ArtScience Forum is a series of open discussions on potentials and limitations of ArtScience practices today. Initiated by Luke Boorman and Katarina Petrović, current students of the ArtScience Interfaculty at The Royal Academy of the Art and The Royal Conservatoire in The Hague. The forums are supported by the ArtScience Interfaculty and are devised as monthly meetings open to both ArtScience interfaculty and the general public.

The ArtScience Interfaculty was conceptualised through the desire to create a form of practice which combined aspects of methodology and knowledge from both artistic and scientific disciplines. Although a multidisciplinary and ‘multi-faculty’ program, ArtScience still rests solely within artistic (institutional) grounds.

We would like to initiate a critical debate on the position, study and practice of ArtScience and its students, as we believe there to be a long standing problem of how such a discipline should relate, connect and collaborate with scientific and technical institutions or organisations. With the firmly embedded institutional structures of ArtScience and the hacking propensity of its students in mind, we want to initiate conversations where the knowledge and privileges of the two can come together. This will in turn open up a larger discussion around the socio-economic and political implications of art-science interactions; while still being focused on individual concerns, aspirations and limitations.

Theoretical speculation regarding new discoveries, merging and emerging areas of science and the proliferating new modes of knowledge transfer, could offer practical solutions to conditions arising from hierarchical structures in institutions which hold knowledge, education and scientific instruments within the ‘ivory tower’. Integration of contemporary multidisciplinary art practitioners into the larger socio-scientific landscape and as well as general Third culture ideals, become fundamentally challenged if they are solely to rely on these institutional relationships. We are all witnesses to the current trend of extreme academic polarisation and specialisation; this rigid approach to knowledge acquisition makes us question our ability, as ArtScientists, to truly nurture the hybrid nature of our discipline. Therefore, the aim of these conversations is to shift current institutionally given roles, discuss potentials of investing institutional means in each student / teacher separately and the construction of new interdisciplinary conglomerates and networks at the individual level.

ArtScience Forum therefore, aims to:

– Analyse the field of ArtScience from the position of current social, political and economic dogma.
– Critically dissect ‘outcomes’ of Art and science interactions.
– Understand that an analysis cannot take place solely by focusing on the ‘outcomes’ of Art and Science –interactions but rather the conditions that enable those ‘outcomes’ to form.
– Foster a culture of critical, collective and speculative thinking which seeks to expand upon and push the field into possible new directions.
– Collectively rethink institutional structures, focusing on how potential rearrangements of them could further advance interdisciplinary models of thinking.
– Understand the limitations of ArtScience practice in defiance of its absolute idealism.
– Re-imagine a polymath or renaissance woman ready for the 21st century.
– Allow figures in various disciplines to connect and engage with each other and the public.

An open discussion on the limits and potentials of ArtScience practice today should act as a re- contextualising tool for our practice and broader ideals which underpin the motivation for such doing. Rethinking our position within the societal model should start at home, thus we are eager to make this forum a community building event. We look forward to the future meetings and we are hopeful you will recognise them as a space where you can express your views, make an impact and contribute to the dialogue that aims in clarifying the future visions for the field. Fundamentally, we hope that it will inspire excitement and wonder in all of you.

Luke Boorman and Katarina Petrović
January, 2016