Research

Jac Scott has a predilection for creating issue-led, research-informed art where science and art entwine. Collaborations with specialists from other disciplines, including scientists and geographers, deliver dynamic outcomes that ignite curiosity and debate.

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvellous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day.  Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955)

A glimpse of some of her visual research is below with the research threads and debates accessible on her blog.

New sculpture for Post Mortem exhibition, University of Ghent, Belgium

15 October – 20 December 2015 Post Mortem. A new sculpture will be unveiled at this prestigious exhibition in the Rommelaere Building, University of Ghent, Belgium. More than 25 national and international contemporary artists, establish new work shown in a scientific habitat and between scientific artefacts from which they drew inspiration. The University Museum works for Post Mortem with Fabrica Vitae, a traveling art exhibition that includes Copenhagen, Basel, Athens, New York, Berlin, Geneva, Moscow, … reproach.

Fabrica Vitae highlights and explores the perception of the human body by scientists and artists.

 

A Space Between by  Jac Scott

       The lack of knowledge of both the mental and physical dimensions of death provides a plethora of unanswerable questions. Those who are left behind meditate upon the concept of the divergence of the corporeal existence and spirit – the human condition reflects an emotive response that leads to yet more uncertainties. Yes we come from nature and are all homeward bound, but where do our minds go or are they buried/burned too? What happens – is there a departure?

Death seen and unseen.

“A thing is not seen because it is visible, but conversely visible because it is seen.” Socrates

How do we comprehend the inevitable end in our conscious being whilst spiked with the knowledge that our unconscious self has a part to play? This duality of being nurtures a quest for expansion to the physical and metaphysical worlds that we inhabit, but how to move forward?

John Berger, in his dispatch on survival and resistance, Hold Everything Dear, (2007) writes,

“Man is the only creature who lives within at least two time scales: the biological one of his body and the one of his consciousness.”  

The paradox of coexistence purported by Berger, against a more holistic way of being, reflects our propensity to dissect life and extricate our corporeal from our spiritual selves.  The notion of gaps as an essential part of life is a common thread in philosophical doctrine;

“…as the thought process slows you will be able to see gaps. Between two thoughts there is an interval – in that interval is consciousness.” Hsin, Hsin, Ming; The Book of Nothing: Discourses on Sosan’s Verses on the Faith-Mind,  Osho (1996)

 

Imagining the visual quality of a gap is appealing.   Can a gap between two voids be emptiness? Does this eulogised space, possibly a refuge, where we reside when the mind and body release their hold on each other, have passage or is it suspended animation of our sense of being? What kind of definition can we assign this space, this gap – is it nothingness or something more profound? Believing, as in science that nothingness does not exist, that there is always something, then is it another room for dwelling?   The familiarity of a notion of a room, instead of space, provides valuable comfort, as there is little insight into this transition station. Is a room projected by the mind defined by walls – a mausoleum as departure lounge – or does it possess a diaphanous dominion?

“The chiasm of the body and of the world exposes exposure to itself—and with it, the impossibility to finally bring the world to the spirit, and bring meaning to significance. The body is a strangeness which is not preceded by familiarity.” Jean Luc Nancy, “Strange Foreign Bodies.” 2008 (translated by Liz Wendelbo)

Inevitably, this leads to the concept of death being a journey – mode of transportation and destination unknown – but always movement. A transition period evokes enquiry into altered states and metamorphosis. The dust may settle in the wake, but the decaying of the flesh does not reveal the ticket for the spirit.  Neither does the contemplation of a life lived and mourned – the anthropocentric compass is devoid of direction. The gulf in our understanding presents a conundrum – could the unknown process of departure counterbalance the known fear of death? And what of deliverance? So, refuge is sought in wrestling with the inevitable, it will happen, but cradled by the ignorance of when.   The enigma of our existence and hence our death is an opportunity for adventure. There are no absolutes, except death, and whilst theorists and theologians present their speculations, there is also space for the individual to dance in the gap.  This solace, invites a celebration of the space and its shadows and hence an acceptance of the uncertainty of what happens next, means that we are liberated in life.

“Death is no more than passing from one room into another”. Helen Keller

 

Beautiful Dystopias Research Residency at University of Central Lancashire 2011-2013

Jac Scott was artist-in-residence at University of Central Lancashire for sixteen months. Based in the School of Built and Natural Environment she researched the notion of ‘manscape’: a concept of an illusionary naturalness of the environment by humanity, through her Beautiful Dystopias project. Scott liaised with industry specialists and academics, attended selected SBNE MSc and BSc lectures and in response, created four dynamic, regularly updated, interfaces where members of the university, the public and industrialists were invited to reply. The focus of the installations and interfaces aimed to trigger debate in the university – the developing dialogues assisted in guiding the residency.

The first six months were spent making a general enquiry into the hidden impacts made on the Earth.  From this broad examination the artist elected to spend the next months intensively focused on the truly hidden landscape – the toxic planet. The residency included a research trip to China where waste practices informed by geographical and sociopolitical relationships were investigated.

The residency was generously supported by Arts Council England and University of Central Lancashire.