Now, how could I refuse such a challenge? It seems inevitable, I will gladly help coordinate a white paper on this.
Molly said: "Can we add to this -- collaborations which seek to frame particular sets of issues and concerns, problems to be solved? Designers are most
important when they articulate an area where problems need resolution"
Indeed collaboration is goal oriented, and what I think we are trying to grasp is perhaps not so much a taxonomy of collaborations as such, but a taxonomy of collaboration goals. As Roger points out: 'we need to distinguish between observational, experimental, theoretical sciences' and ' its not the same thing for an artist to collaborate with a theoretical cosmologist, a field biologist or an optics researcher'. But even when 3 artists collaborate with 3 different field biologists, there will be great differences depending on the methods and attitude with which one enters such collaborations. So, what I think is actually at stake here is our understanding of the goals. Is the aim of a collaboration communication, (new)
As we stated before, collaborations often go wrong when the expectations
do not meet. Each had a different goal in mind, even if the goals are
described as the same, the perspective from which we come from determines these expectations. Is is possible that two parties in a collaboration may have two different goals and that both may work together successfully. Every new collaboration requires a defining of roles and functions. If we have a taxonomy of these types, then this might help clarify issues.
In the end we are interested in how this translates to educational curricula. I'm usually interested in hands on descriptions, case study based. If we might make rough map of types of collaborators then these might be able to be set up in small educational projects. To experience and feel what it is like to function like a translator of science, while at the same time maintain ones autonomous aims, not an easy thing to achieve, but a lot easier when you are aware that the outside world views your function in a collaboration differently than how you do.
Having said that we are dealing with new types of collaborations with the rise of art researchers and artistic researchers. Slowly but surely a body of hybrids is being brought into the world who are able to jump into artistic as well as scientific methodologies and find ways to balance them on the sharp edge of speculative research that develops knowledge that is both artistically as well as scientifically interesting. A good example that I just recently came across (although I did know the project, I did not know it's process was so interesting), is the project The Mirror Box, how art became science: https://vimeo.com/38138351
What I find very illustrative about this story is the way it was born and the way it found its way into research labs, in particular it is interesting how the artist doubts her own role, where it seems the artist decided to let go of the project in the end. What if the artist was a trained artistic researcher? Where would this project go? Another thing that is interesting is the method that was chosen to distribute the project, like a mini documentary. Film captures what no questionnaire can, namely the human effect/affect. What type of knowledge is this?
And if such methods need to be integrated into collaborations, as a form of best practice of knowledge dissemination, it brings on a whole extra layer of practical issues. How to organize a film team? Most research happens between closed doors. Transparency needs to become a method, this requires a definition of the activity so that it is seem in context and not as a danger to research developments. At the same time, certain freedoms need to be negotiated for aesthetic purposes. Should research be allowed to be scripted? Budget applications need to take into account such a filming, it might seem an excessive burden on a total budget, but with regards to public outreach it becomes clarified. These types of documentation processes need to be professionalized as well.
What we perhaps need is a very practical conceptual guide that could help better understand our own positions in collaborations as well as others, so that it may be used as a practical tool, that can be implemented within educational projects as well. What we need are the stories of real people who share the issues they encountered with collaborations, summarizing it into clear descriptions and where they would place these issues in such a mapping.
Again, apologies for this, but I refer to my own practice again, as one thing issue that I have been battling with is ethics. When I approach an institute to pilot my psychosis simulation projects, the fear arises that the works might function as psychosis stimulators instead of simulators. This brings strong practical organizational issues, as you set things up and then people retract, become afraid. Do not want to be a guinea pig, in particular when university students participate in such experiments. What is needed, or what I would have needed, was practical guidelines, that aid the planning of the researc, instead of me trying to solve ethical issues on my own. Other practical issues in experiments have for instance been fire safety issues. As soon as art moves into the realm of science/ the larger public (and as a young artist one is often not aware, you just feel lucky you can do stuff), it is taken more seriously, and thus more serious rules
apply. I'd be curious to hear about other peoples encounters.
