Português | English

 

.........................................................ABSTRACT.......................................................

 

We live today under the empire of image. After oral and written words, it seems that image acquires an unprecedented relevance. It dramatically determines our life, both our way of seeing the world and the way of performing our individual and collective existence. Is this a well grounded appreciation? What is the new status of image, if any?

What is image, after all? How has it been thought by the philosophical tradition? What new theoretical approaches have been proposed to its clarification? Is image just a means for accessing the concept, a fragile and evanescent mediator, a mere appearance? Or, on the contrary, is it a powerful entity, a sensible presentation of a meaning which only in it and by it can be seen? How to explain that such a conception of image (as a means in view of an end) could be at the root of the expression “audio-visual means” when, paradoxically, new technologies are powerful factors that can explain the density of image we witness today?.

Gadamer stresses that iconoclasticism is the fear that image may function as an end in itself. Art would have thus been saved in Christian civilization because, here, image was conceived, not only as opening to what it represents (God, the Father), but in a positive way, by its capacity of affirming something which the represented entity could not mean by itself (Christ). Sacralization of Art would have thus been grounded, not in the "copy-image” (mere vehicle for the represented reality), but in a powerful entity. We could ask whether the recent artistic productions are not the expression of such an extreme valorization of image?

And, in the case of Science? Does image have in science more than a simple representative function? If so, what is then its role in Science? Why are images used in science? How are they used?How can we say that one scientific image is truthful and accurate? Can scientific images be artistically evaluated? If so, by which criteria?

We know that positivist History and Philosophy of Science has neglected the study of image in science, considering it as a mere illustrative entity. Art Historians, by their side, have only been interested in scientific image in articulation with the aesthetics of its time. The interest of Iconography towards scientific image is strictly technical, totally away from the content those images are supposed to illustrate (Blunt e Stearn, 1994). Now, in the line of Mitchell, we want to study image in science, both in internal terms, concerned with the construction of scientific discourse, and external, related to the ideological and aesthetical factors of its production, use and public appropriation. To see, e.g., in which way images produced by science overcome the intentions with which they were created by scientists and are propagated to general culture, there caming to configure our image and discourse about earth planet, sexuality, race, etc.

 

......................................................................................................................................................................................

 

On the basis of an interdisciplinary team, this project takes image as its central object. This is to be done by a comparative methodology, always trying to intertwine Art and Science. We want to undertake some case-studies able to give a deeper understanding of the status and functions of image in Art and Science.

We propose to do historical studies on some paradigmatic works caracterised by the hybrid status of image as knowledge entities endowed with aesthetical value vs artistic objects cognitively oriented (Leonardo, Vesalius, Goethe and Darwin - task 5).

We will also investigate the forms by which image is used in the construction of scientific concepts and in the public communication of science by the systematic study of Portuguese scientific illustration (task 7), and the exhaustive survey of Portuguese journals (scientific and of divulgation - task 6).

A main undertaking will be fostered in collaboration with the Schools of Medicine and Fine Arts of the University of Lisbon. We propose to identify, classify and study the unexplored collection of anatomical drawings of the Museum of Medicine (task 8), comparing those data with the collection of nude drawings from the School of Fine Arts (task 9). We hope that the comparison between the scientific study of human anatomy and the artistic drawing of human body will have relevant heuristic results.

In dialogue with the philosophical tradition and its recent developments (Bachelard, Deleuze - task 4), we will also question the very nature of image and, if possible, participate at the elaboration of a “philosophy of image” (task 1).

We propose to analyze the role of image in some main epistemological and semiotic programs (Leibniz, Frege, Peirce - task 2).

To question the reach of the recent explorations of Neuroaesthetics in the 90s (task 10).

 

......................................................................................................................................................................................

 

We have 3 commitments:

  • to give special attention to Portuguese production of image in science and art (task 6,7,8,9);

  • to promote an interdisciplinary research with artistic, scientific and philosophical communities in Portugal (task 11);

  • to divulgate our data and results ( task 11).
 

......................................................................................................................................................................................

 

Proponent Institution
Centro de Filosofia das Ciências da UL

Other Institutions
Museu de Medicina da FMUL
Faculdade de Belas Artes da UL

Partnerships
Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian
Espaços do Desenho
Sociedade Nacional de Belas Artes
Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga

Host Institution
Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa

 

 

Funding
Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia

 

 

Beginning: 01.05.2007

Duration: 3 anos

Project FCT Code: PTDC/EAT/64201/2006

 

 
© 2008 A Imagem na Ciência e na Arte · Todos os direitos reservados