WK–8 Space ——Shiyang Zheng

Earth is only a tiny spot in the whole universe. Human is also tiny comparing with the size of the earth. We, human, are too little to feel and to experience the vastness of the universe. Though there are many scientific hypothesizes of the origin of the universe such as Big Bang Theory talked in class, and the theory of Planetary orbits by Newton etc, there is no accurate evidence. Though there are footsteps of human being on the Moon, the Mars and other planets, our knowledge to the universe is tiny as the rice to the soccer field. However, we, human, have strong desire to explore, to know, and eventually to conquer the new we do not know. The desire to know the space is not an exception. The art as one of most active formats of expression of the human’s desire and feeling thus play an important role in the exploration of the new. The imaginary character of the art plays same role on human’s desire to know the space as well. As Thomas Edision said “To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk”. Art plays off changing notions of the space and helps to transmit these concepts to the public. This is how science and art are related; and how professor’s scientific presentation and artist Gil Kuno’s artworks are related.

Here, I will show an example of how science and art are co-related and co-work together for the progress of the space exploration.

The University of Arizona Museum of Art presents “Robert McCall: Imagination Unbound,” an exhibition of paintings, drawings and prints by the noted artist and illustrator. For more than 60 years, McCall has chronicled the history of aviation, science and space flight and shared his vision through museums, magazines, motion pictures and books. His 35-year relationship with NASA has successfully delivered the progress of space technology and given Americans a view of its presence in space in ways never before imagined. McCall’s collection of works includes illustrations of America’s finest moments in space technology – from the inaugural manned space flight to the first steps taken on the moon. His visionary artwork invokes the thrilling sense of man’s ability to reach frontiers beyond the imagination, for McCall does not merely depict space, but rather man in space. While the UA makes history as its Phoenix Mars Lander speeds toward its landing on the Red Planet, McCall’s art asks people to consider their destiny in space through his observations and projections of the past, present and future. The effect of art on the space technology is not direct, but influential. It guides the public to think, and raises the public awareness of the space technology, and thus gives people the space of imagination and expectation of future technology, and eventually direct the progress of future space technology. This is a series of chain reactions!



The painting above by McCall Robert is very similar scenarios in many scientific movies such as star war.

Besides example of  McCall, there are many examples which can be found since early 14th century. The relation between art and space science were more complicated with the interference of the religion. In the old day, the god and the space were usually drew together. Interestingly, the space science and the art were fostered at the same time by the religion, especially Christianity. Here is an interesting article discusses the segregation between art and space science, and suggests a new way of combining two. 


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