Monday, June 20, 2016

[Yasmin_discussions] your moderator this week

Yasminers
This is roger malina your yasmin moderator this week
And handing over to monica bello at CERN next week,
I am in Marseille this week - in a france that is very turbulent.
Our Yasmin discussion seems to have gone quiet-if anyone
Has a topic or issue we could discuss -contact me !!

Roger malina
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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

[Yasmin_discussions] Mercado Central Exchange; Rupert Cox insights and advice to young art science professionals

Colleagues

Our discussion on the YASMIN list, providing insights and advice to
young professionals seeking to pursue art science careers has an
interesting new submission by Rupert Cox

YASMIN discussion; RUPERT COX

I am an anthropologist at the University of Manchester (Granada Centre
for Visual Anthropology) who uses Art-Science methods to investigate
and represent the effects of noise exposure on human health and
habitus and have conducted fieldwork around US military bases on
Okinawa since 2007. I am writing to you in advance of a visit to
Dallas this August.

Details of my research are at
http://www.manchester.ac.uk/research/rupert.cox/research but I am
essentially an anthropologist of sound who has worked in a series of
collaborations with a Japanese acoustic scientist
(http://www.ejust.edu.eg/main/news/prof-kozo-hiramatsu-was-assigned-as-the-advisor)

and a sound artist from University of the Arts in London
(http://www.crisap.org/people/angus-carlyle/) to create forms of
public engagement.

An example of this is the following project -

http://www.socialsciences.manchester.ac.uk/research/research-impact/art-exhibition-drives-debate/
http://airpressureblog.com
https://vimeo.com/30539007

1- What is your background as a scientist? In the arts, design or humanities ?

My background is as a social scientist first, being trained and
employed as an anthropologist (at the University of Edinburgh), and as
a media arts practitioner second (co-founding a film company
nativevoicefilms.com). My specialist field is visual anthropology,
which has a history of applying techniques of visualization to
understand cultural difference and human perception. A critical regard
for the scientism embedded in these techniques and a concern for the
ethics and politics of representing others are what characterizes my
anthropological approach which was developed through work as an
archivist for the Royal Anthropology Institute and then as a lecturer
in anthropology at the University of Manchester.

2- When and how did you become involved in a hybrid art/science practice?

My research has always been based in Japan and since 2007 has focused
on the political ecology of toxicants produced by the US bases in
Okinawa, Japan concentrating on the negative effects of military
aircraft noise on health and habitus. This work began through a chance
meeting with a Japanese acoustic scientist Professor Hiramatsu from
Kyoto University who had led a long term epidemiological study into
the problem of sound pollution around airbases in Okinawa. Our
collaboration was based on an interest in addressing the public
understanding of the acoustic science formula and measuring mechanisms
being applied in Okinawa and accounting for the experiences of
individuals which lay outside the parameters of acoustic science. The
forms for representing this work were developed through another chance
meeting with a sound artist, Professor Angus Carlyle from the
University of the Arts, London, leading to a combined
art-science-social science practice. This practice-led research
approach lay behind successful bids to the Japan Society for the
Promotion of Science, British Academy, Wellcome Trust and Toyota
Foundation and a variety of international exhibitions of our work.

3- What have been the major obstacles to overcome?

The major obstacles have been the absence of institutional recognition
for this kind of collaboration which crosses disciplinary boundaries
and falls outside the essential Higher Education measuring mechanisms
for evaluating research in terms of its metrical contribution to a
disciplinary norm. Also, the grants which provide proper funding for
artistic production rarely offer overhead costs and replacement
salaries so they are not highly valued by the institution. Given the
absence of 'buy-out' time these projects must happen in the time left
over from other academic duties, during vacation periods.

4- What have been the greatest opportunities/breakthroughs?

The greatest break though was offered through the introduction of a
new criteria for evaluating research in UK HE, called 'impact'. This
criteria was designed to show the public relevance of academic
research by developing a narrative that linked original research ideas
with policy discussions and initiatives. Uncertainty about what kinds
of projects this might involve and what constituted evidence of impact
provided an opportunity for our hybrid practice to achieve some
institutional purchase and 'research power'.

The rubric of 'impact allowed us to show the academic merit of an art
exhibition project supported by the Wellcome Trust that was based on
acoustic science and brought to bear an anthropological perspective on
the lived experience of locals living near – and even within – two
Japanese airports. In combining anthropological research with art
practice, the exhibition was seen to support progress in noise
negotiations and improved understanding about the negative health
impacts caused by constant exposure to unwanted sound. In the terms of
'impact' the measurable benefits of the exhibition included:

• A raised awareness among key stakeholders including an airport
mayor, anti-airport protestors and local farmers.

• An enhanced public appreciation of the effects of aircraft noise.
This was assisted by positive coverage in several newspapers,
including the Mainichi Shimbun (3.45 million daily readers).

