Call for 5 Year Updates
We thank those who participated in the network for Sciences, Engineering, Arts, and Design (SEAD) report, which was published this year as “Steps to an Ecology of Networked Knowledge and Innovation” (MIT Press, 2015).
The process that led to this report began about five years ago with a number of convenings supported by the US National Science Foundation, US National Endowment for the Arts, and US National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as internationally. We note that recently the European Commission also issued its ICT-Arts CONNECT report, launching the STARTS program, and there have been a number of transatlantic discussions. We think it would be useful to provide a “snapshot” update on significant developments over the past few years and would like to solicit your thoughts.
WOULD YOU BE WILLING TO POST ONE OR TWO PARAGRAPHS (NO MORE) ON A SEAD-RELATED TOPIC OR TREND THAT IS IMPORTANT TO YOU? Please use this template. We are looking for inputs by November 1, 2015.
If you prefer to send comments offline, please email Robert Thill: firstname.lastname@example.org
from Anna Munster
Not so much the stuff we publish but there’s an increasing interest in the conjunction of IT infrastructure, global urbanism, architecture, software, state and postpolitics under the rubric of ‘infrastructure studies’. Thinking of Keller Easterling, Geoffrey Bowker, Paul Edwards among a range of people…
I’m starting to hear new and interesting software, data and logistics papers and projects coming out of this shift to considering a political economy of (informatics) infrastructure…
from Laura Marks
One trend the call doesn’t note is the urgent interest in ecology and radical ecologies of media, e.g. petro-cinema, that Sean, Kenneth Rogers, and many others are pursuing of late.
I would also include cross-cultural archaeologies of media arts, as my book Enfoldment and Infinity has sparked a lot of response from media artists, especially from Iran, who want to develop this kind of alternative history: for example recent PhDs Azadeh Emadi and Mansoor Behnam.
CHeers, Laura Marks
from Sean Cubbitt
good ideas both. We have two possibilities on archaeologies of robotics and magic lanterns that are both transcultural; and another regional history of new media art.
On ecology – I’d also be interested in drilling down some more, specifically into meteorology and art (there is an author I’ve been trying to cultivate but family issues are slowing her down) and on zoology for example, though dewesternising, on the line sof Rob Nixon’s work in literature, would also be very innovative in visual/technical arts
from Ronaldo Menezes
@seadnet is interested in hearing about new and hot topics. I’d suggest dynamics of crime using human mobility. Check out @netcrime.
from Sonia Sheridan
There are 69 people – artists, scientists, curators, scholars on Facebook group Generative Systems. You are one of the members, I noted. Therefore you can click on the URL for FB/GS and look at the photos used for the publications that I mention in the attached single page item “The Impact of Facebook Group Generative Systems Upon Generations of Colleagues and Students.” This is in response to your attached letter, third paragraph, “increasing strength of Social Media.”The list of members contains the 3M chemist Douglas Dybvig (first color copier inventor), for Stan Vanderbeek (d) I use the work he provided me – Laurie Spiegal became his replacement, the Danish curator – Jacob Lillemose, Itsuo Sakane formerly of the Asahi Shimbun, Nathan and Joan Lyons – Visual Studies Workshop, Aldo Tambellini, Willard Van De Bogart – Bangkok University, Jo-anne Green – New Radio & Performing Arts, Gene Youngblood, Eddie Shanken, Jean Gagnon, Marisa Gonzalez, Spain…….They are artists, scientists, educators, curators — a real mixture.
If you would like a copy of two of our publications, “Portable Postcard Exhibition II” and “Art at the Dawning of the Electronic Era: Generative Systems” I can send you them, if you provide me with a mailing address.
from Audrey Pic
“Applied research: a functional interface of communication still to be
invented between academics and industrials”
from Jacques Rémus
I have seen your announcement on Linkedin
I do not understand exactly if what I work on may be interesting as answer to your question, but I am in the Art and Science field since years.
My work is precisely about robotic music, using traditional technologies as well as new technologies.
I am often in relation with research laboratories.
