Monday, January 16, 2017

Re: [Yasmin_discussions] History

Hi.

Thank for sharing your story. I actually meant the question as a
rhetorical question because it seems to me that art should be able to
exist on its own terms if it is art. So, I wasn¹t asking what the art can
bring to science, which I think is a different way of connecting art and
science.

I don¹t know if you¹ve run into Katherine Sherwood¹s work. She had a
stroke while teaching an art class and one of her brain scans served as
the impetus for her return to her art despite partial paralysis and other
problems. If you are interested, here is a link to an article about her
work: http://www.katherinesherwood.com/sherwood/articles/wallst.html

Take care of yourself,
Amy



==========================
Amy Ione
Director, The Diatrope Institute
2342 Shattuck Ave., #527
Berkeley, CA 94704
US

Diatrope.com <http://www.diatrope.com> | AmyIone.com <http://amyione.com>
Art and the Brain: Plasticity, Embodiment, and the Unclosed Circle:
http://diatrope.com/artbrainbook
Email: ione@diatrope.com




On 1/16/17, 12:38 AM, "xDxD.vs.xDxD"
<yasmin_discussions-bounces@estia.media.uoa.gr on behalf of
xdxd.vs.xdxd@gmail.com> wrote:

>Hi!
>
>On Sat, Jan 14, 2017 at 8:06 PM, Ken Friedman
><ken.friedman.sheji@icloud.com
>> wrote:
>
>> Amy also asked an interesting question: ³In terms of art, if someone
>>does
>> an artwork based on a scientific idea that proves wrong does that change
>> the value of the art? I've also been wondering if and where artists who
>>are
>> not inclined to include science in their art fit in the educational
>> pedagogy the STEAM agenda promotes?²
>>
>>
>I have a tendency to believe that it is the wrong question, if we're
>thinking about what the arts can bring into the science.
>
>What does the "artist X does artwork Y based on scientific work Z" mean?
>
>Are we talking about "decorating science"?
>
>Yes, beautiful works and visualizations can come out of it. Some even
>wonderfully managing to communicate the scientific idea to broader
>audiences, creating cultural impact.
>
>A question is: is that really it?
>
>My personal answer is: no.
>
>Artistic processes can contribute to bringing science out of the lab.
>
>I will refer to my own experience, simply because it's something for which
>I have evidence and deep knowledge about.
>
>I am an artist, a professor, a robotic engineer.
>
>When I was diagnosed with cancer, and I entered the hospital, and I was
>forced to get in touch with the world of cancer research, I was shocked.
>
>Because the entire system was based on separation.
>
>When you become sick with cancer (and the same goes with other diseases),
>you, as a human being, stop existing.
>
>You are replaced by an administrative, bureaucratic entity, which is the
>"patient". The patient lives through data, and it is the only thing that
>matters to science, the hospital, doctors, researchers, etc.
>
>There is no role, while being diseased, for my relatives, my wife, my
>students, my neighbors, my grocer, for the people of my city. They have to
>stop, accept the existence of the patient, and that's it. And I myself
>have
>to stop being human, transform into the patient (data, data, data... I
>received awkward glances and nervous reactions whenever I tried mentioning
>things apart from my medical data while I had cancer... "you know, I
>played
>the upright bass yesterday" "what?!? yes yes, but tell me, what about the
>MRI, was it ok?" ... really happened), while delegating your body and
>existence to some professional.
>
>One day, while I was in the hospital, I asked for an image of my cancer.
>Well, I was not able to receive it. Because during the "patient", that
>image was not for me. It was the for doctors, nurses, researchers. But it
>was not for me. And everyone else was excluded, as well.
>
>The whole idea that "I have cancer" is very naive. It is not only me who
>has cancer. My wife and relatives have cancer, too, because their lives
>completely change. My students have cancer, because I can't teach them any
>more. My grocer has cancer, because I don't go shopping there anymore. The
>entire country has cancer, because they pay taxes (luckily, for now) for
>the national health service. Emotional, cultural, economic, financial,
>environmental, social declinations of cancer. But they have it.
>
>And the whole idea that cancer is cured in the laboratory, through design
>of therapies, is just as naive.
>
>Because practically everything we do has something to do with cancer: the
>way we eat, consume, produce energy, move, communicate, our lifestyle etc.
>
>If the most wonderful molecule was discovered to defeat cancer, it would
>be, as said, wonderful, but it would have nothing to say about all the
>rest
>of this fight with cancer. Because the rest of it, which is enormous, is
>not in the laboratory, it is in the world, outside, in society.
>
>I left the hospital and started what we called "La Cura", the open source
>cure for cancer. Which is a global art performance. In which we asked a
>very simple question: "how can you cure me?"
>
>A little more than a million people answered. In simple, less simple,
>complex, wonderful, incredible, awful, terrible, amazing ways. Sharing the
>idea that it is not me who has cancer, but it is the whole of society.
>
>In Rome, we live next to a beautiful market, in Piazza San Giovanni di
>Dio,
>on the hills above Trastevere, Monteverde.
>
>When "La Cura" went on the news, and the merchants at the marked found out
>that that guy they saw every day got cancer, they had a meeting, in the
>market. "Iaconesi has cancer and he asked for help! What do we do?"
>
>The response was incredible. They transformed themselves into researchers,
>understanding how the things of their daily practices could be transformed
>and put to use for, if not curing, creating a world in which cancer is
>something for which more people can do something. There was people finding
>out what were the best foods for having positive impacts on cancer. There
>were people studying how usage of some chemicals and industrial processes
>could have something to do with cancer. There were people who engaged
>doctors and researchers in the process. A whole market transformed into an
>open-air, socialized laboratory, in which researchers and local producers
>researched and experimented together. Some even transformed their
>productions. Some even discovered new markets.
>
>We received fresh vegetables and medical advice. People noticed changed
>and
>started asking, and they gained awareness. Other people who had cancer,
>benefited, too.
>
>Cancer was simply something that affected everyone. The fight for cancer
>was inside and outside of the laboratory, social, engaging for everyone,
>and in which everyone had something they could do.
>
>This is just one of the thousands of stories of La Cura.
>
>During La Cura, doctors, artists, researchers, farmers, designers,
>technologists, anthropologists, economists, and many other different types
>of people, ranging from very extraordinary to very ordinary, worked
>together to try to transform the meaning of the word "cure". (note: not of
>the word "therapy")
>
>Multiple doctors were delighted.
>
>Because doctors have the disease, too. Think about the phenomenon of
>burn-out, think of oncologists for children, seeing the little ones die
>everyday, and how alone they are, separated. They have cancer, too.
>
>The new definition of "cura" included them as well. They were not alone
>and
>separated.
>
>And there were people who developed software tools, to keep track of
>everything, to discuss, review, collaborate, schedule. Platforms were
>used,
>analytics were used. Grandmothers adapted to using tools, and designers
>made it easier for them, by creating and suggesting interfaces to do
>things
>more easily. Knowledge was catalogued and made openly available (currently
>on GitHub). Scientists met with other scientists and started to do things
>together.
>
>And the same goes for other profiles. What happens when an architect
>collaborates with a doctor? Or an artist? Or a grandmother who cooks who
>cooks wonderfully? Or a designer who knows how to create objects? etc
>Wonderful things!
>
>And the description could go on an on. It has been an incredible 4 years
>since it started (it was 2012), and it doesn't seem to stop.
>
>"La Cura" is an artistic performance. Bringing together arts, sciences,
>design, technology, society.
>
>It does not "decorate". It creates an environment in which all of these
>things work together.
>
>It is "indisciplined".
>
>It is "transgressive".
>
>"Trans" which means "on the other side"
>
>"gradi" which means "step"
>
>step beyond
>
>Talking about "excess spaces", Elizabeth Grosz says that transgressors do
>not eliminate borders and limits. Rather, they recognize them. And, by
>transgressing, they move them.
>
>This is, for me, an incredibly powerful role for the arts in sciences. To
>positively and collaboratively introduce "indiscipline" and
>"transgression"
>in the process, to go beyond separation, and to figure out meaningful,
>effective ways in which to bring society into science. For human dignity
>and freedoms.
>
>s
>
>--
>*[**MUTATION**]* *Art is Open Source *- http://www.artisopensource.net
>*[**CITIES**]* *Human Ecosystems Ltd* - http://human-ecosystems.com
>*[**NEAR FUTURE DESIGN**]* *Nefula Ltd* - http://www.nefula.com
>*[**RIGHTS**]* *Ubiquitous Commons *- http://www.ubiquitouscommons.org
>---
>Professor of Near Future and Transmedia Design at ISIA Design Florence:
>http://www.isiadesign.fi.it/
>_______________________________________________
>Yasmin_discussions mailing list
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>
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>
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Re: [Yasmin_discussions] History

