Scientific and technological research is not as “objective” as many of its practitioners would like to believe. While some of its practices strive toward objectivity, the whole enterprise is subject to larger political, economic, and social forces. (…) Many possibly significant theories and technologies are ignored.
I am worried that the invisible hand of the marketplace might not be so wise as many would like to believe. The judgments that make short term sense for stockholders do not make sense for the culture.
The arts can function as an independent zone of research. They could become the place where abandoned, discredited, and unorthodox inquires could be pursued. They might very well value research according to criteria quite different from those of the commercial and scientific worlds. The roles of artists could incorporate other roles such as researcher, inventor, hacker, and entrepreneur.
[About the origins of computer art:] more important is the fact that artists were experimenting with microcomputers at almost the same time that other kinds of developers and researchers were.
Maybe the segmented categorization of artist and researcher will itself prove to be a historical anachronism; maybe new kinds of integrated roles will develop. Research has radically altered our culture and will continue to do so. Art must be an essential part of this process.
Excerpts from ‘Art as Research – Cultural Importance of Scientific Research & Technology Development”, from Stephen Wilson (1996). Complete text here.See more researchblog.