Science to Art

As a child I was strong in the sciences but as my academic work progressed I ended up following arts subjects and shedding the sciences.

As an adult I have always been fascinated by the sciences, engineering, research and development but this has waned. I now reflect that when all is said and done, the differentiating factor above all others as between man and animals is his / her expression of sentiment through the arts. Painting, sculpture, music, literature and drama mean so much more than they did.

I wonder about this transition. Is it essential to have had some journey through life to enjoy the arts more richly - contextualising the narrative or sentiment in one's own experience - and does this explain the creeping realisation as to their importance and relevance? By contrast, is science more directly accessible at an earlier stage given its echoes in and practical relevance to every day life?

As I advise my children on career choices and watch them take their own routes, I am struck by the fact that all the messaging around them says jobs are evaporating, technology and competition are eating your cheese, how will you distinguish yourself from the Chinese microtech solution, the drone instead of the driver, the lawbot instead of Counsel etc and I see them choosing art, drama and music subjects and careers away from professions and business. The arts endure.  From cave painted bison to tomorrow's performance of etc this is the true continuum.  

That was Wangbait if ever there was a thread designed to achieve that.

You are the one I wanted engaged in the discussion above all. You are an inveterate sci consumer and general knowall etc.  thoughts beyond parklife?.

I am going to get hold of a copy of Kenneth Clark's Civilisation (commissioned by David Attenborough, no less, when invited to be controller of the new BBC2) and see what it has to say on this.

also, years ago the BBC ran a "greatest Brit of the Millennium" prog and you could vote on this. Then I thought Brunel etc, now I'd say Shakespeare.

I agree... ...but I think you need to add problem solving to anything which enhances creativity. Innovating thinking and the ability to perform in highly uncertain environments is the way to go.

In terms of undergraduate courses to achieve that... ...I have no idea.

Posh people can avoid science and get jobs based on talling about operate or their 'cello at interviews. .. Actally my whole planned post would be wrong as I was going on to say poor Chinese graft away at hard stuff without those choices and then i remembered who is better at the piano and the violin - Chinese come very high up on that so I am wrong all round ... although I do have a point, some of them want British education for the more ability to think for yourself laxitude of the British system.

 

I suppose we've alwaays been good at both - our ancesotrs doing their cave paintings whilst also having well honed skills in how to hunt and kill the animals or how to paint your body but also know how to dig up roots best.

 

Whether children should go into arts or sciences or neither will probably depends on what they will get the highest A level grades in. Two of my children did or ar doing a BSc and three did/are doing BAs.

Google the Kenneth Snelson tensegrity structures. Is it engineering or is it art?

Its both. I remember seeing some in an art gallery as a kid and thinking how on earth did he make those. Fiendishly difficult to build, but art relying on engineering concepts.

Ok, sorry.  Tbh I see little difference between the two.  I get the same sort of buzz looking at a raphael as I do looking at a steam pump in the china clay museum.  science museum, national gallery or natural history museum?  A classical concerto or a dire straits gig or a boxing match.  I just find stuff interesting (not politics tho).

Is there really much of a gap between Da Vinci and Cavendish?  Both blessed by wealthy benefactors and just allowed to get on with whatever took their fancy.  The older I get the more I hope this sort of thing comes back.

If all I had done was discover the tube of mentos into a bottle of diet coke thing, I would be a happy man.  (srsly, yahoo this if you havent seen it.)

stepping over the casual racism and classist/imperialist perspectives, the point about cavemen being good at both needs thought.

Craft - tool manufacture- and hunting weren't science.  Fire and, later, production of iron from ore in controlled conditions was science. But I don't think cavemen were good at art and science. they were either good or not good at survival. If latter, all good. If former, end of line.   What is interesting is some (not all) decided to paint. Some, not all, decided to inquire as to what would happen if you ate x or put y in the fire. Then they repeated it, retained knowledge and taught method, adapted that for different purposes and found new results, applied and adapted further. That's getting scientific.  But in there somewhere there was a subset of the cave massive who thought painting, music, dancing was important to the fullness of life. This unnecessary action enriches.

Well there is all sorts of wrong in that post. of course craft and tool making is science. It is also art.

As for cavemen not being good at art, I challenge you to draw in the dark with ochre and charcoal something so anatomically accurate it allows boffins 30,000 years hence to identify a new species (European bison as it goes).

and that is a mike drop

Chambo

Architecture generally is the most obvious intersection between science (engineering and physics) and art (form v function, beauty v utility).  I didn't ask are there examples of both but I agree with you.  What I asked was do we think it is necessary to have travelled a bit along life's thread to gain more from arts, with the result that one has more time for the beauty, say, of a Cathedral than when one is a 12 year old child and wonders how they carried those big stone blocks up there 500 years ago whilst enduring a service?

