Science, Art, Litt, Science based Art & Science Communication
( First Posted by Dr. Krishna Kumari Challa on May 31, 2012 at 9:36am in the group science based art on Art Lab)
Is there a necessity for an international body to deal with science-art and science based art?
Yes, there is! What is lacking in the international arena with regard to science art and science based art to start such an organization now? Aren't there enough already? Yes, there are a few science-art organizations that work at international level like the SymbioticA and Leonardo. My network is international too where people from all over the world join, learn all about science, art and literature interactions and discuss things.
But I feel there is lack of coordination between these organizations with the result that several sci-artists don't know where to turn to for learning what true science-art and science based art are and how to create them. Even some scientists working in the area are in the dark and confused. I was shocked to know that some don't even know different words associated with the subject. There is no clear acceptability of science based art in some areas of the world. Several absurd claims are being made about science-art. One artist even argued that only maths and geometry based art is science-related and Biology based art doesn't come under science-art category! Science-illustrations are becoming science based art ( yes, they are art but the art is in how well you can copy from a science specimen). For some technology assisted landscapes and figures are science-art too! Some works are science less ( according to scientists) and some are art less ( according to art critics)! There are no clear definitions, specifications and guidelines. And there is lots of confusion among artists! There is no clear coordinated promotion of science art and science based art. Some artists are even frustrated that there is no market for this type of art. For people like me who are from the field of science it is not a problem but for artists who depend on selling their works for their livelihood, selling science based art is really a big problem. Then how can they venture into it with real interest? Without interest how can anybody create good science based art works? They are just collaborating with scientists because it is an "IN thing" now. And this is just fun and a passing phase in their artistic lives. Are scientists just using the artists to promote their work? In such conditions can science-art and science based art have good future?
Art galleries and art curators are still reluctant to accept this form of art. There are several problems sci-artists around the world are facing and they themselves told me they are really disappointed with the way things are going on with the "third culture" ( I don't like this word but still using it anyway as I want to use exact words used by these people)!). Conducting a few festivals, seminars, shows, classes and conferences here and there by the big players in Europe, North America and Australia with all the razzmatazz associated with them are not helping these artists. We have to create real interest about it in the world and make people accept science based art as art by the main art world.
We can tap the market potential of museums for sci-artists if we really put all our efforts into solving this problem.
There is no adequate representation of science art and science based art in art fairs and Biennials. People complain when they enter competitions with science as the theme, they never get prizes! How about starting Fairs, shows and Biennials specifically for art based on science?
In Asia, some people in the art field are not even aware that such an art form exists ( the same might be true for Africa and south America)! When I tell them I create science based art, they get surprised! I know it is difficult for people who are in the West to understand this because there science art is now becoming ubiquitous.
I live in India and for the past several years I have observed that only 3-4 people have been dealing with this type of art here (only technology assisted art is practiced here). Now slowly some artists are taking it up but there are absolutely no funds to promote their work. There is only local talent promotion by the big players. There is no real encouragement for the artists who are into science-art against all odds in non-happening areas of the world.
Then there is the topic of ethics in Bio-art to deal with. While dealing with Microbial art and living or dead tissues, some precautions should be taken and only experts in the field can give guidelines and training to artists. If artists don't follow some precautions while dealing with Bio-art, there is a chance of health problems arising. This is a nightmarish scenario.
As far as I know mine is the only organization based in India that is working in the area. But it is an international one and is not India specific. If anybody can help me I will start one myself now (I haven't heard about any such organization in Asia too). Shristi Art School in Bangalore, India, says it deals with science art too. But after visiting their website and learning about their activities, I found that theirs is technology assisted art and not pure science art. They do several other activities and science-art is only a minor part of their activities. Their art-science projects are like school-science projects i.e., there is no art in it!
After discussing with artists, art curators and critics around the world at length and learning their problems with regard to science art, I felt there should be a true international body that can address all these problems to coordinate things and promote the science-art culture and make it acceptable to everybody in the world.
The International bodies working in the area at present are limiting their work to some specific areas of the world with the result that there is severe imbalance in the promotion of science art in other areas of the world.
We have to create real interest and methods to sustain that interest in science-art to flourish in the world. Otherwise there won't be any bright future for it.
The body, consisting of all the major players in the world should try to coordinate the work and make them cooperate an collaborate with each other to remove the imbalances and promote science art and science based art.
( Based on the dialogue between me and Dr. Roger Malina of Leonardo and also other major players in the field where I expressed all my view points stated above - Krishna )