Thursday, March 8, 2007

Wingate: Responding to Questions for Richard

From: Richard Wingate
Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2007 18:14:49 -0500 (EST)

Hi Jill - and thanks for the stimulating questions. I will do my best!I think that Andrew Carnie has already had some interesting thoughts on points1 and 3.

1. "Could you imagine that the use of more poetic visual metaphors?We tend to reserve our more poetical interpretations/rendering of primary datafor specific situations such as the journal front cover where images are oftenexplicitly chosen on the basis of an uncertain aesthetic perspective(beautiful, humourous, pun-ish?).

Within the scientific presentation (article, seminar) itself, schematicrepresentations offer most obvious license for applying a design grammar thatcan be more or less effective and give a study more or less weight. But even with literal data, the choices that we make in rendering, thresholding and false-colouring of images imply a poetic consideration. Certain styles ofimage presentation gain currency if associated with scientific success, andpropagate accordingly: evidence that literal is a questionable quality.

2. "Do you think that the actual process of working with an artist?"
Rather than out of the box, working alongside an artist has helped define thebox - the boundaries between scientific interpretation and a kind ofmetaphorical interpretation.

3. "In many neuroscience labs behavioral attributes in relation to neuralresearch are drawn by trained Scientific Visualization experts”
My personal experience of having my images re-worked by professional journalartists is that they are unsatisfying because of a lack of authenticity inunderstanding a mechanism or structure. Maybe this comes back to my training where visualization and interpretation were encapsulated in the process ofcreating images. I also think that it is possible to detect a lack of authenticity in illustration and simulation.

So if authenticity comes from a proximity to visualization and interpretation,then one contribution that Art-Sci can make it to embed the artist in the laband give the scientist an alternative vision of our models, literal data and conclusions. To return to point 2, the two interpretations may well or should remain autonomous, but ideally (for me) cast that perspective on the cultural load that we all bring to perception and interpretation.

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