Santa Fe Institute

SARC (Scientists/Artists Research Collaborations) Working Group

Working Group

September 17, 2012 - September 18, 2012
Collins Conference Room

SARC (Scientists/Artists Research Collaborations) is an interdisciplinary initiative being piloted during Summer 2012 as a featured project of ISEA2012 (International Symposium on Electronic Art), to be held in Albuquerque, Los Alamos, and Santa Fe in late September. Initial science research facility partners are the Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories. SARC is a project of 516 ARTS, an Albuquerque 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, in collaboration with the University of New Mexico. It is funded in part by the New Mexico Consortium and by the Lockheed Martin Foundation.

The two day working group meeting at the Santa Fe Institute will bring together many of the artists and science researchers who will be collaborating during the summer of 2012, culminating in a series of public discussions and presentations between Sept. 14 to 26, including the proposed working group meeting, in coordination with ISEA2012.

The SARC artists and science research teams bring shared interest and experience in cross disciplinary work with large data sets, complex ecosystem modeling and associated applications, food/health issues, advanced visualization (and sonification) techniques, cognition, memory and perception studies, and creativity applied to improving critical social or environmental understandings and decision-making processes.

The two day working group meeting will include short presentations of prior art-science work and the new collaborative projects among SARC participants, interspersed within formal discussions on relevant topics. In particular, we are interested in exploring the nature, range, outcomes, funding and cross-sector benefits of science-art collaborative research and developments. We expect to use part of the second afternoon to focus explicitly on future directions both for SARC in particular and science/art collaborations in general. We encourage interested members of the SFI community who are on site to participate in the meeting.

The rationale for SARC and for this meeting is that an extended, deep, critical discussion about the potential opportunities for sciences and arts collaboration and exchange is urgently needed. It is time to move beyond the previous generation’s too-narrow focus on art and technology, as mediated primarily by developments and applications of digital media. Too often, such collaborations have either been about artists critiquing or interacting with scientific or technological artifacts, methods, or processes, or have been about scientists acquiring compelling visualizations or other data transcodings from artists. While these types of “science serves art” or “art serves science” projects can be very fruitful, what have generally been missing are collaborations that truly advance both art and science, and society. This endeavor intends to be deeply interdisciplinary, in ways that may provide new means of investigating complex systems of all types; an approach very much in keeping with the Santa Fe Institute’s research mission.

SFI Host: Jennifer Dunne

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