Saturday, May 16, 2009

Re: [Yasmin_discussions] Fwd: One Two Three More Cultures

Musing on the last couple of posts over my cornflakes..

Many scientists take positions and argue a case through their peer reviewed Journals that they would consider 'pure science', for example, scientists in the tobacco industry vs anti-smoking ; in animal testing vs anti-vivisectionists etc. The requirement to write of journal paper in third person as if no human involvement existed is disingenuous. Like the artist, the scientist can be considerd to be a '(re)search method' too. This method should perhaps be made as clear in science as the position of artists is with their work - what they are fundamental about and driven by.

As for what is considered quality research, the method-cyborgs of the scientific Journals do stand at the assessment gates of research within science. However it is worth noting that the Journals seem to be increasingly a transaction between commercial publishers earning dividends for their shareholders and authors earning accreditation points for their University assessment exercises, and some for the their editorial board and peer panels too, and less about affective knowledge transfer. It is a commodity market.

Multimeda online Journals are likely far more effective than the black and white ink of the printing press, and actual exhibits with their authors even better; a method used by art & design for many years - something the scientific community might consider doing more of.

Getting work exhibited in highly respected galleries is I suspect harder than getting a paper into the plethora of refereed Scientific Journals today. Likewise market success of a product with new general design principles resulting from design inquiry is I suggest much much harder still.

Back to my cornflakes on a bright but cloudy morning..

Alec Robertson


From: on behalf of roger malina
Sent: Sat 16/05/2009 00:50
Subject: [Yasmin_discussions] Fwd: One Two Three More Cultures

forwarded from paul hertz

From: Paul Hertz <>
Date: May 12, 2009 8:09:20 AM CDT
Subject: Re: [Yasmin_discussions] One Two Three More Cultures

Isn't it possible that the asymmetrical crossover from scientist to
artist but not commonly the other way has to do with the ease with
which anyone can become an artist?

One doesn't need a degree, after all, or a research laboratory or
grant funds to call oneself an artist. Thanks to conceptualism, one
doesn't even need a physical body of work, nor proof of years
dedicated to acquiring skill with the tools of painting or sculpture.
It's pretty much sufficient just to designate oneself an artist and
show up at openings (I exaggerate only a little). This will definitely
not work in science.

I think one could also argue also that the criteria for market success
as an artist, which are considered proof that one is, after all, an
artist, are rather more lax than the standards by which scientists are
judged as "successful" or not.

That said, I don't want to belittle the notion that there might be
structural differences in brain organization (especially if one
commits to the notion that education rearranges the brain)--but I
would hazard a guess that, for example, composers and mathematicians
may have much in common, though they apply their pattern-making and
pattern-discerning abilities to entirely different applications. If
pattern perception and pattern fabrication are the criteria, there
might be rather more in common among artists and scientists than the
culture(s) they operate in reveal. I merely suggest that the door to
applying those abilities in the opposite discipline swings more easily
in one way than the other for fairly mundane reasons: you can get away
with calling yourself an artist indefinitely.
I sure have ;^}.

-- Paul

paul-hertz AT

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