Actually I work on thermoacpoustic electric organs with different CNRS laboratoies (and in contact with US universities) and I am “laureat” of the Art et Science project with the “Diagonale de Saclay” with Limsi CNRS. (www.ladiagonale-paris-saclay.fr/nos-actions/thermophones
I have been too working in Marseille on new music machineries and I have presented my work to different people you maybe know as Jean Kergomard (lma.cnrs-mrs laboratory ) some years ago.
from Nicholas Pevzner
Thanks very much for the link to the Call for interdisciplinary topics and trends. I will be sure to submit some ideas, probably tackling the need for spatial visualization of complex systems. I’ll also be sure to pass this along to a few of my peers in landscape who are thinking along interdisciplinary engineering-design lines as well. I think this initiative is extremely important, and am glad to learn about it. Thank you for sending the link to the SEAD e-book, which I want to spend more time with.
And thanks as well for the link to Eduardo Porter’s excellent article in the Times, with his shout-out to the Ecomodernist Manifesto. Very thought-provoking piece, with a clear take on some uncomfortable challenges that don’t get discussed enough. I’m tempted to shift my focus to developing world context, and the rapid urbanization happing in these formerly agricultural economies. I’m so glad you share an interest in this topic, and please do keep emailing these excellent links!
All the best,
from Gabriel Harp
I was wondering if the network had given any thought to trends, shifts, and emerging patterns of art & science practices for the future. Often, it has been my experience that that individuals and organizations look to the future in an attempt to align broad visions with instrumental values and the skills or other practical tools they need to get there. A mainstream example is Educause, who has been doing this for awhile for higher ed in IT, tech, and the new media space.
Where might the SEAD network be 10, 50 or even 100 years from now? How might the sources of meaning, materials, or skills be different than they are now?
Some good examples are starting to emerge from :
the XSEAD site http://xsead.cmu.edu/sets/34
ASU seems to do this regularly with their Emerge program http://emerge.asu.edu
Even today, the Knotty Objects symposium at MIT seems to trying to look ahead at the intersections: http://www.media.mit.edu/events/knotty/overview
But looking to the past, here is a recent example of art, science, and public engagement at the highest levels of global public health governance in our ongoing collaboration with the WHO:
from Roger Malina
International Affairs and Political Science is an Emerging Trend in art science.
Here is a draft input to the SEAD report 5 year update (on enabling new forms of collaboration between Science Engineering Art and Design) for comment and discussion.
This came up in a discussion with Annick Bureaud who is working with Emmanuel Mahé in Paris on a french report on emerging trends in art-science.
Do you agree that International Affairs and Political Science is an Emerging Trend in art science ? Do you have other examples ?
Do readers have other projects that belong in this list ?
from Samuel Meyler
from Anna Rita Fonseca
Serious games, science of learning
from Patricia Correia
Evaluation methodologies of art science activities
from D.L Marrin, Water Sciences & Insights
Functional Art and the Sciences
Summary: Functional art utilizes the fundamental patterns and rhythms in nature to enhance the design of products that serve a scientific purpose and to further the understanding of relevant processes and relationships.
Historically, functional art has referred to useful creations such as furniture, dishes and lighting fixtures. The concept of functional art is now gaining popularity in the context of producing art that actually serves a specific scientific purpose (frequently ecological or environmental). This includes functions as diverse as creating habitat for colonizing marine organisms to capturing drinking water from the air. Several papers in the original SEAD study touched upon the integration of art into scientific or engineering designs for the purpose of creating more effective and practical solutions or enhancing perceptions of natural phenomena (e.g., Fantauzzacoffin 2012, Marrin 2012).
More recently, functional art has appeared throughout the digital realm as infographics, visualizations and interactive displays. The physical, chemical, biological, architectural, musical, and artistic worlds are replete with examples that include identifiable patterns, rhythms, networks, and fractal-like relationships. In the earth and biological sciences, specifically, there is a fertile ground for physical and digital art to serve a functional role in researching, understanding, and providing practical designs. The functionality of art often depends on its ability to uncover and incorporate spatial and temporal patterns, which are more recognizable to most people than are words or numbers, and then to apply them in portraying, emulating and even investigating the natural world.
