Sunday, February 26, 2012

Re: [Yasmin_discussions] cross modal

Dear Ian.
Thank you for your «bit of poetry». If this was on facebook I would
click on Like.
Vítor

Citando Ian Ferguson <Ian.Ferguson@plantandfood.co.nz>:

> Ian here - and prepare yourself for a bit of poetry...
>
>
>
> We seem to have drifted into a more general discussion on science
> and art. I'm probably not saying anything new, but why are we
> differentiating? Lets go back a bit. Science as we know it was
> really only invented in the 18th C. Way before then, Leonardo was
> the archetype of the inseparability of science and art. I'm
> currently in China - only virtual scotch drinking with Richard at
> the moment I'm afraid - in Hangzhou, seat of the Song dynasty about
> a thousand years ago - they didn't have separate scientists and
> artists - hold a blue Song Dynasty Jin bowl in your hands (dont
> drop it - will cost you a fortune) and try and convince yourself
> that science and art are different. Even the founders of the Roy
> Soc in London - Newton, Wren, Hook, Evelyn, Boyle (scientists) were
> also literary men. Jump ahead to the turn of the 18th and Coleridge,
> Wordsworth, Keats, Shelly were all well up on science, and the
> greatest scientists of the age - Davy, Priestly, Farady - were
> literary - Humphrey Davy published poetry. Goethe was poet and
> scientist, with theories on colour and plant morphology. When Keats
> wrote in On first looking into Chapman's Homer: "Then felt I like
> some watcher of the skies/When a new planet swims into his ken" he
> was referring to William Herschel and his new discoveries in
> astronomy (including deep time). Keats also wrote in Lamia,
> reflecting on the thoughts that science was destroying natural
> mysteries:
>
> "Do not all charms fly
>
> At the mere touch of cold philosophy?
>
> There was an awful rainbow once in heaven:
>
> We know her woof, her texture; she is given
>
> In the dull catalogue of common things.
>
> Philosophy will clip an Angel's wings,
>
> Conquer all mysteries by rule and line,
>
> Empty the haunted air, and gnomèd mine -
>
> Unweave a rainbow......"
>
> (Dawkins uses the unweaving the rainbow bit as a title for one of his books)
>
> And the whole divide was codifed last century by CP Snow talking
> about the two cultures (and just for the fun of it, the bitchy
> epigram about Snow is that scientists thought he was a great writer
> and writers thought him a great scientist.....).
>
> I've been taken aback by the examples you all cite on the
> relationships between art and science in sensory perception - it
> suggests that in at least one corner of the creative world, arts and
> science are coming together again.
>
>
>
> Roger - you mentioned I think in your latest response that arts and
> science have different goals. No they don't. Science is a creative
> process - if we unweave rainbows it is usually only to reveal
> another mystery - science is just following a different methodology.
> I don't think art is really just about expression. It is another way
> of understanding. Sensory perception, multi or not, is only a way in
> to that understanding, a particular route that you take, just as the
> scientific experimental process or conceptualisation or abstract
> thinking is also a way in - different routes and methods with the
> same intention. Its not the goal, but the process that we're
> always talking about. So folks, give us the goal of your art and
> we'll tell you it's the goal of science.
>
>
>
> Ian
>
>
> ________________________________
>
> From: yasmin_discussions-bounces@estia.media.uoa.gr on behalf of
> Cynthia B Rubin
> Sent: Sun 14/03/2010 4:38 a.m.
> To: YASMIN DISCUSSIONS
> Subject: [Yasmin_discussions] cross modal
>
>
>
> Greetings Ian, Roger, and all:
>
> I am reading this not over scotch but over morning coffee, which may
> have a very different multi-sensory effect.
>
> In the early days of digital imaging, many of us used a little piece
> of software called "NIH Image" which was developed at the National
> Institutes of Health. This application allowed scientists to
> experiment with wild differences in color while looking at images, so
> that qualities of a particular aspect of the image could be teased to
> the foreground, while visually "pushing" other elements into the
> background. Changing color relationships offered the possibility of
> new insights into the visual data.
>
> I would like to think that this is an early example of artistic
> thought influencing digital scientific visualization. Artists used
> the software because it was free, as the government sponsorship of
> this software put it in the public domain. But we also used it
> because it did exactly what artists always try to do - it
> facilitated analysis of emerging relationships in an image, thereby
> promoting creativity. Although scientists have long used dyes to
