1st Dec 2014
IDEOGRAPHIC: MA ART | SCIENCE
Is there a Correlation Between Spikes in Social Evolution and Cultures with the Alliance of Art + Science?
This is the question THECUBE is asking, and we will endeavour to answer.
There is no single approach that can encompass this question. The way human society changes and responds to its environment is a mercurial, subtle process.
Imagine a central object standing in the dark. Shadowy, liquid, profound in its complexity. Each viewpoint, each method, each means of analysis shines a light on this central object. Illuminates a facet, reveals a shifting plane.
// RESEARCH //
To fully describe how society evolves requires us to draw tools from every discipline that we can. Sociology, psychology, economics, ecology, anthropology… each school of thought has its own way of viewing society, its own tools for describing social change. We intend to engage these perspectives, through interview, exchange and documentation and use them to clarify the central issue.
// METHOD //
To fully articulate our research requires us to employ whichever medium is appropriate for the subject matter. Sound, graphics, dance, sculpture, film, light… each medium translates information in a different way, with different impact. We intend to use these mediums as conduits for our research, to communicate our findings. These will be part of an ideographic map, linking the ideas together, and leading the viewer through the thoughts.
// DIRECTION //
The scope of the question is vast, to determine our trajectory will require choices. These choices will be made at public events, social synapses, which will occur at intervals throughout the process. We will present our findings at these points of divergence, and the data gathered from those present will determine the direction the research follows.
We look forward to seeing what this method of experimental investigation will uncover, and to sharing and growing our research with participants, practitioners and the public.
Ideographic will reside here at THECUBE from 01 December 2014 – 24 June 2015.
Collective Members, in their own words:
There are seven of us working on this project, and we come from a variety of backgrounds, with diverse kinds of expertise. Our initial responses to the question below produced a broad horizon of responses and approaches, each of us has a different way of visualising the question, different tools for interrogating it.
Is there a Correlation Between Spikes in Social Evolution and Cultures with the Alliance of Art + Science?
In order to establish a point of departure, a first platform from which the research can determine itself, we have broken the larger team into smaller groups, two research teams, and one team to map and synthesize the findings.
The two research teams begin their enquiries into two opposing models of social development.
Team One perceives society’s motion as an organic, fluid, dynamic process, exhibiting properties of other natural systems.
Team Two sees social evolution as a series of binary conflicts or oppositions, each generating momentum for social change.
Team Three seeks to visualize the process of research. Creating a framework in response to the process of enquiry, illustrating relations between the two models.
Every week this month we will introduce one of these teams, their backgrounds and their approach to the central question.
TEAM ONE //
Fluid/Organic Social Model: There is similarity in structure and function between different kinds of system. The brain and human society resemble one another through elements of neural structure, transmission of information, connectivity. The movements of human populations and humans themselves obey similar laws to liquids, displacement, taking the path of least resistance, erosion. Through inductive reasoning and inter-disciplinary logic, Team One will aim to discover connections between different kinds of system and social evolution.
Biography // Mandy Hreus is an artist, designer, former ballet dancer and entrepreneur from Munich, Germany. Mandy is a polyglot and holds an integrated Master degree from top universities in Russia, France and Germany.
Human nature and wellbeing are the centre of Mandy’s inspiration and artwork. She continuously explores connections between art and science in relation to body, mind, consciousness and human wellbeing. Especially focusing on properties of light and water to carry information and energy and how these properties can influence design and human health.
Her entrepreneurial spirit, passion for art and an interest in wellbeing led her to found Lumanota, a design company specialising in light, water, natural materials and cutting-edge technologies.
Aims // I hope to use THECUBE residency as an opportunity for a dialogue between visitors and residents that will create synergies in the fields of my interest and beyond. My aim is to widen my horizon and that of others by creating a unique experience and collaborating with like minded individuals.
Biography // Marta Pinilla is an artist, scientist and poet from Spain. She graduated in BA (Hons) Biology and BA (Hons) Fine Arts from Complutense University from Madrid.
She has worked as a science teacher for ten years. Her artistic works have been shown in solo and groups exhibitions in Spain, California and Poland. She has published books of Poetry and collaborates with masscience.com and waterbodies.org.
Her approach to her creative practice is well summarized in the Mendeleiev’s statement: “All in life is science, all in life is art, all in life is love”
Aims // I hope THECUBE residency will be an opportunity to work alongside others to develop new ways of thinking and creating. New points of view will improve my work and enrich my practice. I’m interested in Biological Evolution and how could it be connected with other fields of knowledge, and meeting those interested in similar areas. I look forward to engaging THECUBE residency as a great space of creation, collaboration and personal growth.
Books to Inspire –
Our members desire to learn more about Ideographic’s work, has resulted in this short but sweet reading list which informs their work.
