A-S/S-A : Art-Science Approaches to Knowledge generation in Sustainable Futures


Finally, a word on this project that has begun since January 1, 2019. Time flies and I am only able to update on what has been going on. The manifesto is still in the works but this is what I have to say briefly in the meantime.

This year, STEAM suddenly became a hot topic in Malaysia. We hear a lot about STEAM (science, tech, engineering, art, and medicine) but never really understood why there was even STEM and then now STEM + A. For instance, we might think we know what STEM means within the context of disciplinary categorizations we take for granted. Further, we never question why technology is lumped with the other fields of knowledge such as science ,engineering and medicine. In addition, the use of that acronym brackets out the historical conditions that underpin the rise of the acronym, therefore subsuming the politics that produced a buzzword out of STEM, and now, STEAM.

This project will focus on elucidating the philosophical and theoretical foundations underpinning sciences (with its varying permutations and alliance to fields such as engineering and medicine) and art (with its own set of battles). One may ask if technology is not merely the handmaiden of both art and science, and therefore, does not merit a place in the line of letters representing STEAM (why does T come second to S if not for cognitive convenience) ā€“ or could technology be the source of foundational knowledge that would fit into knowledge fields usually considered more fundamental in their relations to knowledge.

This project will move from the philosophical and the theoretical to engagement with projects that attempt to materialize the theoretical framework of art-science. Due to my own ambivalence of that hyphenated phrase, I will henceforth refer to it as A-S/S-A to underline the socialepistemic politics of that phrase.

There will be updates on the result of forthcoming projects here ā€“ watch this space!