Routledge Handbook of Art, Science, and Technology Studies  book cover
1st Edition

Routledge Handbook of Art, Science, and Technology Studies

ISBN 9781138347304
Published December 23, 2021 by Routledge
702 Pages 111 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Art and science work is experiencing a dramatic rise coincident with burgeoning Science and Technology Studies (STS) interest in this area. Science has played the role of muse for the arts, inspiring imaginative reconfigurations of scientific themes and exploring their cultural resonance. Conversely, the arts are often deployed in the service of science communication, illustration, and popularization. STS scholars have sought to resist the instrumentalization of the arts by the sciences, emphasizing studies of theories and practices across disciplines and the distinctive and complementary contributions of each. The manifestation of this commonality of creative and epistemic practices is the emergence of Art, Science, and Technology Studies (ASTS) as the interdisciplinary exploration of art–science.

This handbook defines the modes, practices, crucial literature, and research interests of this emerging field. It explores the questions, methodologies, and theoretical implications of scholarship and practice that arise at the intersection of art and STS. Further, ASTS demonstrates how the arts are intervening in STS. Drawing on methods and concepts derived from STS and allied fields including visual studies, performance studies, design studies, science communication, and aesthetics and the knowledge of practicing artists and curators, ASTS is predicated on the capacity to see both art and science as constructions of human knowledge- making. Accordingly, it posits a new analytical vernacular, enabling new ways of seeing, understanding, and thinking critically about the world.

This handbook provides scholars and practitioners already familiar with the themes and tensions of art–science with a means of connecting across disciplines. It proposes organizing principles for thinking about art–science across the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and arts. Encounters with art and science become meaningful in relation to practices and materials manifest as perceptual habits, background knowledge, and cultural norms. As the chapters in this handbook demonstrate, a variety of STS tools can be brought to bear on art–science so that systematic research can be conducted on this unique set of knowledge-making practices.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Trevor Pinch

Foreword by Caroline A. Jones

Introduction: The past, present, and future of Art, Science, and Technology Studies

Hannah Star Rogers and Megan K. Halpern


Section 1: Constructing borders and borders at the intersections of art and science

Hannah Star Rogers

1. What counts as data and for whom? The role of the modest witness in art-science collaboration

Silvia Casini

2. What can science and technology studies learn from art and design? Reflections on ‘Synthetic Aesthetics’

Jane Calvert and Pablo Schyfter

3. The skin of a living thought: art, science, and STS in Practice

Hanna Rose Shell

4. Aesthetic strategies for engaging with environmental governance

Christian Nold and Karolina Sobecka


Section 2: Making multidisciplinary histories

Hannah Star Rogers

5. The art-science complex

Chris Salter

6. Infrastructural inversions in sound art and STS

Owen Marshall

7. Emotion, affect and participation: why science communication practitioners should embrace a feminist ethics of care in their work

