We are a collective of researchers using art-based techniques for technical research. We do pure, long-horizon research with the aim of expanding both individual and collective human ability to think, see, and feel using computational media.
In our experience, ideas often start as feelings. But while science and mathematics informally recognizes the importance of curiosity and intuition, we’ve found that in formal contexts feelings are downplayed or erased. We believe technical research could be greatly advanced if we had techniques for working with and externalizing feelings that are currently ignored for lack of rigor. Rather than starting from scratch, we recognize that the field of fine arts has developed relevant techniques which we believe can be adapted and formalized for technical research.
The Art of Research website serves as a living research document and collective memory prosthetic. We’ve found that writing blog posts helps us think out loud and develop ideas, as well as gives us something to look back on for reference over the years. We also use the creation of videos, images, sculpture, interactive webpages and vr spaces, and other art forms as part of our thinking/feeling process. The public aspect of the site encourages us to refine our thinking and communication, but we use this site as part of our process rather than as a product intended for outreach or advertisement.
Vi Hart is a mathemusician and speculative researcher known for popularizing the beauty and joy of mathematics through work such as Doodling in Math Class, Hexaflexagons, Twelve Tones, and Parable of the Polygons. Hart graduated from Stony Brook University with a BA in music and worked briefly as a professional composer while simultaneously publishing research in computational geometry, mathematics and music. She was a principal investigator at the Communications Design Group at SAP, followed by the Human Advancement Research Community at Y Combinator Research, and currently works as a researcher at Microsoft in the Office of the CTO. Hart has been featured in the New York Times, NPR, Wired, New Scientist, and is a recipient of the JPBM Communications Award.
M Eifler is an artist and transdisciplinary researcher working in embodied interaction, speculative interfaces, and computational prostetics. They have exhibited work or performed at TED in Vancouver, the Exploratorium, SFMoMA, the YBCA, and the Wattis Institute in San Francisco, XOXO, Wiensowski & Harbord in Berlin, Laurie M. Tisch Gallery and Armory Show in New York, Seattle International Film Festival, the Smithsonian Institution and Kennedy Center. Eifler graduated from California College of Art in 2011 with an interdisciplinary MFA where their research focused on consilience interfaces between representational systems. For more of their work visit blinkpopshift.com
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