Artistic Research Collaboratives in Science, Engineering and Technology

Coordinator: Kanta Kochhar-Lindgren, Ph.D.

Artistic Research Collaboratives in Science, Engineering and Technology, ARCiSET is an international sci-art research and action project designed to bring local, national and international communities together for the purposes of learning from each other. ARCiSET on Water: Delhi/Cochin will bring together participants from India, the United States, Hong Kong, and Indonesia to investigate the links between arts practices, science, technology, cultural diplomacy, and water as a material resource and carrier of symbolic value, particularly within the context of rivers. Subsequently, the participants will return to their respective locales, and, in small teams, develop follow up projects that disseminate the processes and the work of the project in order to localize it further. This project will generate internationalization for and between the respective partners that can also lead to new university and community sci-arts initiatives.

In an effort to collaborate on how to generate new forms of communication, arts, design and technology across communities in Delhi and Cochin who are struggling with these water issues and to create a model for generating best practices in the field of arts diplomacy this project –ARCiSET on Water: Delhi/Cochin– will partner with local agencies in science, engineering, law, and the arts to explore how we can use arts and design processes as methods of thematic inquiry and problem-solving in a cross-cultural context:
a) To catalyze new forms of cultural diversity and cultural diplomacy that prepares artists and their local communities to engage in global citizenship, with a specific focus on India, particularly in a trans-Pacific context, and

b) To create a model for generating best practices regarding university and community sci-arts initiatives in the context of the global university.

New methods of discourse and opportunities for artists across our local and global communities to engage in the conversation over water, and specifically in India, are more important than ever. These methods will allow communities to: 1) tell their local and global stories about water; 2) generate new social, political, and cultural dynamics around water practices; and, 3) find ways to bridge the science, art and religion divide that, unmitigated, haunts our water problems and limits our capacities to find new solutions fast enough.

Climate change and pollution are inextricably intertwined with global economics and the widening gap between wealth and poverty, along a North/South axis. As world economic power shifts from Europe and the US to China and India, how does this scenario play out at local levels? The focus on creating new value for water is both practical and symbolic, since care for rivers is vital for sustaining life and culture.