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Art and science both contribute to knowledge through creativity—the process of divergent (uses imagination) and convergent (employs logic) thinking to develop new ideas. In principle, they can benefit each other enormously and have done so throughout history. However, collaboration between the two cultures is often limited by their epistemic and ontological differences and operational challenges. This missed opportunity affects our research capacity, both for curiosity-driven research and for addressing societal challenges.

How can researchers and institutions create an environment conducive to nurturing creativity, thus driving progress, innovation, and the co-production of knowledge in a mutually beneficial manner? The fast-growing field of ArtScience aims to integrate ideas and methods from creative art, arts, and science. How might we explore real-world research problems through ArtScience practice that capture novel solution approaches?

The ARTlab undertakes Meta-Research to study and improve collaborations between artists and scientists during “live” research from within. Utilising action research as the foundational methodology for this study enables innovation and emergence within the fields and leads to a Theory of Change for knoweldge institutions.

Provocation: If routines of each discipline are transformed to integrate beneficial aspects from the other, then we may be better equipped to keep up with the pace of change, be more able to respond to complexity, and co-create meaningful new knowledge.

Sketch demonstrating overlap of Art and Science
Neon Sign "Change"
Figure 1 from Birsel et al. 2022: Concept landscape of art-science-technology