This Week Suggestions by Julius Colwyn-Foulkes:
“An interdisciplinary analysis of the cognitive mechanisms at work in the creative process. Strong evidence for a shared ground in the cognition required for art and science, and implications for the value of interdisciplinary collaboration…”
Gabora, L. (2002) Cognitive mechanisms underlying the creative process. In (T. Hewett and T. Kavanagh, Eds.) Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Creativity and Cognition, October 13-16, Loughborough University, UK, p. 126-133. Available at: http://www.vub.ac.be/CLEA/liane/papers/CandC/CandC.htm [27 Nov 2014]
“…this is a book I found deeply enlightening and had a profound effect on the way I view intellectual history, and the nature of thought paradigms…
…Analysing the nature of the opposition in the eastern and western world views, Northrop dissects both schools of thought with a steady hand and no allegiance. Although some of the terms and examples are very much of their time, the ideas, the analysis of thought evolution, and the removed perspective are as relevant now, as they were for its historical moment… its approach to handling macro scale social topics has profoundly influenced my own, in approach if not content. I cannot recommend it highly enough.”
Northrop, F. S. C (1979) Meeting of East and West: An Inquiry Concerning World Understanding, Riverbank, CA, Association for Asian Studies
Our members desire to learn more about Ideographic’s work, has resulted in this short but sweet reading list which informs their work. Get inspired!!
Two Picks By Jared Vaughan Davies:
“In this book, Wilson discusses methods that have been used to unite the sciences and might in the future unite them with the humanities. Wilson prefers and uses the term consilience to describe the synthesis of knowledge from different specialised fields of human endeavor.” Wilson, E. O. (1998) Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge, New York, Vintage Books. Available at: http://wtf.tw/ref/wilson.pdf [27th Nov 2014]
“Throughout history, mankind has struggled to understand life’s mysteries, from the mundane to the seemingly miraculous. In this important new book, David Deutsch argues that explanations have a fundamental place in the universe. They have unlimited scope and power to cause change, and the quest to improve them is the basic regulating principle not only of science but of all successful human endeavor… In his previous book, The Fabric of Reality, Deutsch described the four deepest strands of existing knowledge-the theories of evolution, quantum physics, knowledge, and computation-arguing jointly they reveal a unified fabric of reality. In this new book, he applies that worldview to a wide range of issues and unsolved problems, from creativity and free will to the origin and future of the human species. Filled with startling new conclusions about human choice, optimism, scientific explanation, and the evolution of culture, The Beginning of Infinity is a groundbreaking book that will become a classic of its kind.” Deutsch, David (2011) Beginning of Infinity, New York, Viking Press
Two Picks By Mary Helen:
“…this is a good (and illustrated) guide to technological advances, moving from Greek astrology to early telescopes to current tech (Hubble) and what these advances meant both for art and our way of understanding the universe.” Brashear, R. & Lewis, D. (2001) Star Struck: One thousand years of the art and science of astronomy, 1st edition, Washington, University of Washington Press
“…perhaps a bit outdated but the first chapter… makes some interesting suggestions about how the human brain perceives art and how advancements in art have lead to advances in the human brain (human evolution) and how this has stimulated science. Art is, after all, physical material that affects a physical eye and conscious brain. The brain interprets what it sees in light of socialized experiences and a long evolutionary history […] we attempt to understand how the eye and brain and human psychology determine what we see and how we interpret [and…] understand the evolution of a conscious brain that developed to avoid predators, to find food […] and reproduce.” Solso, Robert L. (2003) The psychology of art and the evolution of the conscious brain, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Bradford Books
Two Picks By Stephanie Herbert:
“This is a beautifully illustrated and elegantly written book, which sets out to examine what it describes as “perhaps humanity’s greatest invention. Without it there would be no history and no civilization as we know it.” It is succinct yet complete: it examines the greatest deciphered written languages (and some of the undeciphered ones) from multiple viewpoints, and traces both links and divergences in writing, alphabets and scripts between contiguous cultures. It exposes certain political fallacies about the evolution of the Western alphabet. It seems to me to touch upon the foundation of human communication and thus evolution.” Robinson, Andrew (2005) The Story of Writing: Alphabets, Hieroglyphs & Pictograms, 2nd Edition, London, Thames and Hudson
“So far I have only dipped into this book but it is very enticing and once you’ve opened it, any page is interesting. It is well-written and visually rich with art images, drawings and diagrams…
“Most works of art, whether illustrative, musical or literary, are created subject to a set of restraints…..(which) have a mathematical nature…….This fascinating book describes geometric frameworks underlying this…creation……The book began life as a liberal arts course…Anyone interested in the power and ubiquity of mathematics will enjoy this revealing insight into the relationship between mathematics and the arts.” Cucker, Felipe (2013) Manifold Mirrors: The Crossing Paths of the Arts and Mathematics, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press