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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sea of Changes exhibit

Opening Reception: Sea of Changes exhibit 
Rodney McCoubrey
View more than 50 artworks made by students at Oakcrest Middle School and Senior Citizens from recycled and reclaimed materials. All art is for sale; proceeds benefit Oakcrest School and the Senior Center! Enjoy light refreshments as you view the artwork. Artist Instructor: Rodney McCoubrey. The Artist Outreach Grant program is funded by the Kenneth A. Picerne Foundation.  

Saturday, June 1, 3:00-5:00pm
Encinitas Community & Senior Center
1140 Oakcrest Park Drive, Encinitas, CA 92024 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Art and Science Hybrids

In Praise of Hybridity: Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Frank J Malina

By Roger Malina


My father was a hybrid. He achieved success in the 1940s as a scientist in the nascent field of astronautics, helping develop the theory of space flight and leading the team that launched the first human made object into outer space (1). As a pioneering kinetic artist in the 1950s he helped start the art and technology movement that has led to large industries in entertainment and cultural media.

In the 1960s he socialized with other hybrid artist-scientists such as artist and mathematician Anthony Hill, artist and bio-rheologist L. Alcopley and mathematician-artist Claude Berge member of the Oulipo literary group (2). But they were few and far between. They were often lonely professionals and marginalized by their peers. My father debated the problem with his friends such as C.P.Snow, Jacob Bronowski, Roy Ascott and Buckminster Fuller.

This year a group of colleagues and I have been developing a report funded by the US National Science Foundation and supported by the US National Endowment for the Arts, the SEAD White Papers Study (3). The study seeks to enable new forms of collaboration between the sciences, engineering, the arts, design and humanities, identifying opportunities and obstacles. It has been an exhilarating task working with a growing, dynamic and energetic community of practice. Artists are involved in all fields of science and engineering, from the health sciences to the nano-sciences, from digital manufacturing to space technologies. And they are working on the hard problems of our time where it is impossible to decouple culture from science  or engineering; climate change, the aging of the brain, sustainable energy.

The hybrids have arrived! From mixed teams of artists and scientists, to hybrid individuals with dual career tracks they are working in universities, industry and the burgeoning making and hacking spaces. In studying the demographics we were surprised that 20% of them are hybrids in the sense that they have both a higher education degree in science or engineering and a second diploma in a field of arts, design or humanities. (We also noted that the community of practice is gender balanced with 50% women and 50% men). These hybrids often play a special role as ‘translators’ able to navigate between the different ways of knowing represented by the sciences and the arts. Nature magazine (4) recently took note of the phenomenon, asking whether there were new hybrid career tracks emerging. They noted the recent development of PhD programs dedicated to the training and cultivation of these hybrids.

Physiologist and artist Robert Root Bernstein has recently studied hundreds of successful scientists and engineers; out of all proportion with the general population of scientists and engineers, and the public, they are hybrids participating in deep avocations in the arts that they view as essential to their own scientific practice. (5)

There are very good reasons to have disciplines and to train scientists and engineers to drill deep with a single minded focus. Art is not Science (6).But there are also good reasons to have mobile professionals who can navigate in trans-disciplinary practices. The good news is that the Tree of Knowledge has been felled and we now live in an evolving system of Networked Knowledge, enabled and accelerated by the internet and on line collaboration technologies. As Anthony Hill and Claude Berge would have told you, this is a topological revolution. It is far easier to make connections in complex network structures that are continuously evolving, than in tree structures that rigidify as they age (7). Unfortunately our institutions are still locked into the topology of old tree structures rather than complex networks and hybridity is still often a high risk activity.

I think my father would be thrilled at the turn of events. My father once wrote “It was my feeling that one way in curbing the misuse of technology might be if we could, through the arts, emotionally prepare young people to see the aesthetic, positive side of things and also then respond by seeing the negative” (8), Chastened by the human crimes committed using advanced science and technology during the second world war, he was convinced that the arts and sciences had to be connected at their very source, the human imagination and passions that drive scientific, engineering and artistic discovery. This emerging hybrid community is carrying within it the ideals of a socially robust science (9) that foregrounds not only ethics and values as core values in science and engineering but also celebrates with joy and pleasure the well-being of human beings in all their, non-reductive, complexity.


