Friday, May 15, 2009

[Yasmin_discussions] Fwd: One Two Three More Cultures

forwarded from paul hertz

From: Paul Hertz <>
Date: May 12, 2009 8:09:20 AM CDT
Subject: Re: [Yasmin_discussions] One Two Three More Cultures

Isn't it possible that the asymmetrical crossover from scientist to
artist but not commonly the other way has to do with the ease with
which anyone can become an artist?

One doesn't need a degree, after all, or a research laboratory or
grant funds to call oneself an artist. Thanks to conceptualism, one
doesn't even need a physical body of work, nor proof of years
dedicated to acquiring skill with the tools of painting or sculpture.
It's pretty much sufficient just to designate oneself an artist and
show up at openings (I exaggerate only a little). This will definitely
not work in science.

I think one could also argue also that the criteria for market success
as an artist, which are considered proof that one is, after all, an
artist, are rather more lax than the standards by which scientists are
judged as "successful" or not.

That said, I don't want to belittle the notion that there might be
structural differences in brain organization (especially if one
commits to the notion that education rearranges the brain)--but I
would hazard a guess that, for example, composers and mathematicians
may have much in common, though they apply their pattern-making and
pattern-discerning abilities to entirely different applications. If
pattern perception and pattern fabrication are the criteria, there
might be rather more in common among artists and scientists than the
culture(s) they operate in reveal. I merely suggest that the door to
applying those abilities in the opposite discipline swings more easily
in one way than the other for fairly mundane reasons: you can get away
with calling yourself an artist indefinitely.
I sure have ;^}.

-- Paul

paul-hertz AT

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