The Aesthetics of Contemporary Science Research
This project proposed to curate an exhibition within the Cube at the Moss Arts Center, exploring the aesthetic dimensions of contemporary science and technology research. We investigated numerous examples of this research, both done at Virginia Tech and nationally, using the visual expertise of arts and humanities disciplines such as aesthetic analysis, critical interpretation, and philosophical reflection. Our goal was to showcase the flourishing world of science research through the lens of the arts and humanities, stimulating a campus-wide, and then nation-wide conversation about science and aesthetics. The process of discovery and analysis took more time than expected, and we plan to continue the synthesis and output portion of our work in the coming year.
At this point we have collected over 50 examples from science and technology research, many produced at Virginia Tech. Our initial plans were to have an exhibition of this material at the Cube in the Moss Art Center in March. That had to be postponed due to weather, and then finally cancelled due to technical difficulties. Our research team then met to reassess our goals at the end of Spring 2018. We plan to continue our project with an emphasis on the critique method familiar to our disciplines, but applied to research being done in the sciences. In the Fall, we will hold a series of critiques centered around these materials to highlight how this process of analysis, commonly used in art and design, might bring new insights to the work produced by other disciplines. We hope to turn the results of these conversations into a publication, which could then be used for external grant funding in the future.
ICAT 2017-2018 Major Sead Grant