Claire Anscomb
University of Liverpool
Visual artists and scientists frequently employ the labour of assistants and technicians, however these workers generally receive little recognition for their contribution to the production of artistic and scientific work. They are effectively “invisible”. This invisible status however, comes at the cost of a better understanding of artistic and scientific work, and improvements in artistic and scientific practice. To enhance understanding of artistic and scientific work, and these practices more broadly, it is vital to discern the nature of an assistant or technician’s contribution to the production of a work, which is difficult as it is uncommon to discuss these workers. To address this, I investigate how different kinds of parallel working arrangements in collective artistic and scientific practices affect the creative potential of individuals involved. Different working arrangements permit different degrees of autonomy for individuals involved in these practices. Significantly, a lack of autonomy precludes the opportunity to act spontaneously and so exercise, what I term, “creative agency”. Evaluating the contribution of an assistant or technician based on the degree of autonomy that they are granted in the production of a work is an approach that I show can be used to precisely determine the nature of their contribution to the production of a work and accordingly, what kind of recognition an agent should receive for this. Importantly, this approach has the advantage of explaining the artistic and epistemic significance of different kinds of contribution to the production of artistic and scientific work.
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DOI 10.1007/s13194-020-00310-z
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Citations of this work BETA

What is a Beautiful Experiment?Milena Ivanova - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-19.
Imagination in Science.Alice Murphy - forthcoming - Philosophy Compass:e12836.

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