Art & Science

Was at the library lurking around for kinetic art materials, while bumping into this book.

I’ll summarize this book as:

Art and science has one thing in common: “creation”. There’s a reason why in the earlier times, every artist was also a scientist. That was because artist-scientist lived with both their left-right brain at that period, using art-thinking as a catalyst for the their scientific creations and vice versa. No one argued about which is more or less important, because ones who created/invented things works on both spectrums in parallels.

Cubist painting, for example, might be said to anticipate in certain respects to the theory of space and relativity.

Science and art are crude names, people always put them in rough opposition. To be true, they are inseparable, mutually enabling in so many ways.

Many scientists, like Aristotele, Newton or Da Vinci, find their greatest satisfaction in aesthetic contemplation and describe their research as a quest for beauty.

Mathematics formed the basis for visual art. While geometric representation is of visual order, arithmetic appears to be more closely related to music.

Architecture is one of art-meets-science creation that can easily accepted.

The Golden Section found in the Cheops Pyramid and Chartres Cathedral as well as in plant growth patterns gives huge impact on architectural history. It’s one of many evidence that art and science together, as human, are naturally organics. Artists and scientist seek to represent nature’s structures.

Italian poet Dante said: “Art imitates nature as well as it can… and so do science.”

Cézanne’s was up the mountain in which he painted again and again, he said: “I need to understand the geology, how Sainte-Victoire takes root, the color of its earth. All this makes me a better man filled with emotion, clear-sighted… I must understand the geometry that keeps my reason straight… all things are linked.”

Throughout history, works of art have been made that resemble true marvels of science and technology. Art and science have often evolved in similar ways, with phases of linear accumulation, stagnation and ruptures marked by ingenious discoveries. Ever wonder why art piece always stating the year of its creation? Because it’s always necessary to know when they were made, why, and under what circumstances.

Impressionism has naturally integrated art with multiple aspect of science: Constructivism, Pop Art, Cybernetic Art, Space Art, etc, refer one way or another, to technology.

Painting as the purest of art form, has throughout history traveled paths parallel to science. Visual messages sent out by paintings defy what we understand of brain circuitry.

Nowadays, specializing on both subjects ( art and science) has become inevitable, but over-specializing destroys creativity, which thrives on open-mindedness. Many formal education still applies traditional segmentation of specializing. Play shall remains a primary from of learning, whatever the age. Plato said: “Let your children’s lessons take the form of game. Learning through play is linked with sympathy, and conformity with beauty and reason.”

Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and the pupil are located in the same individual: a self-learner.

So why many of us (or shall I say: mainly formal education centre) treating art-thinking as a secondary thing, when the technology are running fast, requires people to think creatively and imaginatively?

When will we all realise that a piece of paper of your grades is never a guaranteed success?

Exploring/learning art&science lets you find yourself, know yourself, and therefore you know exactly what to do with your life consciously.

While the writer was a consultant at UNESCO at the time this book was published, I really have a big hope that education system will develop better on embracing art-thinking.

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