Week 5: The Midpoint- by Leslie Grant


I am going to be completely honest- when I signed up for this course I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. In fact, I had never even heard of it. However, it managed to catch my attention because I thought that the idea of learning how art and science correspond and interrelate was a novel and fascinating concept, as many other courses seem to go out of their way to minimize the connections that the two have. As the course has progressed, I still cannot say that I know what to expect with each coming week- but I do feel as if this course has made me much more aware of current technologies and fusions between the artistic and scientific world. 

I truly believe that the topic of two cultures that we discussed during the first week serves as an overarching theme for the class. The more I learn about the symbiotic relationship between art and science, the more I realize the extent to which other people limit themselves to the appreciation of their own element. Examples of this were revealed to me in discussion of each topic. For instance, although most artists utilize math in their perspectives, as demonstrated by week two’s discussion of dimensionality, it seems that many of them would be reluctant to link their works to art. Of all the artists whose works I am familiar with, Escher seems to be the one who most clearly acknowledged the analytical aspect of his work. Yet even with his obvious talent, he refused to call himself a mathematician.The fact that there is such a huge debate over whether robotic reproduction of human activities such as dancing can be considered art or not also shows just how divided people are on the topics of art and science. 

The topics covered during week four regarding the human body and medicine seemed to be the greatest source of controversy. It seems to me that people have the greatest difficulty in seeing the connection that art has to science when the topic of medicine is brought up. This was even a slight difficulty for me, although Orlan’s shocking use of plastic surgery helped put it into perspective for me. Perhaps the fact that medicine and art are not overtly connected to each other, the fact that one must dig a bit deeper in order to coherently discuss the link between the two, subconsciously encouraged me to look into a topic that related to medical advancements for my project. My project deals with the emerging technology that is 3D printing. The mechanics behind this idea are currently used on a small scale, and primarily for more artistic purposes. However, while the machinery behind this has great potential to do wonder for the art world, such as formulating a 3D archive for Michelangelo’s works (http://www-graphics.stanford.edu/projects/mich/), it could also serve as a biological miracle in upcoming years. I decided to focus on this aspect of the 3D printing technology, and as I was doing my research I realized that none of the websites that discussed the idea acknowledged its artistic and scientific capabilities, it was one or the other. In order to sort of compensate for this shortcoming I tried to tie in a little bit of the artistic aspect into my project while still maintaining my original focus. 

I suppose the gap between art and science will remain wide for many years to come, which is a shame as it will probably be limiting to society overall. However, all I can do is hope that as time goes on more people are willing to apply both to their endeavors so that society’s advancements can become applicable to more areas. 



Use of science to create art...it's everywhere!

Use of science to create art...it's everywhere!














Leslie Grant

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