• The exhibition serving as a mechanism for addressing, and ultimately
breaching, a long-standing impasse in noise negotiations.

More information is at:

http://www.socialsciences.manchester.ac.uk/social-anthropology/research/impact/exhibition-drives-debate-on-aircraft-noise/

5- What would you do differently, knowing then what you know now ?

I would establish criteria such as 'impact' through which to frame the
hybrid practice as a project that the institution recognizes and can
offer support for. I would also take full advantage of the credit
accruing from jointly authored works which may be normative in science
but less so in social science or humanities. Planning a series of
targeted outcomes that takes advantage of the specialisms of the
individuals in the collaboration but which all members of the team
share the benefits of is an effective way of showing how an 'art
project' can be productive.

6- Any advices to someone who may want to walk in your footstep?

Take pleasure in the work and the process of making the work for its
own sake as much as for the potential academic value recognized by HE
institutions because the institutional process of evaluating its merit
is unreliable. The art-science-social science project described above
was described as 'unclassifiable' in internal reviews but as the
official feedback from the national research panel evaluating its
impact said: "The case study on Aircraft Noise was judged to be
outstanding" and was awarded the highest rating

7. Add other questions and your responses you think are relevant.

None.

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Sunday, June 5, 2016

[Yasmin_discussions] The MacArthur Foundation Global Challenge

Dear Colleagues,

This article from the New York Times announces a $100,000,000 grant to be awarded to a proposal that identifies and offers a useful solution to a global problem. The MacArthur Foundation is making the award.

http://nyti.ms/1TLS0ff <http://nyti.ms/1TLS0ff>

If your work has global implications — or if you have identified a global problem on which you and your colleagues might work — you might want to consider this.

https://www.macfound.org/press/press-releases/new-macarthur-competition-award-100-million-help-solve-critical-social-problem/ <https://www.macfound.org/press/press-releases/new-macarthur-competition-award-100-million-help-solve-critical-social-problem/>

This challenge offers an important opportunity that might be worth considering from the art/science perspective. There are many issues to address, including social innovation, transportation, reducing terrorism, addressing epidemics and drug-resistant bacteria, expanding access to education, increasing the sustainability of urban environments while increasing quality of life, shifting from fossil fuels to renewables while supplying energy needs, and many more issues that I have heard artists, designers, and scientists discussing in the past few years.

This challenge will provide one hundred million dollars to further the work of a group with a winning proposal. This can be awarded to a single group, to a partnership of several groups, to a coalition of profit-making and not-for-profit organizations or to a multi-university research alliance. The challenge is to identify a global problem, describe a likely solution, and show how this solution can be rendered actionable.

Yours,

Ken

Ken Friedman, PhD, DSc (hc), FDRS | Editor-in-Chief | 设计 She Ji. The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation | Published by Tongji University in Cooperation with Elsevier | URL: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/she-ji-the-journal-of-design-economics-and-innovation/ <http://www.journals.elsevier.com/she-ji-the-journal-of-design-economics-and-innovation/>

Chair Professor of Design Innovation Studies | College of Design and Innovation | Tongji University | Shanghai, China ||| University Distinguished Professor | Centre for Design Innovation | Swinburne University of Technology | Melbourne, Australia

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Friday, June 3, 2016

[Yasmin_discussions] Two days left for downloads

Dear Yasminers,

For the recent conversation, I posted an article, two book chapters, and two books to the "teaching documents" section of Academia at URL:

https://swinburne.academia.edu/KenFriedman

These are:

Bengt af Klintberg's article on "Fluxus Games and Contemporary Folklore," a discussion of events and performance art as non-individual community practice,

The Cursive Scandinavian Slave, a collection of af Klintberg's own event scores, originally published in 1967 by Dick Higgins and the legendary Something Else Press, now reprinted by UbuWeb as an Ubu Classic,

John Stachel's marvelous 1998 collection of Albert Einstein's great papers of 1905 in the book Einstein's Miraculous Year,

Jeremy Bernstein's marvelous essay, "How Can We Be Sure that Albert Einstein Was Not a Crank,"

and

Herbert Blumer's "Methodological Perspective of Symbolic Interactionism."

These items will be taken down Sunday at 1:00 am Central European Time. If you'd like to download these, please do so today or tomorrow from

Yours,

Ken Friedman

Ken Friedman, PhD, DSc (hc), FDRS | Editor-in-Chief | 设计 She Ji. The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation | Published by Tongji University in Cooperation with Elsevier | URL: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/she-ji-the-journal-of-design-economics-and-innovation/

Chair Professor of Design Innovation Studies | College of Design and Innovation | Tongji University | Shanghai, China ||| University Distinguished Professor | Centre for Design Innovation | Swinburne University of Technology | Melbourne, Australia

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Thursday, June 2, 2016

Re: [Yasmin_discussions] Mercado Central Exchange: yearning for a new art criticism ?