Dear Amy,

Thanks for your reply. I wasn't disagreeing with you on any point — rather, I was reflecting on the issues. I appreciate your comments, and by and large agree — or perhaps agree in part and entertain open questions in part.

Your comments on Plato and Aeschylus certainly make sense to me. Plato was an abstract thinker who lived in the world of ideal forms — or perhaps thought he did. He had no use for poets in his community — but perhaps he had no use for people, either, except as far as they should enact the wishes and commands of the philosopher-kings who ruled them. As you note, Aeschylus, Sophocles, and their colleagues demonstrated that "each individual existed both as a person and a part of the community." Aeschylus himself held both elements dear — and he placed the individual within the community and culture to which that community belonged. The words on Aeschylus's epitaph – he probably wrote them himself – commemorate his service as a soldier without mentioning his stature as the father of dramatic tragedy or the many honors and prizes that he won. Instead, his epitaph reminded those who came to honor him that he fought at Marathon:

"This memorial covers Aeschylus son of Euphorion – an Athenian,
though he died at wheat-bearing Gela.
Of his glorious prowess, the sacred land of Marathon can tell –
and the long-haired Mede who knows it well."

While Plato's mentor Socrates took pride in military service as a citizen, Plato does not seem to have fought for Athens. (I may be mistaken on this.) Plato did not seem to see philosophers as citizens, but as rulers. In contrast, Aeschylus valued his role as a citizen-soldier above all else.

In my view, the power of the tragic works is complex, and it changes over time as well as changing with the times. Their meaning is different to me today than it was when I first saw Oedipus performed in 1965. I suppose that anyone who thinks deeply on these works will find many different kinds of power in them. Some of the power in these works may be similar to the power that moved the ancient Greeks. Some of the power in these works is different and changeable, just as the world is different and very much changed since Aeschylus fought at Marathon 2,500 years ago. I always enjoy reading Bernard Knox's essays about that world. The meaning of these works today is different.

I'm not at all surprised that you read Reuben Hersh or Morris Kline. As the author of Art and the Brain, it is clear that you've been reading wide and thinking deep. You might enjoy revisiting Hersh — in my view, his book remains a good read the second or third time around, even years later.

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/

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

Email ken.friedman.sheji@icloud.com | Academia http://swinburne.academia.edu/KenFriedman | D&I http://tjdi.tongji.edu.cn

> On Jan 16, 2017, at 7:57 PM, Amy Ione <amy.ione.2@gmail.com> wrote:

—snip—

> As for Aeschylus and the tragedians, there is a large body of research
> that has examined these works in terms of how instrumental they were in
> helping the Greeks develop a sense that each individual existed both as a
> person and a part of the community. They were powerful works in their own
> time for reasons and, I would argue, the reason they were powerful then is
> not quite the same as why they are powerful today. Perhaps these two
> positionings are better underscored when we think how about how
> instrumental the tragedians were on Plato. You no doubt know that Plato
> banned the poets from his Republic because of the emotional element within
> these works like those produced by Aeschylus and Sophocles? As he put it
> "there is an old quarrel between philosophy and poetry" (Republic,
> 607b5–6). Longer story, but the Platonic focus on a rational truth has had
> an impact on who we see and talk about the "quarrel" when we have these
> STEM and STEAM discussions.

