Artists chat with scientists to change the world
BANGALORE: Two different domains. Is there a common ground for artists and scientists? An initiative focused on climate change triggered an interesting conversation here on Friday.
Over 60 Indian artists and scientists met to explore how they could work together in shaping the right perceptions on climate change. The group included participants from key scientific institutions like IISc, NCBS, JNCASR, and artists from various forms at the event organized by TippingPoint, UK, the British Council and the Khoj International Artists’ Association.
What will the world be like in future? What should science fiction portray? Is Newton’s law the way the world should work? Should scientists be more intuitive? Is quantum physics as intuitive as art? What should be the stuff of scientific novels? These were some topics of discussion.
Peter Gingold, member of TippingPoint, a British organization specializing in putting together inter-disciplinary gatherings across the world, put the meeting in perspective: “We want artists to tell us how to live in this world after understanding from scientists what the world is like. The artists’ imaginative landscape is what we want, one fuelled by an understanding of science. This is a very difficult conversation to have but we’ve made a successful beginning.”
Pooja Sood of Khoj International, a New Delhi-based artists’ association, responded: “Art-Science talk is not easy and yet we have to make sense of our different worlds for a common cause. We’ll not merely be repeating what scientists say about climate change, but through various art forms, from the visual to the theatrical to the artistic, shape perceptions about climate change. We’ll carry the message of science and climate change that hopefully will hopefully bring a change in approach.” Khoj assists various forms such as media art, performance, video, public and community-based art.
Pooja said the conversations were a revelation. “We realized there are people in Science who are deeply interested in these conversations. We realized their system is as vulnerable as maybe ours. There are doubts that plague them too. When we share our concerns, we come to a better understanding of our context, which in this case is climate.”
Angela McSherry, arts producer, said TippingPoint had organized gatherings in many parts of the world which place artists and scientists in collaborative conversation, aiming to enrich both scientific and creative practice through dialogue and debate.
The Arctic is melting, could be a good place to start.