Good Reads for Art + Science

Today I spent some time researching more about people who are interested in art + wildlife biology/conservation, and I came across these.  They feel very important to me, and I’m going to save them here so I can easily find them again.  I pulled out some sentences that I feel are super cool and encouraging. 🙂

Interdisciplinarity: Artistic Merit

  • Hybrid art–science efforts have gained support in recent years. Some institutions see them as a means of enhancing creativity and innovation, and a growing number are creating cross-disciplinary centres. Examples include the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge and the Art|Sci Center + Lab at UCLA. “We are absolutely on the brink of a new renaissance,” says James Gimzewski, a nanobiologist at UCLA who began collaborating with artists ten years ago in the hope of engaging and educating the public.
  • Other major science funders are also fostering academic efforts to create art–science collaborations. Guna Nadarajan, dean of the University of Michigan School of Art & Design in Ann Arbor, is helping to build the NSF-funded Network for Sciences, Engineering, Arts and Design (SEAD) to help artists and scientists to connect and collaborate, and to explore how to conduct research at the intersection of art, science and engineering. So far, SEAD has 300 participants across 30 research institutions and art colleges.
  • Industry, too, has discovered the potential of artistic aspirations. “Executives are eagerly hiring people who bring a key element of creativity to produce game-changing ideas,” says Nadarajan.
  • “There is no recipe for a career in art–science,” says Malina. Rather than looking for a formula or a well-trodden path, he says, students should identify specific career goals and develop the skills to achieve them, such as learning computer programming and design principles. And students might consider whether those hybrid skills are best suited to distinguish their art–science research aims, attract collaborators or simply provide a vehicle for artistic expression.

Conservation Biology and Artistic Expression

  • My research into the connections between art and conservation helps me advise artists interested in environmental issues to allow these challenges to influence their art, rather than guide it, and equally to urge scientists not to compromise their methodologies in an effort to be more artsy; but these ideas are still extremely young and nascent.
  • How we envision the future of conservation biology will alter the number and type of people willing to contribute and engage with our environmental issues. The urgency required in our efforts and the ubiquity of threat across cultures and land is so vast that conservation biology would only profit from expanding its boundaries to include more seriously the humanities and the arts.
  • Integrating art into conservation biology journals will familiarize artists and scientists with each other’s works, facilitating a more effortless progression of exchange.

— Nezam Ardalan