—snip—


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Re: [Yasmin_discussions] History

Ken,

A few quick thoughts in response.

First, I'm not sure your answer grasps a side of the creativity story that
is not particular to the university nor specific to advocacy of art for
its own sake. I also don't think a STEAM pedagogy or "best practices"
scenario accounts for the kinds of leaps that bring something new into
discussions that wasn't clear before even if this is the aspiration.
Rather, it often seems to me that the STEAM agenda is more along the lines
of adding either another silo to the academic framework or calling STEM
STEAM for reasons that you and others have noted in the emails.

What I think is missing is the acknowledgement of the interweaving of
inputs in our lives and I don't have a sense that the STEM to STEAM
discussions want to enlarge our perspectives in a substantive way or are
robust enough to grasp the complexity of creativity. Before I get to
Aeschylus and Greek tragedy, let me offer an example of the kind of
historical and cultural discussions/trajectories I find predominantly
missing in these discussions since they differ from the kinds of examples
you offered.

While it seems Leonardo da Vinci is everyone's favorite genius, we often
forget that he was largely self-taught. He did, however, have a creative
mind and had an art apprenticeship. Still, even with all the acclaim
Leonardo receives, his studies of the brain are largely ignored in the
literature. They were virtually unknown when he lived. Vasari mentioned
some of his dissection work, but no one in the art community realized how
revolutionary it was.

At that time when most people studied the brain they sliced through it
rapidly because the tissue deteriorates so quickly. Leonardo had learned
about casting models as an artist and deduced that he could make a cast of
the brain and thus study the form slowly, despite the deterioration of the
physical material. Leonardo's brain studies were not published when he
lived and were, as I said, unknown to most people. Comparable studies were
not done by scientists until the 17th century, or 200 years later. By that
time science had developed techniques for preserving brain tissue. BTW,
the architect Christopher Wren had a hand in these discoveries, but I
digress.

In the late 18th century William Hunter, the physician to the British
Queen Charlotte and an anatomist, happened to come across Leonardo's
drawings of the brain in the Queen's library. No one knew they were there.
Hunter understood their importance immediately, although the work remained
unpublished until the 19th century because Hunter died. If this is STEAM
or STEM I'm not really seeing the connection. FWIW, Leonardo's theories
were incorrect, but his visual studies were amazingly insightful.

I think this anecdote takes on more meaning in terms of education,
however, if I add that William Hunter was not only an anatomist and
physician, he was also the first Professor of Anatomy at the Royal Academy
of Art in London. In those days they had professors of anatomy, people
trained in science, right there in the building. Here is a link to an
image of him teaching a class at the RA, http://tinyurl.com/jtw6xo9.

The artist and President of the school, Joshua Reynolds is in the front
row of this painting. He is the one listening to the lecture with an ear
trumpet. Now, Hunter, Reynolds and their colleagues weren't talking about
STEM to STEAM, but they were talking about art education, what is of value
when teaching the subject matter, applications, etc. Suffice it to say
that each called the other a technician and they often disagreed. Their
arguments and disagreements within the Art academy certainly are a part of
the pedagogical historical trajectory, even if rarely mentioned. There are
commonalities within their discussions with some of the STEM/STEAM debates
although their new media seems outside the scope of contemporary concerns.
Hunter's RA students included many folks who well known today even if he
isn't given a place in much of the literature.

Not all liked the Academy dogmas, as one might imagine. For example, the
Pre-Raphalites trained in Charles Bell's school because they rejected the
RA's approach. Who was Charles Bell? Well, he trained as an artist and a
physician. When his application for Hunter's job at the RA was rejected he
decided to focus on his scientific work and made many important
discoveries. He did however do art on the side and so he taught anatomy to
many now well known artists who rejected the RA approach. Bell's drawings
also influenced how Darwin approached the drawings he produced with
artists for his book on expression. These artists were not illustrators.
Rather Darwin sought out people who could conceptualize how to push the
technologies beyond their capacities. For example, he worked with the
photographer Oscar Rejlander (1813-1875) who was doing studies on how to
use still photography to capture motion. As for cross-breeding, Rejlander
influenced Muybridge.

BTW, these kinds of cross-disciplinary studies are not exceptional, just
largely outside the mainstream. Even the painting of Hunter teaching is
not uncommon. Perhaps it was a genre because tools didn't always exist to
record these kinds of events. I've always liked the one of Charcot, "A
Clinical Lesson at the Salpêtrière," see
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Clinical_Lesson_at_the_Salp%C3%AAtri%C3%A8r
e. In this one you can see his assistant, the sculptor Paul Richer,
drawing behind him as he lectures. Also, on the rear wall of the lecture
room is the (1878) large charcoal work, drawn by Richer, which reproduces
the hysterical pose captured in one of the many photographs taken in the
Salpêtrière. They were quick to incorporate photography there.

As for Aeschylus and the tragedians, there is a large body of research
that has examined these works in terms of how instrumental they were in
helping the Greeks develop a sense that each individual existed both as a
person and a part of the community. They were powerful works in their own
time for reasons and, I would argue, the reason they were powerful then is
not quite the same as why they are powerful today. Perhaps these two
positionings are better underscored when we think how about how
instrumental the tragedians were on Plato. You no doubt know that Plato
banned the poets from his Republic because of the emotional element within
these works like those produced by Aeschylus and Sophocles? As he put it
"there is an old quarrel between philosophy and poetry" (Republic,
607b5–6). Longer story, but the Platonic focus on a rational truth has had
an impact on who we see and talk about the "quarrel" when we have these
STEM and STEAM discussions.

