How I became an art[scient]ist : a tale of paradisciplinarity

Coordinator : François-Joseph Lapointe, Université de Montréal

In 1992, I earned a PhD in evolutionary biology. In 2012, I obtained a PhD in dance. It took me 20 years to become an art[scient]ist. In the process, I have encountered many pitfalls and roadblocks, but also greatly benefited from remarkable opportunities. In this paper, I reflect on my own experience to present an insider’s view of artscience, the rare tale of a scientist venturing in the field of art. I propose a roadmap for achieving paradisciplinarity; the parallel and symmetric practice of scientific and artistic activities. Namely, I present a list of sufficient and necessary (desirable) conditions for the making of a true paradisciplinary art[scient]ist. This list [incomplete] includes: give scientific talks at arts conferences; show art/performance works at scientific conferences; obtain grants from scientific and arts agencies; obtain joint faculty appointments in science and art departments; teach science to artists and art to scientists; supervise graduate projects in artscience; publish in art, science, and artscience journals (Leonardo). This paper is not about collaborative artscience projects involving scientists and artists working on a common subject/object, it precisely concerns individuals who want to become successful art[scient]ists with dual careers, both as working scientists and performance/exhibiting artists.