Fantauzzacoffin, Jill. “From Installation to Innovation,” In: Steps to an Ecology of Networked Knowledge and Innovation (vol. II), SEAD Network, 2012, p. 117.
Marrin, D.L. “Interaction among Scientists/Engineers and Artists/Designers in Developing a Common Language and Unique Perspective on Today’s Challenges,” In: Steps to an Ecology of Networked Knowledge and Innovation (vol. II), SEAD Network, 2012, p. 144.
Further conclusions on the nature of artists working with scientists:
There is a continuum that lies between artists who use scientific material as their vocabulary in making art works and those artists who work with scientists on research projects, which may also produce art works that bring wider public understanding to the scientific research.
How do we classify something as art-science? We need first to define what art-science means and then to determine a way to measure the properties of the different elements that constitute a work (Ox, 2014).
Art-Science is a conceptual blend between the domains of art and science. In order to achieve a good result when bringing artists and scientists together ( as in such a program as the ISEA-SARC), I believe that it should be vital now and in the future to pre-assess the participants for their likely positions on the continuum line. Different scientists might also have different complements in an “artist” partner.
Different methodologies are engaged at the opposite ends of the continuum line. Those artists who embody the scientifc research project end generally use design tools; a good example of which are the processes engaged when one designs visualization or sonification systems. What happens if one uses mapping toolkits that belong in the transdicipliary domain of design. Some call design an integration discipline.
The most complex design problems are sometimes called wicked-problems, and these lie beyond the linear model of design thinking. Wicked-problems were the formulations of Horst W. J. Ritel in the 1960s. A trained mathematician and physics researcher, as well as a professor in the Science of Design at UC Berkeley, Rittel had experience with complex problems and complexity. Importantly, he said that they occur in a place of fundamental indeterminacy, which implies a self-organizing, non-linear, dynamic system. This is a description of design employing the tools of complexity science, which is also an integrative, transdiciplinary group of disciplines.
I believe that the artists who are able to work with scientists on serious ,collaborative projects have probably enabled themselves by using and developing tools from the domain of design. In this capacity they are able to work in a fully integrative way while supplying a different viewpoint to their scientific partners. It is therefore worth the effort to develop a pre-evaluation method that predicts how well specific collaborative participants will work together. We can see many of these tendencies by examing the processes of research employed potential collaborators.
Ox, Jack. (2014). Art-Science Is a Conceptual Blend. Leonardo Journal of the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology, 47(5), 424. doi: 10.1162/LEON_a_00814
Here is an input for your 5-year review…
#ArtSciConverge is bringing together field stations and marine labs, arts funders, writers, artists, philosophers, cognitive scientists, museums, STEM to STEAM educators, archivists, writers, and others to advance the integration of arts and science at sites of long-term environmental research. SEAD’s “Steps to an Ecology of Networked Knowledge and Innovation” (MIT Press, 2015), provides guidance to the effort, identifying potential pitfalls and opportunities. Amy Ione of SEAD presented on the paper at the #ArtSciConverge formation workshop in June, 2015 at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno, NV.
The goal of #ArtSciConverge is to map a path forward in which arts and humanities activities contribute as they always have to science outreach and education, but also to fundamental inquiry, discovery, and analyses of the grand challenges facing social-ecological systems.
Our vision is that, within five years, it will be the norm and not the exception to include artists, humanists and social neurobiologists with ecologists on teams that are exploring and seeking to solve the complex social and environmental problems we face in the coming decades.
in response to “Art and Science at environmental and ecological field stations and marine labs”:
we at the Bioartsociety in Finland run since 2009 a residency and a
specifically designed program at the Kilpisjärvi Biological Station of
the Helsinki University in Lapland/Finland.
we also do workshops for students and professionals as well as our
biennial Field_Notes art and science field laboratory, which is actually
currently happening this week – > http://fieldnotes.hybridmatters.net/
you can see what we up to this week if you follow us on facebook:
our publication From Landscape to Laboratory, as a result of the
1st Field_Notes as PDF to download:
Click to access Field_Notes-From_Landscape_To_Laboratory-2013.pdf
about the residency:
the call for 2016 is currently open – deadline October 30th
blog by previous residents:
and finally a link to our station:
I’ve been looking into how the McArthur badge system has been going.