BTW, would it surprise you to learn I know the Reuben Hersh's book, What
is Mathematics, Really? I read it about the same time as I was reading all
those old Morris Kline books on the history of mathematics. He often
integrated math and art. My sense is that the Kline books would probably
disappoint me today, even as they seemed so wonderful way back when. I
hardly remember the Hersh book now, although it too seemed so wonderful
way back when.

One final thought, you wrote: "Amy also asked an interesting question: "In
terms of art, if someone does an artwork based on a scientific idea that
proves wrong does that change the value of the art? I've also been
wondering if and where artists who are not inclined to include science in
their art fit in the educational pedagogy the STEAM agenda promotes?"
Off-hand, I don't have an answer, but this is an interesting question to
consider another time."

Thanks for adding this. I actually meant it as a rhetorical question
because I simply assumed that if it was art on its own terms the science
part was window dressing. Perhaps another area in which STEM to STEAM is
hazy and discussions show how varied our frames of reference are. I tend
to think of art more in terms of creativity and less in terms of
applications. Many of the STEM to STEAM ideas seem to incline more to
applications and design.

All the best,
Amy

==========================
Amy Ione
Director, The Diatrope Institute
2342 Shattuck Ave., #527
Berkeley, CA 94704
US

Diatrope.com <http://www.diatrope.com> | AmyIone.com <http://amyione.com>
Art and the Brain: Plasticity, Embodiment, and the Unclosed Circle:
http://diatrope.com/artbrainbook
Email: ione@diatrope.com

On 1/14/17, 11:06 AM, "Ken Friedman"
<yasmin_discussions-bounces@estia.media.uoa.gr on behalf of
ken.friedman.sheji@icloud.com> wrote:

>Dear All,
>
>Amy Ione's note got me thinking about several issues.
>
>The first seems to have a clear answer. Amy wrote, "I don't think
>discussing educational perspectives per se is the problem, so much as the
>level of discourse often seems more about advocacy than substance. I am
>also amazed that many STEAM advocates seem unaware of historical
>discussions from era to era that mirror the STEM to STEAM discussions."
>
>There are two useful historical discussions. The first involves the
>occasional STEM to STEAM discussions that make the rounds in educational
>communities. These also appear in another guise — the call for everyone
>to study art as something essential to civilization. Art advocates can
>always find a reason to lobby for art. That's the case for advocates of
>any general good.
>
>It's not that art is bad or undeserving — one can say the same of music,
>dance, theater, gymnastics, sports, literature, creative writing … the
>list goes on. The issues for — and against — any such choice involve a
>range of questions. How much room do we have in the curriculum at any
>level for one subject or another? Are these subjects genuinely required
>for a well rounded education? Do these subjects genuinely add value of
>some kind? If so, what kind of value does it add? Are we making an
>instrumental argument — for example, art is vital for creativity in a
>world of creative cities, creative industries, and so on? Or are we
>saying that art serves some other, and deeper, purpose using the same
>kind of argument that we can muster for philosophy, history, or even for
>religious studies?
>
>It is easy both to overestimate and to underestimate art forms, genres
>within those forms, and individual artists. For example, I've always had
>a taste for Westerns. Perhaps it is because I lived for two decades in
>the American west, driving north to south and east to west many times. Or
>perhaps it is because I was born in New England, and remember that there
>was once a time when the west meant land west of the Hudson river — Last
>of the Mohicans was one of the first great Westerns, and the many movie
>versions of James Fenimore Cooper's novel each tell a different story
>about time and history. I've always enjoyed Clint Eastwood's westerns.
>Not the Sergio Leone westerns, but Eastwood's own productions: High
>Plains Drifter, Hang 'Em High, The Outlaw Josey Wales, and others. Nearly
>no one agreed with me on Clint Eastwood's virtues as an artist until
>Eastwood released Unforgiven. Following Unforgiven and his first Oscar
>there came a reconsideration of the entire genre. Many more Oscars
>followed, for Eastwood, his films, and the actors in his films. With this
>came a new look at Eastwood — and a reconsideration of Eastwood's early
>westerns. In the wake of Unforgiven (and the slightly earlier Dances with
>Wolves), the genre underwent a rebirth.
>
>In my view, the serious works of the Western genre are the North American
>equivalent of Aeschylus and Sophocles. If you want to argue that great
>Westerns are the exception, I'll agree. There were hundreds upon hundreds
>of tragedies entered into the great festivals of classical Greece.
>Aeschylus wrote between 70 and 90 plays, winning the first prize in the
>annual festival at Athens a dozen or so times. Sophocles wrote even more
>plays, winning first prize 18 times. When you consider that two great
>play writes won the prize more than 30 times, this means thirty years in
>which dozens of other authors competed and lost. So even great Greek
>tragedies are the exception again ordinary tragedies. Some of those
>now-forgotten tragedies must be excellent in the same way that excellent
>actors such as Glenn Ford with outstanding performance in such Westerns
>as Jubal, the original 3:10 to Yuma, or Cowboy have always been
>overlooked in favor of the better-known John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, or
>Henry Fonda. The solid but predictable performances that Wayne delivered
>in dozens of movies, and Wayne's long string of B-movie horse operas,
>cast a shadow over the genre. They even cast a shadow over Wayne himself,
>to the degree that many people forget his occasional brilliant
>performances, such as Wayne's final movie, The Shootist, directed by Don
>Siegel.
>
>This is a tale with a point: I'm saying that you'd have to know a great
>deal more about the depth of these issues to argue the case for any genre
>— or for art in general. And don't get me started on Aeschylus or
>Sophocles. There is scarcely anything in the modern repertoire that can
>be measured against the surviving works of the two great tragedians.
>
>So what is it that STEAM can bring to STEM?
>
>Then there is the other history that we ought to consider. This is the
>history of science, including any of the scientific fields or such STEM
>fields as mathematics. Consider, for example Reuben Hersh's book, What is
>Mathematics, Really? I've nearly never seen any writing on art that tells
>as rich a story of human creativity or the growth of civilization. It
>seems to me easily possible to compare Hersh against, say, Clement
>Greenberg, to argue that Greenberg is justifying his own taste with prose
>that still reads well while his value judgements look dated.
>
>The history and philosophy of science tell dozens of stories that do not
>require STEAM for the creativity to be visible. Cases in point: Abraham
>Pais's biography of Albert Einstein titled Subtle is the Lord, or Owen
>Gingerich's hunt for the surviving copies of Copernicus's De
>Revolutionibus in The Book Nobody Read: Chasing the Revolutions of
>Nicolaus Copernicus.
>
>On the one hand, I, too, am an advocate of art, sort of. I say "sort of"
>to suggest that STEAM needs a little humility. And STEAM advocates
>generally need to know a great deal more about the STEM — this involves a
>great deal more than demanding that physicists and engineers pay
>attention to art.
>
>Amy also asked an interesting question: "In terms of art, if someone does
>an artwork based on a scientific idea that proves wrong does that change
>the value of the art? I've also been wondering if and where artists who
>are not inclined to include science in their art fit in the educational
>pedagogy the STEAM agenda promotes?"
>
>Off-hand, I don't have an answer, but this is an interesting question to
>consider another time.
>
>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 | URL:
>http://www.journals.elsevier.com/she-ji-the-journal-of-design-economics-an
>d-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
>
>Email ken.friedman.sheji@icloud.com | Academia
>http://swinburne.academia.edu/KenFriedman | D&I http://tjdi.tongji.edu.cn
>
>
>
>_______________________________________________
>Yasmin_discussions mailing list
>Yasmin_discussions@estia.media.uoa.gr
>http://estia.media.uoa.gr/mailman/listinfo/yasmin_discussions
>
>Yasmin URL: http://www.media.uoa.gr/yasmin
>
> SBSCRIBE: click on the link to the list you wish to subscribe to. In the
>page that will appear ("info page"), enter e-mail address, name, and
>password in the fields found further down the page.
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>your e-mail address in the last field. Enter password if asked. Click on
>the unsubscribe button on the page that will appear ("options page").
>TO ENABLE / DISABLE DIGEST MODE: in the options page, find the "Set
>Digest Mode" option and set it to either on or off.
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>http://yasminlist.blogspot.com/

