The Artist and the Scientist.
The opportunity for an artist to collaborate uniquely with a scientist arose out of a chance encounter on one of life’s dancefloors. A tango dance floor in fact.
How often life seems to operate on the level of serendipity.
Quickly two accomplished individuals set to work to compare notes on their professional experiences of the esoteric world’s they inhabited~ they soon came to the realisation that despite their apparent differences they were uniquely describing the same world, but from very specialist and different viewpoints. Perspectives which illuminated fascinating details both had perhaps missed or not fully taken account of in their individual schemes.
It was this opportunity to question and compare the world from differing perspectives that has led to the development of a method of working and thinking that could be used to explore the arts and sciences in new ways. Some of the resulting thinking is interesting and maybe groundbreaking. The resultant attitude is either new or a reinvention of something many of us may have forgotten.
Professor Nicky Clayton FRS, a behavioural scientist from Cambridge University and the writer, artist, performer and teacher Clive Wilkins, are working together to research and present a series of lectures entitled ‘The Captured Thought’. The object of the exercise is to illuminate how we think and analyse ourselves and our place in the world using the evidence we can draw from disparate sources.
By way of introduction to the bigger issues informing this approach the following extract from their discourse at the Royal Institution on the 26th October 2012 is included.
‘Welcome to this space. There’s a time connotation to this too. We all find ourselves here from wherever we have come from. This is an important moment. In the space of the next hour we hope to alter your next future. I am Nicky Clayton~ a behavioural scientist interested in how humans and animals think and perceive the world and this is Clive Wilkins~ an artist and writer whose prime interest is in the nature of imagination. We are both intrigued by the way in which our lives are shaped by our awareness of space and time, our ability to mentally move backwards and forwards through it, and the consequences and opportunities it allows us to make for ourselves. We have been sharing our knowledge; testing our differing perspectives. Perhaps the most stunning revelation is that despite differences in past experience we think in the same kind of way, So we have been pooling our understanding of imagination and consciousness to see if it might goad us into new ways of seeing and thinking, in the hope of discovering new ideas. The collaboration has been exciting, inspiring, and genuinely thought provoking. It has been an experimental way of working and made us reassess our own understanding of what we think we know. It has been a very healthy symbiosis. It may be a worthy way forward in a world where new thinking is becoming increasingly hard to come by. We would like to share the process with you….’