Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Resources for art/science collaborations

Here's a helpful note from Tracey Bell, ecoorchestra.com via Fred Swanson:


I wanted to share a few resources with you for your future explorations into this topic:

I'm not sure if you have connected with the folks that run the Cultural Programs of the National Academies of Science, but you should reach out to them for sure!

One example of national standards for art+science collaborations might be the evaluative criteria for the NEA's Artworks grant for cross-disciplinary art+science projects.

You could also check out the Americans For the Arts for everything from the economic impact of the arts to models for civic engagement in the arts. Subpages of potential interest to you:

  • National Arts Administration and Policy Research Database
  • Animating Democracy "As a program of Americans for the Arts, we bring national visibility to arts for change work, build knowledge about quality practice, and create useful resources. By demonstrating the public value of creative work that contributes to social change and fostering synergy across arts and other fields and sectors, we work to make the arts an integral and effective part of solutions to the challenges of communities and toward ensuring a healthy democracy."

With regard to other topics:

The Art and Social Justice movement looks at returning agency to traditionally oppressed or underrepresented groups and giving them the ability to tell their own story through performing arts, writing, or visual arts. Often projects have a connection to land, place, food, the environment. The Art and Social Practice movement , which is similar but not exactly the same, looks at socially engaged art making and often has an connection to the environment and place as an integral part of community life.  A great place to start looking for more information on these topics would be the Open Engagement Conference.  PSU also has an MFA program in Social Practice Art.

And last but not least, here are some examples of social practice/science/art work that I found in my research that might be of interest to you as well:

  • City as a Living Laboratory  Includes best practices framework for collaboration between artists and scientists. "Mary Miss / City as Living Laboratory (MM/CaLL) is an initiative spearheaded by artist Mary Miss to establish a platform for artists, working in collaboration with scientists, urban planners, policy makers, and the public, to make sustainability tangible through the arts. CaLL asks: by what means can we foster roles for artists and designers to shape and bring attention to the pressing environmental issues of our times?"
  • Highwater Line Performance piece that engages communities in dialogue about rising water levels and climate change and includes a action guide and educational materials. (Sponsored by Eco ArtSpace) 

Art/Science Residencies

Here's a great article on residencies that facilitate interdisciplinary work between art and science. Below are some interesting quotes from the article:

"We perceive a world where artists and scientists collaborate directly with each other to create innovative interdisciplinary work and projects that have a positive impact on society, technology and culture."

"The residency environment is also particularly well-suited for collaboration and synergy between often disparate-seeming disciplines...In this spirit, many multidisciplinary organizations are forming creative residencies as a way of addressing ecological and scientific issues."

"Art and imagery are inherent in the creative process in science and integral to the communication of its discoveries. For theoretical physics, images can be powerful expressions of elegant mathematical equations that are otherwise inaccessible to many."

"Artists often investigate ideas differently than scientists, and communicating this way of seeing can move the science forward."

"The artists were also surprised to find that some of the most innovative art was already being created at [CERN] by the engineers and lab technicians, who were crafting machines that combined state-of-the-art technology and some of the world's finest craftsmanship. The resulting dialogue explored the question of whether sculptural objects that were created without the intention of being art--but rather as scientific tools--were in fact art."

"While science dominates restoration thought, it seems increasingly clear that science is necessary, but not sufficient...and neither is art. I think this project can help establish a clear role for artists and humanists, not as solitary visionaries, but as participants; not as some mystical or magical process, but as an important, critical perspective; not as arbitrator, but as co-worker, one among many disciplines equally necessary to the recovery and revitalization of this whole place."

Read more at greenmuseum.org, a nonprofit online resource to support and advance the environmental art movement

Monday, July 27, 2015

Great article on science that was inspired by art!

This article (and references) from 2011 is so good, I'm pasting the whole thing in, just in case it vanishes from the original source at Science Blogs!

Also see this post.


