Catalyzing the decolonization of laboratory research through collaborations with artists
This talk presents part of my interdisciplinary arts-based Ph.D. research in Media Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University and critically explores culturally sensitive and inclusive art-science methods and techniques. The aim of this research is to diversify, democratize, and decolonize perception and knowledge production about the way we think, embody, and express, or communicate, our experiences of others’ body scents. The central objective of my talk is to show how inter-/multi-/cross- or transdisciplinary collaborations between scientists and artists can contribute to decolonizing the knowledge production of chemosensory laboratory studies beyond the boundaries of academic disciplines. As a result, these collaborations can expand critical reflection of current methods in chemosensory laboratory studies by further advancing the development of new and ecologically valid methods that embrace the complex diversity of people’s real-life context. This talk consists of two parts. First, I will further expand upon how traditional practices present in scientific research can reduce knowledge production in the field of social/chemical communication. Moreover, I will discuss Jasper de Groot, Ilja Croijmans, and Monique Smeet’s critique (2020), which focuses on how the smell of other people beyond Western, educated male citizens of industrialized, rich, and democratic countries has been neglected in these traditional studies. Now aware of these above-mentioned restrictions, these scientists are starting to reach out to work with a wider range of cultural and gender diversity (ibid). Secondly, this talk will present a selection of art projects to show how they challenge issues surrounding objectivity and reductionism of scientific research. In this regard, I will explain how these art projects implement Donna Haraway’s idea of situated knowledge (1988), and how they can inform the creation of new decolonized tools for scientific research.