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[Yasmin_discussions] the investigation of peculiar objects

For me, STEAM contains possibilities of studying mathematics and mathematically-oriented subjects
(e.g., computer science, information/data science) through interesting objects. These objects do not need
to be "A"art objects for my purpose. But Art objects are interesting.

More: https://medium.com/creative-automata/the-mathematics-of-the-curious-369e01c73a8c#.d6jaz8i2u

-paul

Paul Fishwick, PhD
Distinguished University Chair of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication
Professor of Computer Science
Director, Creative Automata Laboratory
The University of Texas at Dallas
Arts & Technology
800 West Campbell Road, AT10
Richardson, TX 75080-3021
Home: utdallas.edu/atec/fishwick
Blog 1: medium.com/@metaphorz
Blog 2: modelingforeveryone.com
LinkedIn: metaphorz
Twitter: @PaulFishwick

> On Jan 14, 2017, at 1:06 PM, Ken Friedman <ken.friedman.sheji@icloud.com> wrote:
>
> Dear All,
>
> Amy Ione's note got me thinking about several issues.
>
> The first seems to have a clear answer. Amy wrote, "I don't think discussing educational perspectives per se is the problem, so much as the level of discourse often seems more about advocacy than substance. I am also amazed that many STEAM advocates seem unaware of historical discussions from era to era that mirror the STEM to STEAM discussions."
>
> There are two useful historical discussions. The first involves the occasional STEM to STEAM discussions that make the rounds in educational communities. These also appear in another guise — the call for everyone to study art as something essential to civilization. Art advocates can always find a reason to lobby for art. That's the case for advocates of any general good.
>
> It's not that art is bad or undeserving — one can say the same of music, dance, theater, gymnastics, sports, literature, creative writing … the list goes on. The issues for — and against — any such choice involve a range of questions. How much room do we have in the curriculum at any level for one subject or another? Are these subjects genuinely required for a well rounded education? Do these subjects genuinely add value of some kind? If so, what kind of value does it add? Are we making an instrumental argument — for example, art is vital for creativity in a world of creative cities, creative industries, and so on? Or are we saying that art serves some other, and deeper, purpose using the same kind of argument that we can muster for philosophy, history, or even for religious studies?
>
> It is easy both to overestimate and to underestimate art forms, genres within those forms, and individual artists. For example, I've always had a taste for Westerns. Perhaps it is because I lived for two decades in the American west, driving north to south and east to west many times. Or perhaps it is because I was born in New England, and remember that there was once a time when the west meant land west of the Hudson river — Last of the Mohicans was one of the first great Westerns, and the many movie versions of James Fenimore Cooper's novel each tell a different story about time and history. I've always enjoyed Clint Eastwood's westerns. Not the Sergio Leone westerns, but Eastwood's own productions: High Plains Drifter, Hang 'Em High, The Outlaw Josey Wales, and others. Nearly no one agreed with me on Clint Eastwood's virtues as an artist until Eastwood released Unforgiven. Following Unforgiven and his first Oscar there came a reconsideration of the entire genre. Many more Oscars followed, for Eastwood, his films, and the actors in his films. With this came a new look at Eastwood — and a reconsideration of Eastwood's early westerns. In the wake of Unforgiven (and the slightly earlier Dances with Wolves), the genre underwent a rebirth.
>
> In my view, the serious works of the Western genre are the North American equivalent of Aeschylus and Sophocles. If you want to argue that great Westerns are the exception, I'll agree. There were hundreds upon hundreds of tragedies entered into the great festivals of classical Greece. Aeschylus wrote between 70 and 90 plays, winning the first prize in the annual festival at Athens a dozen or so times. Sophocles wrote even more plays, winning first prize 18 times. When you consider that two great play writes won the prize more than 30 times, this means thirty years in which dozens of other authors competed and lost. So even great Greek tragedies are the exception again ordinary tragedies. Some of those now-forgotten tragedies must be excellent in the same way that excellent actors such as Glenn Ford with outstanding performance in such Westerns as Jubal, the original 3:10 to Yuma, or Cowboy have always been overlooked in favor of the better-known John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, or Henry Fonda. The solid but predictable performances that Wayne delivered in dozens of movies, and Wayne's long string of B-movie horse operas, cast a shadow over the genre. They even cast a shadow over Wayne himself, to the degree that many people forget his occasional brilliant performances, such as Wayne's final movie, The Shootist, directed by Don Siegel.
>
> This is a tale with a point: I'm saying that you'd have to know a great deal more about the depth of these issues to argue the case for any genre — or for art in general. And don't get me started on Aeschylus or Sophocles. There is scarcely anything in the modern repertoire that can be measured against the surviving works of the two great tragedians.
