week 5// Midterm Summary //Yu Hsiao

We’ve gone over a lot of materials and learned a lot the past five weeks. The main theme of the class revolves around the idea of science vs. art. As weeks went by, the theme for me personally, changed into science and art together.  I’ve always thought that science can do without art and art can do without science. To me, Science was just the pursuit of knowledge and applying it, while art was the pursuit of creativity and imagination. But after learning what Einstein said about imagination—“Imagination is more important than knowledge”, I began to understand what Einstein meant by that. For science, to pursue knowledge, hypothesis and theories have to be formed before the actual facts can be proved. Hypothesis come from the imagination of a scientist, deducted from his own knowledge and observations. That said, knowledge cannot be acquired just by acquiring more knowledge. Knowledge is acquired by imaging what the possible outcome might be, and proving it with experimentation. The act of imagining is the scientist’s creativity at work. I often experience this idea first hand. When I come across a complicated calculus equation, I often have no idea how to solve it or how to approach it. But I always use my imagination, using patterns and identities I’ve learned before, to imagine the possible answer. Sometimes I have to be really open-minded and creative, to try many different ways to solve an equation. The same idea occurs in art as well. Many works of art that are considered as beautiful have scientific findings and pattern in them. For example, the Parthenon had the golden ratio embedded in its structure, such as the ratios between height and width, etc.  The Parthenon’s columns were also slightly bigger near its end to create visual beauty. Also, many pieces of art that create three dimensional space, are almost exact in measurement, in terms of perspective. So art and science aren’t really two completely different things. They might be two different fields, but they both use the same principle, both knowledge and creativity, to achieve what they’re after.
If we accept this idea that art and science as one, we can almost view many things from science as part of art. We talked about robotics, and advance in medicine, and how they could be used as expressions of art. Orlan used plastic surgery to express what she thinks is beautiful. Advance in preserving human bodies also led to a new form of art, as we saw with the Body World.
It seems like art could be expressed in many forms. It’s almost free for the artist to choose. I sometimes consider doing endurance sports is my way of expressing a form of art. In my project proposal, I was applying what I learned from the class to my art. The project focuses on collecting data from training, and then using it to create pieces of art, such as graphs. It is using knowledge, and scientific numbers from our own body, to make a visual display that is meaningful.  With more knowledge, I can make my training better, in metaphoric sense, making my art more beautiful.

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