SEED Questions for SEAD Report
Published March 18, 2013
Roger Malina asked “What is ONE question you think the SEAD report should address? SEED questions should be short, and raise an issue which from your personal context you think is really important.”
Have previous suggested actions been implemented, and if not why not?
If there is such a large consensus, since the 1950s, among a significant creative community, what is new today that would motivate serious foregrounding of the SEAD agenda presented here?
Bob Root-Bernstein: TO be appended to the sample questions listed above:
What kinds of new studies or types of new data need to be gathered to convince skeptics that the SEAD agenda is worth carrying out?
Todd Siler: To be appended to Bob’s question and the other questions:
How much do we need to say (with data) and do (with knowledge) and demonstrate (with wisdom) and confirm (empirically) to convince skeptics that the SEAD work is essential for improving creative collaborations that have yielded “Modern Marvels” and myriad advanced art-science-technology innovations?
Clue? “The human mind treats a new idea the way the body treats a strange protein; it rejects it.”
—Sir Peter B. Medawar
Bob: But as Medawar also knew, presented properly foreign objects (and ideas!) can be tolerized!
Todd: Response to Bob Root-Bernstein’s response to the question I had posed re the issue of “inducing tolerance” (re the immunological process of ‘tolerating’ foreign bodies and ideas); to me (Todd), that tends to lead to a sort of strained, “mandated cooperation,” rather than fostering voluntary, cooperative working relationships that make creative collaborations successful.
Yes, indeed. Nature can tolerize foreign objects, just as humanature can learn to tolerate foreign ideas. But the challenge remains how to ‘properly present’ these foreign ideas (and new approaches, agenda, etc.) so they’re not merely tolerated but rather they’re fully incorporated into an all-purpose, creative, collaborative system of innovation — one that’s ever-agile and adaptive. That way, the new ideas & approaches can help “optimize” the system and not weigh it down or burden it with ineffective, uncooperative working relationships.
My burning question relates to K-12 formal education:
How can we integrate the vital creative/innovation thinking skills with mandated content learning?
From my orientation and recent research I would ask:
How do we best integrate the recently developed curriculum of multimedia design and rendering (i.e. interactivity, immersive world creation, sound synthesis, 3d- modeling tools, etc.) with science and engineering education?
Here are some basic questions:
- What has SEAD discovered?
- What do the SEAD white papers reveal?
- What do the SEAD white papers conceal (What is missing?)?
- How will SEAD articulate its findings beyond this report?
- What does SEAD need to support the implementation of its suggested actions?
- What drives the SEAD network of volunteers?
- How will the SEAD network be sustained?
- Why is SEAD important?
What is next?
The question that has emerged from the SEAD process has been about value, and in particular that collaboration between scientists, engineers, artists and designers creates unequal benefits. How can we develop career benefits for scientists and engineers who engage in cross disciplinary and collaborative practices with artists and designers?
Regardless of the two cultures and the perceived dominance of science and engineering, the reality is that collaboration across this territory has, broadly speaking, specific benefits in terms of career advancement for artists and designers, but not for scientists and engineers. Scientists and engineers are generous with their time, knowledge and skills to work with artists and designers. As was specifically noted in our paper, and has been noted in other papers we have read, there are no career benefits in collaboration across disciplines for the scientists and engineers. What can we do about this? In the UK with the increasing research funding emphasis on ‘impact’ there may be an increased, albeit very focused, role for artists and designers as part of public engagement.
Prof. Michael Punt
Dr. Martha Blassnigg
What changes to disciplinary structures in academia and publishing need to be in place to facilitate emergent insight, knowledge and interaction that could not have been foreseen or designed in anticipation of a specific outcome or solution to a problem.
Krishna Kumari Challa
The first question we should ask ourselves is how honest we are. Because only honesty can convince the world about our work and its benefits.
People are asking me why I want to see the other or dark side of the sci-art movement too. “Are you a pessimist?” they ask me which puts a smile on my face.
An optimist would say the glass is half full, while a pessimist would say it is half empty. I think the third point of view should define who a scientist is. For me the glass is always full – half with water and half with air. If you don’t try to see the unseen, you are not a scientist at all! A scientist should be able to see things exactly as they are without spins, twists, biases and exaggerations. In a way in a detached way. And s/he should be able to tell the world exactly what s/he sees i.e., the truth!.
