Count Down to Yuri’s Night: tell us about your space art project

Call for space art podcasts for yuri’s night
Colleagues
On our Creative Disturbance Platform we are preparing to celebrate the world wide party on April 13 2016- YURI’S NIGHT. To hold an associated event check out the world space party at https://yurisnight.net/

We plan to publish a series of podcasts by space artists and other cultural professionals involved in space activities for publication on the Creative Disturbance Space Art and Culture podcast channel

http://creativedisturbance.org/chann…/space-art-and-culture/

We have a number of interesting podcasts recently posted:

In this podcast we are chatting Nahum Ale and the exciting trip they took together with other Mexican artists who took two years of preparation and concentration to perform masterpieces in zero gravity. Preparation and coordination led them to board a plane in Russia that allows passengers to feel zero gravity for reasons of seconds. With just under a minute and a half in total in zero gravity they managed to break paradigms and question our understanding of gravity and interpret this in the works of art made and are currently on display around the world.

http://creativedisturbance.org/podcast/la-gravedad-de-los-asuntos-12-es/

Artist-Activist Marcus Neustetter and Astronomer-Editor Roger Malina discuss the Rocket Factory project in Johannesburg; the ancient factory is being converted into residential units. Neustetter convinced the developer to creatively transform the project to create a unique residential space that is also connected to the imaginary of the place and its nearby residents.

http://creativedisturbance.org/podcast/the-johannesburg-rocket-factory-3/ 

and more

 

If you would like to submit a podcast for publication contact me at rmalina()alum.mit.edu

Roger Malina

 

 

Groovy Science, Art Science Glossolalia and How the Hippies are stills saving physics

Colleagues

A number of historians have become interested in the strange connections between counter cultures and establishment science.

One work that documented the contributions of many in the community of practice, or fields of fields, that connects us was the book How the Hippies Saved Physics: http://www.hippiessavedphysics.com/ where  we are “introduced us to a band of freewheeling physicists who defied the imperative to “shut up and calculate” and helped to rejuvenate modern physics”.

Modern science history has focused on the government/academy partnership which has massively invested in science ( the famous ‘triple helix of innovation), but we forget that the roots of science are in passionate individuals that often at odds with dominant paradigms and dominant institutions. The emergence of the citizen science, hacking and making movements outside of these institutions, and what Jean Marc Levy leblond  calls the ‘amatorat” ( see my review: http://leonardo.info/reviews/aug2014/malina-STEM.php

Levy-Leblond’s advocacy of a new amateur picks up on ideas in France developed at length in a 2012 special issue of Alliage(http://revel.unice.fr/alliage/index.html?id=3229) on “Amateur.” In that issue Bernard Stiegler(http://revel.unice.fr/alliage/index.html?id=3272 ) argued for the term French term amatorat rather than amateur to cover the whole range of new engaged citizen activities from citizen science, to hacker and maker culture, to patient and environmental monitoring groups, and in the U.S. the STEM to STEAM movement. In a very real sense the advocacy of a broadened concept of smart, STEM enabled, citizens is one element of a response to Nowotny’s call for socially robust science (http://spp.oxfordjournals.org/content/30/3/151.abstract).

A new book co edited by colleague Patrick McCray with David Kaiser:

GROOVY SCIENCE : KNOWLEDGE, INNOVATION, AND AMERICAN COUNTERCULTURE

develops these discussions further: ”  Rejecting hulking, militarized technical projects like Cold War missiles and mainframes, Boomers and hippies sought a science that was both small-scale and big-picture, as exemplified by the annual workshops on quantum physics at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, or Timothy Leary’s championing of space exploration as the ultimate “high.” Groovy Scienceexplores the experimentation and eclecticism that marked countercultural science and technology during one of the most colorful periods of American history”. The book will appear this coming June: see details below.