Most people are at a loss to be able to identify any useful connections between arts and
sciences. This ignorance is appalling. Arts provide innovations through analogies, models, skills, structures, techniques, methods, and knowledge. Arts don’t just prettify science or make technology more aesthetic; they often make both possible.
That cell phone or PDA you’re carrying? It uses a form of encryption called frequency hopping to ensure your messages can’t easily be intercepted. Frequency hopping was invented by the composer George Antheil in collaboration with the actress Hedy Lamarr. Yeah, really. The electronic screen that displays your messages (not to mention the ones on your computer and your TV), they employ a combination of red, green, and blue dots from which all the different colors can be generated. That innovation was the collaboration of a series of painter-scientists (e.g., American physicist Ogden Rood and German Nobel laureate Wilhelm Ostwald) and post-impressionist artists such as Seurat – you know, the guy who painted his pictures out of dots of color, just like the ones in your electronic devices…. The first programmable device was invented by J. M. Jacquard to control the looms that made his tapestries and exactly the same technique was used to program the first computers. He also made the first digital image – out of black and white threads. In fact, the computer chips that run virtually all our devices today are made using a combination of three classic artistic inventions: etching, silk screen printing, and photolithography. Data from NASA and NSA satellites is enhanced using artistic techniques such as chiaroscuro (a Renaissance invention) and false coloring (the Fauvists) to increase the contrast so
it’s easier to perceive the important information. Artists figured out how to hide information, too. Camouflage was invented by the American painter Abbot Thayer, who was unable to convince Teddy Roosevelt to use it in the Spanish American war. By WWI, however, painters such as the Vorticists in England and the Cubists in France were co-opted by their governments to design prints to protect troops, equipment, and planes.
In medicine, the stitches that permit a surgeon to correct an aneurysm or carry out a heart transplant were invented by American Nobel laureate Alexis Carrel, who took his knowledge of lace-making into the operating room. That pace maker you use: it’s a simple modification of a musical metronome. If you have a neurological deficit, your neurologist may employ dance notation to analyze your problem. The stent that was implanted in your aorta to keep it open, that was designed using the principles of origami.
Oh, and that bridge you drove over on the way to work: good chance its design was invented
by an artist. Princeton engineering professor David Billington and Smithsonian historian Brooke Hindle have shown that most of the innovations in bridge design have originated with artistically trained engineers such as John Roebling and Robert Maillart. In fact, there’s a long tradition of artists-turned-inventors in the US. You probably didn’t know that Samuel Morse (telegraph) and Robert Fulton (steam ship) were among the most prominent American artists before they turned to inventing (visit the Smithsonian American Art Galleries some time). You are probably also ignorant of the fact that Alexander Graham Bell was a pianist whose invention of the telephone began with a simple musical game. Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic domes don’t just provide us with unusual architectures, they also inform our understanding of cell and virus structure that permits new biomedical insights. Geodesic
domes led to the invention of a new kind of chemical nanoparticle called “Buckminsterfullerene,” which is the basis of new medicines. Kenneth Snelson’s tensegrity sculptures (stroll past his “Needle Tower” outside the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden on the Mall) aren’t just fascinating, they’ve also created a whole new form of engineering. Biologists have even found that it’s principles explain the shapes of cells. Google it!
In fact, I’ve just published a study that shows that almost all Nobel laureates in the sciences
are actively engaged in arts as adults. They are twenty-five times as likely as average scientist to sing, dance, or act; seventeen times as likely to be an artist; twelve times more likely to write poetry and literature; eight times more likely to do woodworking or some other craft; four times as likely to be a musician; and twice as likely to be a photographer. Many connect their art with their scientific creativity.
Moreover, those folks who produce the new patentable inventions and found the new
companies to produce them – they, too, are artistically trained: they are far more likely to have continuous participation in drawing, painting, dancing, woodworking, metal working, and mechanics than their less innovative peers. Ninety percent of them, in interviews, expressed the opinion that the arts should be part of every scientists and technologists education. Eighty percent of them could point to specific ways in which their arts training directly enhanced their innovative ability.
In sum, successful innovators in sciences and technology are artistic people. Stimulate the arts and you stimulate innovation.
Bob Root-Bernstein, Ph. D.
MacArthur Fellow
Professor of Physiology
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824 USA
Root Bernstein, R. S., Bernstein, M. and Garnier, H. W. “Correlations between Avocations,
Scientific Style, and Professional Impact of Thirty Eight Scientists of the Eiduson Study,” Creativity Research Journal 8: 115 137, 1995.

Root-Bernstein, R. S. “Art Advances Science,” Nature 407: 134, 2000.

Root Bernstein, R. S. “Music, creativity, and scientific thinking,” Leonardo 34, no. 1, 63-68, 2001.

Root-Bernstein, R. S. “Sensual chemistry. Aesthetics as a motivation for research.” Hyle: The Journal of the Philosophy of Chemistry 9, 35-53, 2003.