  1. There is a large literature on Frank Malina’s career in astronautics from co founder and first Director of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, designer of the WAC Corporal rocket and co founder of the International Academy of Astronautics:
  2. I have recently co written a history of the Leonardo Journal that Frank Malina founded to champion the work of artists involved in science and technology:
  3.   The SEAD network is coordinated by Carol Lafayette; the SEAD White Paper Study is co chaired by Roger Malina and Carol Strohecker working with an international community of 200 professionals. The work of the network and the draft report can be found at:
  4. Interdisciplinarity: Artistic Merit, Virginia Gewin, Nature, 496, 537-539 (2013) doi:10.1038/nj7446-537a
  5.    Root-Bernstein RS, Lindsay Allen^, Leighanna Beach^, Ragini Bhadula^, Justin Fast^, Chelsea Hosey^, Benjamin Kremkow^, Jacqueline Lapp^, Kaitlin Lonc^, Kendell Pawelec^, Abigail Podufaly^, Caitlin Russ^, Laurie Tennant^, Erric Vrtis^ and Stacey Weinlander^.  Arts Foster Success: Comparison of Nobel Prizewinners, Royal Society, National Academy, and Sigma Xi Members.J Psychol Sci Tech 2008; 1(2):51-63.
  6. See the writing of my colleague Physicist Jean-Marc Levy Leblond, La science n’est pas l’art, Jean Marc Levy-Leblond, Hermann Editeurs, Paris 2010 ISBN 978-2705669409 “. My rebuttal is at
  7. See the Leonardo Project on the Arts, Humanities and Complex Networks:
  8. See
  9. See the work of European Research Council President Helga Nowotny, for instance

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Evolving Creative Campus

Many colleges and universities are looking to put more arts at the center of campus life and in the process, foster creativity.
The Creative Campus initiative, a program of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, is leading the way.
The idea began early in 2004 at a meeting convened by the Ford Foundation, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Dana Foundation, the AT&T Foundation, Pfizer and the Altria Group. The idea simply was "to examine the factors that characterize effective partnerships in education and the arts: the projects, proposals, curricula, and creative forces that make such partnerships work."
Later, thanks to $3.5 million from the Doris Duke Charitable Trusts, the "Creative Campus Innovations Grant Program" was created "to seed innovative, interdisciplinary programs that brought together artists with a range of community and campus-based partners in order to stimulate arts-based inquiry and elevate the role of the arts in academic life. "
The grants now helping over 14 Universities establish projects that serve to nurture the entire campus including many "collaborative projects (which involve) intense partnerships that require shared language, trust, and a "restructuring" of knowledge and practice. While Creative Campus projects fell into both (cooperative and collaborative) categories, the truly collaborative projects proved most transformative for both participants and the larger campus."

After six years of study the Association seems pleased that the role of the arts has indeed stimulated academic life, but fully aware that:
"In spite of the incentives for campus-based arts presenters to work across disciplines and to become better integrated into the curricular and co-curricular life of campus, there are significant cultural and structural barriers that make such work difficult. Budgets, facilities, selection processes, and professional norms all work against innovative programming that places other goals (learning, engagement, conversation, community building) above more narrowly conceived notions of curatorial excellence. Furthermore, institutional structures and academic practices, from tenure to course review and scheduling and budgetary silos, also discourage faculty and other campus partners from embracing arts-based interdisciplinary inquiry."
One of the barriers, not surprisingly are the artists themselves. Alan S. Brown and Steven J. Tepper, PhD., who wrote the report and did most of the research, commented that "While a small cohort of artists and university arts programs explore the intersections of art and other disciplines, a large majority of the country's presenters and producers of performing arts programs - opera, classical music, jazz, dance, theatre and multi-disciplinary presenters - remain committed to finely tuned missions and business models that more or less exclude interdisciplinary work - much less work across artistic genres. "
Clearly, they argue, what is needed is a "new breed of artists who are vitally engaged in research and discovery, mindful and articulate about their creative process, open to critical reflection, and who can bridge disciplines and interact with people from different backgrounds."
Importantly, the University can do a lot of things to make the campus experience, as well as the courseware, come alive. Yale University, for example, (while not a recipient of the Creative Campus grant program) has started using their on campus Art Gallery to be a teaching mechanism for the whole university...including courses that help teachers how best to teach K-12 students. Already, last year they hosted over "48 courses from departments other than art history or art" according to The New York Times.
In addition to the art courses, according to the Yale University newspaper, 578 individual class sessions--from "women's, gender and sexuality a "Photography and Memory" course and an African American studies class on "Re-Visioning Subjectivities'--were held during the last year.
There is a message here for all universities desirous of seeing more interdisciplinary course development, and aspiring to be a creative campus. Ways to get faculty to work more collaboratively must be developed. Providing incentives for such collaborations to encourage art and science marriages is clearly essential. So too is leadership at the highest level to make such collaborations a critical part of the University mission.
The goal must be to forge an undergraduate curriculum that offers truly interdisciplinary courses, and curricula that make the college experience meaningful for life and work in the new global economy, an economy that highly values creativity and innovation.

