Saturday, November 8, 2014

Collapsing silos

This week, I was very proud that WEAD published my article, "Communities of Resistance" in their Issue 7. It is about how science and scientists have informed the evolution of my thinking as an ecological artist.

Now that progressive thinking lost the American election, we can start rethinking how to go forward, which must include some bold advances in ecological art thinking. I think a fundamental aspect of going forward is going to come from collapsing the silos between disciplines- not to abandon the disciplines, but to open the doors and windows of the silos and let in the fresh air of some new thinking.

I wrote to my Foundation Drawing Stony Brook University students (who are primarily science majors) tonight:

"At least one person has asked to speak to me about how to combine art and science as a career. I am wondering if this is a topic others might want to discuss, perhaps next Thursday in class? It is a topic I know a great deal about and have been immersed in thruout my career. I would be happy to share my experience and encourage anyone with this interest. I think many of you are very talented and clearly serious in both directions. The world would do very well with a new generation that looks at the world in a more spacious way than just silos of art on one side and science on the other. Stony Brook might be an ideal place to explore how to go about that."

All semester, I have returned my students to the idea that to make a mark, the artists "tache," we must first pay attention to how we observe, how the rods and cones function in our eyes and how being an upright animals inflects our thinking. Now, I will try to talk to them in more depth, not just about how formal aesthetic ideas like chiaroscuro, line and depth are related to physics, mathematics and community biology, but also, what transdisciplinarity is, what it means in our world today, what has come before and how their "mark," might transcend artificial separations between art and science … and earn them a living.