Biomedicine in museums

Mundane design vs. fine sci-art: two realms of aesthetic practice in science communication

By January 24, 2012 No Comments

I’ve been invited by the philosophy of science group in Gothenburg to give a talk to their Theory of Science seminar group on Friday, 3 February — titled ”Mundane Design vs. Fine Sci-Art: Two Realms of Aesthetic Practice in Science Communication”.

Here’s the abstract:

Sci-art has become an increasingly important dimension of science communication through printed media, museums, science centers and the web. Ranging from beautiful images on scientific journal covers to tissue-engineered wet-art installations, sci-art has become a recognised subgenre of the contemporary fine arts; it has entered art schools and caught the interest of gallery owners and art reviewers. It has also drawn the attention of major funding agencies, like the Wellcome Trust, as a means for strengthening public engagement with science. However, the popularity of fine sci-art risks eclipsing another, and perhaps even more important, realm of aesthetic practice in science and science communication, viz., mundane design (everyday aesthetics). In this presentation, I shall reclaim everyday aesthetics and the sensory qualities of research as a central aspect of science and, as a consequence, of science communication.

Among other things, I’m going to show and discuss some of the videos that Astrid has shot for the ‘Everyday aesthetics of biomedicine’ project, like this one:

The seminar will be in room T340, Olof Wijksgatan 6 (Gamla Hovrätten) in Gothenburg (Sweden), 3 February, 1-3 pm.

Thomas Söderqvist

Author Thomas Söderqvist

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