Saturday, March 13, 2010

[Yasmin_discussions] cross modal

Greetings Ian, Roger, and all:

I am reading this not over scotch but over morning coffee, which may
have a very different multi-sensory effect.

In the early days of digital imaging, many of us used a little piece
of software called "NIH Image" which was developed at the National
Institutes of Health. This application allowed scientists to
experiment with wild differences in color while looking at images, so
that qualities of a particular aspect of the image could be teased to
the foreground, while visually "pushing" other elements into the
background. Changing color relationships offered the possibility of
new insights into the visual data.

I would like to think that this is an early example of artistic
thought influencing digital scientific visualization. Artists used
the software because it was free, as the government sponsorship of
this software put it in the public domain. But we also used it
because it did exactly what artists always try to do - it
facilitated analysis of emerging relationships in an image, thereby
promoting creativity. Although scientists have long used dyes to
highlight features, the complexity of shifting visual readings
through shifting relationships in color seems to be directly borrowed
from artistic analysis and methods.

By the way, in my "Digital Nature" class at the Rhode Island School
of Design, my students use current software (OK, Photoshop....) to
manipulate images from microscopes, producing stunning works drawn
directly from Nature, while offering a new look at what is there.

Surprise - in writing this message I searched and found that NIH
Image is still online in its original form:
http://rsb.info.nih.gov/nih-image

as well as an update which I am thrilled to know about
http://rsb.info.nih.gov/ij/features.html

Cynthia


Cynthia Beth Rubin
http://CBRubin.net

On Mar 13, 2010, at 6:44 AM, roger malina wrote:

> Ian
>
> well i was drinking red wine when i read your scotch influenced
> discussion
> with richard:
>
> There are a couple of things that Richard and I talked about over a
> scotch
> the other night
>
> 1. This dicusssion doesn't have a linear trajectory - in science we
> tend to
> work somewhat directionally - circularity might be initially
> interesting but
> in the end only raises issues and doesnt take us onwards - do you
> folk think
> 'onwards'?.
>
> 2. We see science contributing to the artistic world. Is the opposite
> happening?
>
> Ian
>
> a) on the non linear trajectory of yasmin discussions= indeed the
> open list
> discussion mode favors discursive
> modes rather than tightly reasoned argument= its more like a stone
> soup
> model, where each person
> contributes a stone and you end up with vegetable soup ( or rather
> ratatouille or bouillabaisse in this
> part of the world)
>
> b) re the question of science contributing to the art world versus art
> contributing to the science
> world= well thats the gauntlet !! as roy ascott famously said - in
> todays
> society it is science
> that is in trouble ( most people on the planet dont believe that
> science is
> reliable= check the
> stats on the theory of evolution and the minority of the planet that
> believes its a good
> reliable explanation !! roy encapsulated this with " ask not what
> science
> can do for art,
> ask what art can do for science"0
>
> perhaps using the cross-modal sensory discussion metaphor we should
> point
> out that
> art and science are both intrinsic parts of human culture and its not
> possible logically
> or philosophically to separate them.
>
> why are we interested in cognition and neurobiology as a science ?
> almost
> none of the
> universe has the kind of neuronal structures that humans have=
> ( most life
> is organised
> in different ways and most of the universe is non living) - so if
> we were
> running the universe
> had to decide which science to invest in, cognition and
> neurobiology would
> be one of the
> last= as these systems have almost no impact on the dominant
> processes in
> the universe=
> we are interested in them because human beings have these systems=
> we create
> art
> for human beings and we use science to understand the physical
> processes we
> us.
>
> more seriously (yes its half a bottle of wine now) art and science are
> carried out
> with different goals, methodologies and institutional structures=
> so the
> question
> you ask is at least socially meaningful.
>
> indeed science and technology have had a huge impact on the arts
> ( most
> importantly through the way that physics and quantum mechanics led
> to semi
> conductors led to the digal computer etc) and the are now numerous
> new art
> forms
> enabled by the digital revolution)( and the new bio arts are
> building on
> genetic
> science etc)
>
> the opposite is also happening with the work of artists influencing
> science
> and technology ( in methods, goals, approaches), robert thrill has
> a growing
> list of examples of patents filed by artists:
> http://www.artsactive.net/en/resources/patents/
> (I encourage yasminers to add to his list: "Robert Thill"
> <robert.thil lAT
> gmail.com>,
> and there are numerous examples of art science collaborations
> leading to
> scientific
> papers with the artists as co authors- the one i always like to
> cite is the
> work
> of david dunn and jim crutchfield on bio accoustic ecology
>
> http://www.acousticecology.org/science.html
>
> and i just started a twine with examples of scientific papers co
> authored
> by artists
> and scientists= send me additions to rmalina AT alum.mit.edu if you
> have a
> science paper
> co authored by an artist and scientist
>
> ian and richard= back to you and the wine hands over non linearily
> to the
> scotch
>
> roger
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