To split a stone


Science and art are often disconnected but, if combined, can help stimulate learning and novelty and guide societal change. How then to bridge the divide between scientists and artists in a way that extends beyond superficial, short-term interactions? We describe an ongoing coproduction practice between a Swedish sustainability scientist and two Chilean artists—a sculptor and painter—striving to find ways to work together. Our transdisciplinary collaboration was initiated in 2013 and, although there has never been an agenda or goal for our interaction, there has been a mutual interest to investigate joint possibilities. Through a series of meetings, we tried but failed to accomplish anything for several years. By 2022, we finally created something tangible together, realizing it was not just material objects we were producing but also a meeting between worlds. We describe how this long-term partnership, driven by mutual respect and curiosity, created conditions for bridging across our respective knowledge and practices. By working, walking, and exploring together, we learned how to communicate, overcome challenges of different languages, and combine perspectives. We have recognized similarities in how we engage with material from the natural world and how we combine elements for novelty. Through our interactions, we have started to identify how coproduced science and art can stimulate a reconnection with the biosphere, thereby providing a foundation for transformative societal change.


Link to centre authors: Österblom, Henrik
Publication info: Henrik Österblom, Francisco Gazitúa, Angela Leible, Henrik Osterblom. 2023. To split a stone. Ecology and Society.


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