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Baker Kendall | Other
2023-01-04 - 2023-04-30 | Research area: Other
Measuring Life At The Threshold Of Unknowing

Artists, like scientists and other scholars, seek to gain insight to the natural world though differently mediated types of observation and measurement. A scientist’s measurements of the world involve quantifying relationships for specified objects; the painter measures the world using color and shape; a philosopher’s measurement tools are words and concepts. These mediating approaches take these investigations to the threshold between direct knowledge and what remains to be seen, named and measured—to a place of unknowing. For both scientists and artists, it is in this space that creative work takes place and questions are posed outside of existing, known measurements of the world.

Measurement is valuable. Done with care and precision it reveals extraordinary relationships. In our attempts to make measurements of these relationships each effort illuminates the threshold between knowing and unknowing. My focus is on this threshold. How do we use what we know to measure what we don’t? I propose to develop a cross-disciplinary art-science project through conversations with the resident KLI Fellows that explore their various ways of engaging with the space of unknowing. My interest is in learning about and gaining some insight into the many ways in which the Fellows have come to first encounter this territory in their own creative development, and how as professional investigators they have come to recognize and contend with the space between knowing and unknowing. Whether as scientists, scholars, or artists, this zone of inquiry, unlimned and beyond the reach of metrics, free of name and form, is an intimate partner. Its vast and inchoate presence draws our attention and curiosity as we work to push forward our understanding of the world.