 

Basically we have lost the capacity to see beauty for what it is...

...in this money driven world it has no ‘value’ and this has introduced a subconscious distain... ...it has become dispensable, a fact manifested in most modern buildings and in the refurbishment of natural landscapes.

Basically we have lost the capacity to see beauty for what it is...

...in this money driven world it has no ‘value’ and this has introduced a subconscious distain... ...it has become dispensable, a fact manifested in most modern buildings and in the refurbishment of natural landscapes.

wang, I was summarising from Lydia's post and replying when I said I don't think they were "good at art and science". she replied both. I was saying that the majority were just good at surviving. But what is intriguing is the existence of some who then were good at art and thought it important to record their artistic impressions (EuroBison etc).

To answer your point about cathedrals, I would say most observers have no idea how the domes or arches were constructed... ...and yet this does not diminish the beauty of the structure, if anything the mystic enhances it.

Noble sentiments mutters, but it's much harder to make a living, or the sort of living which enables the offspring to have some sort of independence assuming you mean them, in the arts. It's also common for lawyer types to get ever more wistful about the arts as they age, quite properly because they realise that there's so much more to life than its nuts and bolts. But history is littered with artists of all sorts who starved. Achieving a balance is of course the ideal.

and I spend a lot of time considering the engineering of a hammer beam or flying buttress in a Gothic edifice,  and I am intrigued by the complexity, impressed by the achievement, but I am moved by its beauty.

 

St Paul's is a good study for this.  When it was completed it had no interior decoration. Just plain stone like most other cathedrals in Britain. But for 50 years an Italian team worked on the ceilings which contain a depiction of The Creation with a Latin translation of Genesis Ch1. Blues and golds show the fishes in the sea and the birds in the air and God saw that it was good etc.  That and a full rendition from the large pipes of the organ and the experience is transcendent.

I agree Muttey. Some of those cathedrals took several hundred years to build through trial and error. If you admire the flying buttress structures on some of them and think they look ornate and decorative, they are onlly really there to hold the walls up.

er

not really correct Chambo

the standard buttress for holding a wall up is an angled wall at 90 degrees to the wall itself, wide at the foot and narrowing to nil at the top.  utility not beauty. You see this on tithe barns dating back 600 years. the flying buttress 300 years later is an ornate structure designed to achieve the same engineering purpose but consistent with the purpose of the building it is refined and beautiful. 

By purpose of the building, to be clear the architecture of Cathedrals were expressions of devotion to and respect for the Glory of God.  Spires like Salisbury were designed to achieve an echo of the rays of the sun which were seen as the Light of Life spilling from the Heavens.   The elaborate carvings, arches,  and buttresses (see Notre Dame) were part of that dedication to beauty. 

1. Yes, I get more out of some art now I am older. 

 

2. OMG  how can you not have seen Kenneth Clark  'Civilisation'. Boy are you in for a treat. The tweed, the bad teeth, the cheerful confident political incorrectness, the real love of the art. 

Different solutions to the same issue. Engineering and art can be the same, as I said.

rightyhoh chambo

 

Ronnie

I have seen bits of but not watch all of Civilisation in order

In the book he complains about how the TV series lost the essence of the written word because of compression and simplification... ...as is virtually always the case.

I adore the book, beautifully constructed lines of thought...

"I wonder about this transition. Is it essential to have had some journey through life to enjoy the arts more richly - contextualising the narrative or sentiment in one's own experience - and does this explain the creeping realisation as to their importance and relevance?"

 

No. It's just that the nekkid ladies in paintings are all a bit fat, so its not until you is well old that you start fancying them.  

The older I get the more I admire and respect people who work with their hands more than I do the “educated” lot. Farmers, builders, labourers, carpenters, tailors - RESPECK

speaking of salisbury cathedral, it is probably my fave.  built when they'd got the technique just about bang on.  think it was built in about 35 years 

the clock in there is (I think) one of the oldest still working clocks in the world.  an absolute paradigm of science and art colliding and combining.  I had to be dragged away from watching it.

My late father was an architect. Never considered the science element before reading this thread. Wonder if he ever did? Another question I never asked :(

"wonder if he ever did"

err you would sort of hope they touched on it during his 6 year degree.  you know, triangles and arches and shyt.   

RAYMOND heh.

were you counting the ticks and the tocks Wang.

 

Miss T I completely agree and I have endless admiration for those that create. A brickie producing a well pointed wall gets a lot of respect from me.

Chortles. I meant as in considering himself a bit of a scientist. We didn’t discuss it, sadly.

Architects are very much science before art.  No point in being a wonderful creator of form who has no idea how to make it stand up. Pure form is sculpture. Architecture is the blend of form and function, which requires scientific knowhow behind the aesthetic.  Architects are all over the loading and stress calculations. Breadth and depth of footings required to carry the loading on two columns supporting a 23 foot RSJ with a house on top of that.... that bit is not art but maths, material physics and regulation.