Thanks for your thoughts Joanna
I hadn't previously thought of participation as a way that would bring the
audience inside the work in the way you describe.
I mean of course it does, but there are still multiple points of view. Of
course practice-led research provides a platform for the artists' intention
and reflexive, reflective practice. The audience has many other points of
view - the 'author' is 'dead' and particularly with art (more than design
and way more than science) ambiguity opens up the essential characteristic
of multiple readings.
Can we conflate ideas of co-production/co-creation with the audience? I
suppose I was speaking about the audience who experience the work without
having been involved in its production, and there is still frequently one.
I'm still one of those a lot of the time - when I pick up one of Hamish
Fulton's books for instance. Remember he says "the texts are facts for the
walker and fiction for everyone else" (you might want to say fictions
actually).
Thanks
Chris

Chris Fremantle

+44(0)7714203016
http://chris.fremantle.org
http://ecoartscotland.net
skype chris.fremantle
On 1 Jun 2016 09:29, "Malina, Roger" <rxm116130@utdallas.edu> wrote:

From: Joanna Griffin <jomagriff@gmail.com>

Dear all,

To add to the comments of Liliane Lijn and Chris Fremantle, I yearn for the
intellect of Rosalind Krauss and Leo Steinberg to help contextualise what
the activity of artists encountering science as laboratory, as scientist,
as activity, history, dress-sense, soundscapes, cultures, etc.... tells us
about more elusive shifts. What is made more visible? The articles by
Krauss that I now read on microfiche from the 70s and 80s point to how
artistic practices make visible more elusive shifts in conditions in the
world in which we live. It is perhaps that refocus provided by artworks as
catalysts that is missing in commentaries

In thinking (nostalgically) about the absence and role of the art critic,
in 2002 the UK-based curator Claire Doherty wrote very perceptively about
my work and it was incredibly useful for my own professional development,
but in a sense it also modelled interpretation and the intellectual depth
to which artists pitch when making work. I wonder if other artists embarked
on PhDs, like myself, to do the job of articulating context, articulating
the "frame of reference for understanding" that Chris Fremantle mentions is
so valuable, specifically because of the absence otherwise of adequate
written reflection. In particular an absence in the face of the practices
considered in this list, and the need to think carefully about the shifts
that artists have made (not to mention anthropologists) towards the
critical interpretation of aspects of science and technology.

It seems a luxury now to have another person take the time to do such
critical appraisals that provide as Chris Fremantle has written "the way
the artist hears back." At the same time writing by artists takes new
turns. But its also relevant to think about how artists with curators and
art agencies have shifted audience inside their work, and the extent to
which this is a pattern for artists responding to and engaging with
science. I know this was something I did to provide access to an experience
and to bring 'audiences' with me on the journey, so shifting to a more
participative approach. That was one solution, anyhow, and the solutions
keep changing! In terms of this discussion though, I can link the loss of
the reflection of the art critic to a re-structuring of the mechanisms for
reflection by 'persons-formerly-known-as-audience' on and through creative
practice.

best wishes,

Joanna
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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Re: [Yasmin_discussions] Mercado Central Exchange: yearning for a new art criticism ?

Dear Yasminers,

Joanna Griffin's recent post brought up the important issue of context. This is a central challenge for every field, not just art criticism. Friedrich Schleiermacher discussed the importance of context in relation to hermeneutics. His argument was that every interpretive effort — in this case, art criticism — requires at least two steps. First, the interpreter must understand and convey to the reader what the creator of a text (or an art work) meant in the context of its time. Second, the interpreter must create his or her own interpretation.

Hegel discusses the importance of context in his _Introduction to the Lectures on the History of Philosophy_. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1985.) For Hegel, context is a paramount issue of context, of which he writes: "No one can escape from the substance of his time any more than he can jump out of his skin" (p. 112).

Interestingly, a recent op-ed piece in the New York Times discusses this same point in relation to replicating studies in psych0logy.

The New York Times article is titled "Why Do So Many Studies Fail to Replicate?". It discusses the issue of replication. Some of the issues in this article are relevant to understanding or describing art, as well as having significance to art-science experiments. So far, there has been little effort spent in attempting to replicate artistic experiments, but this may not always be the case. To the degree that art-science experiments may have wide significance, then some form of replication should be possible. If this is not the case, then a great deal of art-science would only be some form of artistic commentary about science, rather than achieving some form of genuine hybrid art-science experimentation. For real experiment and attempts to replicate, context is vitally important. (As Joanna wrote, this is also crucial for understanding art.)

