Artists in the Field
With this initiative ASCUS aims to break down the barriers between disciplines, creating time, space and opportunity for artists and scientists to be immersed in each other’s practices. The initiative provides the opportunity for artists to be involved in hands-on scientific research through residency placements in fieldwork environments with scientific research teams. The scientists involved in the scheme will benefit from receiving fieldwork assistance plus the opportunity to engage an artist in their research, to share their stories of working in the field and to get a different perspective on their work.
Through this ASCUS-led initiative we will be able to use our online platform to share residency activities to reach out to wider audiences, creating new points of access to both scientific and creative research. Following the residencies, we want to support the continued collaboration and production of new artworks, which alongside information about the science will form engaging project outputs.
What is scientific fieldwork?
Research takes scientists all over the world. The “field” is where data are being collected. It can be pretty much anywhere in the world. In the ASCUS team alone, fieldwork took current and former volunteers to the Seychelles, Senegal, Lapland, the Canadian Arctic and Iceland, but to mention a few. Far from the comfort of their offices, good field assistants are invaluable to researchers.
What will ASCUS provide?
We will work closely with researchers to establish the specific skills they are looking for in their field assistant. We will provide to artists a supportive environment in which they can research and develop their artistic practice. ASCUS will support the artists and scientists before, during and after the field campaigns. After the field campaigns, ASCUS will curate a series of public engagement activities about art-science, collaboration and interdisciplinarity.
- The scientists involved in the scheme will benefit from receiving fieldwork assistance.
- An opportunity to engage an artist in their research and to share their stories of working in the field.
- Large reach through the use of ASCUS’s online platform to share residency activities.
- Continued support for collaboration and production of new artworks with information about the science behind the project.
- Public engagement through the use of talks or presentations with artist and scientist involved.
- Possible commissioning and exhibition of artwork for increased outreach and visibility.
Why scientists do fieldwork with artists?
- Receive fieldwork assistance.
- Add creative skills to their field team.
- Work with a non-scientist who will offer a different outlook on their research.
- Insight into methods in a different discipline.
- Work with artists at the developmental and research stages of their creative practice.
- Opportunity to engage an artist in their research and share their scientific knowledge with a non-scientist.
- Public engagement project outputs and possible future collaboration.
It is important that the science team hosting the artist is committed to art-science collaboration and to sharing their passion for science with non-scientists. Fieldwork can be extremely challenging, even more so the first field campaign, and a supportive team will make all the difference to a novice field assistant… and scientists alike.
Why artists do fieldwork with scientists?
- Unique opportunity to be immersed in scientific research in a fieldwork context.
- Develop their skills by learning new methods and be actively involved in scientific processes.
- Working within interdisciplinary teams nationally and internationally.
- Inspire their artistic practice beyond this specific project.
- Travel to places inaccessible to the wider public, supported by experts in their field.
- Opportunity to explore scientific and artistic processes within a fieldwork setting.
An interest in science is essential but you do not need a thorough understanding of the research. You will need to be willing to work hard and long hours; fieldwork is often constrained by daylight, meteorological conditions and the limited number of days in the field. However, the experience is extremely rewarding.
Unique Opportunity for Artists and Scientists
For both artists and scientists, Artists in the Field is a unique opportunity to delve deeper into what interdisciplinary collaboration really means and to provide meaningful contributions to the fields of science and art.