for art science

Practices of S+T+ARTS Collaborations

In projects we do at Waag, the arts heavily contribute to both process and results. The arts help us question, develop, explain, criticise and rethink societal and personal paradigms in the diverse areas we work in. Waag co-moderated a special day in which this valuable interplay between science technology and arts was given centre stage. This was done as part of the Science + Technology + ARTS = STARTS Initiative; a European Commission program to promote synergies between art and technology to drive innovation in industry and society. These are some of the take-aways from the session about practices and impacts of S+T+ARTS Collaborations that was moderated by our very own Lucas Evers at Ars Electronica 2019.

The arts help us question, develop, explain, criticise and rethink societal and personal paradigms in the diverse areas we work in.

Let’s talk about Art Thinking

Hideaki Ogawa (JP/AT) is a creative catalyst, artist, curator and researcher in the field of art, technology, and society. Ogawa shows how Art Thinking can catalyse innovation, through “synergy” with distinctive worldwide innovators in the fields of art, science, and technology. According to Ogawa, art thinking emphasizes vision and philosophy as themes. Art thinking provides creative questions. Design thinking on the other hand focusses more on products and services as a central theme, while providing creative solutions.

Let’s co-think the renewal of fashion.

Following up nicely on the Art Thinking subject, Isabel Berz (DE) talked about the Re-Fream program that has been set up as part of the STARTS Initiative. This program allows exploration of art-inspired solutions to industrial/societal challenges in the area of textile. The program fosters links between arts and science. It also provides grants to artist that aim to contribute in co-thinking fashion renewal.

Let’s meet in the middle

A commercial perspective was also presented during this day by Domhnaill Hernon (IE). Hernon is the head of Experiments in Arts and Technology (E.A.T.) at Nokia BellLabs. Hernon presented a clear - self-admitted somewhat simplified - framework in which he junxtaposed the engineer/scientists approach and the artist/creatives approach. Hernon talked about his experience in bridging the gap between the, lineair, and logical perspectives of engineers, and the expansionist, non-lineair, and illogical perspectives of the artist. According to Hernon, this bridging can be challenging, but has a deep and transformational impact on both sides if it succeeds.

These are only three shared elements from the session on STARTS practices and Impacts. The STARTS initiative continues to develop as a multi-pillar program, which we as Waag are proud to be a part of.




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S+T+ARTS Prize has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 956603.