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Thread: how important is art to science?

  1. #1 how important is art to science? 
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    Hi,

    Being interested in both art and science I was wondering how important people believe art is to science today.

    Art has probably been most important in the development of anatomy (e.g., the drawings of Leonardo Da Vinci) and the biological sciences (e.g., early animal illustrations). But is it as important today? Has photography and computer modelling taken its place?


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  3. #2 Define 'art'. 
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    Some consider photography and computer modeling as arts.


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    Good point. I was thinking more in terms of drawing skill.

    However, maybe the situation is that as society and knowledge progresses both science and art inevitably progress into more sophisticated forms. So that centuries ago sciences like anatomy and biology were aided by drawing skill, whereas today sciences are aided more by photography and computing.
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    i think in that in that regard technology has taken the place of drawing etc however, art - the old fashioned way - s a pure form of self expression- one that cannot be replaced by technology. art also allows one to see things from a slightly different perspective - which i think is an important quality to have in a science-orientated feild. life without art would be boring. life without science would be even more boring. life without either wud be bland and un-imaginable - if hteres such a word. art needs imagination. imagination needs an excceptionally enquiring mind. science needs an exceptionally enquiring mind so i guess the two are in a small way related!
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    The brain uses many different areas when it comes to imagination and art forms. Many people can design insanely complex systems by drawing them out in their mind alone, yet cannot draw stickmen properly. It's the same with those that have vivid imaginations, yet cannot draw them at all (me, for example).

    To put it bluntly, depending on how you define art (lets say the old-fashioned form of self-expression that is normally only used in comics today), art has almost no benefit to the sciences. However that's missing a few sciences such as psychology and neurology, going by sciences such as those yes it does benefit it. So there is no real answer, since sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't.

    Again this depends fully on what you define as "art". Technically, everything is art since everybody preceives things differently on artistic levels, so philosophically science is art. This perception is one I'd prefer to agree with, since it's impossible to really say "only this is art" when someone else can easily preceive otherwise.

    I'm possibly talking bullocks since I'm not thinking too clearly, but overall if you define art with the philosophical issue that everything is art, then yes art benefits science.
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    OK, art may at times benefit science but at other times it may not.

    But is there an ongoing interaction between art and science that has not been fully recognised?

    First, take the modern development of a science like anatomy via Andreas Vesalius' book "De humani corporis fabrica" in the 1500s. It depended heavily on art - via explanatory illustrations - for its succes in overturning out-of-date ancient anatomy. Even some modern anatomy books still employ traditional illustrations.

    Now, in the reverse situation, take the advances in science affecting art. Dr Roger Sperry's split-brain experiments in the 1950s established the characteristic behaviours of the left and right hemisphere brains. That information was then used by artist Betty Edwards in creating her popular "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" system of learning to draw. Techniques of blocking the left hemisphere brain were employed so that the learner could draw from the right brain and produce more realistic art.
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    How about the other way, science being used in art. There are many scientic processes and images which could be art. Then theres things like damien hirst work with formaldahyde



    this crosses the boundarys of science and art
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    And my lunch. *hurles*
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    Art is one of the coolest things known to man, IMO.


    What many folks don't understand is that art draws its meaning from science.

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    hehe i remember loking through the science book and looking at the diagrams and art and such and remembering them for the test...they helped me rememebr alot!
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    science needs art.
    a formula could be a piece of art.
    People say ' beautiful job', because the job is done to be a art work.

    My English is not good, so I think your English looks like art.


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    You are all being so poetic!! Art is no benefit to science but science does benefit art. Take the subject of "perspective" in drawing and painting, for example.

    Art expresses our trust and faith in our society. The state of the arts now would sort of indicate people hate society!

    Science-enabled technology serves the arts. It enables better building and maintenance of music and other art instruments. Whether that technology is used to create idealistic art or abstract art (or sawed in half pig-art!) reflects what people feel and think about their society.

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  14. #13 Re: how important is art to science? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by garlane
    Hi,

    Being interested in both art and science I was wondering how important people believe art is to science today.
    I do find that interesting. Are you interested in specific fields in science as well as in arts?
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    a picture says more than a thousand words.

    i'm using my computer to create art, with one of these:






    art has done as much for science and engineering, as science and engineering has for art.



    art helps advertise science:



    in computer graphics, theres still no magic "make art" button.



    computer tools has finally started to give digital sculptors the flexibility
    of traditional sculptors.

    CG sculpting tools:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXn1ihlbMsA
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    It depends what's meant by 'science'. Samples of 'art' are often nice but they are more likely to be found in non-discipline publications for the public such as Scientific American, Time, books, etc. (such as the above illustrations). More and more this type of art is computer generated. I'd get an 'F' on an art project but even I, with no talent, have been able to produce artwork using computer programs for some fossil literature.

    In the geology discipline there are a couple of artists we'll call upon now and then. They aren't needed for dramatic works of art but rather attention to detail, etc. Equal to the artistic skill is the ability to understand and work with a researcher. ..and meet the needs...not to produce a pretty picture. These artists are also called upon to illustrate science textbooks, help prepare posters for seminars, etc. A decent income from geology contracts allows them the freedom to produce their own artwork. One artist we use does her own art show every so often and has a built-in customer base from the scientific community here.
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  17. #16 Re: how important is art to science? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by garlane
    Hi,

    Being interested in both art and science I was wondering how important people believe art is to science today.