In our recent SEAD working group meeting at the National Academy of Science ( http://sead.viz.tamu.edu/seadwg.html ) there was much discussion of ‘situated knowledge’ the new movement for location based innovation corridors, creative neighborhoods etc that recognises that much influential work today is emerging from disparate communities outside of the usual places where science is seen as being centered. This language is reflected in the EC STARTS initiatives which argue: The European Commission recognised this by launching the STARTS programme: ” Innovation at the nexus of Science, Technology and the Arts  (STARTS) to foster the emergence of joint arts and research communities” and more general arguments for ‘open science’: they state “New Citizen and public engagement actions can be supported as Collective Awareness Platforms for Sustainability and Social Innovation (CAPS), which are ICT systems leveraging the emerging “network effect” by combining open online social media, distributed knowledge creation, and data from real environments” ( https://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/citizen-science ). In a sociological sense these movements are the heirs to the creators of ‘groovy science”

 

 

http://www.press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/G/bo23530252.html

Groovy Science

http://www.press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/G/bo23530252.html

KNOWLEDGE, INNOVATION, AND AMERICAN COUNTERCULTURE

Groovy Science

EDITED BY DAVID KAISER AND W. PATRICK MCCRAY

416 pages | 39 halftones, 2 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2016
In his 1969 book The Making of a Counterculture, Theodore Roszak described the youth of the late 1960s as fleeing science “as if from a place inhabited by plague,” and even seeking “subversion of the scientific worldview” itself. Roszak’s view has come to be our own: when we think of the youth movement of the 1960s and early 1970s, we think of a movement that was explicitly anti-scientific in its embrace of alternative spiritualities and communal living.

Such a view is far too simple, ignoring the diverse ways in which the era’s countercultures expressed enthusiasm for and involved themselves in science—of a certain type. Rejecting hulking, militarized technical projects like Cold War missiles and mainframes, Boomers and hippies sought a science that was both small-scale and big-picture, as exemplified by the annual workshops on quantum physics at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, or Timothy Leary’s championing of space exploration as the ultimate “high.” Groovy Scienceexplores the experimentation and eclecticism that marked countercultural science and technology during one of the most colorful periods of American history.

Close

Introduction
David Kaiser and W. Patrick McCray

Part One: Conversion

1 Adult Swim: How John C. Lilly Got Groovy (and Took the Dolphin with Him), 1958–1968
D. Graham Burnett

2 Blowing Foam and Blowing Minds: Better Surfing through Chemistry
Peter Neushul and Peter Westwick

3 Santa Barbara Physicists in the Vietnam Era
Cyrus C. M. Mody

Part Two: Seeking

4 Between the Counterculture and the Corporation: Abraham Maslow and Humanistic Psychology in the 1960s
Nadine Weidman

5 A Quest for Permanence: The Ecological Visioneering of John Todd and the New Alchemy Institute
Henry Trim

6 The Little Manual That Started a Revolution: How Hippie Midwifery Became Mainstream
Wendy Kline

Part Three: Personae

7 The Unseasonable Grooviness of Immanuel Velikovsky
Michael D. Gordin

8 Timothy Leary’s Transhumanist SMI2LE
W. Patrick McCray

9 Science of the Sexy Beast: Biological Masculinities and the Playboy Lifestyle
Erika Lorraine Milam

Part Four: Legacies

10 Alloyed: Countercultural Bricoleurs and the Design Science Revival
Andrew Kirk

11 How the Industrial Scientist Got His Groove: Entrepreneurial Journalism and the Fashioning of Technoscientific Innovators
Matthew Wisnioski

12 When Chèvre Was Weird: Hippie Taste, Technoscience, and the Revival of American Artisanal Food Making
Heather Paxson

Afterword: The Counterculture’s Looking Glass
David Farber and Beth Bailey

Roger Malina

We are still in the stone age of data visualization..lets invent bronze !

Colleagues

I had the pleasure of working with Ewen Chardronnet recently and he just published this interview

resulting from  some of our discussio
FULL TEXT AT: http://www.makery.info/en/2016/02/01/roger-malina-nous-sommes-a-lage-de-pierre-de-la-datavisualisation/

here is the beginning of the interview:

We are still in the stone age of data visualization”

SPEAKING IN TONGUES ? ART SCIENCE POLYGLOTS THINKING ALOUD !!

Colleagues

SPEAKING IN TONGUES ? ART SCIENCE  POLYGLOTS THINKING ALOUD !!

I hope you are following the podcasts on our CREATIVE DISTURBANCE podcast platform for the Art Science field of fields !

http://creativedisturbance.org/ 

One of our ambitions is to be truly MULTI-LINGUAL …we accept podcasts in any language spoken at least by two people !!