Over the past few years, there has been an important project in the field of psychology titled the Reproducibility Project. The article in the New York Times by Dr. Jay Van Bavel of New York University of New York University discusses the issues and challenges of the project — and the challenges of replication in any field that works with human beings rather than natural or physical phenomena. In my view, artistic experimentation is a form of communication, so it inevitably involves human beings rather than the pure study of scientific phenomena.

Here are Van Bavel's first three paragraphs:

—snip—

Last year, a colleague asked me if I would send her the materials needed to try to replicate one of my published papers — that is, to rerun the study to see if its findings held up. "I'm not trying to attack you or anything," she added apologetically.

I laughed. To a scientist, replication is like breathing. Successful replications strengthen findings. Failed replications root out false claims and help refine imprecise ones. Testing and retesting make science what it is.

But I understood why my colleague was being delicate. Around that time, the largest replication project in the history of psychology was underway. This initiative, called the Reproducibility Project, reran 100 studies published in prominent psychology journals.

—snip—

You will find the complete article at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/29/opinion/sunday/why-do-so-many-studies-fail-to-replicate.html

This op-ed piece is based on article by Van Bavel, Peter Mende-Siedlecki, William J. Brady and Diego A. Reinero in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences titled: "Contextual sensitivity in scientific reproducibility."

Here is the abstract:

—snip—

In recent years, scientists have paid increasing attention to reproducibility. For example, the Reproducibility Project, a large-scale replication attempt of 100 studies published in top psychology journals found that only 39% could be unambiguously reproduced. There is a growing consensus among scientists that the lack of reproducibility in psychology and other fields stems from various methodological factors, including low statistical power, researcher's degrees of freedom, and an emphasis on publishing surprising positive results. However, there is a contentious debate about the extent to which failures to reproduce certain results might also reflect contextual differences (often termed "hidden moderators") between the original research and the replication attempt. Although psychologists have found extensive evidence that contextual factors alter behavior, some have argued that context is unlikely to influence the results of direct replications precisely because these studies use the same methods as those used in the original research. To help resolve this debate, we recoded the 100 original studies from the Reproducibility Project on the extent to which the research topic of each study was contextually sensitive. Results suggested that the contextual sensitivity of the research topic was associated with replication success, even after statistically adjusting for several methodological characteristics (e.g., statistical power, effect size). The association between contextual sensitivity and replication success did not differ across psychological subdisciplines. These results suggest that researchers, replicators, and consumers should be mindful of contextual factors that might influence a psychological process. We offer several guidelines for dealing with contextual sensitivity in reproducibility.

—snip—

It seems to me that contextual sensitivity is an important factor in artistic experimentation *if* we were to spend more time attempting to study and replicate published results. While this is significant for projects in art history or criticism, it would also be important for understanding or replicating artistic experiments. These always involve human beings — and how they perceive, use, understand, or interact with art of many kinds.

You will find the original PNAS article in full at:

doi: 10.1073/pnas.1521897113

Best regards,

Ken

Ken Friedman, PhD, DSc (hc), FDRS | Editor-in-Chief | 设计 She Ji. The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation | Published by Tongji University in Cooperation with Elsevier | Launching in 2015

Chair Professor of Design Innovation Studies | College of Design and Innovation | Tongji University | Shanghai, China ||| University Distinguished Professor | Centre for Design Innovation | Swinburne University of Technology | Melbourne, Australia

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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Re: [Yasmin_discussions] Mercado Central Exchange. Artists and Scientists

Hello, Yasminers.

The recent comments on the differences between individual art in the modern studio tradition and art arising from communities reminded me of an intriguing article by Bengt af Klintberg, the Swedish folklorist and Fluxus artist.

In 1993, af Klintberg published an interesting article titled "Fluxus Games and Contemporary Folklore: on the Non-Individual Character of Fluxus Art" in the journal Konsthistorisk Tidskrift Vol. LXII, No. 2. The article is in English so anyone who find the topic interesting can read this.

You will find the article in the "teaching documents" section of my Academia page at URL:

https://swinburne.academia.edu/KenFriedman

The article will remain available until Saturday, June 4.

Af Klintberg draws interesting parallels between activities arising in and from communities. Folklore, fables, stories, myths and tales — as well as games — are one such range of activities. Many kinds of art are another.

For those who are interest in learning more about af Klintberg and his work, I have also posted the full text of his 1967 booklet, The Cursive Scandinavian Slave. Originally published by the Something Else Press, it was reprinted by UbuWeb in the Ubu Classics series.

Warm wishes,

Ken

Ken Friedman, PhD, DSc (hc), FDRS | Editor-in-Chief | 设计 She Ji. The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation | Published by Tongji University in Cooperation with Elsevier | Launching in 2015

Chair Professor of Design Innovation Studies | College of Design and Innovation | Tongji University | Shanghai, China ||| University Distinguished Professor | Centre for Design Innovation | Swinburne University of Technology | Melbourne, Australia

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