If it is alright with you, I will put these idea's in the form of a draft abstract and hope that some yasminer's will contribute their wisdom and experience, with the aim to inspire others to pick up this discourse of practical mapping, perhaps one day a person will write 'A Practical Handbook For Art Science Collaborations' based on this white paper...:)
Jennifer Kanary Nikolov(a)| Artistic Researcher
PhD Candidate Plymouth University | Planetary Collegium | M-Node
www.labyrinthpsychotica.org | www.facebook.com/LabyrinthPsychotica
www.roomforthoughts.com| www.facebook.com/roomforthoughts| @roomforthoughts
> From: roger malina <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>To: YASMIN DISCUSSIONS <Yasmin_discussions@estia.media.uoa.gr>
>Sent: Wednesday, August 1, 2012 12:19 PM
>Subject: [Yasmin_discussions] on the need for conceptual clarity and taxonomies
>I very much agree with you that we need some conceptual clarity=
>not all science/engineering to arts/design/humanities collaborations
>face the same obstacles and that there is much over generalisation
>i think i mentioned before that within the sciences we need to distinguish
>between observational, experimental, theoretical sciences
>its not the same thing for an artist to collaborate with a theoretical
>cosmologist, a field biologist or an optics researcher
>same goes within the arts= the time based arts from music to theater etc
>which are performative necessarily face different obstacles in collaboration
>than arts which are media based ( painting, sculpture, new media art etc)
>there have been a number of taxonomies in art and new media published
>( louise poissant did a great job on media arts terminology
>robert root bernstein has done some taxonomy work = an did a little
>blogging also :
>and over the years leonardo journal has published a number of taxonomies
>why dont you organise a SEAD white paper on the need for taxonomies
>and associated conceptual clarity re S/E toA/D collaboration obstacles
>am happy to be on your working group and we can maybe convince louise
>poissant to advise and maybe there are people on this list would
>be interested in being on a working group
>---------- Forwarded message ----------
>From: Jennifer Kanary Nikolov(a) <email@example.com>
>Date: Tue, Jul 31, 2012 at 2:07 PM
>Subject: Re: [Yasmin_discussions] self introduction
>To: YASMIN DISCUSSIONS <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Perhaps it is useful for us to create a taxonomy of the different
>types of collaboration and write where which problems occur, so that
>solutions may be collected. I'm sure others will have written about
>this, but just to summarize a rough initial list:
>1) Collaboration to illustrate science (here science commissions
>artists to help illustrate, often as translation to the general
>2) Collaboration in which artists in labs 'playing' with the 'fun
>things' one finds in labs (in search for for instance new aesthetic)
>3) Collaboration with actual integration of methods (may include all
>aspects of the above) - This I would refer to as artistic research or
>- led by individual artist (where scientists are advising collaborators)
>- led by scientist (Where artists are advising collaborators)
>- led by an artist and a scientist in a team
>* methods are very different when collaborating with humanities or
>engineering - different methods, different problems...
>4) Network collaboration
>- corporate collaboration (funds, knowledge production)
>- organizational collaboration (non-profit funds, PR)
>- institutional collaboration (PR, presentation locations)
>5) Institutional Collaboration (when the initiative comes from a university)
>* the very real issues that happen related to time organization etc
>To be clear on the different types of art research-artistic research,
>here is a small list I once put together to explain the different
>types of students that participated in the Honours Programme Art and
>5 Types of Participatory art research-artistic research students
>1. A university student interested to get closer to art with the
>interest of gaining depth and new perspective in relation to their own
>discipline. Participating observer.
>2. A university student who is interested in the integration of
>artistic methods without aspiration of making art. Integrating
>artistic methods as an enrichment of academic methodologies. Art
>without the artist. Methods of re-enactment.
>3. A hybrid student. One who seeks new forms of knowledge production
>combining artistic and academic methods aiming for the highest
>achievements in both methodologies.
>4. An art student who wants to get closer to the theories that are
>related to his work. Aims for high artistic achievement. Knowledge
>development is Secondary.
>5. An art student who wants to get inspired by academic theories. To
>get closer to science. Theories are applied to suit the artist and are
>not tested or analyzed for truth.
>Jennifer Kanary Nikolov(a)| Artistic Researcher
>PhD Candidate Plymouth University | Planetary Collegium | M-Node
>www.labyrinthpsychotica.org | www.facebook.com/LabyrinthPsychotica
>www.roomforthoughts.com| www.facebook.com/roomforthoughts| @roomforthoughts
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HOW TO SUBSCRIBE: 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").
HOW TO ENABLE / DISABLE DIGEST MODE: in the options page, find the "Set Digest Mode" option and set it to either on or off.