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  3. The Human Genre Project

Genomics Forum · Events

Art in the stocks, science in the dock: Transience and transformation

Public event   02.11.2011





Organised by


Funded by the ESRC as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science.


Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter.

Event details

“Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away.”Meditations Marcus Aurelius

This, the latest in our series of annual sci/art workshops, brought together artists, scientists and social scientists to share practice, to discuss the way science is represented in art, the ways in which art draws on science for inspiration, and how each explores and makes sense of our culture, communities and the natural world. The aim of 'Stocks and docks' is to break down some of the barriers between disciplines and to de-mystify some academic and artistic endeavour.

The workshops are an opportunity for the public to engage with artists and academics, with a range of disciplines and artistic media represented. The speakers talk about their practice with whatever examples and representation they choose, throwing up some interesting contrasts. The workshops create their own momentum, with each new discussion building on the last and contributing to the overall theme.

Organiser Professor Steve Hughes said: "The broad concept of transience provides us a space in which to reflect on the influential and enriching values of cathartic moments and deflections from the linear cognitive path, or of events too ephemeral to assign with confidence to common categories of experience. However insubstantial, difficult to grasp, or explain or manipulate they might be, their potential for transformative influence is undeniable and on a par with the enduring persuasive arguments representative of conventional wisdom. Such moments may originate as discontinuities in the established rhythm of our interactions with the world but their consequences often persist as transitions in another horizon of choices transformations and trajectories.

"In such a space experimentalists, explorers, makers, performers and theorists might be expected to have their own discrete takes on what constitutes and institutes transience and the role which this plays in their practice and the emergence of their expression. Perhaps the wise ones have all recognized that even the mention of transience extends the moment and destroys the concept. But at the same time it is at the heart of creativity and is something to be engaged."


“Scent of Colour” trans-installation: Sam Treadaway

Chair: Dominic Jinks

1.30-1.40pm Introduction: Steve Hughes

1.40-3.15pm Session one:

3.15-3.45pm Break and discussion

3.45-5.00pm Session two:

  • Steve Hughes ‘Reflections on symmetry breaking’
  • Jean Harrington and Deborah Robinson: 'Notes on the impact of local elements on scientific practice(s) from the perspectives of a social scientist and an artist".

5.00-5.30pm Break and discussion

5.30-7.00pm Session three:

Further details