 

to date we have
FARSI:  http://creativedisturbance.org/channel/artisthinktive-iran-a-forum-for-distinctive-thinking-on-iranian-arts/

PORTUGUESE: http://creativedisturbance.org/podcast/raizes-da-curiosidade-tempo-de-ciencia-e-arte-a-conversa-com-madalena-wallenstein-a-curadora-do-projecto-pt/

ARABIC: http://creativedisturbance.org/channel/rami/

SPANISH: http://creativedisturbance.org/podcast/la-gravedad-de-los-asuntos-12-es/  

FRENCH: http://creativedisturbance.org/podcast/bernard-stiegler-on-art-for-the-society-of-hyper-control/ 

GERMAN: http://creativedisturbance.org/podcast/computer-kunst-und-wikidata-de/

JAPANESE: http://creativedisturbance.org/podcast/%E3%82%BF%E3%82%A4%E3%83%88%E3%83%AB-dna-rna%E3%82%AD%E3%83%A1%E3%83%A9%E3%83%AA%E3%83%94%E3%83%83%E3%83%89%E3%81%8B%E3%82%89%E8%80%83%E3%81%88%E3%82%8B%E7%94%9F%E5%91%BD%E8%B5%B7%E6%BA%90-33/
If you would like to publish a podcast in another languate-contact me rmalina()alum.mit.edu

Roger Malina

Can 25,000 Artist Scientists be Wrong ? Visit the Watering Hole ! Think Aloud….

Colleagues

25,000 of you have now downloaded podcasts on art/sci/tech from CREATIVE DISTURBANCE” : http://creativedisturbance.org/  the place where our community of practice thinks aloud = 250 voices internationally so far !

http://creativedisturbance.org/voices/

 

Here are the top ten most downloaded podcasts for January

check out http://creativedisturbance.org/

If you would like to publish a podcast on creative disturbance send me an email at rmalina(())alum.mit.edu

Roger Malina

Musical Training will help you use data stethoscopes to make discoveries

Colleagues

Can we make unexpected discoveries using data sonification ?

Our Art-Science Lab at UTD Dallas is currently developing ‘data stethoscopes’ to allow scientists to compare data sets using sonification cues and features to draw attention to differences or peculiarities that they would not notice using visualisation of the data alone ( our data set is fMRI data of healthy adults in collaboration with Prof Gagan Wig). It was therefore with great interest that I came across:

Mangione S, Nieman LZ. Cardiac ausculatory skills of internal medicine and family practice trainees. A comparison of diagnostic proficiency. JAMA. 1997 Sep 3;278(9):717-22.

Mangione, S., Nieman, L.Z. (1999). Pulmonary auscultatory skills during training in internal medicine and family practice. American Journal of Respiratory Critical Care Medicine 159: 1119-1124.

In which Mangione and Nieman (1999; 1997) tested 868 medical students and interns for their ability to learn how to distinguish between and identify correctly stethoscope recordings of twelve different typical heart diseases. Those who could play a musical instrument were statistically significantly more likely to get the diagnoses correct.

We are currently developing ideas for training modules to train scientists to use data stethoscopes and data sonification, and we are interested in any related research going on internationally.

I came across the reference to Mangione and Nieman while reading the draft study that Robert Root Bernstein and Ania Pathak who are carrying out  a review of Studies Demonstrating the Effectiveness of Integrating Arts, Music, Performing, Crafts and Design into Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medical Education. ( being carried out as part of the SEAD study snapshot update report: https://seadnetwork.wordpress.com/ )

I append the abstract of their report and more discussion of the demonstrated usefulness of musical training for doctors using stethoscopes

A Review of Studies Demonstrating the Effectiveness of Integrating Arts, Music, Performing, Crafts and Design into Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medical Education, Part 1: Background

Robert Root-Bernstein* and Ania Pathak, Department of Physiology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824 USA. * Author to whom correspondence should be addressed: rootbern@msu.edu

NB: DRAFT!!!! 

Abstract: This is Part 1 of a two-part analysis of studies concerning useful ways in which visual and plastic arts, music, performing, crafts, and design (referred to for simplicity as Arts-Crafts-Design or ACD) may improve learning of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM) and increase professional success in these subjects. We address: 1) what are the ways in which arts and STEM can interact fruitfully; 2) which of these have been explored using well-devised studies and what do these tell us about efficacy; 3) where are the gaps (and therefore the opportunities) that can readily be addressed by new studies; and 4) what kinds of methods can be used to generate reliable data? Part 1 summarizes studies demonstrating that ACD are valuable to STEMM professionals; provides a taxonomy of the various ways that STEMM professionals employ ACD; and discusses limitations of these studies. Not all STEMM professionals find ACD useful; those who do differ in believing that all knowledge can be unified through “integrated networks of enterprise”; and integrators are very significantly more likely to achieve greater success than those who do not. Moreover, STEMM professionals who use ACD always connect disciplines using specific ways of thinking, skills, materials, models, analogies, structures or processes. These findings make the issue of near and far transfer irrelevant: the question of far transfer between ACD and STEMM subjects reduces to whether specific links between the two can be found that create direct near-transfer bridges. (241 words)