Root-Bernstein, R. S. and Root-Bernstein, M. M. “Artistic Scientists and Scientific Artists: The
Link between Polymathy and Creativity” in Sternberg, Robert, Grigorenko, Elana L., and Singer, Jerome, L., editors, Creativity: From Potential to Realization (Washington, D. C.: American Psychological Association, 2004), pp. 127-151.

Root-Bernstein, M. M. and Root-Bernstein, R. S. “Body Thinking Beyond Dance: A Tools for
Thinking Approach,” In Overby, Lynette, and Lepczyk, Billie, eds. Dance: Current Selected Research, vol.5, pp. 173-202, 2005.

Root-Bernstein RS, Lindsay Allen^, Leighanna Beach^, Ragini Bhadula^, Justin Fast^, Chelsea Hosey^, Benjamin Kremkow^, Jacqueline Lapp^, Kaitlin Lonc^, Kendell Pawelec^, Abigail Podufaly^, Caitlin Russ^, Laurie Tennant^, Erric Vrtis^ and Stacey Weinlander^. “Arts Foster Success: Comparison of Nobel Prizewinners, Royal Society, National Academy, and Sigma Xi Members.” J Psychol Sci Tech 2008; 1(2):51-63.

Ecosphere paper on art at FSMLs

Fred Swanson has an essay in the Ecological Society of America's Ecosphere this month, on the past and present state of art at field research (and other) sites.

Titled, "Confluence of arts, humanities, and science at sites of long-term ecological inquiry", this paper was informed in part by the survey of FSML art programs we did recently, so thanks for participating! The publication is a fantastic synopsis of where we are and where we've been, which will be very helpful as we move forward with art/science integration.

Fred has a past ESA paper from 2008 that might also be of interest: "Bridging boundaries: scientists, creativewriters, and the long view of the forest" discusses the excellent Long-Term Ecological Reflections program:
"Developed as an analog to the Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) program sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the Reflections program attempts to bridge the sciences and humanities in places like the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest LTER site (Oregon) and Mount St Helens (Washington State), where participants reflect, share ideas, and write."

Envisioning the future of work

Rather than just do yet another dry study or report for their Intelligence & Autonomy project on the future of intelligent systems, the Data & Society Research Institute, a New York think tank, commissioned four writers earlier this year to produce science-fictional stories to uncover and explore potential issues with this transformational technology.

"The stories looked at how the rise of machine intelligence and automation might transform warfare, disaster management, medicine, and labor."

Read one of the stories here.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

What can art do?

"Watershed Sculpture" that acts to restore a floodplain.
Art can "have a job to do".

Bill Fox talks about and promotes, "art that walks in the world" to address real issues; and there is "a growing trend that seeks to blend art with environmental restoration." Artist residencies are "striving to not only be positively impacted by their environment, but also improve and become active participants in their environment."

An interesting conversation started around the recent #ArtSciConverge workshop in Reno, NV. Here are some highlights:

... in considering [the] notion that artists who do this work, "fall into two categories: interpreter or translator. Many of the scientists were, in fact, seeking interpreters for their work. These are artists who can give the analysis of data collection empathetic meaning. The word “empathy” for scientific discovery was used frequently." 
We would like to suggest another category, it is the category of "creator" where the artists, like the scientists, create something that did not pre-exist them. For instance, in the Sagehen work, we created the experiment, hired the scientists to help us work it out, thereafter the whole experience will find its way into the scientific literature in one way and the artistic domain in another; or look at the piece for the Greenheart of Holland, where, like mining four different disciplines, we literally put on the table the partial creation of the whole landscape.  
Many other artists also fit in this category, in one way or the other, in the art-science domain. For instance, look at the work of Brandon Ballengee, who was at our meeting, or Betsy Damon's, "The Keeper of the Waters" or for that matter Lauren Bon who makes the astonishing and radical discovery that is was not the railroads but the mule that built the west, and manifests this by supporting a hundred mule train moving from the desert to the center of LA. Maya Lin’s recent work is also of this category. These are all creative acts and neither interpret nor translate but rather transform how one might think and therefore respond to the world differently, perhaps more empathically.