Follow John M. Eger on Twitter:

Sunday, May 12, 2013


Sent by John Chalmers:
My IMERA colleague, political anthropologist Cedric Parizot has been running a very succesful  ’frontiers’
project in Aix Marseille- we had a great workshop for instance which looked at how new network science affects our concepts of frontiers. They have now issued a call for proposals for work by artists, scientists= you will see that the ambition is to be transdisciplinary and find new forms for showing the complexities of the issues around frontiers: There is a special art-science emphasis

Roger Malina

ANTIATLAS Call For Proposals
The antiAtlas of borders is a transdisciplinary event that will take
place between September 30, 2013 and March 1, 2014. Bypassing
cartography, at the crossroads of research and art, it offers a new
approach of the mutations of borders and on the way they are
experienced by people in the 21st century.
The antiAtlas is an outcome of the transdisciplinary research project
led by IMéRA (Institut Méditerranéen de Recherches Avancées –
Mediterranean Institute of Advanced Research) on the mutations of
contemporary territorial configurations (2011-2013). It will be one of
the steps of Ulysses, a major exhibition program in Marseille-Provence
2013 supported by the FRAC (Regional Fund for Contemporary Art). The
objective of the antiAtlas is to decompartmentalize the fields of
knowledge, bringing together artists, human scientists, hard
scientists and professionals.
The antiAtlas will rely on five different supports:
1 : an international symposium open to researchers, institutional
actors, and to the public at large. It will take place at the Maison
Méditerranéenne des Sciences de l’Homme in Aix en Provence, from the
30th of September to the 2d of October 2013)
2 : a first art-science exhibition at the Musée des Tapisseries in Aix
en Provence (from 1rst October to 3 November 2013)
3 : a second art-science exhibition at La Compagnie, a place dedicated
creation and art in Marseille (from 13 December 2013 to 1srt mars
4 : an artistic and scientific web site that will complete and
perpetuate the work done and presented through the research program
and the two exhibitions
5 : an art science printed volume (winter 2014)
Scientific and Artistic Committee: Cédric Parizot (coordinator of the
research program, IMéRA, IREMAM, CNRS, Aix Marseille University), Jean
Cristofol (ESAA, Aix en Provence), Anne Laure Amilhat Szary
(University Joseph Fourier, Grenoble), Nicola Mai (London Metropolitan
University, London; IMéRA), Antoine Vion (Sociologist, LEST, Aix
Marseille University), Paul Emmanuel Odin (Art critic, La compagnie).
Curator: Isabelle Arvers
The call for proposals is opened in order to select original
productions for the exhibition that will take place at la Compagnie,
from 13 December 2013 to 1rst March 2014.
Because of its transdisciplinary nature, the antiAtlas of Borders
offers multiple levels of involvement and participation. Visitors will
engage with a variety of transmedia applications within a space
punctuated with interactive sculptures, installations and videos. This
playful exhibition will stimulate the public through the interaction
with robots, drones and video games. This is an exhibition to engage
with: try it yourself!
The curator and the artistic and scientific committee are looking for
various proposals (artworks, net. Art, photo, video, testimonies,
documentaries, video games …) showing different ways to experience the
borders. Proposals from migrants, professionals and artists are
welcome, in order to contribute to prepare a resolutely participatory
The proposals will be selected by a scientific and artistic committee:
Isabelle ARVERS (art curator specialized in web art)
Cédric PARIZOT (Anthropologist, coordinator of the research program
antiAtlas, IMéRA, IREMAM, CNRS, Aix Marseille University),
Jean CRISTOFOL (Philosopher, ESAA, Aix en Provence),
Anne-Laure AMILHAT-SZARY (Geographer, University Joseph Fourier,
Grenoble), representing the European research program Euroborderspaces
(7e PCRD)
Paul Emmanuel ODIN (Critic, ESAA, responsible for the programming of
la Compagnie)
Nicola MAI (Anthropologist, London Metropolitan University, London),
Antoine VION (Sociologist, LEST, Aix Marseille University)
Launch date of the call for proposals: 7 May 2013
Deadline for reception of the proposals: 30 June 2013
Selection of the proposals by the committee: 31 July 2013