    Art has probably been most important in the development of anatomy (e.g., the drawings of Leonardo Da Vinci) and the biological sciences (e.g., early animal illustrations). But is it as important today? Has photography and computer modelling taken its place?

    What's a xxxxing black hole right now?
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  18. #17  
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    google image search for lots of interesting pictures of a black hole.
    einstein illustrated it nicely by putting a black holes gravitational influence in a 3-dimensional euclidian space.

    i hate it when people say illustration is not an artform. thats just pure ignorance, supported by overrated new-age artists, whose art has no other function beyond making people go "WTF".
    you can give people that "WTF" feeling with illustration too.
    anyways, what most people view as "true" new-age art, is basically recreational pastimes on override.
    when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth
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  19. #18  
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    you get an F on your art class?
    well, that certainly limits what you can do on a computer.

    what kind of "art" are you talking about?
    collages? photoshopping images?
    when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth
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  20. #19  
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    video showing the blend of art and science:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7B08itXiXok
    when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth
    A.C Doyle
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  21. #20  
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    You are all being so poetic!! Art is no benefit to science but science does benefit art. Take the subject of "perspective" in drawing and painting, for example.

    Art expresses our trust and faith in our society. The state of the arts now would sort of indicate people hate society!

    Science-enabled technology serves the arts. It enables better building and maintenance of music and other art instruments. Whether that technology is used to create idealistic art or abstract art (or sawed in half pig-art!) reflects what people feel and think about their society.
    Art and science really go hand in hand. Art benefits science as well as science benefits art. Without art of some sort you would not be able to continue forward with research. You have diagrams, models, blueprints, videos, etc.. they are all infused with art. I see art as more than just a picture or a poem though. A formula, a star, fractals, physiology, chemical compounds. all of it is art in some form. You need to see the visual to feel and understand the technical hard edges. It's an essential teaching tool. Technology has enhanced fields of art, but have never taken away the fact that i can still go outside, grab some berries and make inks and dyes without any instructions or make a pretty necklace from shells and stones, etc.. Art is essential, especially in science, for documenting and explaining things to people. To see how certain things will combine together. Tell me there is no art in microbiology or the cosmos? It's in everything in everyday life. There would be no history without art and there would be no future if it were to be banned.
    We want to create, it's in our nature. Whether it is a new theory or a painting, it is in us.

    ok..enough of my lofty-ness. Anyways, if you are interested in both art and science, I say go for it. I think they enrich one another and it will make you a rather well-rounded individual.
    If the stars should appear but one night every thousand years how man would marvel and stare.
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  22. #21  
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    Every art is a craft, and every craft is a science. However, art is much like mathematics in the way of testing and exploring abstract possibilities and function, while often being more physically tested.

    A lot of people think art is just a technique perfected with repetition, but really it's a voyage of innovation on function. Rather than saying everything is art, including science, I'd say everything is science, including art.
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  23. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Happydude
    A lot of people think art is just a technique perfected with repetition, but really it's a voyage of innovation on function. Rather than saying everything is art, including science, I'd say everything is science, including art.
    This sonds very nice as a semi-philosophical statement, but I don't hink it stands up to close examination.
    Science is a methdology for investigating the Universe in an objective, falsifiable fashion.
    Art is a means of exploring the human psyche in a subjective, perspective driven manner.

    To me the two are quite distinct. It is like comparing apples and down quarks.
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    My father is a brilliant sketch artist. My father is so good with his eyes that the first time he ever shot a pistol, he did it from his hip (just goofing off) and hit the distant object so perfectly that his friends assumed he was a liar for claiming it his first time ever shooting before. A similar incident occurred when he tried a game of pool the first time and the guy playing was certain he was a shark.

    In my opinion, my father is a geometric Einstein. Nothing he has ever made and nothing ever made by any of the respectable artists I have met intended for subjectivity. I have heard various artists say that only art critics try to make subjective meanings in art, and that mostly art is about beauty, and the fascination of beauty. The fascination half of it is where I see the science of it.


    I don't believe a subjective intent can even be a rational goal for an artist. They have not a subjective plan when making something but a positively objective vision for where the paint, clay, words, etc. are going to go and what it'll all come out to be in the end. There may be straightforward art and tactfully disguised art, but it's all objective in the artist's head.
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    I'm an artist and a visual person.

    I find it easier to understand complexity when i can visualise it.

    I will often draw ideas on paper and whereas a scientist might use formulas to explain an idea to others and themselves, i will use symbolism and geometric shapes.

    Albeit most are often abstract to another viewer unless i explain it, but they are for my benefit alone really in order to absorb the idea and understand it.

    I have actually been able to explain complex ideas, especially philosophical, which otherwise might have been difficult with just words alone, to classrooms of kids by using symbols and pictures, and through using them they grasped the ideas very well.

    So yes i think art does have a place alongside science but that obviously depends on what sort of person you are and how you see things.
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