Helen Mayer Harrison/Newton Harrison
Co-Directors - Center for the Study of the Force Majeure; Professors Emeritus, UCSD; Research Professors, UC Santa Cruz; Principals - Harrison Studio

[More here]
* * * 
Apologies for taking so long to reply to this, but we wanted to add the Center’s support to the Harrisons’ delineation of this third category of artistic endeavor as it relates to science. Many of the art projects that we archive are works where artists use what they have learned from science to create not only new works, but new line of inquiry within their careers. The data and information become the raw grist from which they eventually bake something quite different. In turn, those works help people see the world from a new perspective—one that may, in fact, lead them back to science.

This is not an act of interpretation, but another use of data and information, one where perhaps science inspires creativity. I say that provisionally as much to test out the idea among us all.

Thanks, Helen and Newton, for such an elegant reply.

William L. Fox
Director, Center for Art + Environment, Nevada Museum of Art 
* * * 
Very well said, Helen and Newton. It is this category, creator, that is most transformative to our thinking and therefore most valuable.

Stephen J Tonsor, Ph.D.
Director of Science and Research
Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Lessons Learned from talking about the Nature of Creativity in the Brain

Bill O'Brien, of the National Endowment for the Arts, attended a workshop on the Nature of Creativity in the Brain held by the Santa Fe Institute in June, 2015.

The workshop report is due out next month and I'll post it here when it arrives. In the meantime, here's an article Bill wrote about the event, outlining the lessons learned.


Update, 8-10-15: 

Pacific-Standard Magazine has an article about the workshop. The workshop report is available here.

Science, Technology, and Art in International Relations (STAIR)

"The International Studies Association (ISA) has been the premier organization for connecting scholars and practitioners in fields of international studies since 1959. 

 ISA was founded in 1959 to promote research and education in international affairs. With well over six thousand members in North America and around the world, ISA is the most respected and widely known scholarly association in this field. ISA cooperates with 57 international studies organizations in over 30 countries, is a member of the International Social Science Council, and enjoys nongovernmental consultative status with the United Nations."

One program section of ISA is Science, Technology, and Art in International Relations (STAIR).

"This newly chartered section recognizes that science, technology, and art are at the core of global politics. They shape much of the everyday reality of international security, statecraft, development, design of critical global infrastructures, approaches to social justice, and the practices of global governance. Science, technology and art (i.e., in the form of creativity, the arts, architecture and design) permeate international affairs in the form of material elements and networks, technical instruments, systems of knowledge and scientific practices. Yet, they also challenge existing conceptual approaches and prompt us to step beyond IR canons to seek inter-disciplinary collaborations. Through this new section we generate the space for international Relations (IR) as a discipline and field to engage these matters through productive intellectual research conversations with existing subsections as well as other disciplines. Our intention is that this will facilitate theoretical understandings of how we go about creating, assessing, and deliberating scientific, technological and artistic design and their impact on the shifts of contemporary world order. To use a methodological metaphor, if science, technology and art are held constant in most IR models, STAIR aims to make them variable!"

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

#ArtSciConverge: NSF Workshop in Reno, NV - June 19-21, 2015

Perspectives: Examining Complex Ecological Dynamics through Arts, Humanities and Science Integration, Nevada Museum of Art • Reno, Nevada June 19-21, 2015

Proposal (NSF DEB-1543827) | Participant packetPhotos | Workshop report (will be posted when completed)

Dinner conversation
"The purpose of this workshop is to advance the integration of the arts and humanities (AH) with science in the interest of addressing complex ecological and social-ecological challenges. 

This effort is emerging organically from the recent groundswell in arts and humanities activities associated with Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) network sites (www.ecologicalreflections.com) and Field Stations and Marine Labs (FSML), and is expanding to incorporate an array of other organizations active in art and science integrative research and public outreach. 

Through this workshop, we aim to expand the depth and breadth of interdisciplinary efforts and to map a path forward in which AH contributes not only to outreach and education efforts, but also to fundamental inquiry and analyses of the grand challenges facing ecosystems and social-ecological systems. By integrating these different means of inquiry and observation, challenges may be met with greater power and insight than each discipline can offer in isolation."

