Leo’s Lions: An Art-Science Project

  • Bruno Kissling
  • Esther Quarroz


A social art sculpture created by artists in Bern, Switzerland, in complex adaptive interaction by Zoom® with scientists at the Systems and Complexity Science Conference in Billings, MT, gives interesting insights how inner pictures influence our understanding of the body, disease and illness and health and well-being. And it shows how cognitive and visual aesthetic approaches lead to mutually understandable results.

Each human being is an individual and forms a complex adaptive system interacting with other individual, familial, social, professional, cultural, institutional and political agents.

The sum of experiences—made by such interactions—embodies unique stories, imaginations and mental pictures. These inner pictures play a key role for the dynamic maintenance of personal health, the development of each individual’s illness journey and recovery process. They must match with neither the picture of ongoing medical knowledge about anatomy and physiology nor the physician’s own inner pictures.

Revealing this inner world by communication doctor and patient get enabled to construct a common reality which allows an individual health-promoting process to emerge.

As both artists and therapists, we wanted to explore this complex phenomenon. For this we created a social art sculpture in Bern, Switzerland, in virtual interaction by Zoom® with scientists at the Systems and Complexity Science Conference in Billings, MT.

We both, artists and scientists, experienced that the visual aesthetic art and cognitive scientific approach support one another to understand how unforeseeable outcomes emerge from complex adaptive interaction.



We very much appreciate and are grateful for the courage of the organizing committee, namely, Joachim Sturmberg and Curt Lindbergh, to provide space on the conference programme for this improvised art-science project and its unpredictable outcome. Neither side could be sure that this cooperation would work properly or could create appreciable results.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Elfenau PraxisBernSwitzerland
  2. 2.Perspectiven EntwickelnBernSwitzerland

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