Saturday, October 31, 2015

[Yasmin_discussions] Why artists residencies in field stations and labs can benefit scientific research


I would like to follow up on Faerhten Felix's post on yasmin which i
have appended below :

that states:

As a field station manager, not a scientist, I would point out that some of
our scientists work with artists simply because we ask them to.

and she points out that there is a growing movement to host artists in
residence in scientific field stations
( which is a further development of the earlier artists in labs
movement) and she

details her interest and benefits to science below- emphasising the
'broader impacts' argument

guillermo munoz in a later post (also appended below) says

So, i would like to ask to the artscientists (or sciartists), which is your
experience in art/sci residencies?, how do you develop art/science along
these residencies?

As a scientist I have been very involved in setting up artists
residencies in science labs over

the years- and some of the outcomes i think have been important, and
there are a number

of other scientists projects with artists that have led to scientific
discoveries that would not otherwise

have occurred:

So a second reason ( after my example of the crisis in representation,
and Faerthen's broader impacts
benefit ) is the argument that art-science collaborations can lead to
scientific discoveries that would not otherwise
have been made- this is of course a subset of general creativity and
discovery theory that
has demonstrated that heterogeneous collaborations can be much more
effective than
homogenous collaborations-

I would suggest as exemplars:

the work of complexity scientist james crutchfield with artist and
composer david dunn that led to the

discovery of mechanisms accelerating the spread of fire in forests due
to sub sonic

sound generared by trees and contibuting to the emerging discipline
of acoustic ecology

the work of environmental scientist Stanley Sessions with Artist
Brandon Ballangee

on the cause of deformation of amphibians

As a side note i would mention that there is substantial evidence
arising from patents

filed by artists as is being compiled by Robert Thill:

do yasminers have other examples of scientific dicoveries as a result

of scientists collaborating with artists ? i my view such exemplars
are an important element

to motivating artists residencies in field stations as Faerthen advocates

and as Guillermo points out a similar rational could motivate
scientists residencies in art organisations
(of which there have been very few)

as a post-script - yes i am a bit uncomfortable my framing which
creates a somewhat artificial
binary opposition of art and science-which i have argued against elsewhere

Roger Malina

here is faerthen's post:

Most (if not all) scientists grasp the importance of outreach about their
work, though they often have no capacity to effect it. Being able to plug
into something we are already doing is really low-hanging fruit for them,
which they can later use in their grant reporting.

Field stations have always served to connect people who otherwise wold
never work together. As we look to increase participation in art/science
collaborations, I think it's important to look at ways to institutionalize
these relationships, rather than just hope they form spontaneously. The
Broader Impacts requirement from NSF (and other granting institutions) is a
clear and resistance-free path to engage scientists with artists. Once that
initial contact happens, the Intellectual Merits of these collaborations
will emerge least that's what we're banking on!

Faerthen Felix, Asst. Manager
UC Berkeley
Sagehen Creek Field Station

here is guillermo's post

Dear all,

I think, one of the signals of the enhancement of the art/sci practices
comes from the multiple residences that are emerging nowadays. This
residences helps a lot to improve the ideas, the energy and to build a
better configuration of the in-puts and out-puts from art/sci practice. I
think i can find two important points related to this art/sci residences:

1) Even artist residence in science lab is a common feature nowadays in
many places, it is not so obvious to find scientist residences in art labs.
I think there are many reasons, from administrative, and from double CV,
and many more. However, i would like to focus in one: artist in residence
are asked to do art. However, sciencits in residence are asked to do art.
This is an antisymmetric situation. I know that this is a broad
simplification, but at the same time i feel that there are some issues

2) Cultural differences. It is not the same to do this kind of art/sci
residences in different countries. However, the goal is that large
institutions like National Academic of Sciences, or Europe 2020 program now
included this art/sci collaborations in many fields. I recieve this with
great enthusiasm, because even my country (Spain) has a not ideal culture
for interdisciplinarity actions (we have a large tradition for static
academia), we are starting to observe programs for art/sci, like this:

This means that, as Roger said, we are living good days for art/sci

So, i would like to ask to the artscientis (or sciartists), which is your
experience in art/sci residencies?, how do you develop art/science along
these residencies?, How do you managed this information?, How do you
incorporated art/science to your research subject after the residencies?
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