Conundrum of Convergence – Art, Science & Commerce

Art & Science, Convergence of Art & Science, Art, Science & Commerce, Scientists and Artists, Writers & Scientists, Creator, Innovator

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.

 

Artists and scientists are breed of their own.

 

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.

 

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image_courtesy_pubexec.com

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GOOD CONVERSATIONS ARE WONDERFUL SOURCE OF INSPIRATION

  1. Nihar you have written a deep and reflective piece here. I’m not sure there is a definitive answer but a melding of art and science in most aspects of life. Wishing you a wonderful day today and thank you for stretching my thinking.

    • Rightly point Sue, there isn’t a right or a perfect answer to this solving this conundrum, in almost every thing we see and do we find something of art, science and commerce, many times difficult to differentiate and put these in different boundaries, the boundaries have blurred…always a fascinating event to see the convergence of art and science, take the case of painting and digital art…
      You too have a lovely weekend.
      😀

  2. Nihar, you have chosen a wonderful topic to write about, and explained he need for convergence and collaboration between the different streams so well.
    In our schools and colleges, arts and science are treated as distinctly different subjects (particularly in India), the overlap between the streams is often not obvious to the students. All over the world, there have been polymaths who were endowed with a scientific temper, and could be immensely creative as well. Leonardo da Vinci was a scientist, an artist, an inventor and a sculptor, Carl Jung was a psychiatrist, philosopher, archaeologist, and a writer. Who can forget Einstein’s quote that logical thinking can get you from A to B, but imagination can get you everywhere. If not for imagination, how else would have a falling apple led to the formulation of the theory of gravitation? Coming closer home, Rabindranath Tagore said that the same kind of thinking that lead to scientific innovations is required for creating good literature.
    Though science relies on evidence, and art adds to imagination, both science and art are born out of observation of natural elements, and the objective is to understand the phenomenon and nature of life. Hence overlap is but natural. However capturing the the value comes from packaging the creations into consumable products and services and the commercialization of those products and services. That then becomes the yardstick for measuring the success of any amount of creativity.
    Thanks for writing on this aspect of the need for a collaborative approach to come up with creative solutions.
    Have a lovely weekend. 😀

    • At the outset thanks for such a lovely analysis. Yes, Somali we are all taught in the school and college that these are different streams and we should look and treat them differently and we all sincerely follow our teachers teaching which are many times dictum we have follow and we are not allowed to question whereas the questioning is art of learning and today’s world learning has stopped in school, it is cramming and competitive that is unhealthy rather a healthy and collaborative and peer learning system that needs to be built and encouraged.

      Today in any form of career, take the case of engineering what is more important is the interdisciplinary subjects, the combination mechanical and electronics is known as Mectronics, similarly we have biotechnology and there is a fundamental change to the subject and the courses.
      Yes, imagination take us everywhere and the imagination is more powerful than knowledge and coming from the greatest of scientist we need to only experience and learn, as nicely pointed about Rabindranath Tagore, the deep scientific thinking is what required for creating good literature is something certifies the way have thinking about the collaboration between science and art. Yes, Da Vince and Carl Jung are perfect example how different roles are played by them and to get where they want go and create that comes out of that convergence of thinking and working. Indeed it is such a fascinating topic, and today with commerce getting that combination come to the fore more often than not, we have the marketing gear on and make that alignment apparent and prominent.

      Yes Somali…science and arts, appears like facts and fiction and when an artist is playing with both or an artist is playing with both it seems there is a fusion and it is a beauty to watch and one rubs over the other and the spark is genesis of all big creation.
      We can keep on discuss on this convergence and collaborative approach as it is ocean of thoughts that it brings when we think on the topic, always great to discuss with your insightful and comprehensive views.

      You too have a wonderful weekend, it is rainy cats and dog here and weather is indeed lovely.
      By the way the new book, “Gene…the intimate history” by Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee, it seems have been getting rave review and I was watching an interview with the author in NDTV and he has a deep and new perspective how we look at gender to and how human gene behaves…
      😀

      • Yes the overlap between disciplines can spark creativity. These new subjects like Mechatronics, biotechnology etc follow a interdisciplinary approach.
        Thanks for telling me about “Gene…the intimate history”.I admit that I haven’t read the cancer book so far, but this seems to more interesting a topic. Will certainly want to read this one.

        • I have also kept in on my agenda list, we can discuss once we read it…it is quite a voluminous book and I’m sure it will take time…
          Have a nice week ahead.
          😀

  3. Hi Nihar,

    All these divisions – art, science and commerce have been created by man just to simplify different aspects and break them down into pieces, which actually emerge from our brain and it has miraculous powers! All thoughts, ideas and creativity initiate from our understanding of surroundings and how we react to them. Some are more passionate and are called dreamers but all inventions were first considered to be dreams till they became a reality.

