EU H2020 Project: ARTIS 

EU H2020 Project ARTIS & BUA Grand Challenges

Principal Investigator at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Dr. Joerg Fingerhut
Berlin School of Mind and Brain, HU Berlin

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Postal address:

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Berlin School of Mind and Brain
Dr. Joerg Fingerhut
10099 Berlin

Contact and visiting address:

Luisenstraße 56, 10117 Berlin, Rooms 215/216 (1st floor), 308 (2nd floor)

E-mail:, Web: Fingerhut group website


  • EU Horizon 2020 Consortium Project: ARTIS (see also below); Collaboration with the University of Vienna (speaker of the consortium), University of Oxford, Aarhus University, University of Amsterdam, etc.
  • BUA Knowledge Exchange Project “Emotional City,” project leader: Mazda Adli (Charité) and Joerg Fingerhut (HU Berlin)
  • Interdisciplinary Forum Neurourbanism: Berlin based civil society (chairman)
  • Member of the Research Group AETNA (Aesthetic Education through Narrative Art and its Relevance for the Humanities)
  • AoN_Association of Neuroesthetics: A Platform for Art and Neuroscience: Berlin based civil society (scientific director)

Read more aout these projects on Fingerhut group website (external link)


ARTIS (Art and Research on Transformations of Individuals and Societies) is a EU Horizon 2020-funded project under the call “Societal Transformations and the Arts.” We represent a first-of-its-kind consortium of research institutions in the cognitive sciences, social sciences, philosophy, art education, and art and cultural policy. The Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Fingerhut group @ Berlin School of Mind and Brain, is the second largest member of the consortium and will receive 659,750 € in funding. The project will run through July, 2024. The consortium consists of:

•    University of Vienna, Faculty of Psychology (Consortium Leader)
•    Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin School of Mind and Brain
•    University of Amsterdam, Faculty of Psychology
•    Aarhus University, Interactive Minds Center
•    Weißensee Kunsthochschule Berlin
•    University of Arts in Belgrade, Faculty of Dramatic Arts
•    University of Oxford, Ruskin School of Arts
•    Royal Holloway/University of London, Warburg Institute
•    Interdisciplinary Forum Neurourbanism

EU website:
Project website:

Current projects

Work Package Leader H2020: 4EA Theory of the Arts, HU Berlin
Work Package Leader H2020: Art Experiences in Urban Spaces, HU Berlin
Scientific Director, Association of Neuroesthetics, Berlin

1. Developing a 4EA theory of the arts

The main aim of the Berlin School of Mind and Brain part of the project is to make connections between the empirical findings of the ARTIS-project and the understanding of our engagement with the arts in the cognitive sciences, on the one side, and the understanding of the arts in the humanities, cultural studies and art theory. It will therefore run in tandem with the empirical assessments of perceivers’ and artists’ experiences in the more empirical work packages. The underlying theoretical commitment will be to an embodied, embedded, extended, enactive and affective (4EA) understanding of the cognitive sciences that will connect more internalistic views on the mind to the body and its cultural environment. Especially the enactive understanding of the mind will be employed towards a more encompassing theory of the role of the arts for individuals and society as a whole.

Main objectives:

  • Unite the implications of transformation at the empirical/cognitive level to wider understanding of individual and social/cultural identity (in collaboration with FU Berlin, Prof. Bertram).
  • Develop and publish papers/a monograph on an ‘enactive’ theory of art that identifies and integrates central findings and discussions of the consortium and relates them to theoretical and normative claims in the humanities.
  • Actively work to avoid reductionist tendencies in interpreting the empirical data by considering the application and limitations of experimental designs, methods, and interpretation of data.

2. Capture art experiences in urban spaces

The Berlin School of Mind and Brain will participate in the empirical assessment of art experiences. It will collaborate on experiments in leading art museums (University of Vienna) and of art in everyday life (Aarhus University) and lead research on contemporary art experiences in urban settings. A series of studies will be conducted in Berlin regarding art in urban spaces focusing on residents of the local areas and considering their everyday interaction with the art.

Main objectives:

  • Create a map of emotional/cognitive factors in art experience with urban artworks and identification of specific experience types, linked to the measures of lasting change at the level of health, outlook, prosocial attitudes, physiology.
  • Provide point of comparison/contrast to institutional art: Are the experiences had in the urban environment as well as their lasting impacts and incidences of transformation similar to those found in museums? What are the overlaps and differences?
  • Apply interview, micro-phenomenology, and experience sampling to also track how encountering art pieces spontaneously might modulate everyday life routines or activities. Also take a more expansive view of art’s typical definition to consider other design, architecture, or urban monuments, and explore their ability to act as points of general disruption or modulation throughout daily/working life.
  • Consider marginalized and disengaged community members and record personality/background, taste, identity data on all participants to identify key context factors or barriers/alternative modes of encountering/responding to art.

3. General aim of ARTIS

ARTIS is a first-of-its-kind collaboration to theoretically explore, empirically capture, and co-create individual and societal change via the transformative power of art. We aim to build a systematic program that combines empirical and theoretical research with perspectives of artists, art educators, and other art stakeholders.

Main objectives:

  • First, we will integrate state-of-the-art empirical approaches from psychology, neuroscience, and phenomenology to conduct a series of investigations that identify specific types of experiences with art. We will connect these to changes at individual (neurocognitive, emotional, health) and societal (prosocial and political attitudes) levels. We will capture these experiences in leading museums and urban centers across Europe and in individuals’ home and working contexts.
  • Second, ARTIS will continuously contextualize and challenge the empirical data using theoretical approaches from philosophy as well as political science and art criticism.
  • Third, we will combine this empirical and theoretical focus with a series of interventions, workshops, and experimentations that will be developed in tandem with art schools, artists, and galleries that focus on generating new thinking, engagement, and action with regard to societal challenges.
  • Fourth, ARTIS will translate the insights gained by our comprehensive methods and co-creations with artists into policy guidelines that will be disseminated by key stakeholders in art and culture. Throughout the project, we will consider both mainstream as well as marginalized and disengaged individuals. ARTIS will therefore address the need to capture, assess, and harness the societal impact of the arts by providing novel methodological tools, and building bridges among scientists, artists, and policy-makers.


This page last updated on: 25 March 2024