Speaker Presentations:

Why are field research stations even interested in art?
Overview of the Recent National Academy of Science Publication on the Future of Field Stations and Marine Laboratories (FSMLs) 
Jerry Schubel, President and CEO, Aquarium of the Pacific:

* * *

What are artists already doing at field sites? Why are they doing it?
Art of the Anthropocene
Bill Fox, Director, Nevada Museum of Art - Center for Art + Environment:

* * *

Does art make us see the world differently than science does?
The Pliability of Perception
Art Shimamura, Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute at the University of California, Berkeley

* * *

What is the nature of creativity?
The Emerging Field of Neuroaesthetics and Why the Linkage Between Arts and Sciences Actually Engages our Brains in a Different Way
Michael Casey, James Wright Professor, Depts. of Music and Computer Science, Dartmouth College

* * *

Can art make useful discoveries about the world (vs. traditional outreach and illustration)?
Art Experience vs. Science Experience
Brandon Ballengée, Artist and Biologist

* * *

What are the mandates that drive environmental (and other) art? What are the metrics for success? What’s the future?
Panel Discussion: Arts Funding 
Bill O’Brien, Senior Advisor for Innovation to the Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts
Janet Brown, President and CEO, Grantmakers in the Arts

* * *

How Do You Work the Art/Science Interface and Get to Impact?
The Green Heart Project 
Helen and Newton Harrison, Artists

* * *

What are the issues around integrating art and science?
Overview of, “Steps to an Ecology of Networked Knowledge and Innovation", from the Sciences, Engineering, Arts, and Design (SEAD) Network.
Amy Ione, Artist and Educator

* * *

Humanities in Action: A look at work in the science/philosophy interface to promote social action
Michael Nelson, Ruth H. Spaniol Chair of Renewable Resources, Oregon State University

* * *

Complex Program Case Study:
Master Class on How to Create and Build an International Arts-Science-Technology Program Putting Them on the Same Level, Using Arts@CERN as an Example
Ariane Koek, Founder of Arts@CERN

* * *


| Xavier Cortada, artist and activist |

* * *

| Brian Smith, STEM to STEAM leader |

* * *

| Art Shimamura, neuroscientist |

* * *

| Janet Brown, arts funding representative |

* * *

List of Workshop Products
Experimental Forest: Media Art, Data and Ecology: Harvestworks will partner with the Hubbard Brook Research Foundation and a network of biological field stations and Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) sites to support artist residencies on the creative use of environmental data. Six artists will collaborate with scientific researchers and staff at six national field stations – each with a distinct ecosystem and in many cases with decades of collected information—to develop new projects that can illuminate ecological issues and engage the public in new ways during in a time of intense environmental and climate change. Each location will produce public events centered on the residences, and outcomes will be broadly shared to inspire further collaborations between the arts and environmental research sites.
  • Meetings:
    • Bill Fox participated in several meetings that directly resulted from the Reno workshop, including a 2016 Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA) strategic meeting in NYC on putting funders next to art/sci initiatives, and a 2017 NSF strategy meeting in Washington, DC.
  • Artist/Scientist collaborations at field research sites:
    • Symphony of Jellies. Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach, CA. 2015. After the workshop, Jerry Schubel commissioned artist Marty Quinn to sonify jellyfish motion. This provided melodic components used by musicians Eddie Freeman and Marta Victoria to create a symphony performed by Los Angeles high school students in 2016. Photos.
    • Ever/Perma multimedia art project by Xavier Cortada on climate change and methane in the Florida Everglades and in Alaskan permafrost, with Annie Duffy and Mary Beth Leigh as collaborators (University of Alaska Fairbanks).
    • A proposal from Harvestworks by Kevin Duggan to the New York State Regional Economic Development Council was funded:
"Art, Data and Ecology at NYS Field Stations" is a cultural mapping project to identify resources and best practices to support the creation and exhibition of new work by artists and cultural organizations in collaboration with biological field stations in New York State. Collaborators include the New York City Urban Field Station and the Huyck Preserve and Biological Research Station.

