May 1st Discussion, Ann E. Cudd and Bill Bowerman

We decided to try a discussion with 2 guests as opposed to 3 or 4 like we had been doing– for a total of 5 (including the 3 of us.)    We invited Bill Bowerman, Artist and retired University of Kansas Professor of Social Psychology; and Ann E. Cudd, Associate Dean for the Humanities and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Kansas.

The conversation was rich, the smaller group size worked well, and we were able to cover most of the questions that we had prepared to offer up for discussion.  Our guests were both fantastically interesting and intelligent, and we were thrilled that they were able to join us to talk.  Much of this conversation’s content will likely be featured in the ASP_SPA_PAS publication.

Conversation group at Aaron Storck's house. L to r: Carmen Moreno, Lee Piechocki, Bill Bowerman, Ann E Cudd. In the foreground are fruit salad, candles, flower, coffees, Pellegrinos.

Mutatis Mutandis

Artist Installation Mutatis Mutandis by Kip Haaheim, Nolan Lem, and Tristan Telander

Tristan Telander, Nolan Lem, and Kip Haaheim created this amazing project inspired by research from the CReSIS foundation at the University of Kansas. Based on volumes of research from CReSIS on glacial movement in Greenland, this team of designers and audio engineers put together a fascinating interpretation of this data – creating visuals and a sound installation. I just completed an interview with Tristan and Nolan and we will be posting more information on this project soon.

For now check out their beautiful and simple website for this project:

Mutatis Mutandis

Twin Peaks Diagram


One argument for art/sci collaboration is that by working in close proximity, the art will strengthen the quality and depth of the science and vice-versa.  It sounds good.  Can you imagine how this model would ever justifiably displace the current paradigm in which these fields are largely separate?

On the other hand, great achievements in science and in art have been made with little or no formal input from the other field.  One can make the case that the greatest strengths of science (rigor) and art (free form), will continue to inspire the greatest achievements in each respective field.  SEE DIAGRAM.

The idea implied by the diagram is that the art/sci overlap is peripheral while the pinnacles arise in relation to the center axis.  WHAT DO YOU THINK??  Post a comment or a link to your own diagram!

Feynman videos: “the key to science” and other choice parts.

Indomitable personality of Physics Richard Feynman, in this clip, outlines what it is.   For those who might have forgotten, “it doesn’t matter how beautiful it is.. if it disagrees with experiment — it’s wrong.”

See also: The Vega Science Trust – Richard Feynman Video – The Douglas Robb Memorial Lectures – Part 1.  ..lengthy but fun and exciting:)

Discussion group #2, Artists and Philosophers.. Scientism?

Group discussion #2 hosted by Cara and Cabezas Contemporary and Artist Shea Gordon.

We set up our roundtable, complete with snacks and bevs, in Shea’s studio upstairs from the gallery.  The key Participants in this discussion were Margaret BrommelsiekShea Gordon, Christina McPhee, and James Woodfill.

The ASP/SPA/PAS Team came prepared with questions with which to direct the conversation, but a structured approach was quickly abandoned once these four highly intelligent persons (with big personalities) let loose.  The session quickly erupted into a rich exchange.  The wonderful thing was– many of the key topics we had hoped to touch on as moderators were fleshed out by the participants.  The whole thing was recorded on audio and we’ll soon have the best parts transcribed.. for you.  Some juicy ideas!

left to right: Christina McPhee gesturing, Carmen Moreno, Cara Megan Lewis, skip, skip, and Margaret Brommelsiek

left to right: Shea Gordon with black beret, James Woodfill, Margaret Brommelsiek with her back to camera, Lee Piechocki and Christina McPhee

McPhee and Gordon have known each other for years.

Perhaps a sort of yin/yang dichotomy here between these friends? Shea Gordon’s work is shamanic, informed by coincidence and synchronicity; whereas Christina McPhee, in her latest body of work, focuses on resonance between the human and the geologic, but remains “agnostic” about ultimate significance in this connection.

Installation view, Christina McPhee at Cara and Cabezas Contemporary, Cara Megan Lewis in the pretty dress.

Christina McPhee is back home in Cali as this blog is published, but we’re grateful we caught her before she left Kansas City and that she joined us to talk.  Her solo show Teorema Drawings is on view at Cara and Cabezas Contemporay through May 7, 2011.  From the press release: “Teorema (the Italian word for theorem), means both ‘spectacle,’ and ‘intuition,’ suggesting that to theorize one considers both reason and gut feeling.”  The works are beautifully executed and installed, and are suggestive of some kind of fundamental shared practice between the scientist and the artist.  To find similarity between the methodology of these fields is a difficult thing to not be wrong about..  but here it seems kind of right..  GO SEE FOR YOURSELF.

detail, "these are the parts of the archive I do not understand" paper assemblage, Christina McPhee 2011.

Carmen Goes To Saint Louis

Carmen goes to Saint Louis and helps design a cool tree house with these kids: Nomad Nest

The Hidden Reality

Carmen meets Brian Greene

Carmen meets Brian Greene

“I almost peed my pants!”

Brian Greene

Brian Greene Ted talk

Jim Woodfill

Carmen, Aaron and Lee meeting with Jim Woodfill

Jim Woodfill is an exceptional artist and thinker. We had the good fortune to meet with him at his studio about our project. We talked about the differences of art and science, about how it has to do with ‘context’. Looked at in one light, the disciplines are rife with similarities, but of course, they have inherent differences. We look forward to speaking more with Jim at our next group discussion/dinner which will be recorded and transcribed for our publication.

Nick Naughton

Carmen Moreno, Lee Piechocki, Nick Naughton

Lee and new ASP team member, Carmen Moreno, met up with artist Nick Naughton to discuss his submission to ASP. For Nick, and many other artists, a reoccurring topic of conversation has been the complex power systems and ethical tangles connected to art and economics. Nick will follow the trail of funds used to create our publication backward, to the Charlotte Street Foundation, Warhol Foundation, and beyond. His findings will be printed in our publication as a flowchart and or essay.