Art paper presentation

I have spent quite a few years giving presentations about technical papers. But presenting an art paper is something that is relatively new for me.

Today as we were presenting our paper, I started to see some distinct differences. When you present a technical paper, the focus is generally on the work, not your relationship to the work.

The rhetoric around a technical paper is focused on objectivity. Rather than focusing on “I did this,” one focuses on “This is true because.” Ideally the author fades away, and the truth reveals itself in all of its unbiased glory.

An art paper is quite different. You are expected to speak from passion, from faith in your work. Your opinion matters very much, as well as your belief in what would make for a better world.

This idealistic focus seems to be the very heart of an art paper presentation. Fortunately, I found myself embracing it wholeheartedly.

After years of presentations where I needed to try to create a distance between myself and my work, it was wonderful to be relieved of that burden. Scientists and artists are both extremely passionate types of people, but they express that passion in very different ways.

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