And only this honesty would be able to convince the world about the real nature and benefits of science-art-literature interactions.
How will research the furthers SEAD be funded when related funding programs such as NSF’s CreativeIT have not been extended and what will it take to convince national agencies that SEAD is a core field that deserves persistent funding?
A technological mistake can spur insight in both art (Paik’s Magnet TV) and science (Penzias’s hot antenna). Could SEAD make the case for integrating the artist’s knack for exploiting “errors” into the engineering workflow?
Why is it believed that data realization is a closed system that is devoid of building new comprehensive data tools via modeling respective brain and mind functionality systems?
Are there any space/support for non-dependent (free) research and experiment in the field of art/science/technology in contemporary societies and if so: Where?
Can we reinforce the role of mediators as agents to build confidence around developing SEAD collaborations?
Jennifer Kanary Nikolov(a)
My question would revolve around Best Practices of Art Science Collaboration.
What is considered as Best Practice? And Why?
What are the ‘measuring tools’ of Best Practice?
Have there been any differences between what was considered Best Practice in the 50’s and Best Practice now? What has changed?
Who is able to educate and analyze Best Practice?
It is one thing to have consensus in theory, but without understanding it in practice, in clear and cut language with a list of examples, it is very hard for interested parties to invest in.
I have very simple – yet fundamental – seed questions for the SEAD report:
1- WHAT ARE DISCIPLINES GOOD FOR ?
2- DO WE STILL NEED DISCIPLINES (IN TODAY’S COMPLEX WORLD) ?
2a – if the answer is “yes”: HOW CAN WE ENCOURAGE TRANSDISCIPLINARITY IN A DISCIPLINARY CONTEXT?
2b – if the answer is “no” : HOW CAN WE REPLACE DISCIPLINES? BY WHAT? PROJECT-BASED (OR PROBLEM-BASED) LEARNING AS OPPOSED TO DISCIPLINARY TRAINING?
Parting from the thesis that the best way to connect science and engineering to the arts, design and humanities is to center action in relation to a complex problem that is linked to all the fields of knowledge, what are the essential elements that should be taken into consideration to deal with this problem from a trans-disciplinary approach?
How art-science-technology addresses traditional topic of morality of arts, ethical norms of science and political consequences of ownership over technologies?
An additional note here is; in the era described with the disappearance of morality, relativisation of ethics and re-distribution of ownership over media, changing political landscape.
How can we move forward by forming viable partnerships with business and industry without adopting a ‘business model’ that minimizes, alters or otherwise corrupts our core values and principles?
Secondly, how can we become truly transdisciplinary (even beyond disciplinary) – maintaining our power while co-evolving with other disciplines and avoiding submersion and synthesis?
White paper: “Sauti ya wakulima: using mobile phones to make the voices of rural farmers in Tanzania heard.”
The question is: “How can mobile phones be used as tools for facilitating participatory, cross-sectorial research in the field of small-scale agriculture?”
If, art and science critiqued its own structural, centralized, hierarchical, technical and social contexts, in relation to the wider human condition with deeper engagement around ecological sensibilities not based on corporations needs but everyone elses. And through this, drew upon ideas from DIWO and Peer 2 Peer practices – what would this future set of evolutionary models look like?
Would it bring about an authentic change in our cultures where research and art, does not only concern hermetically sealed dialogues and the privileged, but includes culturally innovative forms of emancipation?
What is the SEAD vision, brand, mystique?
What does the SEAD community believe are the most important assets or contributions it provides to its network of communities?
What are the overarching goals or thrusts needed to distinguish SEAD across these communities in areas of innovation, creativity, scholarship?
What leadership, information, or resource does SEAD currently lack to take best advantage of its strategic strengths?
What is the first major SEAD milestone, and how long do we imagine it will take to accomplish?
To achieve a greater vision for SEAD what are individual and networks of collaborators most willing to risk or change to accomplish it?
Is it incremental evolution or wholesale revolution that SEAD is working toward?
Does Art-Sci need an adjustment?
I am sensing a ‘backlash’ from scientists about Art-Sci- I wonder if part of this is due to some of the new artist practice PhDs, which seems to be less an exercise in serious research and more of an augmented MFA. How can artists be part of research and not used as science illustrators? Do artists need to be trained to do research and to formulate research questions? I think that with this adjustment, artists’ abilities to ‘find’ different kinds of problems will become integrated into scientific thinking.