>
> So what is it that STEAM can bring to STEM?
>
> Then there is the other history that we ought to consider. This is the history of science, including any of the scientific fields or such STEM fields as mathematics. Consider, for example Reuben Hersh's book, What is Mathematics, Really? I've nearly never seen any writing on art that tells as rich a story of human creativity or the growth of civilization. It seems to me easily possible to compare Hersh against, say, Clement Greenberg, to argue that Greenberg is justifying his own taste with prose that still reads well while his value judgements look dated.
>
> The history and philosophy of science tell dozens of stories that do not require STEAM for the creativity to be visible. Cases in point: Abraham Pais's biography of Albert Einstein titled Subtle is the Lord, or Owen Gingerich's hunt for the surviving copies of Copernicus's De Revolutionibus in The Book Nobody Read: Chasing the Revolutions of Nicolaus Copernicus.
>
> On the one hand, I, too, am an advocate of art, sort of. I say "sort of" to suggest that STEAM needs a little humility. And STEAM advocates generally need to know a great deal more about the STEM — this involves a great deal more than demanding that physicists and engineers pay attention to art.
>
> Amy also asked an interesting question: "In terms of art, if someone does an artwork based on a scientific idea that proves wrong does that change the value of the art? I've also been wondering if and where artists who are not inclined to include science in their art fit in the educational pedagogy the STEAM agenda promotes?"
>
> Off-hand, I don't have an answer, but this is an interesting question to consider another time.
>
> 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 | 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
>
> Email ken.friedman.sheji@icloud.com | Academia http://swinburne.academia.edu/KenFriedman | D&I http://tjdi.tongji.edu.cn
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Yasmin_discussions mailing list
> Yasmin_discussions@estia.media.uoa.gr
> http://estia.media.uoa.gr/mailman/listinfo/yasmin_discussions
>
> Yasmin URL: http://www.media.uoa.gr/yasmin
>
> SBSCRIBE: click on the link to the list you wish to subscribe to. In the page that will appear ("info page"), enter e-mail address, name, and password in the fields found further down the page.
> HOW TO UNSUBSCRIBE: on the info page, scroll all the way down and enter your e-mail address in the last field. Enter password if asked. Click on the unsubscribe button on the page that will appear ("options page").
> TO ENABLE / DISABLE DIGEST MODE: in the options page, find the "Set Digest Mode" option and set it to either on or off.
> If you prefer to read the posts on a blog go to http://yasminlist.blogspot.com/


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Re: [Yasmin_discussions] History

Hi!

On Sat, Jan 14, 2017 at 8:06 PM, Ken Friedman <ken.friedman.sheji@icloud.com
> wrote:

> Amy also asked an interesting question: "In terms of art, if someone does
> an artwork based on a scientific idea that proves wrong does that change
> the value of the art? I've also been wondering if and where artists who are
> not inclined to include science in their art fit in the educational
> pedagogy the STEAM agenda promotes?"
>
>
I have a tendency to believe that it is the wrong question, if we're
thinking about what the arts can bring into the science.

What does the "artist X does artwork Y based on scientific work Z" mean?

Are we talking about "decorating science"?

Yes, beautiful works and visualizations can come out of it. Some even
wonderfully managing to communicate the scientific idea to broader
audiences, creating cultural impact.

A question is: is that really it?

My personal answer is: no.

Artistic processes can contribute to bringing science out of the lab.

I will refer to my own experience, simply because it's something for which
I have evidence and deep knowledge about.

I am an artist, a professor, a robotic engineer.

When I was diagnosed with cancer, and I entered the hospital, and I was
forced to get in touch with the world of cancer research, I was shocked.

Because the entire system was based on separation.

When you become sick with cancer (and the same goes with other diseases),
you, as a human being, stop existing.

You are replaced by an administrative, bureaucratic entity, which is the
"patient". The patient lives through data, and it is the only thing that
matters to science, the hospital, doctors, researchers, etc.

There is no role, while being diseased, for my relatives, my wife, my
students, my neighbors, my grocer, for the people of my city. They have to
stop, accept the existence of the patient, and that's it. And I myself have
to stop being human, transform into the patient (data, data, data... I
received awkward glances and nervous reactions whenever I tried mentioning
things apart from my medical data while I had cancer... "you know, I played
the upright bass yesterday" "what?!? yes yes, but tell me, what about the
MRI, was it ok?" ... really happened), while delegating your body and
existence to some professional.

One day, while I was in the hospital, I asked for an image of my cancer.
Well, I was not able to receive it. Because during the "patient", that
image was not for me. It was the for doctors, nurses, researchers. But it
was not for me. And everyone else was excluded, as well.

