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Art Science Research Laboratory (ASRL), a New York based not-for-profit organization, is committed to the creation of intellectual environment and advocacy of interdisciplinary study, encompassing the areas of research, collections and publishing. Founded in 1998 by Rhonda Roland Shearer and late professor Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002), ASRL provides unique setting allowing art historians, scientists, artists, designers, and programmers to work side by side on the daily basis. Everyone is encouraged to contribute ideas, to participate in a dynamic environment, and to challenge the outdated but still prominent structures of practices in arts, science, and humanities. Our goal is to promote and facilitate a fast, thorough, and efficient global exchange of knowledge in fields ranging from art and science, scholars collective, journalism ethics, to the cyberBOOK+ system, in order to generate a network of people sharing knowledge and research methodologies for mutual understanding of cultures and histories.
ASRL's first major project in artscience education focuses on the lifework of the French-American artist, Marcel Duchamp (1887~1968). Duchamp constantly challenged the boundary which separates the cultural from the scientific. Throughout his life, he incorporated mathematics, optics and perceptual theory into his art and design work. He presented his viewers with a series of mental games that forced them (and continue to force us today) to re-evaluate Intuition, Memory, and the Creative Act. His brain-teasing games of perception and knowledge and the underlying mathematics within his complicated oeuvre lie at the core of ASRL's research. In November 5-7 of 1999, "The Method of Understanding Art and Science: The Case of Duchamp and Poincare", the internationally acclaimed symposium examining topics relevant to both Henry Poincare and Duchamp , was held at the Harvard University, Science Center. Shortly after the Harvard Symposium, the first electronic journal on Duchamp study, "Tout-Fait: The Marcel Duchamp Studies Online Journal", is launched in December 1999. Since its inauguration, "Tout-Fait" has established itself as the accredited asset for scholarly study and recommended by BBC, New York Times, Leonardo Digital Review, and AICA-USA, the United States section of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA). Most of all, the largest private collection on works by, or related to Duchamp, and an extensive archive of historical ephemera materials in the Lab is made accessible, fee of charge, to the interested scholars, students, and general public. In 2001, ASRL embarked on the pilot project of the CyberBOOK software development, with special focus on utilizing high quality technologies, such as high-end 3D animations; portal of personal cyberLOCKER for storage and authoring tools such as a notecard/notepad system; archival search engine available for both the journal and readers notes; audio and image finder; text markers, and much more. Normally reserved for the commercial world, cyberLOCKER will be available for scholars and students to explore and to better assess their ideas as work in progress. This creation of knowledge management systems is based upon how students and faculty or independent scholars actually do scholarship. ASRL will be in the join force with the Alexandria Library in Egypt to create a cyber access portal with major institutions active in the educational field around the globe. This portal will be structured as a network of access points to a distributed archive of online resources shared by coop members throughout the developed and the developing world. Ms. Rhonda Roland Shearer, together with London Allen, initiated the "WTC Ground Zero Relief Project" day after the attacks on the World Trade Center in September 11, 2001. The idea and mission for this project is to work closely, directly and systematically with the WTC recovery workers at Ground Zero and Fresh Kills, identifying and quickly providing much needed tools, equipment, and health, safety and comfort supplies. With the participating of volunteers in daily basis, "WTC Ground Zero" Relief persists on the same pace as the on-site recovery effort until July 2002, when it is officially concluded. Believing in the necessity to document history in a correct and honest manner, ASRL presents the "WTC Living History Project", "September 11 2001 History Magazine", and Journalism Ethics Studies as the results of Ms. Shearer's close observation of 9/11 literatures and news reports. As an alternative to the dubious or unethical accounts by certain news media and journalists, ASRL introduces methodologies normally practiced by science in favor of the validation and verification process of good journalism. ASRL also gives the key players who actually ran Ground Zero unique opportunity to participate in the creation of "WTC Oral Histories", a new approach to documenting history and to have their own voices heard. ASRL has recently partnered with Stanford University Library on the creation of "Stephen Jay Gould Archive." Facilitated with the most advanced digitalizing technology and knowledge, Stanford University Library will scan and digitize the antiquarian book collection, manuscripts, papers, and ephemeral materials by professor Gould, making them available online in the Official Stephen Jay Gould Archive.
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