Session 5 Synthesis and Art

“The artist can express everything.” Oscar Wilde (1891), Preface to The Picture of Dorian Gray

Keynote Speaker: Information Artist Carson Grubaugh

If an understanding of the world based upon new - information based - myths is to emerge, we are facing a paradigm shift in the fundamental Kuhnian sense. Genuine paradigm shifts are painful and require breaking out from the lines of thought that - through hard work - have proved successful in the past. We don’t give this up lightly.

Art, by engaging the "right brain", helps us to break free from limitations of linear, sequential, rational thinking, and allows us to move sideways into new territory. Or, to switch metaphor, art is the catalyst that lowers the activation energy so that we can cross the potential barrier blocking our path to the new territory.

The philosophy behind this workshop is one of interdisciplinary conversations. Artists have a double role in this, because art is one of the disciplines in the conversations, but art is also a medium and enabler of the conversations. Artists are, from one perspective, information workers, and art exists to communicate. There is a self-referential element to the art for the workshop. The artwork is to reflect on the nature of information, but in doing so will be reflecting on itself as information.

In both of the roles - discipline and medium - the art makes a unique contribution to the project.