In this draft report  Root Bernstein and Ania Pathak point to this interesting study:

“Aural observing can also be honed, particularly through musical training. Mangione and Nieman (1999; 1997) tested 868 medical students and interns for their ability to learn how to distinguish between and identify correctly stethoscope recordings of twelve different typical heart diseases. Those who could play a musical instrument were statistically significantly more likely to get the diagnoses correct. Given that the average physician is able to correctly diagnose only 19 percent of heart diseases using stethoscopy and even cardiologists get only 23 percent of such diagnoses correct, there is clearly a desperate need to hone aural observation skills among medical professionals! (Zoneraich and Spodick, 1995) Physicians and nurses also use aural observational skills when dealing with surgical and critical care equipment utilizing melodic alarm functions. It has been found that physicians and nurses who had previously played instruments are very significantly better at discriminating between, correctly identifying, and responding to melodic medical equipment alarms used in surgery and critical care settings (Wee and Sanderson, 2008; Sanderson, et al. 2006).

Once again, there appear to be no equivalent types of studies concerning the efficacy of music lessons for training the aural abilities of, for example, field biologists to be able to identify and distinguish the species they study or for mechanical engineers to correctly diagnose and identify the causes of various mechanical failures by sound.”

Mangione S, Nieman LZ. Cardiac auscultatory skills of internal medicine and family practice trainees. A comparison of diagnostic proficiency. JAMA. 1997 Sep 3;278(9):717-22.

Mangione, S., Nieman, L.Z. (1999). Pulmonary auscultatory skills during training in internal medicine and family practice. American Journal of Respiratory Critical Care Medicine 159: 1119-1124.

Root Bernstein and Pathak are scouring the literature for any relevant studies to Demonstrating the Effectiveness of Integrating Arts, Music, Performing, Crafts and Design into Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medical Education. Contact me if you know of any or conducted some.

Scot Gresham Lancaster who is working with Tim Perkis and Andrew Blanton as the artists developing the sonification approaches has been publishing on Creative Disturbance a channel on Sound and Data, with discussions with researchers and artists in the sonification field”

 

http://creativedisturbance.org/channel/sound-data/

Podcsts to date include

Alexey Samoravarsky

Our guest’s interesting website lutheriepostmoderne.com points to her unique work creating new types of instruments for etheric fields or she says on her site “sonification of the dynamic plane: Instruments and systems tuning in to the volatile and unpredictable potentials of matter, from hard substance to the level of electron spin​” So this is a luthier of new sort. See some videos of her work at: https://vimeo.com/alexeysamovarsky

David Worral is a preeminent scholar regarding sonification. His doctoral thesis on the topic is one of the best resources available for anyone researching this area of study. This is an open and informal discussion of various topics related to sonification. David and Scot have known each other for decades so this an engaging and lively discussion.

Dr. Buongiorno Nardelli is a computational materials physicist and composer. His latest work at www.materialssoundmusic.com is a new computer-aided data-driven composition (CADDC) environment based on the sonification and remix of scientific data streams. Sonification of scientific data, i.e. the perceptualization of information through acoustic means, not only provides a useful alternative and complement to visual data representation, but provides also the raw data for potential artistic remixes and further musical interpretation.

