Thesis Info

Thesis Title
One Part Art: Expanding the Topography of ArtScience in the American Cultural Sector
Whitney Dail
2nd Author
3rd Author
MA Arts Administration
Number of Pages
Savannah College of Art and Design
Thesis Supervisor
Chance Farago
Supervisor e-mail
Other Supervisor(s)
James Lough, Alexandria Pierce
Language(s) of Thesis
Department / Discipline
Arts Administration
Languages Familiar to Author
English, French
URL where full thesis can be found
interdisciplinarity, steam, artscience, collaboration, advocacy, culture, cultural institutions, cultural sector, nonprofit, organizations, hybrid
Abstract: 200-500 words
A movement called “STEM to STEAM” is rising that aims to integrate the arts into the education agenda and stimulate collaborations between disparate disciplines. Collaborative practices already exist within a handful of cultural institutions that have surfaced to foster interdisciplinary experimentation through ArtScience. ArtScience is a community that merges art with science and technology for creative inquiry, which is in the midst of developing into a promising new field. Yet despite a growing number of creators, practitioners, and collaborators, the majority of institutions in the cultural sector dismiss ArtScience as marginal. For STEM to transition into STEAM and ArtScience to mature, acceptance into existing institutions as well as the creation of new spaces is needed to promote interdisciplinary culture. Using mixed methodology, this thesis examines institutionalization of ArtScience and its current state in the American cultural sector. Research involved two surveys distributed to the ArtScience community and to organizations at this intersection as well as interviews and secondary data correlation. The results indicate that perceived disciplinary boundaries play a major role in preventing larger organizations and foundations from supporting projects at this intersection because current missions do not allow for the inclusion of interdisciplinary work. Many members of the ArtScience community are seeking new environments and informal communities, such as maker fairs and festivals, to accommodate their creative practices. Alternatively, organizations at this nexus are confronted with actively pursuing and engaging audiences beyond traditional programming through multidisciplinary themes, outreach, and education. Recommendations expand upon four strategies for organizations to play a leadership role: enabling or initiating ArtScience projects and collaborations by implementing project spaces; creating media and publications for advocacy purposes; building new audiences through outreach; and developing an affiliate network to serve ArtScience in the cultural sector and create a nationally. Cultural institutions should adjust their missions and programs to include the intersection of art, science, and technology because it presents a unique opportunity to assist in developing STEAM culture.