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In conversation: arts and science workshop

October 9, 2014

1 day closed workshop c0-organised between the AHRC’s Cultural Value Project, AHRC’s Science in Culture Theme and Arts@CERN

Two  major initiatives of the Arts & Humanities Research Council– the Cultural Value Project and the Science in Culture Theme– have come together with Arts@CERN to organise an  event building on a mutual interest to understand the interaction between arts practices [broadly interpreted to include music, dance, design and new technologies] and scientific thinking.

The aim of this workshop, to be held on 9th October 2014, is to consider the extent to which bringing artists and scientists together leads to the opening up of creative spaces for each, and how this kind of environment challenges and transforms ways of thinking and working in both scientific and artistic practice.

The workshop will look at ways of going beyond familiar examples in which artists are inspired by scientific findings, sometimes incorporating imagery from science into their practices, or when art is used to communicate the results of scientific research to non-expert audiences. This workshop will focus instead on how collaborations between artists and scientists each contribute to one another’s disciplines and potentially transform each other’s ways of working.

The emphasis will be on reciprocal exchanges between the arts and sciences and on instances where collaborations produce a cycle of feedback with results in one field influencing subsequent developments in the other. Our ambition is to understand how a divergence from pre-existing routines, techniques and modes of thinking can lead to enhanced reflectiveness and bring to light new perspectives and new fields of inquiry. In most general terms, we hope that these discussions will provide an opportunity to examine the nature of creativity and innovation in both the arts and sciences, addressing the question of similarity and differences as well as ways in which they can mutually shape one another. We want therefore to focus on projects where the process of engagement led to transformation and cross-fertilisation of artistic and scientific practices and where for both artists and scientists, the outcome has contributed to and influenced their work.  

The workshop  will be organised around four ‘conversations’– presentations from artists and scientists working together, showcasing their projects  and reflecting critically on the nature of the relationships which developed as result. In the afternoon session, these case studies will provide the launch-pad for a wider discussion opening with interventions from 3 invited respondents.


October 9, 2014
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University of London
Senate House, Malet St
London, WC1E 7HU United Kingdom
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