Sylvia Roosth

From her perspective as an anthropologist the interest in how non-visual senses (e.g., hearing, taste, and touch) figure in scientific research and knowledge production are discussed. Among these interests sonocytologists who record cellular vibrations, exploring how listening to cells impacts how researchers understand biological processes are discussed.

http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~hsdept/bios/roosth.html

Margaret Schedel is an Associate Professor of Composition and Computer Music at Stony Brook University. Through her work, she explores the relatively new field of Data Sonification, generating new ways to perceive and interact with information through the use of sound. From a longer in depth article at soundstudiesblog.com/2014/10/09/sounds-of-science-the-mystique-of-sonification Dr. Schedel states: “In the current fascination with sonification, the fact that aesthetic decisions must be made in order to translate data into the auditory domain can be obscured. Headlines such as “Here’s What the Higgs Boson Sounds Like” are much sexier than headlines such as “Here is What One Possible Mapping of Some of the Data We Have Collected from a Scientific Measuring Instrument (which itself has inaccuracies) Into Sound.” To illustrate the complexity of these aesthetic decisions, which are always interior to the sonification process, I focus here on how my collaborators and I have been using sound to understand many kinds of scientific data.” We talk at length about these general topics.

http://soundstudiesblog.com/2014/10/09/sounds-of-science-the-mystique-of-sonification/

Sound and Data podcast channel at:

http://creativedisturbance.org/channel/sound-data/

If you are interested in recording a podast with Scot Gresham Lancaster for publication drop me an email at rmalina9at)alum.mit.edu

Roger Malina

 

:

 

 

Call to All Virtual Africans !

Colleagues

We are pleased to bring to your attention ten new podcasts on the VIRTUAL AFRICA Channel of CREATIVE DISTURBANCE. Produced by Yvan Tina, the channel helps make visible the wide variety of art/sci/tech work going on in Africa and the African Diasporas.

If you are in Africa or part of the African diasporas, and would like to publish a podcast- drop me an email at rmalina(at)alum.mit.edu and I will forward to to Yvan Tina. The channel covers all work that bridges the arts and science or the arts and new technologies.

http://creativedisturbance.org/channel/virtual-africa/

 > Ephemerality and Cultural Memory in Digital Performances
Born in Trinidad and Tobago, Henry Daniel received his
training as a dancer both in the Caribbean, North America
and Western Europe – which provides him with a specific
relationship to dance and African expressions. I engaged him
in a conversation on the very notion of ephemerality in
dance and the connections between rituals and technology.
The podcast covers a wide range of topics such as
computational and epigenetic memory, neurosciences or
quantum mechanics.

http://creativedisturbance.org/channel/virtual-africa/

> A Bid for ISEA 2018 in Durban
Greg Streak is a multimedia artist and Lecturer at Durban
University of Technology. The podcast begins with a short
overview of his own practice and his vision for young
artists in South Africa. Together with other African art
activists, he calls for the first meeting of the
International Symposium of Electronic Arts to take place in
Africa, advocating for the creation of alternative spaces.

> After Fakugesi. The Post-African Futures Labs
Together with Tegan Bristow and Jepchumba, two leading
figures in the African digital scene and co-founders (with
Christo Doherty) of the now iconic Fakugesi festival, we
share ideas about emerging trends of digital culture and
their ongoing collaboration project with the Post-African
Future Africa labs. “Add the power”.

> Making Africa, Afropolis and the African Renaissance
A conversation on African Renaissance, through the
Afro-Polis and Making Africa exhibitions that London based
polymath artist and cultural entrepreneur Pierre-Christophe
Gam conceived and helped curated with the ambition to tour
in Europe and Africa.

> Creative Technology and Soft Power
What role that art and culture can play in Africa ? This is
a question that artist designer and curator Pierre
Christophe Gam addresses in this podcast from his recent
participation to an international symposium on creativity
and economical growth in Abidjan, which also touched upon
issues of cultural diplomacy and soft power.

> Émoticônes et Diversité Culturelle
Kofi Sika Latzoo est directeur artistique des studios Efixx
à Dakar, leader du chapitre sénégalais auprès de l’IGDA
(International Game Developers Association), responsable du
programme d’innovation de la NASA au Senegal (Space Up
challenge) et co-fondateur, avec Bacely Yorobi, du Game Camp
qui a pour ambition de créer un écosysteme favorable à
l’émergence d’industries logicielles ludiques sur le
contnent africain. Il est surtout question dans ce podcast
de l’implémentation d’émoticônes africains sur la plateforme
sociale Line et du développement des cultures électroniques
en Afrique.

http://creativedisturbance.org/channel/virtual-africa/

> A Lovely Weather: Eco-Cancer and Garbage Art
Morgan Trevor lives in Nigeria and uses art to interrogate
his environment. Inspired by the writings of Suzanne Moser
and Lisa Dilling on climate change, he makes use of visual
metaphors to gauge the general public’s awareness and
understanding of environmental issues. He also describes two
of his work series, Eco-Cancer and Garbage In/Out.

