Art within the scientific method
Sunkita’s project looks at different ways to deter sharks from long lines, but focuses on examining electricity as both a deterrent and an attractant for sharks. She is doing a hefty bit of neurophysiology and behavior but it is so novel a scientific approach it requires art as a method for observing and generating hypotheses. (Specifically: her scientific questions are novel in combining several perspectives which have often operated in isolation (electricity as either a deterrent or an attractant, here we need to consider them together), requiring big reinterpretation and thinking outside paradigms…. a case where art is demanded in particular as a way to think outside the box. And also where art is the best sensory mode of inquiry because electroreception is totally foreign to us as humans. It is the only way to get inside the body of a shark. ) So her work with me explores how, through both action research and creative process-as-research, art can form part of her scientific methodology for observation, analysis and hypothesis generation.