Past Event details

Still divided cultures? Researching the practice interactions of art and science

Friday, 09 May 2014

This Academic Practice Network Event is intended to foster new research directions as much as it is also to convey research findings in practice for art and science interactions. This workshop gathers issues of embodiment and the feminist turn in contemporary science studies, epistemology and critical theory, digital and material culture and the uses of art in understanding science (or vice versa), particularly in art and science teaching settings.
Our explorations and discussion will offer a range of insights into ways and means of drawing interactions between art and science into the arena of academic practice.

"Phatus: an interdisciplinary art/science research and development project or falling between the cracks and loving it"

Simon Penny, Professor of Studio Art, Claire Trevor School of the Arts, UC Irvine. 
Simon Penny is an Australian practitioner in the fields of Digital Cultural Practices, Embodied Interaction and Interactive Art. Over the last twenty-five years, Simon has made interactive and robotic installations which address critical issues arising at the intersect of culture and technology. Informed by traditions of practice in the arts including sculpture, video-art, installation and performance; and by theoretical research in enactive and embodied cognition, ethology, human-computer interaction, ubiquitous computing, robotics, critical theory and cultural/media studies, he designs and builds artworks utilising custom sensor and effector technologies. He built the autonomous robotic artwork Petit Mal in the early 1990s. Since then his machine vision digital video work and interactive immersion projects have received international attention for the direct way in which they challenge common experiences of art in science (and vice versa), but also for the ways in which the underpinning scholarship of such initiatives combines new critical analysis with performance. In this paper, Simon will explore the turning points of art science interaction and offer insights into new research design which problematise contemporary questions of art-science interactions and more generally, the teaching of the arts and sciences.
Drawing the noise and the signal: using art to understand the productivity of science.
Daksha Patel, Suite Studio Group, Manchester 
Daksha’s practice as an artist and researcher responds to digital systems that scan and map the human body and its interaction with the environment. Her talk will reflect upon the materials and processes she uses to engage with the images produced by medical visualization technologies, and explore how the artist's drawing may offer new insights into the visualisation of scientific knowledge. She is particularly interested in concepts of 'noise' and 'signal' in bio data, and will outline an experimental project that responds to live signals from biosensors through the process of drawing.

The expertise of visualisation in three dimensional computer graphics.

Andrew Paquette
King's College, London and NHTV International Hoger Onderwijs, Breda 
Hybrid methods of researching messy issues of artisanal science
Kevin  Pijpers, University  of Leicester 
Kevin will explore the ‘new-found’ messiness arising from within feminist critiques of Science & Technology Studies drawing particular attention to a re-appropriation of scientific objectivity as embodied and situated where the craftship of scientific knowledge is prioritised. His critical analysis will focus on new methods of investigating the relationship between science and our affective and embodied realities. He will explore how in re-injecting the body into the crafting of scientific knowledge, we require new approaches which do justice to a messy, entangled and affective/affectual materiality. Kevin will suggest that such an approach might be found in a hybrid combination of several existing methods: Actor-Network Theory, Dumit’s (2012) implosions method and experimental ethnography.
What divides us? Systems of seeing and cultures of difference
Richard Wingate, MRC Centre for Neurobiology, Kings College London. 
Richard has been engaged in projects at the interface of neuroscience and art for the last ten years, including acting as scientific advisor for the hugely successful exhibition “Brains: mind as matter” at the Wellcome Collection. He has been a long serving Arts funding committee member for the Wellcome Trust from the days of “SciArt” prizes to the inauguration of the new, multi-million pound, interdisciplinary “Hub” on Euston Road. Richard will present a view that science sees the world in a highly specific manner that instinctively segments it into the real and the artefactual, the contested boundary between which lies at the centre of major paradigm shifts such as the discovery of the brain cell itself. Through confronting difference (rather than engineering convergence), Art can enable Science to reflect on its own prejudices and practices in new and productive ways. However, while such interactions are valued and encouraged by grant funders, almost as an article of faith, core suspicions about their importance remain. Early career scientists in particular have to manage stark choices between engagement, the desire to broaden their research horizons and perceived productivity and commitment.
Making things together: and artist’s and educator’s perspective of communication in art-science
Nathan Cohen, Course Leader of the MA in Art and Science, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts 
As an artist Nathan's interdisciplinary research in art and science embraces neurobiology, optics and digital technologies which has resulted in interactive art installations exhibited internationally. In collaboration with scientists in Japan and the UK he has been creating artworks that challenge spatial perception, looking for new ways to develop and extend our understanding of what we see and how we interact with our environment.­
In addition to his work as an artist he established and Directs the first MA Art and Science course at CSM in 2011, about which he says 'Over the years I have found that there is a deep interest in exploring areas of creative and intellectual enquiry that do not necessarily fit into single subject areas and encourages the investigation of ideas that may be shared across disciplines. By creating an environment that encourages this we can be most inquisitive and allow ourselves the opportunity to challenge preconceptions as we discover new connections and evolve different strategies for advancing research and creative practice. Which is why the MA Art and Science engages with scientists, artists, designers and researchers from a broad spectrum.'​

Network: Academic Practice
Date: Friday, 09 May 2014
Times: 11.00 -16.00
Location: SRHE, 73 Collier St, London N1 9BE
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Event Files
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Drawing the noise and the signal
Drawing the noise and the signal: using art to understand the productivity of science. Daksha Patel, Suite Studio Group, Manchester
Making things together
Making things together: an artist’s and educator’s perspective of communication in art-science Nathan Cohen, Course Leader of the MA in Art and Science, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts
Finding a way
Nathan Cohen, Course Leader of the MA in Art and Science, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts
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