Guest blogpost – Arts and science: an enlightened approach

Reflections on the most recent Travellers’ Tails seminar…

Both my presentation and that of artist Emma Smith gave different perspectives on the nature of exploration, experimentation and scientific knowledge, and how this can relate to art.

I think we find much inspiration in the work that various physicists, for example, are immersed in, and through looking at this in an “embedded” sense—the notion of witnessing or being close to an investigative process—and from an “outsider” perspective.

NASA-sunset_a489_gamma_2sub_800

NASA-sunset_a489_gamma_2sub_800

Tim-ORiley-Speculative-Object-(Einstein's-Dice)-2002

Tim-ORiley-Speculative-Object-(Einstein’s-Dice)-2002

Tim-ORiley-Speculative-Object-2011-1

Tim-ORiley-Speculative-Object-2011-1

Tim-ORiley-Speculative-Object-2011-2

Tim-ORiley-Speculative-Object-2011-2

Speaking for myself, I was not a natural mathematician at school (to put it kindly) and art, while coming from a similar sense of curiosity about the world, perhaps lends itself to what you might call an “elliptical” reading of things. That is, the “outside” of the work is as important as the “work” itself; rather than offering conclusive or verifiable knowledge, the “work” invites the reader/viewer to make their own sense of matters.

I speculatively questioned the difference between “being somewhere”, actually making a trip to see something first-hand, and imagining that journey from the relative comfort of one’s usual environment. Maybe this sense of the unknown and using one’s own means to explore this connects both art and science?

Artist's visualisation of the seminar discussion

Artist’s visualisation of the seminar discussion

Blogpost by Dr Tim O’Riley, Artist and tutor/reader at the Royal College of Art

Look out for the next seminar in the Travellers’ Tails series at the Grant Museum of Zoology