A Clash of Culture is not a Disaster, it is an Opportunity (Alfred North Whitehead)
Dialogue can be considered as a free flow of meaning between people in communication, in the sense of a stream that flows between banks. It may turn out that such a form of free exchange of ideas and information is of fundamental relevance for transforming culture and freeing it of destructive misinformation, so that creativity can be liberated. (David Bohm, 1990)
I think it’s very strange that ‘knowledge’ has been divided up in to disciplines where there’s really a continuum between things, and people have diverse ways of understanding (Anna Dumitriu, 2014)
Art/Science collaborations abound. The emergence of Sci/Art initiatives is growing, becoming common-place. Dialogue and collaboration between the arts and sciences has provided the potential to create new knowledge, ideas and processes beneficial to both fields. Artists and scientists approach creativity, exploration and research in different ways and from different perspectives, but when working together there is the opportunity to open up new ways of seeing, experiencing and interpreting the world around us.
How and why do artists engage with science? Why are scientists interested in collaborating with artists? What are the mutual benefits? What new forms of public access are created when scientists open their laboratories to artists? What can a designer learn from consulting a biologist? The more you look, the more you realize that the lines between disciplines have blurred.
A recent white paper emanating from MIT argues that the intersections of arrays of scientists (from many disciplinary areas) will be the next Kuhnian scientific revolution, a revolution broadly known as Convergence. Nobel Laureate Phillip Sharp, one of the authors of the MIT white paper, has noted: “Convergence is a broad rethinking of how all scientific research can be conducted, so that we capitalize on a range of knowledge bases, from microbiology to computer science to engineering design. It entails collaboration among research groups but, more deeply, the integration of disciplinary approaches that were originally viewed as separate and distinct. This merging of technologies, processes, and devices into a unified whole will create new pathways and opportunities for scientific and technological advancement.”
Are we in the beginning of a ‘Convergence Revolution’? And how does this apply to both the Arts and Sciences.
In this issue, we begin the first of a what will be a continuing exploration of the connections, both theoretical and practical, between disciplines, and its implications and engagements within the context of art, science, philosophy, culture and cultures.