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2010-2011 CSE Lecture Series


Title: Intermedia and Evolutionary Biology: An Interdisciplinary Framework

Dr. Adam Brown
Associate Professor of Electronic Art and Intermedia
Department of Art and Art History
Michigan State University

Date:  November 5, 2010
Time:  11:30 am
Room: 1279 Anthony Hall

Exponential growth of science and technology are radically changing the world. Unprecedented access to dynamic and instantaneous information brought to us by sophisticated technologies and ubiquitous computing has fundamentally challenged how we collectively acquire and distribute ideas. Social networks and emergent-based methods of problem solving such as open source architecture have called to question epistemologies within established disciplines. The need to solve complex problems regarding multiple forms  of specialized knowledge has led us to a period of cultural “reboot.” This “reboot” directly correlates with the state of collapsing of boundaries between disciplines. in reaction to the increasing complexity of problems facing artists and scientists today. During this time of “reboot,” what will be the role of the artist and how is he to function in this information rich, technology infused culture? More broadly, how will the arts integrate with other areas of specialization?

The growth of technology and culture has many similarities with current understanding of the processes associated with evolutionary biology. These processes parallel our cultural predicament and provide insight into answering the questions as to how the artist is to function within and in-between scientific disciplines. Instead of participating outside the workings of culture, artists are developing behaviors to sinuously integrate in and out of other disciplines. This participatory paradigm is comparable to cooperative models observed within horizontal evolution coupled with a tendency for  evolutionary mechanisms to move toward increased specialization described by vertical evolution identified by Darwin. 

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