Monday, August 7, 2017

[Yasmin_discussions] Fwd: THEMAS instead of STEAM ??


art/tech pioneer frieder nake sends us this comment on our
steam to stem discussion

he brings us a salutory reminder that the meta discussion, which
i have been party to, may not be very relevant to practioners ! nor
in face of the very real problems our world is facing


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: nake <>

Dear Roger,

I occasionally read a statement in this long, heavy, demanding ongoing
STEM and STEAM and THEMAS and huevos rancheros discourses, and then I
give up again reading (for it justs takes too much of my time), but I
have not said anything even though I often felt I wanted to do so.

For me, much of these intelligent essays appears as meta-polylog with
way too much of meta. Here a three or four scattered notes, really
scattered only, not even the attempt at anything substantial, nothing
more than a Sunday morning remark by a wounded soul.

At any given moment over the last five years or more, I had between 20
and 25 students at Bachelor or Master levels (plus five at doctoral
level) whose theses I was supervising. Their topics span a wide
spectrum between art, media, design, and computer science. They
require so much time to advice that the meta discourse gets touched
once in a while but is not really interesting. Not more than a nice
remark, not touching the substance of what those students are doing.

There are about 200 new and unread books sitting around my desk
wanting to be studied. They are about political, media, artistic,
philosophical, scientific matters. I allow myself for about two hours
on Sunday mornings at 5 a.m. to read a few pages. So I will die before
I have read 5% of this growing and incredibly interesting mass of
intellectual production. These books deal with issues from those
disciplines, hardly any of them are meta.

There is a big problem in the world: the return of religious wars.
There is another huge problem in the world: the climate change. And
yet another two: the outrageous attacks of capitalism on everything
human, and the growth of right-wing political movements. To call any
of these developments a "problem" is, in some sense, belittling. They
are not "problems" of the kind you deal with in art or mathematics.
They concern democracy and enlightenment and we cannot even understand
anyof the basics if we don't approach it on the level of dialectics.
The meta issues are far away. Almost like a fund-raising educational

Vis-à-vis such scattered remarks, I don't see much space or time (no
matter how you count dimensions) for those meta-questions. I am
already fully occupied when I try to do a decent teaching job.

Frieder Nake

On 06/08/17 01:46, roger malina wrote:

i had a chance to talk to marcus novak at the leonardo 50th birthday
part at sheila pinkel's home
in los angeles

we discussed his THEMAS concept as an alternative to the stem to steam
discussions- as he points put "It builds upon the successes of
STEM/STEAM, with greater emphasis on the humanities, creativity, and
synthesis." the us national academies study
also emphasises that the humanites need to be fully integrated into
the stem to steam discussion

here is marcus ( hope you will tell us more) web site:

Knowledge is often presented to us in fragmented form. We become
informed about the parts, but lose the sense of the whole. We gain
expertise, but lose balance. This course proposes to treat knowledge
as a transdisciplinary, organic, n-dimensional continuum.

"Mediated Worlds" examines how technologies and humanities (means and
ends), engineering and mathematics (concrete and abstract), and arts
and sciences (synthesis and analysis) inform all aspects of how we
come to know and make the world.

Touching upon themes ranging from media arts and digital humanities to
virtual reality and future cinema, from generative systems and the
poetics of new technologies to non-Euclidean geometries and
n-dimensional spacetime, from liquid architectures and new music to
pattern formation and algorithmic aesthetics, from artificial life and
machine learning to soft robotics and bioengineering, from world
mythologies and ancient philosophies to cognitive psychology and
neuroscience, from thermodynamics and symmetry operations to genomics
and new materials, from quantum entanglement and live performance to
synthetic ecologies and the Anthropocene, this course presents an
interconnected model of knowledge, learning, creative discovery, and
21st century citizenship.



The THEMAS*** model proposes a continuum across disciplines previously
separated by narrow specializations. It builds upon the successes of
STEM/STEAM, with greater emphasis on the humanities, creativity, and

***Technologies Humanities Engineering Mathematics Arts Sciences

roger malina
is somewhere in colorado


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