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On Science On Art On Society, A Review

Book Review

If the world is to achieve ecological, political and economic sustainability, it is essential to establish a “sustainabity culture.” The urgent need to generate transdisciplinary means to safeguard and facilitate contemporary human creation is a fundamental notion of the art science initiative.

The art science text in hand represents a call to artists, scientists and art scientists toward unification beyond simple disciplinary collision, collusion and compromise.  The art scientists interviewed within promote inter- and intra-disciplinary synthesis through practical and pragmatic methods whether these be theoretical and/or factual in their application.  As a result, the text provides a conceptual guide for those seeking co-evolutionary artistic and scientific discernment at the bleeding edge of new compound perception and cognition.

This topical survey and evaluation of the state of “art science,” top-down and bottom-up, is not constrained by the usual tenets of specialized approaches.  Nor is it ingenuous in its attempt to be as all-inclusive as possible where, for example, techno-cultural issues involve government and financial directives.

The editors provide pithy interviews with prime international consultants like Raymond Saner.  Saner identifies four systemic failures which negatively affect the contributions of art science.  These are market, government, academic and civic – failures which can be remedied by applying appropriate policies.

Other contributors also represent a field of techno-cultural facilitators rather than agitators.  For example, Anatole Kaletsky suggests that capitalism is “not a static set of institutions but an evolutionary system that reinvents and reinvigorates itself through crisis.”  Hence, what is proactively proffered here is a mindset for “democratizing science” with “horizontal relationships [among] peoples” as well as a humanitarian approach to technological R&D.

As K-soul puts it, in the search for “the fundamental structure of the human and its universal nature” or “the foundation of our humanity” in a “universal language . . . scientific knowledge is essential to mastering this language.”  Sunghoon Kim is also quick to point out that “engaging with the arts is becoming an increasingly important part of being a good scientist.”

Nothing less than a new “aesthetics” emerges from art science collaborations.  Ruedi Stoop states enthusiastically, “Aesthetics emerge where complexity [disciplinary interaction specifically and generally] challenges the human mind or intellect.”  He adds, “Depriving the human mind of being able to have [aesthetic experience] means to dehumanize it.”  And he concludes, “Aesthetics is the opposite of a totalitarian view.”  Specialty arts and sciences have often inadvertently proposed and officiated over various totalitarian views, while the transdisciplinary, which includes the spirituality of moral and ethical reflection, attempts and partially succeeds in moving the heart and mind into the deeper humanity discovered through creative edification.

Creation is edification.  It is order out of chaos.  It is perpetually unique.  It is order crystalized at the bleeding edge.  It is pan-universal.  And, as this text most

F. Scott Taylor,
Subtle Technologies Toronto Canada

On Science, On Art, On Society: Interviews with Innovators
Arthur Clay, Digital Art Weeks, Switzerland
Timothy J. Senior, Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK
Monika Rut, Virtuale Switzerland
Publisher: 6
River Publications

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The Swiss Informatics Society SI is the association of Informatics professionals in Switzerland.

Die Schweizer Informatik Gesellschaft SI ist der Verband der Informatikfachleute in der Schweiz.

La Société Suisse d’Informatique SI est l’association des professionnels de l’informatique en Suisse.

La Società Svizzera di Informatica SI è l’associazione dei professionisti dell’informatica in Svizzera.