Gianluca Bianchino/ Currently Sci-Art appears to be partial to the popularization and celebration of the subject and less on the much needed self-critique, thus I thank this forum for engaging with the question.
Given the current troubling political climate, strongly influenced by conservative zealots in tandem with a stubborn petrochemical economy, a claim could be made that Sci-Art is an institutional critique just by its mere existence and popularization where both conceptual and formal scrutiny may be seen as inconvenient at the moment. Similarly to the relationship between Sci-Art and current politics, identity politics in art may be experiencing a concomitant lack of scrutiny. Identity politics in art is flourishing within a now vast and undefined counter culture movement primarily aligned against the Trump administration. Perhaps in a few years, if the political tension is ameliorated, especially here in the US by a different election result we may be able to look back at the art produced in the age of Trump-about Trump related matters and analyze more carefully which works truly merit long lasting attention versus the load of sheer reactionary art. Sci-Art though does not have to wait for a xenophobic administration to pass in order to develop self-reflection because the political correctness is not as sensitive as compared to identity politics in art, though there are a multitude of similarly ethical issues in science, stem cell research being a salient example.
The recurring trouble I encounter with most Sci-Art is its addiction to data and how that dependency dictates the outcome of many sci-art works. Sci-artists working within the plastic arts such as painting and sculpture, in their willingness to interpret data, develop practices that simulate digital processes particularly in algorithmic methods to spit out an image. Though at times interesting for the most part this is where I find the issue of self-reflection within the Sci-Art community hits a wall. The dependency on data, or scientific theory, takes over the engagement with process and materials. In this paradigm I wonder if we are giving up true artistic discovery in exchange for a “sciency” experience. This could be a double edge sword exciting on one hand, the science engagement, and perplexing on the other, the potentially limited artistic discovery aimed at raising questions rather than answers. In art if we lose the question we lose the field.