Art and Complexity
J. Casti and A. Karlqvist (editors)
© 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Art and Science—Les Liaisons Dangereuses?
John D. Barrow.|
"We are reluctant, with regard to music and art, to examine our sources of pleasure and strength. In part we fear success itself—we fear that understanding might spoil enjoyment. Rightly so! Art so often loses power when its psychological roots are exposed" —Marvin Minsky
1 WHY LOOK AT ARTS AND SCIENCE?
Most artists are very nervous of scientific analysis. They feel it destroys something about the human aspect of creativity. The fear (possibly real) of unsubtle reductionism—music is nothing but the trace of an air pressure curve—is widespread. As a corollary, one finds the equally pernicious view that science has nothing to offer the arts, that they must transcend all attempts to capture them. Abraham Moles, in his classic book Information Theory and Aesthetic Perception , writes of the view that "Aesthetic information cannot be translated. It does not draw on a universal repertoire of knowledge that the sender and receiver have in common." Indeed, some fear that too much analysis will only break the spell. Likewise, most scientists see the creative arts as an entirely subjective development that long ago left science to tread the long road to objective truth alone. Whole books have been written about this bifurcation, but here I want to talk about some interesting points of contact between art and science that are facilitated by the growth in our... (més)