices, archives, and the surrounding park of the Palais des Nations and brings together textual contributions that follow traces that also refer to the absent and create an echo for fleeting presences and the possibility of a gift without conditions.

Anja Martínez studied art history, general history and Spanish literature in Fribourg (Switzerland) and Murcia (Spain). Since 2016, she lectures at the HES-SO in the Tourism program. Her research focuses on the question of how art can raise awareness of historical issues.

Making invisible power visible
In the 15th century, the Valais was the scene of the first systematic persecution of sorcerers and witches in Europe. An interdisciplinary team of the Institutes Art, Tourism and Informatics of the HES-SO is currently developing three interactive portals in augmented reality, geographically and thematically linked to the history of the early witch trials. What kind of power led to the persecutions? Which power could be held against it?

Isabella Pasqualini is an architect with a PhD in architecture and cognitive neuroscience. In her works, she investigates the mutual and intimate relationship between body and space using immersive and interactive multimedia with a specific focus on the multisensory enhancement of the user’s horizon. For her post-doc project Visual Touches – Touching Views at the Bertarelli Center of Neuroprosthetics (EPFL), she obtained a prestigious fellowship grant from the Cogito Foundation (2013).
Isa founded her independent design and research studio in 2004. As a designer, neuroscientist, and artist, she won several competition prizes and exhibited her work at Swiss and international venues.
Currently a scientist at the Léa-V at Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Versailles (Ensa-V) and a senior scientist at the CC Visual Narrative of Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU), Isa is a lecturer at the first Master for Neuroscience Applied to Architectural Design (NAAD) at the IUAV University of Venice.
Isabella is a designer, scientific author and works as a reviewer, editor, and advisor. She has an expert mandate for Innosuisse, the Swiss Federal Innovation Agency. In the industry, she is a consultant in human-centered design and spatial computing.

Alpine Ecosystems’ Memory
This proposal wants to build (and then track and use) a repository of existing and newly created digital multidimensional representations produced and accessed by public and private stakeholders which might act both as the Alpine Ecosystems Memory (we’ll consider every single artefact as a spime, a virtual object that might be tracked in its evolution in space and time) engendering infrastructural and virtual links between a single artefact, an urban/remote area, a natural landmark. The network of trusted entities and institutions contributing to the repository’s production will support trustability, participation, empowerment, useability, inclusion, and democratisation processes. Leveraged by digital transformation, these distributed systems will be provided also with affordable tools (e.g. based on tangible interaction) that support monitoring, tracking, visualising, interacting and planning with the relevant ecosystemic factors supporting governance, local identity, economy and the environment. As a public infrastructure, the Alpine Ecosystems Memory supports the collective interests of the Alpine region and beyond, empowering remote communities and providing trusted sources of information and building opportunities for autonomous exchange and development.