Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Re: [Yasmin_discussions] Why do Science Films often have such terrible use of music or sound

Despite a compelling sense of change in the air, my sense is that science -- if it's regarded much at all by most people -- is still commonly regarded as representing a diagrammatic, pragmatic, soul-less relationship to the world. Humans need an emotional connection to their existence (witness religion) -- and science, stereotypically, does not provide that. Not because it can't, but because science education and popularization has traditionally been left to scientists and not to artists. Artists, in the art-sci movement, are now often expressing the poetics of a scientific worldview. Music accompanying a video is an effective means of re-contextualizing science as a form of romance. The sublime of art, nature, and music certainly, is the only true spiritual -- which is a human biological sensation, not a supernatural ether. Science, and progressive thinking in general, needs to claim the so-called spiritual for human biology in the same way it does emotion, fear, anger, ela!
tion, curiosity, etc. Music has a role to play in this realignment. One could quibble as to whether the music accompanying the solar video was effective in emotionalizing our local spinning ball of nuclear fusion -- I think it did pretty well. The real problem with the video was the apparent need its producers felt to offer statistics on the front end, the number of days in space and number of data terabytes -- irrelevant to the grandeur and a throwback to the pocket-protector image of science . . .


Stephen Nowlin
Vice President,
Director, Williamson Gallery
Art Center College of Design

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