Britt Wray

8. Robert Hooke’s Micrographia: a historical guide to navigating contemporary images

Nina Sellars

9. The Xenopus pregnancy test: a performative experiment

Eben K. Irksey, Dehlia Hannah, Charlie Lotterman, Lisa Jean Moore


Section 3: Methods and modes

Megan K. Halpern

10. Doing research by means of art

Regula Valérie Burri

11. More than human trading zones in design research and pedagogy

Laura Forlano and Carla Sedini

12. Discovering alternative technological futures through literature

Jennifer L. Lieberman

13. Art’s Work in the Age of Biotechnology: how art can make arguments in science and technology studies

Hannah Star Rogers

14. Recipes for Technoutopia: on hospitality and infrastructure as experimental performance

Stephanie Beth Steinhardt

15. Reflexivity practiced daily: theatricality in the performative doing of STS

Yelena Gluzman


Section 4: Collaborations and collisions in art-science

Megan K. Halpern

16. Trading between science and art worlds: from biology laboratory to art exhibition

Nora S. Vaage

17. Art, artists, and the wrong kind of science education

Kathryn de Ridder-Vignone

18. Negotiations and love songs: integration, fairness, and balance in an art-science collaboration

Megan K. Halpern

19. Transdisciplinary co-inquiry as curatorial methodology: from the Canadian Arctic to the Calder Valley, Yorkshire

Nicola Triscott and Anna Santomauro


Section 5: Institutions and infrastructures

Kathryn de Ridder-Vignone

20. ArtSciLab: experimental publishing and knowledge production in collaborative transdisciplinary practices

Alex Garcia Topete, Chaz Lilly, Cassini Nazir and Roger F. Malina

21. Polymathic pedagogies: creating the conditions for interdisciplinary enquiry in art and science

Heather Barnett, Nathan Cohen and Adrian Holme

22. The future of arts integrative work: creating new avenues for advancing and expanding the field

Edgar Cardenas, Sandra Rodegher, and Kevin Hamilton

23. Feasting the Lab and other projects: art and science that skirts the limits of institutional frameworks

Jennifer Willet


Section 6: Democracy and activism

Hannah Star Rogers

24. We're all living in an Estroworld

Mary Maggic

25. Rustbelt Theater and citizen science: children’s environmental justice narratives

Lissette Lorenz

26. Artificial intelligence experience: participatory art workshops to explore AI imaginaries

Christopher Wood

27. Human germline gene editing is bioart: an open letter to Lulu and Nana

Adam Zaretsky


Section 7: Art as partner and critic

Hannah Star Rogers

28. The power of generative critique in art-energy projects

Lea Schick

29. Hemlock Hospice: landscape ecology, art, and design as science communication

Aaron M. Ellison and David Buckley Borden

30. Horizons of engagement: infrastructures of art and scholarship

Alexandra Lakind, Nicole Bennett and Robert Lundberg

31. Big pigs, small wings: on genohype and artistic autonomy

Ionat Zurr and Oron Catts


Section 8: Exposure to the elements

Dehlia Hannah

32. In the Middle of Something: in Search of Meso-Aesthetics

Andrew S. Yang

33. Curating in-between systems: Politics, ecology, and art

Stefanie Hessler

34. The future now: three tales of ocean plastic

Heather Davis

35. Becoming disaster literate: reflections on X AND BEYOND (2015-2017)

Jacob Lillemose

36. An Anthropocene journey: walking as embodied research

Nick Shepherd and Christian Ernsten

37. As we used to float: within Bikini Atoll

Nadim Samman and Julian Charrière


Section 9: Atmospherics

Dehlia Hannah

38. Archiving Atmosphere

James Graham

39. Becoming tornadic: a meteorology of media

Brett Zehner

40. Environ/mental ecologies in new media art

Anne Sophie Witzke and Jonas Fritsch

41. Changing imaginaries and new technoecologies of urban air

Hanna Husberg and Agáta Marzecová

42. Variations on Air

Anne Sophie Witzke and Dehlia Hannah


Section 10: The Gallery

Hannah Rogers

Designer: Molly Renda

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Hannah Star Rogers is a Visiting Scholar at the University of Edinburgh, where she researches the intersection of art and science.

Megan K. Halpern is an Assistant Professor in Lyman Briggs College at Michigan State University and a Scholar in Residence at MSU’s Center for Interdisciplinarity.

Kathryn de Ridder-Vignone is Faculty Senate Chair at the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics, where she teaches future engineers, from across the state, about the complexities of science, technology, and engineering in action.

Dehlia Hannah is Mads Øvlisen Postdoctoral Fellow in Art and Natural Sciences at the Department of Chemistry and Biosciences at Aalborg University and a Research Fellow of the Royal Danish Academy of Art and ARKEN Museum of Modern Art in Copenhagen.


‘Many of us have developed a love-hate relationship with our constructed disciplines. Deep knowledge in almost all areas of human inquiry has advanced society and quality of life for many of us. Yet as we advance, limitations and barriers within these systems reveal themselves begging for a new framework to move us forward – the creation of a new system of thought that is inclusive, collaborative and integrative. The noble efforts of the editors and thought leaders represented in Routledge Handbook of Art, Science, and Technology Studies strives to give us a new language by which we can collectively imagine a future that draws from all areas of investigation.’

J.D. Talasek, Director of Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences (CPNAS), USA


'This massive and lavishly illustrated handbook presents and summarizes current work in an emergent field that the editors dub Art, Science, and Technology Studies (ASTS). The very presence of this handbook underlines the extent to which science, technology, and the arts have become interrelated without entirely erasing the integrity of each. Artists in residence have become commonplace in many scientific projects but, as the essays in this Handbook demonstrate, this is just the tip of the iceberg: art is intimately performed in science, and in art with scientific materials and techniques. Artists do not simply represent scientific and technological objects; they embed technoscience into works of art, without effacing those works as art. The dozens of authors who contributed to the handbook span numerous disciplines ranging from the natural and human sciences to the arts – often in unique combinations. At the same time, the Handbook maintains coherence by creatively drawing upon established themes from science and technology studies such as ‘social worlds’, ‘boundary work’ and ‘boundary objects’. The contributors include both well-known veterans and younger scholars who have begun to make their mark in ASTS. I know of no other source that provides such extensive and comprehensive coverage of this burgeoning trans-disciplinary field.'

Michael Lynch, Professor Emeritus, Department of Science & Technology Studies, Cornell University, USA


'This far-ranging volume spans a stunning breadth of original creative work at the art, science, and technology nexus, building on the interwoven histories of Science and Technology Studies, Media Studies, and Transdisciplinary Studies. Unique to the handbook is the systematic organization of methodologies, artistic approaches, and conceptual concerns that drive this bold and dynamic field.'

Patricia Olynyk, Multimedia Artist and Florence and Frank Bush Professor of Art, Washington University in St. Louis, USA


'The book introduces Art, Science and Technology Studies as a new field of interdisciplinary inquiry and practice where both art and science contribute to knowledge-making. The dozens of essays included in the book examine the methods and methodologies used to bring art and science together, the structures that support these collaborations, the development and communication of projects realised as well as the engagement with the audience. While several authors in the publication delineate what we can learn from observing art and science in relation to one another, none of them pretends that art-science collaborations are frictionless. Or that they should be. In fact, many of the authors highlight issues such as the institutionalisation of both art and science, the possible instrumentalisation of art, the difficulties encountered while trying to create dialogues with the public around science and technology concerns. Most of them also suggest strategies that artists can adopt to protect their autonomy, find common ground with their science partners and new forms of critique emerge.'

Régine Debatty, Review for We Make Money Not Art