> A Lovely Weather: In Defense of Waste!
Following the first part of our discussion, Trevor describes
two recent works of his series paintings, In Defense of
Waste and Carbone-D. He comes back to both the possible role
of artists in the act of creation and the responsibility of
public institutions in the environmental crisis. He also
shares ideas about the future of green technology in Africa.

> African Robots
Entirely made of raw materials, Ralph Borland’s robotic art
is inspired by wire works done by local craftsmen with whom
he has developed a collaborative art practice throughout the
years. This episode touches upon topics such as the history
of automata in Africa, the field of ethnomathematics, and
his current research project ‘Global Arenas’ which is an
investigation of Southern contributions to global knowledge.

http://creativedisturbance.org/channel/virtual-africa/

Confronting Vegetal Otherness : Meaning Shaped by Darkness: Trust Me I am an Artist

Colleagues

As part  of the Leonardo participation in the Trust Me I am An Artist consortium we are pleased to present this new podcast by artist  Špela Petrič- whose performance involved  the shaping of the growing of plants by her placement of her shadow ( skotopoiesis  – meaning shaped by darkness)

Confronting Vegetal Otherness: Skotopoiesis, as Seen by the Artist, meeting with Špela Petrič [ENG]

http://creativedisturbance.org/podcast/confronting-vegetal-otherness-skotopoiesis-as-seen-by-the-artist-meeting-with-spela-petric-eng/ 

The artist Špela Petrič discusses her performance Confronting Vegetal Otherness: Skotopoiesis that she created in Ljubljana on September 10th-11th 2015 as part of Trust Me, I’m An Artist, an EU funded project that is exploring ethical issues in art that engage with biotechnology. This podcast is linked to the one with Jurij Krpan who discusses the same performance from the point of view of the curator. Enregistré par Annick Bureaud le 12 septembre 2015 à Ljubljana dans le cadre du projet Trust Me, I’m An Artist [http://olats.org/trustme/trustme.php] Jingles et habillage sonore Jean-Yves Leloup, musiques Carl Harms, David James Elliott “The Wire”, Sergey Lopoukha “Lull” (Universal Production Music Publishing), Stefanski “Last Light Lament” (Atmos Production Music/UNIPPM).

http://olats.org/trustme/trustme.php

Confronting Vegetal Otherness – An Inquiry into Phutonic Principles with an Emphasis on Plant/Human Intercognition

Plants have undergone an evolutionary history resulting in organizational principles radically different from those of humans. When looking towards their embodiment, we stare at aliens living amongst us – vegetal beings we have recently come to scientifically understand as complex, continuous multi-species communities operating at time-scales and in expressions not perceptible with the innate human sensorial apparatus.

Artistic and scientific interfaces, which mediate plant time, their internal molecular processes and physiological responses, have been employed as the aperture through which the commonplace plant is given a human-friendly articulation. However, utilizing the crutch of interfaces, informing as they may be, somewhat misplaces the true challenge of post-anthropocentrism, which would not only bring the plant into proximity of the human, but also recognize the distinct properties of each organismal type as well as their relational context in ecosystems.

Although there has been a recent surge of post-anthropocentric conceptions of plant life (e.g. authors Matthew Hall, Michael Marder, Paco Calvo, Stefano Mancuso), Western cosmology struggles to find a pragmatic formula that would aid in incorporating this new knowledge and awareness into our everyday experience, precluding a change in the ethical perspective on the non-human Other, wherein plants represent a particular challenge since they are traditionally attributed with lacking interiority, autonomy, essence and individuality and hence fall through the sieve of contemporary ethical discourses.

As technological mediation becomes naturalized, the non-human subjects with which we interact become discernable, even though their expression is refrained to the milieu of the interface at hand. By overcoming our lack of perceptual capacity, these technological hallucinations inspire awe and fascination during a particular mediated contact, but the experience is scarcely transferred to plant life we encounter on a daily basis.

The plants’ disregard seems to match our own. With the innumerable animal, fungal and bacterial organisms at the reach of a leaf, a root or a flower, plants have sought partners and curtailed enemies throughout the natural world, (r)evolving around the human as mundanely as the human approaches them – through utility on one hand and damage control on the other.

