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THE TWO CULTURES: VISUAL ART AND THE SCIENCES C.1800-2011
26 Apr 2012; Howard Boland - 07 May 2012

The Two Cultures: Visual Art & Science conference, organised by the Department of History of Art at the University of York, asked how the cultural divide between art and science is changing with current practitioners. C.P Snows declared in 1959 a growing gap between the humanities and the natural sciences pointing to what he called the Two Cultures.

Art historians provided an interesting and diverse set of papers on topics covering: the role of scientific models in post-war popular TV (Emily Candela, RCA), the visual culture surrounding Rosalind Franklin's 'Photo 51' (Camilla Mørk Røstvik, Manchester), connections between heavenly bodies and the astronomical drawings of Éthienne Léopold Trouvelot (Ros Holmes, Oxford), and influences of Modern Physical and Cosmology on the sculptural works of artist Alexander Calder (Vanja Mallony, Courtauld Institute).

Of the artists Julian Ruddock (Aberystwyth University), presented his research 'Data landscapes of the River Dyfi catchment'. 

Julian Ruddock Dyfi Project

C-LAB'S Howard Boland (Westminster) gave a paper on his practice based lab research 'Art from Synthetic Biology', involving the production and creation of artworks using synthetic biology.

Along similar venaculars, the research of Rosemary Deller looked at artists developing works using bio art, in particularly focusing on meat in her paper 'Out of the lab, into the gallery: Contemporary art encounters 'Artificial Meat''.

Participants and audience were mainly made up of students and researchers from history of art. 

Professor Arthur I. Miller ended with his keynote, announcing the inevitable emergence of a 'third culture' by looking at how historical developments have already captured our imagination and the emerging interest in hybrid practices. Focusing mainly on collaboration between art and science, he raised a critic  that scientists are yet to see any real differences in their own work following collaborative engagments with artists. He envisioned this unequal relationship, where artists are the main 'benefactor' (or 'author'), to change with 'new practitioners'. This 'third culture' will be able to work across domains, however, in order to gain momentum there needs to be a broader implemention and acceptance across institutions and frameworks. 

Other References: The Two Cultures: Visual Art & Science c.1800-2011
C-LAB:blog: Art and Science Now The Two Cultures in Question
C-LAB:blog: Britt Wray of Fluxmedia visits C-LAB
C-LAB:blog: Cells alive n' counting
C-LAB:blog: Cellulose from bacteria
C-LAB:blog: Going solid: From Fungi to Mushroom
C-LAB:blog: Growing Magnetospirillium Gryphiswaldense
C-LAB:blog: It's here - the Spring 2012 iGEM library
C-LAB:blog: KatE in a Jar
C-LAB:blog: katE sees red with Red Fluorescent Protein (RFP)
C-LAB:blog: Red Fluorescent Protein
C-LAB:blog: Sludge Bacteria - one drop
C-LAB:blog: Stress light in growth & swarming behaviour
C-LAB:event: ART FROM SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY
C-LAB:event: ART-SCIENCE TALK
C-LAB:event: BIOART FORUM
C-LAB:event: CAGE RATTLING #1: KILL SWITCH
C-LAB:event: DO IT TOGETHER BIO #5: SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY ART
C-LAB:event: GRADUATE SCHOOL LAUNCH
C-LAB:event: INTO THE LABS
C-LAB:event: RE-NEW DIGITAL ARTS FESTIVAL
C-LAB:event: SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY SOCIETY KICK OFF EVENT
C-LAB:event: THE TWO CULTURES: VISUAL ART AND THE SCIENCES C.1800-2011
C-LAB:event: YOUNG SYNTHETIC BIOLOGISTS - YSB 1.0
C-LAB:experiment: Bacteria Compass
C-LAB:project: Bacterial Light Sensor
C-LAB:project: Bacterial World
C-LAB:project: katE - Visualising Stress
C-LAB:project: KatEred
C-LAB:project: Stress-o-stat
C-LAB:project: Sugar Rush
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