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Art and Science Funding

"Art and Science" has become quite a fashion with international conferences, exhibits and a wide variety of incentives from funding bodies. Yet despite all the bells and whistles the results are not always that encouraging. The same messages are repeated and there are too many cases in which artists are either acting as high quality technicians in the service of science, or are expressing scientific metaphors in literal and uncreative ways.

On the other hand there are those cases in which something truly exciting occurs, in which an artist explores science in a new way, or pushes technology in an interesting direction, or finds a deep resonance between their own work and an idea or concept in contemporary science.

Maybe this return is the best we can hope for, in spite of all that investment of time and money on the part of organizers and organizations. On the other hand, while there are individual artists who are interested in particular aspects of science, the overall impetus for what could be called "The Art and Science Movement" does not originate with artists or scientists themselves but from funding agencies, foundations and other agencies.

So how would we spend the money. What if artists and scientists were given carte blanc and generous funding? How would they spend it? Would they give the money back? Or spend it on a vast dinner? Do they feel "art and science" is worth supporting? Can they consider creative ways of spending the money? Is it possible to run things without large scale bureaucracy? And who would make the decisions? Who would give the advice?

I'd really be interested to have your comments and suggestions - the more radical, creative and unusual the better! They'll all be posted.

Send them to artsci@fdavidpeat.com

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