Theresa Schubert, Andrew Adamatzky – Experiencing the Unconventional: Science in Art


World Scientific Publishing, ISBN-13: 978-9814656856, English, 370 pages, English, Singapore

The relationship between science and art has never been univocally defined. On both sides there are different interpretations: on the artists’ side discussions surround which scientific disciplines are more suitable for artistic practice; on the scientists’ side questions about which kind of “art” could eventually be created are seemingly more relevant. Moreover, scientists perhaps look more for aesthetic qualities, while artists are more deeply engaged with processes, exploring the idea of a shared conceptual territory. That’s exactly how this anthology starts. The authors begin with a sort of minimal manifesto in their introduction: “Art is driven by process. Science aims for results.” The book is essentially a selection of papers written by artists presenting their own works with a couple of collaborative historical/theoretical texts and three interviews that explore a few further artists. Programmatically, the works have been selected through their quality of embodying “investigative practices,” and they all engage with a scientific territory of choice. Appropriately “champion” artists of those territories have been included, whose unique use of (mainly) chemistry, physics and biology is treated through specific computations and processes. Readers would probably experience this book more like an imaginary curated and expanded exhibition catalogue. All the works appropriately elucidate various art and science subdomains, creating an informative scenario that will be enjoyed by the publisher’s scientific audience.