Questions-and-Answers on the “Roots and curiosity” project

Why were you interested in being a part this project?

Because switching from physics to biology was not enough for me. True interdisciplinary means to be able to speak with, act like, and think as a scientist, an artist, a therapist, or a philosopher. In fact, all these labels just screw up reality. For instance, have you noticed that the second thing (the first is usually your name) that one asks you in a scientific encounter is what is “your position” (whether you are a postdoc, a PhD student, or a PI)? I am more and more tempted to let them know about “my momentum”…

Did this project change the way you think about science?

Not the way I think about science, but the way I do science. According to current standards, I am a worse scientist after this project because there are no figures of merit that take into consideration the experience I had with those wonderful people (perhaps the a-index…). According to my standards, I am not only a better scientist but also a more complete human being after that. Art (in particular working with a dancer) has taught me that I can dare to ask myself and answer myself the questions I pose to a rat or a fly in the lab. But it is more comfortable let the animal do it…

Did this project change the way you think about art?

Yes. And also the way some of the artists produce art, I hope… It changed the way I think about art mainly because now I can base my ideas on concrete experience; they are not floating in the air. I can now ground my theories, biases, and preconceptions about art on a personal perception and memory, rather than on a piece of text or what somebody else might say about art.

What was the biggest challenge for you in this project?

To let the myth of the absolutely creative, brave, and disinterested artist fall. They are just like us (“zoon politikon”): they have to eat, shit, sell their stuff, do things they don’t like, be disciplined, cope with institutional bullshit, etc. After that, if there is some free spacetime, then the true “roots of curiosity” may sprout (but always indifferent to the cultural operating system). Actually, I believe the project really starts now, because now it is self-paced and not instructed anymore.

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