Experiencing the Unconventional. Science in Art

Art is driven by process. Science aims for results. “Experiencing the Unconventional. Science in Art” presents art projects that resulted from unconventional explorations, curious experiments and their creative translations into sensorial experiences developed by established and emerging artists. Using electronic and digital art, bioart, sculpture and installations, sound and performance, the authors are removing boundaries between natural and artificial, real and imaginary, science and culture. The book aims to hybridize art projects and transdisciplinary approaches to a contemporary art practice by developing a new understanding of media and an innovative approach to materials in the Anthropocene. Media and materials are signals of physical manifestations and aesthetic representations. Moreover, they are also acting as agents and creating elements for manipulations and speculations of the physical, chemical, biological and somatic meanings of artistic investigations in real or virtual space. The consequences for the relationship between living material and human spectator/visitor/participant are still under investigation, yet a contribution to this question is made by the practical experience reports in this publication.

This unique selection of artistic works is based rather on investigative practices than formal similarities. The works defeat conventionality and thus are hard to classify, however we try to give some fuzzy patterning by fusing diverse media and genres into novel forms of artistic expressions that transcend the boundaries between art and science. The field of art+science (sciart, hybrid art, artscience or other varieties of naming the genre) has been in the focus of many researchers over the last decades. Yet true collaboration between artists and scientists is still an exception. This might be due to the different working practices, aims and presentation forms of these fields. While the process of artistic creation, the used materials and developed technologies are sometimes more important than the final manifestation of the artwork, science is very much focused on proof, argument and the publication of results. At the same time, more and more artists have emerged that have dual degrees in both, art and science or that have studied on their own scientific subject matters. Often artists seek inspiration in historic scientific experiments, research pioneering scientific innovations or develop their own scientific investigation within their artistic practice. This is what we would like to express with “science in art”; not art and science next to each other but art that naturally integrates sciences in various forms and appearances.