All Other Things Being Equal… I Could Have Stayed in Bed

The conversations with scientists from Cambridge is materializing into an exhibition, opening on the 16th of August at the Alliance Française de Singapore…

 SOCIETE GENERALE GalleryAlliance Française de Singapour
17 August – 8 September 2012
Mon to Fri, 11am to 7pm
Sat, 11am to 5pm
Sun and PH Closed
Admission is free.

How Scientists Really Conduct Their Projects (“Henrik”, 2012. Video still)

“Being a scientist means getting out of bed every morning to run experiments that won’t be useable 95% of the time” – Anonymous

If we had full control over every little thing, we could figure out what would happen every time we tweak just one bit. This is the strategy some of us use to make rational decisions. It is also the basis of a lot of experimental science.The scientists that inhabit experimental labs know only too well the pitfalls of assuming you can make all else equal in order to solve a question. The results are often disappointing: nothing goes as planned. Yet scientists get out of bed every morning and repeat their experiments again and again, leading to more disappointing than informative data.

“All Other Things Being Equal…” is an artist’s attempt at appropriating the scientific process observed in the lab. Focusing on the repetitive practice of the scientists, and the resulting accumulation of detritus, it questions whether when we know we might fail, shouldn’t we just stay in bed?The exhibition includes an idealized scientist’s workspace complete with experimental set-up. It presents insights into the scientists’ mind, as the artist works to understand what makes them get up in the morning and repeat what is usually a disappointing day. Ultimately, the findings might shed light on what drives us all.
Isabelle Desjeux is a scientist and an artist, having attained both a PhD in Molecular Biology and a Masters in Fine Arts. Using her intimate knowledge of the scientific method, she studies scientific objects usually forgotten by the microscopic gaze. This has led her to questioning the objectivity of science, which is perhaps not surprising given that science is made by people.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: