Who’s the Artist Now? Art and Science as Figure and Ground

Project: Research

Project Details


Simeon Nelson and Simon Walker-Samuel

This paper is a reflection on the dynamics of our collaboration on two Art-Science projects Anarchy in the Organism 2010-12 and Cosmoscope 2015-18 - what we offered and learnt from each other and the effect on our trajectories since.
Simon is a physicist whose research trajectory and experimental focus has been informed and contextualised by the artwork he has been making since our collaboration.
Simeon is an artist whose understanding and use of scientific/mathematical languages, ratios, sequences and correspondences in his work has become more fluent since the collaboration.
This paper opens with the question of what Simon makes of Simeon’s science and what Simeon makes of Simon’s art. We then look at what we learnt from:
- the emergence of the work from the dialogue of Simon’s and Simeon’s prototypes and images
- the perspectives of other scientific and artistic collaborators and stakeholders,
- recontextualising scientific research as a creative undertaking.
Secondly, we discuss the collaborative method that stemmed from a paradox - disciplinary boundaries evaporating in the face of our common quest without losing our respective identities in our own disciplines.
Lastly, we consider an ethical dimension implicit in our process and the artwork including:
-Epoché or bracketing, the phenomenological method of setting aside what you know about something so it can more fully reveal itself.
-the feedback loop of art figuring against the ground of science and science figuring against the ground of art.
- Neuroplasticity and the collaborative mindset, fluid rather than fixed identity.
Short titleWho’s the Artist Now?
Effective start/end date1/06/2230/06/22


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