The whole idea that "I have cancer" is very naive. It is not only me who
has cancer. My wife and relatives have cancer, too, because their lives
completely change. My students have cancer, because I can't teach them any
more. My grocer has cancer, because I don't go shopping there anymore. The
entire country has cancer, because they pay taxes (luckily, for now) for
the national health service. Emotional, cultural, economic, financial,
environmental, social declinations of cancer. But they have it.

And the whole idea that cancer is cured in the laboratory, through design
of therapies, is just as naive.

Because practically everything we do has something to do with cancer: the
way we eat, consume, produce energy, move, communicate, our lifestyle etc.

If the most wonderful molecule was discovered to defeat cancer, it would
be, as said, wonderful, but it would have nothing to say about all the rest
of this fight with cancer. Because the rest of it, which is enormous, is
not in the laboratory, it is in the world, outside, in society.

I left the hospital and started what we called "La Cura", the open source
cure for cancer. Which is a global art performance. In which we asked a
very simple question: "how can you cure me?"

A little more than a million people answered. In simple, less simple,
complex, wonderful, incredible, awful, terrible, amazing ways. Sharing the
idea that it is not me who has cancer, but it is the whole of society.

In Rome, we live next to a beautiful market, in Piazza San Giovanni di Dio,
on the hills above Trastevere, Monteverde.

When "La Cura" went on the news, and the merchants at the marked found out
that that guy they saw every day got cancer, they had a meeting, in the
market. "Iaconesi has cancer and he asked for help! What do we do?"

The response was incredible. They transformed themselves into researchers,
understanding how the things of their daily practices could be transformed
and put to use for, if not curing, creating a world in which cancer is
something for which more people can do something. There was people finding
out what were the best foods for having positive impacts on cancer. There
were people studying how usage of some chemicals and industrial processes
could have something to do with cancer. There were people who engaged
doctors and researchers in the process. A whole market transformed into an
open-air, socialized laboratory, in which researchers and local producers
researched and experimented together. Some even transformed their
productions. Some even discovered new markets.

We received fresh vegetables and medical advice. People noticed changed and
started asking, and they gained awareness. Other people who had cancer,
benefited, too.

Cancer was simply something that affected everyone. The fight for cancer
was inside and outside of the laboratory, social, engaging for everyone,
and in which everyone had something they could do.

This is just one of the thousands of stories of La Cura.

During La Cura, doctors, artists, researchers, farmers, designers,
technologists, anthropologists, economists, and many other different types
of people, ranging from very extraordinary to very ordinary, worked
together to try to transform the meaning of the word "cure". (note: not of
the word "therapy")

Multiple doctors were delighted.

Because doctors have the disease, too. Think about the phenomenon of
burn-out, think of oncologists for children, seeing the little ones die
everyday, and how alone they are, separated. They have cancer, too.

The new definition of "cura" included them as well. They were not alone and
separated.

And there were people who developed software tools, to keep track of
everything, to discuss, review, collaborate, schedule. Platforms were used,
analytics were used. Grandmothers adapted to using tools, and designers
made it easier for them, by creating and suggesting interfaces to do things
more easily. Knowledge was catalogued and made openly available (currently
on GitHub). Scientists met with other scientists and started to do things
together.

And the same goes for other profiles. What happens when an architect
collaborates with a doctor? Or an artist? Or a grandmother who cooks who
cooks wonderfully? Or a designer who knows how to create objects? etc
Wonderful things!

And the description could go on an on. It has been an incredible 4 years
since it started (it was 2012), and it doesn't seem to stop.

"La Cura" is an artistic performance. Bringing together arts, sciences,
design, technology, society.

It does not "decorate". It creates an environment in which all of these
things work together.

It is "indisciplined".

It is "transgressive".

"Trans" which means "on the other side"

"gradi" which means "step"

step beyond

Talking about "excess spaces", Elizabeth Grosz says that transgressors do
not eliminate borders and limits. Rather, they recognize them. And, by
transgressing, they move them.

This is, for me, an incredibly powerful role for the arts in sciences. To
positively and collaboratively introduce "indiscipline" and "transgression"
in the process, to go beyond separation, and to figure out meaningful,
effective ways in which to bring society into science. For human dignity
and freedoms.

s

--
*[**MUTATION**]* *Art is Open Source *- http://www.artisopensource.net
*[**CITIES**]* *Human Ecosystems Ltd* - http://human-ecosystems.com
*[**NEAR FUTURE DESIGN**]* *Nefula Ltd* - http://www.nefula.com
*[**RIGHTS**]* *Ubiquitous Commons *- http://www.ubiquitouscommons.org
---
Professor of Near Future and Transmedia Design at ISIA Design Florence:
http://www.isiadesign.fi.it/
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Sunday, January 15, 2017

[Yasmin_discussions] History

Dear All,

Amy Ione's note got me thinking about several issues.

The first seems to have a clear answer. Amy wrote, "I don't think discussing educational perspectives per se is the problem, so much as the level of discourse often seems more about advocacy than substance. I am also amazed that many STEAM advocates seem unaware of historical discussions from era to era that mirror the STEM to STEAM discussions."

There are two useful historical discussions. The first involves the occasional STEM to STEAM discussions that make the rounds in educational communities. These also appear in another guise — the call for everyone to study art as something essential to civilization. Art advocates can always find a reason to lobby for art. That's the case for advocates of any general good.

It's not that art is bad or undeserving — one can say the same of music, dance, theater, gymnastics, sports, literature, creative writing … the list goes on. The issues for — and against — any such choice involve a range of questions. How much room do we have in the curriculum at any level for one subject or another? Are these subjects genuinely required for a well rounded education? Do these subjects genuinely add value of some kind? If so, what kind of value does it add? Are we making an instrumental argument — for example, art is vital for creativity in a world of creative cities, creative industries, and so on? Or are we saying that art serves some other, and deeper, purpose using the same kind of argument that we can muster for philosophy, history, or even for religious studies?

