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Goals of w/k

The online journal Between Science and Art (w/k) is aimed at a broader public interested in the interfaces between science and the visual arts – not only, but of course also at those artists, scientists and curators who deal professionally with this topic.

w/k is internationally oriented: It consists of a German and an English part. Since the search for a larger sponsor has so far been unsuccessful, the translation of the German contributions into English, which is actually part of the w/k concept, can only be carried out until further notice if the respective contributor takes care of it himself. Under ideal conditions, the translations into English would be financed by a sponsor. Since users are expected to have a basic knowledge of English, texts submitted in English will not be translated into German. In these cases, however, it is pointed out in the German-speaking part that the respective contribution is only accessible in the English-speaking part; in addition, there is an abstract informing about the contribution.

Three main objectives are pursued

Three main objectives are pursued. The first main objective is to identify the connections between science and the visual arts as well as the underlying artistic concepts present in the individual artists and to document them through illustrations of important artistic works. Three forms of contribution are available for this purpose: the artist’s contribution (which can, for example, be prompted by a current exhibition), the interview with an artist, and the contribution about an artist. In the medium and long term, the aim is to gain a comprehensive overview of what is happening in the broad field of science and the visual arts.

The second main goal is to fully grasp the basic forms of the connection between science and the visual arts and to gradually delimit and systematically order their variants.

The third main objective is to provide a platform for reflection on the major theme of “art and science”. This research can be undertaken with both historical and systematic intentions, with both perspectives mutually enriching each other.

In order to avoid misunderstandings, it should be explained in general terms what understanding of the relationship between science and art guides the editorial staff: First of all, these are two independent areas that are also institutionally differentiated. Science and art do not simply coincide; however, this does not mean that they differ in every respect. Both areas are needed and are equally important – they are considered equal. Hierarchies according to the pattern “science is more important than art” or “art is more important than science” are explicitly rejected. For w/c this means that scientists and artists always meet at eye level. This, in turn, does not exclude the possibility that scientists and artists have or can have different competences in solving different problems.

Precisely because it is assumed that science and art must first be distinguished, the online journal is particularly interested in those persons who overcome the established institutional separation between science and art by working both scientifically and artistically. They are referred to here as border crossers between science and art. Leonardo da Vinci is an outstanding example of a border crosser related to the fine arts.

Does that already exist?

In recent years and decades there have been many attempts to determine the relationship between science and art, e.g. lectures, conferences, books and essays, internet publications, exhibitions. However, so far there is no *comprehensive *periodic in which visual art, which is to be located in this field, is presented in all variants on the one hand and scientifically researched on the other, drawing on all registers. With regard to the systematic inventory of the connections between science and the visual arts, the present specialist literature contains important findings, but no sufficiently clear and complete distinction between these connections. All in all, w/k is an innovative project in various respects, which – like any new project – ties in with various preliminary works.

What’s that for? Who does it benefit? To which addressees is w/k directed?

The traditional thinking about the relationship between science and art can reach a higher level with the help of the concept explained – with advantages for all involved:

  • Artists can find out in black and white what the visual arts have to offer at the interfaces with science. Artists working in a science-oriented manner, for example, will be able to determine their place in the overall field more precisely than before. Their knowledge of the connections between science and art expands, and they are better able to assess with which other interfaces and the persons representing them it is worth making contact. Knowledge of the diversity of forms of connection thus has a beneficial effect on one’s own artistic work.
  • Art historians who deal with the connections between science and the visual arts can gain a good overview in the medium term through w/c and arrive at more precise results.
  • The same applies to scientists who want to take a closer look at the scientific contacts of visual artists.
  • Art theorists, art philosophers, aesthetes of all kinds can benefit from the three areas of artist contributions, interviews with artists and contributions on artists and thus achieve progress in their respective disciplines.
  • Museum people and curators are encouraged to develop exhibition concepts.
  • The broader public, interested in the visual arts in general and their connections with science in particular, can pursue a wide range of interests in w/c.

In short, w/k represents a productive new stage for all those who deal with the connections between science and the visual arts – whether as artists, art scholars, art theorists, curators or simply as art enthusiasts.

Why a periodical in online format and not in book format?

The online format is chosen because the complex structure of the project with its long-term orientation can only be realized in this medium. A one-off publication cannot cover the targeted spectrum. However, this does not rule out the possibility that book publications will emerge from w/c in the medium term.

Further to ► Editorial Team