Brickie 💪🏽 saw a great article about a brickie who wasn’t a man brickie the other day. Ledge.

I think one of the reasons I get sad is I don’t create enough. The only thing I truly create is cooking. 

I think I always assumed it was the engineers who added the science to the design. Mind blown at how little I know (again lol). Might do some reading of my dad’s many architecture books I now have 

Read up on the golden ratio T - your old man would have lapped that shyzz up.

There is also beauty in a mathematical proof I think.  It just is or is not.  Q for Hotblack to minge on about how there is no such thing as proof...

Your use of "minge on" as a verb is commendable.

Irrelevantly, it reminds me of a friend I had at work a few years ago whose surname was St John, pronounced sin-jn.

It gave rise to many a limerick. For example@

I once knew a lawyer called St John

Who opened a door with no hinge on

It flattened the chap

And as the knob struck his lap

"Ouch, now my boner's a minge-on"

fuckstix.

I meant

 

I once knew a lawyer called St John

Who opened a door with no hinge on

It flattened his chap

As the knob struck his lap

he cried "Ouch, now my boner's a minge-on"

I can't believe this went hehless.

 

you lot are not as generous as you used to be.

veh good.

 

This poem is called "1892"

 

I do like to use the word "minge"

Though it makes my dear grandmother cringe.

As when trimming with care

Her candle did flare

Causing the first hot wax singe.

 

The Minge of Ms T is mysterious

sometimes it's fleeting and just cirrus

but with food and some wine

with gent who's quite fine

you'd be faced with a cumulonimbus

whose surname was St John, pronounced sin-jn

"Now me" could quip about how the fuck else you would pronounce it.

"Then me" (from my TC) spent a fvck of a long time wondering who the fvck Sinjin was as they kept saying it and the only bloke they could have been referring to was the wierdly named Saint John who really didn't look like he should have an Indian name:

 

I had to look up some of dem words Wang. Go easy on me old fella 

da Fuk re SinJn??? I declare that right stupid I does 

I have taken to speaking like a cockney and I’m enjoying it 

Leaving aside the limericks, this thread has prompted me to re-read a couple of books from the shelf. Called ''Envisioning Information' and 'The Visual Display of Quantitative Information', both by Edward Tufte.

They were written in the 1990s when supercomputers were more available. I defy anyone to say that some of the images he came up with aren't art in themselves. Somewhat more than Excel line graphs.

They're on Amazon and worth a read.

There is also beauty in a mathematical proof I think.  It just is or is not. 

actually, it can be shown that within a system, a statement can exist that can be neither proved nor disproved.  (Gödel's incompleteness theorem).

 

A statement like "u r a total bellcheddar"?

I think I agree.

a multi - stanza limerick now

 

The trimming of minge is quite serious

It's not for the weak or delirious.

If your end goal is weird

Like an old wizard's beard

Or a forested castle imperious.  

 

Do not jest when you snip, shave or clip,

Or with wax strips you let rip.   

If your scissors are reckless

or your blade skills are feckless

You'll end up with an unsightly strip.

 

You need to sign up to the pledge

When you remodel your hedge.

"I'll trim with due care

And not leave it bare

Or uneven bits round the edge".

 

 

 

"They were written in the 1990s when supercomputers were more available. I defy anyone to say that some of the images he came up with aren't art in themselves."

 

you say art, I say pixelporn.

'The Visual Display of Quantitative Information'

 

Is anyone else thinking "Ethel The Aardvark Goes Quantity Surveying"?

 

Just me

tbf chaos theory pictures in the early 90s were totally awesome

and those ones when you had to almost fall asleep or be 7 pints down to see the picture. magic eye?, that's the badger.

OK Chambers....

 

Walks slowly down the main street.

spurs clink

people run in for cover

Casts eyes left to the Saloon and right to the Undertaker

Throws cigarette away into puddle of horse wee. Everyone hears the hisssssss

Hears Chambo shout "draw"

turns on heels, reaches down under poncho to grab large block of squared paper, long ruler, protractor and sharp HB pencil, knocks out an unexpectedly elaborate Magic Eye sketch of two camels fucking 

An interesting approach Muttley. They didn't teach us that in my structural engineering degree. Maybe you did one in creative writing.

Engineering is an excellent degree - where did you do it? 

"There is also beauty in a mathematical proof I think.  It just is or is not.  Q for Hotblack to minge on about how there is no such thing as proof..."

 

Sorry have been catching up with by backlog. Yes there is such a thing as proof in maths, but mathematical proofs just tell you about the relationships between mathematical objects, and are necessarily true within that closed system. There is no such thing as "proof" in relation to statements about the world, just failure to falsify.