It is easy both to overestimate and to underestimate art forms, genres within those forms, and individual artists. For example, I've always had a taste for Westerns. Perhaps it is because I lived for two decades in the American west, driving north to south and east to west many times. Or perhaps it is because I was born in New England, and remember that there was once a time when the west meant land west of the Hudson river — Last of the Mohicans was one of the first great Westerns, and the many movie versions of James Fenimore Cooper's novel each tell a different story about time and history. I've always enjoyed Clint Eastwood's westerns. Not the Sergio Leone westerns, but Eastwood's own productions: High Plains Drifter, Hang 'Em High, The Outlaw Josey Wales, and others. Nearly no one agreed with me on Clint Eastwood's virtues as an artist until Eastwood released Unforgiven. Following Unforgiven and his first Oscar there came a reconsideration of the entire genre. Many more Oscars followed, for Eastwood, his films, and the actors in his films. With this came a new look at Eastwood — and a reconsideration of Eastwood's early westerns. In the wake of Unforgiven (and the slightly earlier Dances with Wolves), the genre underwent a rebirth.

In my view, the serious works of the Western genre are the North American equivalent of Aeschylus and Sophocles. If you want to argue that great Westerns are the exception, I'll agree. There were hundreds upon hundreds of tragedies entered into the great festivals of classical Greece. Aeschylus wrote between 70 and 90 plays, winning the first prize in the annual festival at Athens a dozen or so times. Sophocles wrote even more plays, winning first prize 18 times. When you consider that two great play writes won the prize more than 30 times, this means thirty years in which dozens of other authors competed and lost. So even great Greek tragedies are the exception again ordinary tragedies. Some of those now-forgotten tragedies must be excellent in the same way that excellent actors such as Glenn Ford with outstanding performance in such Westerns as Jubal, the original 3:10 to Yuma, or Cowboy have always been overlooked in favor of the better-known John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, or Henry Fonda. The solid but predictable performances that Wayne delivered in dozens of movies, and Wayne's long string of B-movie horse operas, cast a shadow over the genre. They even cast a shadow over Wayne himself, to the degree that many people forget his occasional brilliant performances, such as Wayne's final movie, The Shootist, directed by Don Siegel.

This is a tale with a point: I'm saying that you'd have to know a great deal more about the depth of these issues to argue the case for any genre — or for art in general. And don't get me started on Aeschylus or Sophocles. There is scarcely anything in the modern repertoire that can be measured against the surviving works of the two great tragedians.

So what is it that STEAM can bring to STEM?

Then there is the other history that we ought to consider. This is the history of science, including any of the scientific fields or such STEM fields as mathematics. Consider, for example Reuben Hersh's book, What is Mathematics, Really? I've nearly never seen any writing on art that tells as rich a story of human creativity or the growth of civilization. It seems to me easily possible to compare Hersh against, say, Clement Greenberg, to argue that Greenberg is justifying his own taste with prose that still reads well while his value judgements look dated.

The history and philosophy of science tell dozens of stories that do not require STEAM for the creativity to be visible. Cases in point: Abraham Pais's biography of Albert Einstein titled Subtle is the Lord, or Owen Gingerich's hunt for the surviving copies of Copernicus's De Revolutionibus in The Book Nobody Read: Chasing the Revolutions of Nicolaus Copernicus.

On the one hand, I, too, am an advocate of art, sort of. I say "sort of" to suggest that STEAM needs a little humility. And STEAM advocates generally need to know a great deal more about the STEM — this involves a great deal more than demanding that physicists and engineers pay attention to art.

Amy also asked an interesting question: "In terms of art, if someone does an artwork based on a scientific idea that proves wrong does that change the value of the art? I've also been wondering if and where artists who are not inclined to include science in their art fit in the educational pedagogy the STEAM agenda promotes?"

Off-hand, I don't have an answer, but this is an interesting question to consider another time.

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 | 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

Email ken.friedman.sheji@icloud.com | Academia http://swinburne.academia.edu/KenFriedman | D&I http://tjdi.tongji.edu.cn

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SBSCRIBE: click on the link to the list you wish to subscribe to. In the page that will appear ("info page"), enter e-mail address, name, and password in the fields found further down the page.
HOW TO UNSUBSCRIBE: on the info page, scroll all the way down and enter your e-mail address in the last field. Enter password if asked. Click on the unsubscribe button on the page that will appear ("options page").
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Re: [Yasmin_discussions] Is STEM art good enough?

As many of you know I'm an artist who has worked closely with scientists and engineers since the early 1970's over a wide range of discipline areas in Europe, Australia and the USA. Although much of this work was in pragmatic application areas (for example visualisation and aids for visually challenged people) the main benefit for me and for the scientists/engineers I have worked with was the value of different perspectives and this was especially true in the early planning stages of a project/experiment.

To give an example - it's common for artists and designers to be given the output data of an experiment and asked to enhance it's ability to communicate (for whatever reason - publication, education, grant applications, PCST, PR, etc…). My experience is that involving them in the planning stages can significantly enhance both the process and efficiency of the experiment as well as the intrinsic value of the outcomes and their ability to communicate.

So attempting to measure the value of an outcome - "Is STEM art good enough?" - is in my opinion a mistaken evaluation and is in fact counterproductive and retrogressive. For over half a century the contemporary art world has engaged with the idea that value is embedded in the process and not just - if at all - in the outcome. This is why we should be engaging artists- and scientists-in-residence on a permanent and ongoing basis and not just just on the assumption of a singular artwork outcome.

As someone who retired from teaching some time ago I would hope that this kind of approach - which emphasises the process over the outcome - would inform STEAM education.

Thank you for the opportunity of commenting.

====
Paul Brown
http://www.paul-brown.com == http://www.brown-and-son.com
UK Mobile +44 (0)794 104 8228
Skype paul-g-brown
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Honorary Visiting Professor - Sussex University
http://www.cogs.susx.ac.uk/ccnr/research/creativity.html
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