> highlight features, the complexity of shifting visual readings
> through shifting relationships in color seems to be directly borrowed
> from artistic analysis and methods.
>
> By the way, in my "Digital Nature" class at the Rhode Island School
> of Design, my students use current software (OK, Photoshop....) to
> manipulate images from microscopes, producing stunning works drawn
> directly from Nature, while offering a new look at what is there.
>
> Surprise - in writing this message I searched and found that NIH
> Image is still online in its original form:
> http://rsb.info.nih.gov/nih-image
>
> as well as an update which I am thrilled to know about
> http://rsb.info.nih.gov/ij/features.html
>
> Cynthia
>
>
> Cynthia Beth Rubin
> http://CBRubin.net <http://cbrubin.net/>
>
>
>
> On Mar 13, 2010, at 6:44 AM, roger malina wrote:
>
>> Ian
>>
>> well i was drinking red wine when i read your scotch influenced
>> discussion
>> with richard:
>>
>> There are a couple of things that Richard and I talked about over a
>> scotch
>> the other night
>>
>> 1. This dicusssion doesn't have a linear trajectory - in science we
>> tend to
>> work somewhat directionally - circularity might be initially
>> interesting but
>> in the end only raises issues and doesnt take us onwards - do you
>> folk think
>> 'onwards'?.
>>
>> 2. We see science contributing to the artistic world. Is the opposite
>> happening?
>>
>> Ian
>>
>> a) on the non linear trajectory of yasmin discussions= indeed the
>> open list
>> discussion mode favors discursive
>> modes rather than tightly reasoned argument= its more like a stone
>> soup
>> model, where each person
>> contributes a stone and you end up with vegetable soup ( or rather
>> ratatouille or bouillabaisse in this
>> part of the world)
>>
>> b) re the question of science contributing to the art world versus art
>> contributing to the science
>> world= well thats the gauntlet !! as roy ascott famously said - in
>> todays
>> society it is science
>> that is in trouble ( most people on the planet dont believe that
>> science is
>> reliable= check the
>> stats on the theory of evolution and the minority of the planet that
>> believes its a good
>> reliable explanation !! roy encapsulated this with " ask not what
>> science
>> can do for art,
>> ask what art can do for science"0
>>
>> perhaps using the cross-modal sensory discussion metaphor we should
>> point
>> out that
>> art and science are both intrinsic parts of human culture and its not
>> possible logically
>> or philosophically to separate them.
>>
>> why are we interested in cognition and neurobiology as a science ?
>> almost
>> none of the
>> universe has the kind of neuronal structures that humans have=
>> ( most life
>> is organised
>> in different ways and most of the universe is non living) - so if
>> we were
>> running the universe
>> had to decide which science to invest in, cognition and
>> neurobiology would
>> be one of the
>> last= as these systems have almost no impact on the dominant
>> processes in
>> the universe=
>> we are interested in them because human beings have these systems=
>> we create
>> art
>> for human beings and we use science to understand the physical
>> processes we
>> us.
>>
>> more seriously (yes its half a bottle of wine now) art and science are
>> carried out
>> with different goals, methodologies and institutional structures=
>> so the
>> question
>> you ask is at least socially meaningful.
>>
>> indeed science and technology have had a huge impact on the arts
>> ( most
>> importantly through the way that physics and quantum mechanics led
>> to semi
>> conductors led to the digal computer etc) and the are now numerous
>> new art
>> forms
>> enabled by the digital revolution)( and the new bio arts are
>> building on
>> genetic
>> science etc)
>>
>> the opposite is also happening with the work of artists influencing
>> science
>> and technology ( in methods, goals, approaches), robert thrill has
>> a growing
>> list of examples of patents filed by artists:
>> http://www.artsactive.net/en/resources/patents/
>> (I encourage yasminers to add to his list: "Robert Thill"
>> <robert.thil lAT
>> gmail.com>,
>> and there are numerous examples of art science collaborations
>> leading to
>> scientific
>> papers with the artists as co authors- the one i always like to
>> cite is the
>> work
>> of david dunn and jim crutchfield on bio accoustic ecology
>>
>> http://www.acousticecology.org/science.html
>>
>> and i just started a twine with examples of scientific papers co
>> authored
>> by artists
>> and scientists= send me additions to rmalina AT alum.mit.edu if you
>> have a
>> science paper
>> co authored by an artist and scientist
>>
>> ian and richard= back to you and the wine hands over non linearily
>> to the
>> scotch
>>
>> roger
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>
>
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