    It is our imagination that can take us beyond our dreams, which merge art and science into each other. Both are equally important, as you have explained superbly. Thank you for a terrific combination of thoughts, with some wonderful examples of great minds who have lived this convergence. 🙂

    • Absolutely right these are man made creation of different prisms to look at the world and things we deal with and all come from the brain and the mindset we carry.
      We all have our different ways of expressing and connecting with the surroundings. This difference is what brings a new dimension to the way we live of life. These different lens gives us different angles and perspective to analyse and build our dreams and imaginations.
      It is just that we sometime love the art, sometime the science and most of the time the commerce…not easy to decipher the convergence and create new things through that intergration of three, there is the emotions, there is the rational thought and there is the hope and there is the expectations that come from these different dimensions.
      Thanks so much.
      😀

  4. I always have felt that there is an interconnection between every subject. The whole process of creativity follows the same rule everywhere, be it science, arts, or commerce. When a scientist performs an experiment in the laboratory, he does create something. Maybe the rules are more strict, but the creative effort is always there. Similarly, when an artist paints a picture, it would never be perfect without those rules science has invented; the rules of dimensions and perspectives.

    I fail to see any subject as exclusive. The connection, dependence and interaction is always there. The pattern of convergence, combination and coalition works everywhere.

    Thanks for presenting such a nice article. I often have thought of writing on the same, you have spoken my mind here… 🙂

    • Yes, it is the age of collaboration and combination, idea’s converge and thoughts merge to create new possibilities and coming together of multiple disciplines and multiple dimensions have changed the way we have been looking at the world and the creation. Art itself has undergone a major change and science is constantly evolving and conquering newer territories.
      Rules plays a role in both the creation of a scientific invention or an artistic creation, in former case it is bit strict and in the later case it is bit more flexible. Both keep using each other’s lens to look at things different when they are stuck and want a solution to emerge and it has been the case for ages and today it is taking new direction.
      For instance the way you have the dexterity of both Bengali and English language and the way you are able to play with ease and with grace, something we all admire a lot.
      We all need to pray for peace in the world, the attacks and killing are hitting the heart of humanity.
      God bless…
      😀

      • Thanks so much, Nihar 🙂

        As we are talking now, the world is experiencing more and more violence. I’ve almost stopped looking at the newspaper these days, It just makes me frustrated and lowers down my spirit 🙁 Not an escapist mentality but I feel helpless as in no way I can help to stop it 🙁

        • I agree Mani, so much of extreme violence and in such quick succession, just not able to fathom the intensity and gravity of such incidence…Orlando, Nice and then Turkey, something impossible to absorb, by the time we are able to reflect on one incident, it has been taken over by another…no end to death and destruction.
          We all need to pray more and wish for world peace…yes, sometime we feel completely helpless.
          😀

  5. A wonderfully reflective post covering some important topics and especially in the context of present age of commercialism. The thought that came to my mind as I read your piece is that even in the ultimate spiritual realm all knowledge is one, indivisible. All these divisions are mind-made because mind needs its own fixities and boxes to operate in. There is a reason why Leonardo Di Vinci is known as renaissance man – a genius who didn’t confine himself in any of these artificial divisions of art and science. Both flowed from the same source within him. In ordinary mortals like us, sure there are different temperaments of our mental aptitude etc. But even with us the potentiality exists if we can develop those latent faculties.

    Thanks for giving a wonderful read, Nihar.

    • Yes, so true, it is all in our mind. The divide, the blocks we create to think and it is this out of box thinking that makes these great people why they are great, they have the ability to think differently and think in such diverse quarters that seems impossible in the eye of the common people like us, we need to get into this convergence zone and create something that is not apparent. Leonardo has that wonderful dexterity to play between the arts and the science with ease.
      All knowledge is one but we have create new ways and different ways to express ourselves and apply those knowledge to create new knowledge that gets recognized as innovation.
      Always a pleasure to have your insights and analysis.
      Thanks so much.
      😀

  6. A wonderful absorbing read Nihar. Another observation that I would like to add, maybe it is just a coincidence but cannot shrug it off, people with scientific temperament are all great musicians or atleast have a penchant for the arts..

    • You are right, I have also observed that the people with scientific temperament do have a inclination and interest for arts and many scientists are great artists but not known to many.
      Playing with arts and working on science makes us a better person and the way we look at the world around us and whatever we create comes out so beautiful.
      By the way you have a lovely taste for the good music. Art is something we all love…
      😀