We are currently experiencing a significant growth in cooperation between scientists and artists working on collaborative art-science projects. The research group Project Dialogue, for example, promotes a transdisciplinary art-science forum for enquiry into the arts and sciences, and encourages a broader examination of underlying commonalities and differences in their practices and research methodologies by interrogating their fundamental conceptual models, structures and metaphors. By making previous disciplinary boundaries more permeable, art and science can become a much more effective force for addressing major global challenges facing society today, such as energy and food sustainability and climate change. Our paper enquires into the research strategies and differing truth concepts adopted by the sciences and arts to understand and reconstruct their realities, and how modernist concerns over the objective/subjective axis are dissolving under the notion of perceptual frameworks built around Bayesian constructs. The latter accept that a degree of uncertainty in our theoretical framework naturally translates to a provisional view of the world that must be continually tested against competing cognitive alternatives rather than just new information. Both science and art are much closer than their institutionalised educational forms might suggest. They both share a similar creative impulse, curiosity and imagination, in which their intertwined approaches to perceptual and cognitive worlds now require a much broader educational base and strands of cultural reference than previously. We explore strategies by which commonalities in research techniques across the arts and sciences are able to offer a much broader vision of how arts-based, practice-led research can contribute to a cultural epistemology without being in thrall to an overly restrictive science-based methodology.
|Keywords:||Transdisciplinarity, Art and Science, Project Dialogue, Cognitive Frameworks, Bayesian Constructs|
The International Journal of the Arts in Society: Annual Review, Volume 7, pp.41-49. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 281.267KB).
Senior Research Fellow, Department of Art and Design, Faculty of Creative Arts, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK
Postgraduate Degrees Coordinator, Department of Art and Design, Faculty of Creative Arts, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK
Professor of Critical Theory, Department of English and Creative Writing, Northumbria University, Newcastle, UK