My goal during the artistic research into phutonic principles (phuton (gr.) meaning plants, but also growing being) is to explore the possible biosemiotic cross-section of humans and plants at various levels of organization, challenging the prospect of intercognition – a process during which the plant and the human exchange physico-chemical signals and hence perturb each other’s state. Attention is brought to the materiality of the relation, which results in a perceptible manifestation, a change that can be observed in both partners of the exchange.

The process itself – artificial, novel and striving towards authenticity within the perceptual milieu – exerts immense strain on both vegetal and human entities undergoing the experiment. The confrontation of radically diverse living principles is an attempt of the human to humbly put her animality aside and surrender to the plant, transgressing the need for equivalence to achieve equality – an equality stemming from respect in the face of the subject’s (in)comparability with the Other.

The result of ce is not to be read as a pursuit of functional hybridity, but rather a conceptual enslavement of particular capacities of plants and humans with the purpose of recognizing the limits of compatibility, empathy and post-anthropocentrism. Through this liminal practice the artist hopes to test the capability of herself as a human to address and express her frustrating desire to understand plants on their terms. The transient, potentially unsuccessful intercognition and its artifacts make the body of the ephemeral artwork requiring ethical justification, calling for a discursive response on the topic of “how can we know the Other when empathy fails?”.

Skotopoiesis (meaning shaped by darkness) is the first performance from the series attempting plant-human intercognition. In this durational piece the artist and germinating cress face each, illuminated by a light projection. The biosemiotic process occurs through the obstruction of the light – the artist throws a shadow onto the cress for 12 hours a day, which results in the etiolation (blanching, whitening) of the plants. The effect is mediated by phytochromes, one of the plants’ non-photosynthetic light sensors. The diminished light intensity stimulates the production of auxin, a plant hormone that acidifies the cell wall, facilitating its elongation. The stems of the cress become long and pale, the leaves are sparser, all in an effort of the plant to grow from the shadow. As the cress elongates, the vegetalized artist shrinks – standing still for a prolonged amount of time decreases body height due to fluid loss from the intervertebral disk. Thus the evidence of intercognition is observed through the physical changes of the plant and human partner.
The work is produced by Kapelica Gallery and supported by funding from the European Commission – Creative Europe and Leonardo da Vinci LLP, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, Municipality of Ljubljana, Slovenia and the Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

The project ‘Trust Me, I’m an Artist: Developing ethical frameworks for artists, cultural institutions and audiences engaged in the challenges of creating and experiencing new art forms in biotechnology and biomedicine in Europe‘ is led by artist Anna Dumitriu in collaboration with ethicist Professor Bobbie Farsides. The project is run by Waag Society in collaboration with Brighton and Sussex Medical School, The Arts Catalyst, Ciant, Kapelica Gallery / Kersnikova, Medical Museion, Capsula and Leonardo Olats.

roger malina


Art in Citizen Science projects ?- STEAM under the scientist’s hood ? Call for examples…

Colleagues

In our current ‘snapshot’ update of the SEAD study ( http://www.mitpressjournals.org/page/NSF_SEAD

Steps to an Ecology of Networked Knowledge and Innovation: ) one of the areas that we noted was the growth of the number of marine biology stations hosting artists in residence- art-science and the oceans seems to be an emerging area of vigorous practice as we have been receiving numerous  examples.

In a recent post on our Creative Disturbance linked in group ( https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8465633 )  , Fermin Serrano in  Zaragosa, Spain brought our attention to another area of artists residencies- linking art and design to citizen science projects

Linking arts and citizen science,

He says

One recent post (sorry, Spanish only) with some ideas linking arts and public engagement for science. Linking to Socientize, EC- STARTS initiative and the European Digital Art and Science Network. As part of the activities to be held in this Network, we are running a number of residencies of artists in scientific institutions.

http://blogthinkbig.com/entrelazando-la-ciencia-ciudadana-y-el-arte/

He notes that this is part of the new EC programs Linking to Socientize, EC- STARTS initiative and the European Digital Art and Science Network:  https://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/ict-art-starts-platform

Fermin also points to an open call for international artists in residence to create new works for the exhibitionreverberated part of the European Digital Art and Science Network which is also part the fascinating exhibition Prima Materia in Labor and Creation Art Center Industrial Gijon. http://www.fundacionzcc.org/es/noticias/convocatoria-residencias-artisticas-etopia-red-europea-arte-digital-ciencia-2274.html

Does anyone have examples of artists residencies on citizen science projects ? please send ! Before Feb 2 when we have the SEAD working group meeting in Washington DC

Roger Malina