Week 10: Last Lecture Extra Credit, by Joon Jang

The last lecture was, so to speak, an exhibition, beginning with the presentations of the final projects, and followed by some clips of expressions of science through music. Then the guest lecturer, Michael Century, gave his lecture on the “Modes of Interdisciplinarity in Art and Techno-Science.” In it, Century pointed out the historic changes in the attitude of academia from the Middle Age through Post Modern Age (between them Renaissance and Modern Age), which he described as the “Information Age.” According to Century, there is an oscillation of fixed (systematic) and specialized mind set in the academia, followed by a flexible and interdisciplinary mind set in the academia. Following this pattern, Century asserted that the present, the “Information Age,” is an interdisciplinary time frame, where people from different disciplines cooperate and exchange information. The prime example of this practice, of course is the collaboration of the Arts and Sciences. Century mentioned Cigoli, Galileo’s apprentice, to display what might be needed during transitions of these oscillations in the mind set of academia. Cigoli’s moon was both an acceptance of science and the church, which were separate during Galileo’s time. Unexpectedly, he also presented the economic analysis of “waves of revolution,” that is, the waves of developments in human technology. He pointed out that the waves are getting shorter, meaning that technology is developing faster and faster in the sense that the more significant, revolutionary developments are appearing more frequently. And for every wave, he continued, that a development that was incomplete in the previous wave is or will be completed in the following wave. He also presented examples of interdisciplinarity in the information age, which he divided into three categories of: 1. Integrative – synthesis, combining different foundations 2. Service – instrumental 3. Reflex – ontological, challenging the foundational principles a field. The German Bauhaus was an Art & Technology university that integrated the aspects of art and science, although it later, under the influence of politics, became more divided and specialized. Analogue computing was the beginning of computer based art using its special effects, later evolving into digital computing for more accurate, faster, and flashier effects. Century concluded by returning to the oscillation, wondering what kind of systematic culture would arise if it does at all.

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