Week3- Industrial Advancement and Literary Modernism

In English literary history, the period spanning roughly between 1900 and 1925 that is often referred as an era of modernism is a particular interesting collaboration with the theme of this week. Moreover, the writers and artists of this period were acutely aware that the world around them was changing profoundly with technological advancement, and purposefully set about creating new ways to express themselves in this new era. One example is George Eastman patents the Kodak box camera in 1888 that reshapes the whole spectrum of what painting used to be. The introduction of photography, which is easier and cheaper to obtain, challenges artists to revolutionize their works from naturalistic and realistic portray of objects themselves into abstract emotions and tangible feelings at a particular time or space. To overcome this constraint, artists borrow concepts from Albert Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity that published in 1905 with its revolutionary model of non-Euclidean Fourth-Dimensional space-time. Subsequently, artists such as Picasso and Georges Braque began work in Cubism in 1908 and Filippo Marinetti proclaimed the first manifesto of Futuralism in Paris in 1909. It is also needless to say the advancement on transportation and communication networks have sped up the exchange of ideas between scientists and artists across continents within hours than months.

To bring a point back to the lecture on Thursday, I am not quite sure how Professor Vesna wants us to get from the lectures, but clearly I have seen how computer science and graphic animation and effects have been adopted heavily in Hollywood films such as Matrix or Transformers to create a sense of cutting edge fashion. Of course, perhaps it’s just me whose ignorance on both spectra over-clouds my vision to diagnose the complementary similarities or differences between science and art, or I shall be frank that I have little taste in analyzing them separately: Overall, I see a harmonious work made with the collaboration of scientific ideas and artistic innovations. To what extent of specification can I draw upon the differences? Honestly, I don’t know~

Many of my classmates talk about robotics in their blogs, but I don’t see how art is adopted in designing robots (well at least not with its mechanical functions; certainly it plays a big part when it comes to marketing and packaging). In my opinion, the attempt to generalize every aspect of life with a stigma of art and science is absurd and blunt. Without a clear definition of science and art, we have no basis to neither draw upon judgment nor make comparisons. Bottom line, we can only use word like “beautiful” to describe something is artistic and “cool” as a synonym for science. But isn’t that absurd?

By Wei-Yi Lin

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