[-empyre-] rethinking art&science

Dear -empyreans-

this was send to the list on behalf of Jill Scott:
1. Scientific Research in the book "Coded Characters" by Jill Scott,
largely falls into three categories

a. Mediated technology itself. The history of the implications of media
including its analog, digital and computational evolution. In regards to
these evolution and particularly in relation to interaction and interface.
Do people feel that media art has a future-if so where could this future be
showcased? Could artistic research in these fields ever be taken seriously
as scientific research?

A couple of days ago I was very glad to be able to attend a panel discussion about Art&Science at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. The panel was chaired by Anna Munster who's contributed to the list very much this month - thanks Anna for also providing this insightful panel!

In my opinion the statements of the artists who participated in the panel (a visual artist, two "Neue Musik" composers and a musician from the Kronos Quartet) showed that they did not question whether their own practice should be regarded as scientific or not but put their emphasis on the possibilities to collaborate with science while remaining at an art perspective.
It has to be noted that these artists work in slightly different areas than most of the new media artists we have been talking about so far - anyway composition has been one of the first fields where technology and scientific methods have been introduced (still, many contemporary concerts bear witness to that with their introductory talks about technological aspects and scientific research that led to the creation of the sounds). Regardless, all of these artists had accomplished works that definitely can be labeled "media art".

I am not sure if the only future for media art has to be an inclusion into the sciences. Sure enough (mediated) technology plays a key role in today's perception of reality. Reality is in fact just a result of this mediated technology. Even if this sounds a bit old fashioned structuralist: But why seems media art being incapable of establishing its identity in being different from the sciences and their methodology? Though there is the one big argument which makes it indeed necessary to fight for media arts place amongst the sciences and that is money spend on scientific research.
In the past centuries art, science and philosophy have all had their very equal right to affect our lives by paradigm shifts within each discipline. None of these disciplines seemed to be superior nor included one of the others. Think of Galilei&Darwin for the sciences, Brunelleschi&Duchamps for the arts and Heidegger&Derrida for philosophy, as different as they may be from one another, they are all responsible for paradigm shifts that made their impact on our world.
Needless to say their has been influence and friendship between all three disciplines at all times (at least between the greatest geniuses) which didn't lead to the inclusion of one into another.

I would like to end with Paul Feyerabend who has already in 1984 published "Science as Art". I do not recommend this book as a credo as it is not flawless.
However with this book Feyerabend proposes to treat the sciences as arts. Of course that is problematic, too, but at least enables us to imagine the reversal of what we encounter today. In the book Feyerabend opposes an idea of sciences being superior to the arts. He concludes that the sciences have only been assigned their role in creating truths by society while the arts could (luckily) remain in the realm of offering multiple truths and realities. While scientific progress replaces former truths as non-truths the arts only know of epochs without rendering the past non-true.
Now, if multiple realities seem to establish themselves as the "only truth" (paradox and even including non-truth in the form of an exception or including exclusion) does this still lead the arts into succumbing to the sciences?

If there is a parallel reality to that I'd be glad to discuss where else art could "showcase" itself in the future.


artist and querkopf

http:// www.querformarte.de

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