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Innovation Incubator in San Diego - Come one Come all

Learn about opportunities to participate in the
Art of Science Learning Incubator for Innovation
hosted by the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership
Public information sessions are offered:
 At these meetings, we will:

  • Discuss the integration of the arts into STEM as a strategy for regional economic vitality and the future of America's economic competitiveness
  • Describe how the Art of Science Learning uses the arts as a catalyst for creativity and innovation
  • Articulate various opportunities for participation
  • Invite your involvement, to contribute to and benefit from this unprecedented effort
Our own PR for DNA of C, Kim Richards has summerized some of the information for you: 
The Art of Science Learning innovation incubator in San Diego is now recruiting! 

Harvey Seifter, project director and principal investigator, and San Diego incubator director, Nan Renner, hosted an information session on Friday morning April 26 at the Natural History Museum. The session started with an in depth overview of the history of the project leading up to where it stands today. More detail on the background available here:

The team is calling for 100 community members of all ages and expertise, including 20 high school and college students, to join them in learning the project's new arts-based curriculum and solve issues around the region's innovation challenge: water. Recruiting is taking place in San Diego and the northern Baja region in Mexico.

The incubator will kick off in October, and after the first three months 10 teams will self-select, five addressing the innovation challenge and the other five creating new programs integrating arts into STEM learning. The curriculum will be taught by a group of experts most likely during Saturday sessions for a total of 150 hours over a year's time. Participants will become certified Art of Science Learning Fellows and will be armed with brand new tools to innovate.

To join the incubator, visit: There are also opportunities for individuals and organizations to participate by becoming team mentors or partnering on public outreach. You can host an incubator meeting, a public event or a temporary showcase, for example.

To get involved, please provide a resume and a one--]page statement to address these two questions:
1. What interests and skills will you bring to the incubatorfs innovation community?
2. How will you use your innovation skills in our local, regional, and/or international communities? Please email your response to Nan Renner, San Diego Incubator for Innovation, by June15, 2013 at, subject line: Incubator application, title:
(Your last name) application 2013.

RSVP online for the information meetings at or learn more about the project at
Please direct any questions to Nan Renner at
Thank you!
Nan & Amanda--
Nan Renner & Amanda Sincavage

San Diego Incubator for Innovation, Art of Science Learning
a program of the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership
funded by the National Science Foundation

1549 El Prado, Suite 1
San Diego, CA 92101
619.232.7502, ext. 1210

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Up and Coming Art and Science Film Festival

up&coming film festival

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 / 7:00 PM
Calit2 Auditorium
ArtPower! Film is expanding its annual Up&Coming Student Film Festival to include two nights of filmmaking, exploration, conversation, networking, and a brand new student networking event called Talent Campus.

The first night of the Up&Coming Festival will feature cinema created in the spirit of collaboration through art, science, and technology. Special presentations include Mikumentary, a series of short, independent, non-commerical films about the Hatsune Miku phenomenon by UCSD Professor and filmmaker Tara Knight and Drone Technology and Filmmaking, a presentation by Research Scientist/National Geographic Emerging Explorer Albert Lin.
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