Week1_TwoCultures - by Justin Kiang

One of the reason I signed up for this class was that I love science, and at the same time have a spot in my heart for arts.  I especially love music, and have been creating musics with computer and different electronic equipments.  I always wondered what kind of scientist would appreciate music that much to create such tools.  What kind of musician would also be so geeky that he would pick up a pen not to write music, but to draw schematics of a device that would blend music from different sources together, which we now call mixers.

The beauty of having the culture of art and science blend together is obvious.  Scientists helps artists make better arts, and arts motivates scientists to create better technologies.    There are definitely new branches of arts created that could not have happened without the help of science.  Vice versa, new branches of sciences have been developed, specializing in different arts.    As Snow said in her article, the differences between science and arts, was over-emphasized by the education system we grow up in.  The specialization separation of education, tends to encourage people to develop in one field, while paying little attention, if not completely ignoring other possibilities.  One example we can all agree upon, is the separation of north and south campus we have here in UCLA.  Putting all the art loving people up in the north, while the nerds down in the south, greatly decreases the opportunities of interaction between the two intellectual groups of people.  Like Snow mentioned, these groups of people are comparable in intelligence, can be identical in race, not particularly different in social origin, and earning about the same income.  Yet the cease of communication between said intellectual groups, has killed so much opportunities to create better inventions in one field, with the help of the other.

I am particularly interested in the creation of innovative music with the help of science.  One example of creation I found was some digital music created water and laser controller.  There are laser beams fired across a bowl of water by laser pointers, and on the opposite sides of each laser pointer was a solar panel, acting as a huge photocell to pick up the laser beams.  The operator then moves the water with his hand or finger, creating ripples and waves on the water.  The laser beam is then shifted slightly, and these shifts are picked up by the solar panels that are connected to a controller.  The controller uses these signals to generate different pitches, and therefore create random music, that is at the same time completely in control by the operator.  One may not agree that such “noise” qualifies as art, but I strongly believe that art is complete subjective, and is completely up to the viewer (or in this case the listener) to find it artistic or not.   Here is the link to this project I have been talking about, and I hope that you will find it inspirational:


- By Justin Kiang

14 Responses to “Week1_TwoCultures - by Justin Kiang”

  1. [...] As Snow said in her article, the differences between science and arts, was over-emphasized by the education system we grow up in. The specialization separation of education , tends to encourage people to develop in one field, …[Continue Reading] [...]