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Art Science Research Laboratory


ASRL Mission and History
ASRL Staff
Board of Trustees
Advisory Committee

ASRL Mission and History

ASRL Contact Information
(212) 925-8812
Fax:     (212) 925-0459
62 Greene Street, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10012

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 the late Professor Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002), ASRL provides a unique setting where, on a daily basis, art historians, scientists, artists, designers, and programmers work side by side. Everyone is encouraged to contribute ideas, participate in a dynamic environment, and challenge the outdated but still prominent structures of practices in the arts, sciences, and humanities.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, and journalism ethics, to the cyberBOOK+ system, to generate a network of people sharing knowledge and research methodologies for mutual understanding of cultures and histories.

ASRL's first major project in art-science education focuses on the lifework of the French-American artist, Marcel Duchamp (1887~1968). Duchamp constantly challenged the boundary separating 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, still relevant today, that impelled them 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 research. In November 5-7, 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, in December 1999, the first electronic journal on Duchamp study, Tout-Fait: The Marcel Duchamp Studies Online Journal, was launched. Since its inauguration, Tout-Fait has established itself as the accredited asset for scholarly study, recommended by the BBC, the New York Times, the Leonardo Digital Review, and AICA-USA (the United States section of the International Association of Art Critics). Most of all, in the Lab is the largest private collection of works by or related to Duchamp, and an extensive archive of historical ephemera materials, which is accessible, free of charge, to interested scholars, students, and the general public.

In 2001, ASRL embarked on the pilot project of the CyberBOOK+ software development, with a special focus on utilizing high quality technologies (such as high-end 3D animations); a portal of personal cyberLOCKER for storage and authoring tools(such as a notecard/notepad system); an archival search engine available for both the journal and readers' notes; audio and image finder; text markers; and much more. CyberLOCKER, which is normally reserved for the commercial world, will be available for scholars and students to explore and 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 joint force with the Alexandria Library in Egypt to create a cyber access portal with major institutions around the globe active in the educational field. This portal will be structured as a network of access points distributed to an archive of online resources which are 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 a day after the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. The mission for this project is to work closely, directly and systematically with the WTC recovery staff at Ground Zero and Fresh Kills to expediently identify and provide essential tools, equipment, and health, safety and comfort supplies. Because of the daily participation of volunteers, WTC Ground Zero Relief kept up with the pace of the on-site recovery effort until the effort's conclusion in July 2002. In keeping with its conviction of the necessity of correct and honest historical documentation, ASRL presents the WTC Living History Project, September 11 2001 History Magazine, and Journalism Ethics Studies, which resulted from Ms. Shearer's scrutiny of 9/11 literatures and news reports. As a compensation for dubious or unethical accounts by certain news media and journalists, ASRL introduces methodologies normally practiced by science to validate and verify the process of good journalism. ASRL also gives the key players who actually ran Ground Zero the unique opportunity of participating in the creation of WTC Oral Histories, a new approach to documenting history, providing them the chance to have their own voices heard.

ASRL has recently partnered with Stanford University Library on the creation of the Stephen Jay Gould Archive. Equipped with the state-of-the-art digitalizing technology and knowledge, Stanford University Library will scan and digitize the antiquarian book collection, manuscripts, papers, and ephemeral materials of Professor Gould, making them available online in the Official Stephen Jay Gould Archive. SJG Archive will cover features in our cyberBOOK+ system, including cyberOFFICE, cyberAUDITORIUM, cyberLIBRARY, and cyberBULLETIN BOARD.


ASRL Staff

Rhonda Roland Shearer, Founder/Director

Stephen Jay Gould, In Memoriam, Founder/Honorary Director

Robert Slawinski, Creative Director

Sumeet, Project Manager

Patricia Shannon, Office Manager


Board of Trustees

In Memoriam: Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002)

Rhonda Roland Shearer, Director

Bonnie Jean Garner

Ronald S. Spadafora

Myles Wittenstein


Advisory Committee

Yves-Andre Istel

Frederick Mostert


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