Conundrum of Convergence – Art, Science & Commerce
There are more similarities between art and science than the differences that generally meet the eye. There are surprisingly more dissimilarities between art and commerce than that connects our mind. Within these playground of similarities and dissimilarities interestingly there is a common ground for meeting and the meeting ground is the ground of creation. Commerce comes to play its role when there is a creation, nothing can be produced or traded unless it is there in some form and shape, and thereafter it is the art to literature to science play their respective part in conceptualization to commercialization of any such creation.
These have happened from pre-historic to ancient times to medieval period to today’s modern time that has taken technology revolution to a all together different platform, only that in other matters that the depth, degree and diversity have gradually changed over time. The creation of symbols to communicate to simple tools made out of stones to complex network of computers as is known as Internet for communication to mobile devices. These creations keep changing their dimensions, not the physical shape and size but the compositions and the functioning through new discoveries.
Tools made out of stones have moved into metal bodies. It has become lighter and more powerful. Land phones have moved into mobile phones, literally transformed. The core function more or less remains the same, the tools to reduce the human efforts and phones to communicate from distance. The fundamental change is in the design. Designs are the essence of aesthetics of life. Creative designs have embedded are across the landscape of our life and living.
Landscape of life is truly beautiful with these creative designs.
These creations keep undergoing major transformation with innovations. Unless new perspectives are presented new dimensions cannot be created. The creation has its root in the perspective we carry and we build with our observations and engagement with the environment around us, every action of ours has a reaction in the nature. Human nature is to be curious and curiosity is essential to foster development in things we use and factors newer possibilities for the humanity.
As a creator or innovator one need to visualize, first see in the canvas of imagination than one can sculpt a sculptor as artist or paint a picture as a painter or experiment an equation in the lab or build a structure for a story as a writer. All these creative produce or innovative outcomes gets packaged into products and services that we consume. There are so many products that lying in the hibernation as those products never got the packaging and marketing that it needs to peep in and surface out its presence. Creation is just one aspect of the overall outcome unless communicated, creation remains with the creator, and the outcome is academic in nature and serves no purpose for the betterment of the society.
We are in a consumption driven economy and how the society can look at things when everything is getting measured in monetary values and the core values of our society is undergoing a tectonic shift. It is tectonic because this shift is going to fundamentally change the way we look and deal with things around us. Just like the layers of earth changes its course and connection with other landmass when subjected to major earthquakes to volcanic disruptions.
More shifts are taking place in the virtual place than in the earth mass.
E-commerce has invaded into our house and we have no control over commerce. Artistic and scientific way of looking at objects have blurred, we are finding it difficult to differentiate where art begins and where science ends. We are lost in the portfolio of products and packaged services. The commerce is driving us. The consumption is defining us. The creation is lost in the wilderness.
In every big invention scientists are supported by the artists and in every big creation are supported by scientist, the underlying story is surreptitiously concealed from the public domain. Both the scientists and artists are in general excessively obsessed with things they do, they are extreme in their thinking, and many are eccentric and have their crazy ways to deal with things.
Every scientist has a hidden artistic mind and every artist has a hidden scientific mind.
It is that in case of a scientist the scientific mind is predominate and it is vice versa with an artists. There is a subtle interplay between these minds before any big thing that comes out to the world. In the book Art & Physics by Leonard Shlain he covers this very aspect of fascinating relationship between the work of scientist and artists. Before Albert Einstein could give the “Theory of Relativity” to the world, Pablo Picasso was working on the relativity in his work of art. Scientists are not only seekers of truth through the lens of facts and figures but artists are also seekers of truth through their set of lens of fiction and beliefs. They may use different lens but have the same camera and a common purpose in elevating the society and uplifting moods of the people at large.
There cannot be inventions without artists, though eventually the credit of any invention goes to the scientist. It is an open secret. Leonardo Da Vince had created through his imagination the various technology development which seen by the world later. It was Einstein to Newton who took these classical arts forms and given their own interpretations and came out with path breaking theories to practical solutions that are considered contemporary.
It is a myth that artists only contribute to the aesthetic values of the society and it is only the scientists that contribute to the materialistic aspects of the society. There is an ethereal connection between these two species of humanity who have a different outlook on the world. They see connection in the disconnected dots. They see geometrical patterns in the chaos and complexity.
They use their heighten thinking to simplify the complexity.
They use their imagination and intuition to get the chaos in order.