  • Archive of #ArtSciConverge materials at the Nevada Museum of Art - Center for Art + Environment
  • Input to the SEAD report 5-year update
  • ArtSciConverge presentations:
    • 2015 LTER All-Scientists meeting. Working Group Session: Engagement of Arts and Humanities in LTER Sites and Programs. Fred Swanson, Lindsey Rustad, Mary Beth Leigh, and others from the LTER. Aug. 30-Sept. 2, 2015. Estes Park, CO.
    • Organization of Biological Field Stations (OBFS) 2015 annual meeting. Gothic, CO. Sept. 16-20, 2015. Concurrent Session: Faerthen Felix, Eric Nagy, Jon Garbisch, Murt Conover.
    • Proposed Mt. Mansfield Center Review. Burlington, VT. April 18-19, 2016. Faerthen Felix, Lindsey Rustad.
    • Art/Science Collaboration in the Great Basin. Playa, OR. April 22-25, 2016. Faerthen Felix.
    • Sierra Club - Northern Sierra Chapter Meeting, Claire Tappan Lodge, CA. June 20, 2016. Faerthen Felix.
    • UC California Naturalist 2016 Statewide Conference. Los Angeles, CA. Sept. 9-11, 2016. Faerthen Felix, Charles Convis, Elkpen.
    • Organization of Biological Field Stations 2016 meeting. Sept. 21-25, 2016. Sitka, AK. Concurrent Session: Faerthen Felix and Mark Shultze.
    • Alliance of Artist Communities 2016 Conference. Oct. 4-7, 2016. Portland, OR. Concurrent Session: Faerthen Felix, Bill Fox, Deb Ford, Charles Goodrich.
    • TEDx Fairbanks: Seeing the Elephant: Toward Reintegration of the Arts, Humanities, and Ecological Sciences. Mary Beth Leigh. Feb.21, 2016. Fairbanks, AK. 
    • Alliance for Arts at Research Universities (a2ru) Meeting. Nov. 3-5, 2016. Panel Session: Ecological Reflections: Integrating the Arts and Humanities with Science at Long-Term Ecological Research Sites. Mary Beth Leigh, Fred Swanson, and others. Denver, CO. 
    • Fred Swanson has given talks at North Temperate Lakes LTER and the Oregon State University Hatfield Marine Science Center. 
    • Mary Beth Leigh has given invited seminars at Oregon State University (June, 2016) and North Dakota State University (Nov. 2016).
  • Workshop Press:
  • Social Media presence:
  • Planned products:
    • NSF Final Report (2017)
    • WESTAF Public Art Archive of field station artworks
    • Section on art at FSMLs in an upcoming Handbook of Best Practices for Mountain Observatories
    • National coordinator for art at FSMLs
    • Facilitate scientist participation in artist residencies (2015-)
    • Grantmakers in the Arts meeting (2016)

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Music changes perception

Do artists and scientists actually see different things?

A recent study suggests that what we are capable of perceiving depends on our past experience:

"Music is not only able to affect your mood -- listening to particularly happy or sad music can even change the way we perceive the world, according to researchers from the University of Groningen...

...your brain continuously compares the information that comes in through your eyes with what it expects on the basis of what you know about the world. The final result of this comparison process is what we eventually experience as reality."

Jacob Jolij, Maaike Meurs. Music Alters Visual PerceptionPLoS ONE, 2011; 6 (4): e18861 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0018861

Friday, July 3, 2015

MDI Biological Lab Art Meets Science Exhibitions

From their website:

The MDI Biological Laboratory’s fourth annual Art Meets Science exhibit takes place summer 2015 at its Salisbury Cove campus. “Is It Art or Is It Science?” focuses on works that were created to be either artistic or scientific, or both, and which reflect the research interests of the Institution’s scientists.

“Both artists and scientists use creativity and the discovery process to create images of the world,” says Bonnie Gilfillan, who directs the Art Meets Science program. “You can’t always tell whether something was produced for scientific or artistic purposes. We’re interested in works that blur the boundaries between these disciplines.”...

Science and art describe the world to us and offer new ways of understanding the diverse and complex realities of life. Both share a rich history of discovery and the search for truth. Each is a tangible, physical endeavor; each relies on abstraction.

--Thanks to Leslie Ryan for the link!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Conference Report: "Art as a Way of Knowing", March 3-4, 2011 at the San Francisco Exploratorium

In 2011, the San Francisco Exploratorium hosted a NSF-funded conference called "Art as a Way of Knowing".
The organizers, "wanted to know how the arts expand our engagement and understanding of the natural and social worlds...The premise of "Art as a Way of Knowing" was that art is a fundamental part of being human, and that learning in and through the arts is a serious form of interacting with the world by engaging with its questions, formulating ideas, and deepening knowledge."
The purpose of the conference was to gather a broad range of artists, scientists, and educators to explore the history, practice, and value of the arts as a means of inquiring into the natural world. The conference brought together some 125 leading international thinkers—representing work in education, art and science museums, contemporary art, and interdisciplinary research.

Download the full report.