Why Art? http://qr.ae/TMVOf
Why art indeed — I feel that the most interesting works of art, are those art works that may not even be considered as art or not accepted within the franchised and marketed frameworks — ‘official’ mainstream hegemony of art culture. I’d go as far to say we are now in a ‘post-art’ period, where artists who are combining ideas and methods of hacking, ecological nuances, DIWO and peer 2 peer contexts are part of tendency which is a kind of contemporary art, but more critical and connected to networks, engineers, science and societal situations. It was media art, but now it’s further than this even…
The way that we know what we know is changing in ways that do not always comply with disciplinary structures: what are we, as those responsible for new knowledge, going to do about it for an emerging generation?
Can the convergent arts/sciences be re-defined and take greater responsibility for a needed cultural shift that addresses difficult social (not just technical) issues, and attempts to achieve highest value and benefits for the individual disciplines, as well as for education and our grounded, evolutionary eco-social future?
This question and intention will require and will lead to a necessary contemporary world-view’ based on Bateson’s “steps to an ecology of mind”. It must set challenges for us to think and understand our complexly integrated local-global condition, and to aspire to realize a process that goes beyond the narrow-mindedness of entertainment, data overload, consumer-driven culture and proof.
These are the intents of the 1st-Mile Institute’s SARC (Scientists/Artists Research Collaborations) initiative.
Does the SEAD community and its creative collaborations need to be formally accepted and empowered by government support, in order to succeed in realizing important innovations or fulfilling its potential?
Below is an additional question sent by Myriam Solar
The SEAD platform as it has created – open and global – on a topic of advance knowledge transdisciplinary between art, science, technology and design raises some questions such as:
1. How think motivating and committing to its development to the volunteer network who is participating?
2 Does it envisaged the creation of working groups on specific issues of interest to SEAD? Which would be these aspects so it emerges?
3 What role will play the complexity sciences in the transdisciplinary future led by SEAD? and which aspects will be considered if this arises?
It seems that the art community embraces Art-Sci collaborations more than does the science community. As a scientist, I value the input of artists because they are not influenced by scientific training and, as such, provide novel approaches and perceptions. How might the larger scientific community best be introduced to collaborating with artists as a means of expanding or explaining their own work (in addition to joint projects)?
Hi D.L. Marrin,
I agree — I was watching the Horizon programme last night on the BBC, The Creative Brain: How Insight Works (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01rbynt)
…which (kind of) relates to how Furtherfield & DIWO practice works. It’s what hackers do but, of course it goes way back and hackers are only a small aspect of this kind of creative process. The program got much better half way through the documentary when Dr. Simone Ritter (scientist in the Netherlands) suggested that if we wish to enhance our creativity, unexpected experiences can help, just by disrupting a routine — this helps change our brains to force new connections between brain cells resulting in new and original ideas. Scientists are coming to terms with what was obvious to artists and thinkers already — that, thinking differently and changing the default or expectation of what something is supposed to do and be, brings about a whole new set of circumstances, experiences and ideas.
Wishing you well.
Here is a question from Michele Emmer:
Is the main objective to give opportunities to young Ph.D students, providing incentives to research the interconnections between science and art? Is to organize truly interdisciplinary meetings and conferences where young people can discuss their ideas and confront their projects and see what opportunities they can have for the future? Shall all interested people be kept abreast of all the events and all possible positions in the world related with interdisciplinary studies on science and art?
Here is a question from my current research:
How can strategies for equity and digital inclusion with respect to making technology available for under served communities, be improved to include creative social and community participation in media arts and science?
Another issue–Why isn’t the accepted standard for collaborating artists/designers, and scientists/engineers to be assumed equally shared funds by all of the project team. Most often I experience Universities and granting agencies funding the scientist role and not the artist role. I believe breaking down barriers that confine and designate roles that artists and scientists play in the collaborative scheme will open multiple paths reaping new creative discoveries. Presenting multiple perspectives that artists and scientists traveled to achieve respective team goals is also important to share–perhaps automatically, perpetually, updating information via a globally linked data system. Because of the current abundance of social networking tools, it also seems likely that SEAD will continue to expand and exist within an open information system that provokes and nurtures art/science collaborations.
All good points! Thanks for earmarking them, Nina.