Art Into science/science into art


  • Steve Gibson Northumbria University



Hybrid artist-scientists are now fairly common. It wasn’t always thus. Certainly music has a relatively long history of cross-fertilization with science, not least because of its obvious mathematical qualities, but also because of the medium-term relationship between music and technology. In formal music studies though, the medium of music was generally considered indivisible from itself, even as mathematical models were used to justify certain theories. Film also has a similar, if somewhat less precisely formalized history, as evidenced by the long history of montage film and visual music. Other fine arts have had less clear relationships with science. This can no longer be said to be the case. Artists are collaborating with biologists, computer scientists, geographers and researchers from other far-flung disciplines. Similarly scientists are learning the value that artists can bring to a project in terms of creativity and “ways of seeing” (Berger, 1972, 1). On-going discipline-centric resistance based on adherence to traditional barriers between the (subjective) arts and the (objective) sciences continues to be prevalent; however, it is fair to say that the gulf between art and science that has widened since the Enlightenment has now been widely challenged by a body of scholars, artists and scientists.
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