Or should I say, Here We Be Science? Ha ha! Welcome back.
The tag line here at MAL is “Where Art Meets Science and Skeptcism” but let’s be honest, its complicated. Have you ever introduced two people and had them awkwardly correct you saying, “Uh yeah. We’ve met.” because they made out at some frat party in 2003? Well it’s sort of like that for Art and Science. They know each other, they’ve shared …experiences, and they are very much aware of each others’ existence. They’d just rather not admit it.
From the first time some neolithic cave wall was smeared, with what I guarantee you was feces, with an image that kinda-sorta resembled a gazelle, science and experimental inquiry have shaped how humans have made art. It’s not even worth mentioning how much art owes to science. I’m painting images on a computer using a pressure sensitive tablet that I control with solely with my mind. Okay, that last part I made up.
The result of this apparent imbalance is that the art and science are placed at opposite ends of some sort of “Left Brain vs Right Brain” spectrum. You’re either artsy or you have a brain for math. This is a false dichotomy at worst, and oversimplification at best. We now know that while the different hemispheres of the brain respond to and direct different stimuli and actions, a healthy brain is a balanced one. The same goes for the topic at hand: Without science, art would be pretty boring and without art, science would be really boring.
Think of how many times you’ve seen an ‘artist rendering’ of something which is impossible to see or only exists in the realm of postulation. For now, string theory, quantum physics, Brownian motion, gravity wells, and black holes can only be represented through artistic means. Hell, even photos of nebulae and other stellar events are false colored by an artist due to the fact that many of the photographs were taken in light spectra that we cannot see.
So instead of thinking of art and science as two separate concepts that one can ascribe to, think of it more as two skill sets that compliment each other. Because just like the brain itself, the Art and Science don’t perform quite as beautifully without each other. In future articles, I’ll explore specific examples of art and science coming together in harmony. Expect interviews with artists, features on quirky areas where data and aesthetics overlap, and broccoli. It’s good for you.
As promised, I have wallpapery goodness for you in mind blowing widescreen, courtesy of SCIENCE!