They provide solution to our hearts and minds through innovation and inspiration. Yes, it is true that scientist front end the process of innovation but it is artists who back-end the process of creation. The process cannot function unless there is bridge between the back and the front. Behind every invention or innovation there is a creation and there is discovery.
Is music an art or a science?
It is neither but it is a combination of both; there is a science behind the art of music. For Mozart and Beethoven music is an art. For Marconi and Hertz, music is the science. There is the science of sound behind the formation of music. But we get immersed in the art of listening and forget how that art was possible to be available to common people like us anywhere and anytime. Music is sound waves and music is stored in devices and can be played by powering through electricity. There are so many musical instruments to create different set of music but it is the artists who composes and creates magic from the same instrument which otherwise is really difficult to handle by lesser mortal like us.
Piano as an instrument is not just about skill of using both hands but it builds the right coördination between the left and the right brain, so that left is not left behind. It sounds bit complex but these instruments simplifies those complexity of learning. Everything we do have a space and a time, but where is the connection between the two intangibles. We cannot feel and see the time and space. It is there and it makes our existence counts. There are devices to record and there are devices to transmit.
According to Minkowski, space and time are connected through light. Sounds are transmitted through radio waves and they are a form of light.
Is picture an art or a science?
In the eyes of painter it is an art and in the eyes of photographer it is a science. The painter plays with brushes and colors. English landscape painter Constable said “Painting is a science and should be pursued as an inquiry into the laws of nature.” The vague concept flows onto the canvas and one can see a pattern in the vagueness. The photographer plays with the lens and light. The flowing reality gets captured in the digital camera. There is an art in the way the photographer captures moment and it is science that makes it possible. There is convergence with digital printing. The painting gets a facelift with the power of digital technology.
Scientists employed the rules of logic and reasons to construct hypothesis to explain the functioning of the world, whereas the artists, writers and philosophers used stories, paintings and imaginations to present various perspectives to deconstruct the world’s working. Writing is called the verbal art. Painting is called the visual arts. Acting and Dancing is called the performing art.
According to Voltaire; writing is the painting of voice.
The common thread between these different forms is the art but behind the art lays the literature and science. Leonardo Da Vince and Isaac Newton were looking at the same things through different lens, one through the lens of art and the other through the lens of science. Leonardo used the equity of visualization. Newton used the equations of mathematics. Abstract painting to digital prints, the canvas has widen and it is both exciting and entertaining to engage with the converging realms of art and science.
Today, we only look at the commerce part of the work of art. How much it costs not how it has connected with our soul and senses. Has it really or we want to escape with the art being beside us. We need the external support to nurse our ego. It is the price tag that is attached to the piece of painting to writing that counts, we are in the age of tagging.
Writers like Victor Hugo to Sir Walter Scott changed the way we look at the world through their literary dissection of the world. Writers brought multiple points of views. Aristotle and Plato had brought a philosophical dimension to the thinking of the world. Galileo brought an astronomical dimension to the visualization of the outer space. Socrates questioned the questioning and changed the way we deal with things by playing with the art of questioning to bring a new dimension and discipline to the discourse. Though Newton gave the final shape to the understanding of “Law of Gravity” but it was Copernicus and Galileo provided the ground work and created the patterns to the explanation given by Isaac Newton.
We are in a mode of over indulgence in our usage of everything, every product and services in our daily we use. We use recklessly and carelessly. Usage has become abusive. We are on the tenterhooks of use and misuse, tantalizing clinging onto use and any momentum may fall into the grip of misuse. Our lives are now dependent and controlled by manufacturers and marketers. Whether it is a digital product like mobile to movie to mechanical product like car to cycle, services like hospital services to hospitality services…we are leading a devices loaded and services ridden life.
There is innovation everyday and everywhere.
Innovations are not new, it has been there for ages, it is that today with digital explosion we are distracted and dominated by the convergence of art, science and commerce. Behind every such innovation is the role that art and literature plays in taking that abstract concept from the imagination to a concrete idea from our mind onto the labs to the production lines. There is an increasing convergence of art to science to commerce and we are apparently lost in the cyclic conundrum.
It is a complex conundrum.
Art itself was never easy to understand, science always had the complex mathematical equations to solve and commerce is caught in the juggernaut. Scientists cannot untangle all the complexity of the world, it needs a collective & concerted effort and it needs a collaborative approach with the support of one and all, from artists to philosophers to designers to develop powerful solutions.
Solutions that can simplify our living and amplify our thinking.