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Welcome to Members of the Panel
From: JD Talasek
On behalf of the Office of Exhibitions and Cultural Programs at the National Academy of Sciences and the Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, I would like to welcome everyone to the Virtual Symposium on Visual Culture and Bioscience.
Many thanks to Suzanne Anker for her work in planning and facilitating the symposium.
We are looking forward to a dynamic and fascinating discussion.
From: Suzanne Anker
Sun, 04 Mar 2007 10:00:29 -0500
Greetings out there and welcome to our symposium, “Visual Culture and Bioscience” sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences and the University of Maryland, Baltimore.County. Although we are located in the United States, our discussion inhabits the “nether zone” of everywhere and nowhere with literally an absent terra firma underfoot. No more waiting for delayed and overcrowded airplanes or ingesting tasteless food. Let us assemble wherever we may be and begin our on-line dialogue. Our international discussion commences onMarch 5th and concludes on March 13th. Intended as an update on the intersections of distinct, yet overlapping disciplines in art and the biological sciences, we welcome your thoughts, fleeting or otherwise, as segues into understanding more fully the nature of experimental representational systems and their influence on the social order.Over the course of the symposium, we will be addressing three inter-related broad-based topics, but leave open the possibilities to reverse courses as necessary, much the way of any trafficking endeavor.
Our schedule is as follows:
March 5-8 Imaging in art and science
March 9-10 Artists in the Lab
March 11-13 Social and Cultural implications of visualizing the biosciences
SESSION ONE: IMAGING IN ART AND SCIENCE
From: Suzanne Anker
Sun, 04 Mar 2007 10:50:24 -0500
Visual Culture and Bioscience: Imaging in Art and Science
The ubiquitous employment of digital technologies within the practices of research science and medicine, architecture and design, filmmaking and video production, as well as the visual and performing arts, has set ajar a multiplex of communication networks which crisscross traditional boundaries. In doing so, malleable coordinates of perception (in time and space,) create vast arrays of alternating conceptions of how to structure the problematics of the 21st century’s arts in relation to the innovations brought forth by science and technology. At a time when the biosciences may be considered to be experiencing a “golden age,” the arts on the other hand, struggle not with public consumption, but with a more profound challenge to intrinsic identity and history. What role do the visual arts assume in contemporary discourses of “knowledge production?” What internal striations are evident in the functions of art as entertainment, commodity and critical practice? How do these aspects intersect or correlate with the contemporary bio-sciences?
20th century art and science shared many defining characteristics: abstraction, fragmentation, and reductionism to select a few. However, in the 21st century, one may inquire, what migratory attractions between these disciplines are currently present? One aspect of art’s relationship to science is evident within modes, styles and devices of visual representation. Digital technologies, part and parcel of all Western-type knowledge producing institutions, enhance the connective tissues between the studio, the laboratory, the scholar’s office, and the writer’s den. To employ a linguistic metaphor, these technologies have become, ipso facto, the linqua franca of our time. In addition, intersecting domains of inquiry appear to confront family resemblances with regard to the questions they consider: beauty, instrumentalized vision, data manipulation et al. Whether conscious or not, these crossovers in visual application, narrative interpretation and symbolic models of the real, continue to exude and reframe the philosophical implications of perception and cognition, authenticity and artifice in both science and art.Pictures, maps, diagrams, drawings, notations, scores and the like become for their moment a mirror of thought. Whether to record or document, deceive or aggrandize, sell or console they are unmatched agents of communication. Like the mind itself, sometimes these agents of signification embrace layers of alternating meanings, ambiguously disguised, hence, subliminally hijacking our nervous system. Or, on a more preeminent day, when media spin is not on parenthetical overload, hints of received clarity or even sudden, subtle epiphanies may muster our reserves of potential energies to engage and consider perplexing questions of the day.These are compelling ideas and I cast them in your direction. Let us see if we can parse the complexities, treacheries and clichés so overtly familiar to this subject. I am aware that this shoot-from-the-hip approach in real-time may be a bit intimidating. Perhaps a discussion of this kind among experts, peers and practitioners, makes us feel like we are inhabiting a primal childhood dream: a dream of being seen vulnerable and naked splayed out on a beach with our private parts in clear view to the external world. As we move forward with this symposium, I wish to assure you that your thoughts on this subject are a necessary next step in further elucidating the intricacies of our cognitive and emotional worlds. Therfore, like Carl Sagan, but in earthly form, I ask, is anyone out there?
With these concerns stated, I present the following questions to our panelists:
1) What role do picturing practices play in your discipline of “knowledge production?”
2) How have your perceptions and attitudes of mind been challenged by current dialogues within the “Art-Sci” arenas?
3) What role have new imaging technologies played in your conceptualizations of visual modeling or artistic application?
Your answers to these questions and issues can be addressed within the realms of your personal experience, empirical evidence or conceptual understanding.
Please click on the comment button below to respond.
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