Boundary Work II is the second in a series of exhibitions designed to facilitate a survey of work that operates across interdisciplinary spaces. These boundaries are often dividing lines between the arts and serious sciences.
Boundary Work I involved a selection of works from a variety of different practices which included fine art, music, microbiology, photonics, astronomy, nanotechnology, and various applications of new media in design. Fifteen different groups and individuals who operated independently or were affiliated with institutions internationally were invited to exhibit work as part of the exhibition. This in effect brought 'anonymous' scientific imaging, used in scientific data collection and analysis, into the same creative space as creative work specifically designed to engage or provoke thinking. The issues that the exhibition raised for consideration included concepts related to authorship and ownership, creativity in work practice, and questions around the notion of an art object's 'inherent' and 'exclusive' aesthetic properties. The presumption that we do not find these qualities in artefacts produced through the practice of science and engineering as also asit turned out a central consideration.
Boundary Work II continues to be concerned with questioning the placing of people and ideas within specific disciplines or categories. In this exhibition Mocksim was invited to exhibit a selection of his work at the CIT Wandesford Quay Gallery. While the presentation of pieces in Boundary Work I conformed to more traditional notions of presentational aesthetics Mocksim invites appreciation in relation to process, performance, and above all humour. The exhibition overall represents a link between art, science, and engineering which is wired together in two distinct ways. The first relates to the artist's own research practice and the thematic interests that permeate his work which incorporates concepts from artificial intelligence and cybernetics. Secondly, Mocksim's professional path began in the field chemical and process engineering, after which he specialised in complex mathematical simulation. Somehow he arrived in the present as a full-time practicing artist and researcher. He has exhibited widely and is currently undertaking a PhD at the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts at the University of Sussex where his supervisory team is derived from a blend of disciplines in science, engineering and creative practice.
So while society continues to be organised around discreet disciplines and roles we generally find that this is not the truth in what we practice. Third level educational institutions, for instance, are segregated into Science, Engineering, Business, Humanities, and Arts yet graduates and postgraduates rarely find it necessary, or even possible, to remain entirely inside a single discipline. So while often in presenting ourselves formally we select a single dominant role, typically from our work practice, there are many disciplines at play within us. It could be argued there is a natural tendency towards inter-disciplinarity that developed economies over the course of the twentieth century in particular have disposed of. However we now continue to witness a rhetorical push in general language towards the integration of knowledge from different disciplines.
Boundary Work II presents Mocksim as a hybrid of roles and as an artist who integrates concepts from science and engineering into his practice. As before Boundary Work promotes conversation across these disciplinary lines.