[ISEA2011] Paper: Olivier Perriquet & Bill Seaman – Science <-> Art Relationalities


Science has historically divided itself into disciplines. Some scientific disciplines have a hierarchy of knowledge acquisition e.g. mathematics, physics, and biology. The study of art also has esoteric topics, although it is less easy to articulate the study of art in a fixed hierarchy, given the multiplicity of approaches that make up its “family resemblences” in the sense of Wittgenstein. As science moves away from single disciplines into research that combines multiple scientific fields, it is less easy to define one fixed hierarchy. Here we have jumps and bridges between different hierarchies, suggesting  dynamic heterarchy born in the intersticies that exist between these multiple hierarchies. Yet, we seek to suggest a multi-perspective approach that also explores extra-scientific knowledge. Thus scienceand the artsprovide differing perspectives that can be brought into dynamic relationality. Here truth does not belong to one discipline but becomes illuminating through dynamic relation. Building a cross-disciplinary dynamic heterarchy out of the traditional hierarchies raises concrete problems of language (and categorization) that anyone who is used to transdisciplinary approaches has already experienced. The «babelization» of knowledge, when it comes to (collective or individual) awareness, reveals how critical the situation of hierarchies is, if no effort is made to fertilize the disciplines by criss-crossing their knowledge and – we emphasize – their language. The genetic metaphor speaks for itself: when species have diverged too much, no mating is even possible.?The notion of a bridging or symbiotic metaphore may make more sense here. Yet we also point to the limits of metaphor in reflecting the complexity of the thoughts we are discussing. A crisis in the sciences has been often claimed in the last decade, where mutual disregard between disciplines having an underlying hierarchical knowledge acquisition structure, namely here «hard»-sciences such as mathematics or physics and post-modern philosophy are contrasted with the heterarchical nature of the arts. We will present a series of ideas related to contemporary and historical art?science relationality. We will discuss a taxomonomy of Art Science relations.

  • Olivier Perriquet After an initial training in pure mathematics, computational biology and visual art in Lille, Olivier Perriquet has been a postdoc fellow in artificial intelligence in Lisbon and is currently a Fulbright scholar at Duke University’s Dept of Visual studies, Durham, NC, USA.  cesium-133.net
  • Bill Seaman, USA. An internationally known media artist, scholar, and media researcher, has had over thirty major installation works and commissions around the world, a dozen solo exhibitions, and numerous performance collaborations, video screenings, and articles/essays/reviews in books and catalogues. His work often explores an expanded media-oriented poetics through various technological means. More recently he has been exploring notions surrounding “Recombinant Informatics” — a multi-perspective approach to knowledge production. He has been commissioned on a number of occasions. He is currently working on a series of art/science collaborations — poetic installations, scientific research papers, and a book in collaboration with the scientist Otto Rössler surrounding the concept of Neosentience. This research includes the modeling and long-term production of an Electrochemical Computer. He is also collaborating with artist/computer scientist Daniel Howe on multiple works exploring AI and creative writing/multi-media and completing an album of experimental music with Howe entitled Minor Distance. He is developing a new VR work and undertaking interface research with Todd Berreth; is exploring the creation of a transdisciplinary relational database / search engine project entitled “The Insight Engine”; has begun discussions with Thom LaBean on nano-scale computational/sensing research; is collaborating with John Supko on a new generative audio work; and is working with Gideon May and Rachel Brady on re-articulating “The World Generator / The Engine of Desire” a virtual world building system. billseaman.com

Full text (PDF) p. 1890-1895