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Drawing and the depictive turn

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Conference paperpeer-review

Publication date09/2016
<mark>Original language</mark>English
EventEASST / 4S: Science and Technology by Other Means - Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 31/08/20163/09/2016


ConferenceEASST / 4S
Internet address


While drawing has a legacy in scientific research (Hooke, Herschel, Cajal), conventional narrative sees it superseded with the advent of new 'objective' technologies. However, recent research demonstrates there are characteristics specific to drawing that make it particularly adept as a research tool: Its capacity to organise and synthesise different forms of information and sensory experience. If we now understand that visualisation is not 'objectively' disembodied but a complex interrelation between mind & body (Serres 2008; Fiorentini 2009; Lawrence and Shapin 1998) might it be these very qualities that offer drawing to the service of research?The paper will highlight examples of investigative art practices where target information is beyond sight, obscured by complexity and requires innovative methods and relationships to draw out meaning. This image-rich presentation uses case studies of artists deploying drawing alongside scientists, e.g. in medical labs and oceanographic fieldwork and present examples of disciplinary exchange and effect.We draw on experience from our own practices, as artists working respectively, with cave exploration and in collaboration with conservators and cosmologists, to offer insight into how artists (re)orient their imagination, sensitivity and skills to engage the depictive turn alongside colleagues in science.