UC Davis is the first higher education institution to implement them. Looks like it’s still in the testing phase.
Badges attempt to address education and workforce skills
through shorter sessions or offerings online, & also for under represented
students who can’t/don’t want to leave home for 4 years or can’t afford
tuition. Mozilla has long adopted badges.
Click to access UCD_Badges_J.Normoyle.pdf
Here are three:
Greater attention and awareness is being given to previously invisible, unrecognized, and/or unconscious SEAD practices. This is resulting is greater clarity, reproducibility, and applicability of behaviors, values, and frameworks to a wider range of shared issues and challenges. Driven by insights from social studies of science, technology, infrastructure, and knowledge-networks—as well as by commercially driven needs for more vertically integrated collaboration across SEAD activities—individuals, groups, and institutions are becoming better at recognizing and organizing to facilitate the landscape for productive SEAD outcomes. Despite this trend, some practitioners cultivate moderate levels of concern around the codification or identification of integrated practices—in some cases out of fears that it will result in diminished levels of creativity, autonomy, or authorship.
Small But Decisive Wins for Big Challenges
SEAD-integrated activities are forming the core of creative solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges. From climate change (WHO/CCAC Breathe Campaign) to terrorism (DARPA’s Narrative Networks program), larger institutions are beginning to recognize and implement SEAD-based research or production to accomplish goals around public engagement, persuasion, participatory co-creation and solution generation, citizen science and engineering, and organizational and/or social change.
Tools and programs aimed at developing the abilities of individuals and groups to engage in counterfactual reasoning (in order to correct biases in judgement and decisioning making), are gaining acceptance and adoption. Driven in part by their integration of SEAD areas of expertise (e.g. psychology, design, contemporary art, storytelling, and data science), examples include speculative design, prediction tournaments, massively scaled forecasting games, and a suite of apps and data-driven services designed to help people make better decisions about their own lives as well as the lives of others around them. This link https://coclimate.box.com/sead provides a collection of example worksheets designed to help facilitate counterfactual reasoning, specifically for the purpose of elucidating scenarios and emerging skill sets for the future of SEAD.
The Integration of Education in the Arts and Humanities with Education in STEM:
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is in the planning phase of a project that will examine the value of incorporating curricula and experiences in the arts and humanities–including history, literature, language, philosophy, and the arts–into college and university STEM education and workforce training programs, and understanding whether and how these experiences: 1) prepare STEM students and workers to be more effective communicators, critical thinkers, problem-solvers and leaders; and 2) prepare STEM graduates to be more creative and effective scientists, engineers, technologists and health care providers.
We also hope to examine the value of integrating more STEM curricula and experiences into the academic programs of students who are majoring in the humanities, arts and related disciplines.
One long-term goal is to understand whether and how a more integrated liberal arts curriculum can better prepare students for success as both citizens and workers, and help prepare them to responsibly address the most compelling grand challenges facing our society, such as global stewardship, health care for our youngest and oldest citizens, and gene editing.
More details in the months ahead…
Director, Board on Higher Education and Workforce
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
To 5-year study SEAD think its promising future means influence in the capital challenge of transdisciplinary thresholds that involves reach the integration of knowledge and the creation of living platforms where unfold participatory creation. It is worrying to note the ostracism of one another in artistic and scientific practices – some exceptions – and there not yet a common path because there has been no qualitative leap of the parties.This future has yet to take their first steps and should develop specific actions able to break the ice, fears and status to design an emerging mode of thinking and working in interaction between disciplines on a practical, everyday level.
Very stimulating discussion! I’d like to see interdisciplinary programs centered around big ideas, such as global warming, species survival, conflict resolution, teaching tolerance, creating an effective NGO, tech for sustainable development, etc.
Another thought: Tech can be used to flip entire programs so that content-heavy foundation courses can be done online at the student’s own pace, freeing up time for intensive experiential activities and resources for creative learning and research spaces. Additionally, tech powers consortia, so that university resources can be leveraged.
These are exciting times!
Director, Transformative Teaching and Learning