Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Art and Science: Like Oil and Water?

The title of this blog might have confused more than a few of you. Surely science and art do not mix? One is based on logic, reason, and defined laws of reality. The other, emotion, feeling, and personal aesthetic. Knowing this, it seems ridiculous that there can exist such a being as a Mad Scientist Artist. Yet, such a thing does exist, and I happen to be one.

To give you some background, I have been drawing since I was old enough to hold a pencil, which isn't truly remarkable, but I've stuck with it. Now, I'm 21, enrolled in a BFA program with several possible art internships in my future. I paint, draw, sculpt, animate, model, and photograph. I also write, but that's a part-time hobby. You name it, I can do it.

Excellent, you say. You are clearly an artist. Not a mad scientist.

Allow me to continue, then.

When I was in the seventh grade, my dad tried an experiment. The experiment was: can Amaryllis learn Trigonometry, Geometry, and Algebra I in one year? The answer was yes. Yes, she can. I then proceeded to complete Calculus for my sweet 16.

I've been raised around computers my whole life. When I was about 8, my parents got me my first computer. Not a Win 98 box like most people had at the time, but a Commodore 64, an older computer from the '80s. It had no GUI (graphical user interface), just lots and lots of text. So, naturally, I had to learn how to program. As any good computer addict knows, programming is a gateway drug. First, you make the computer say, 'hi,' then you make a little, text-based RPG, you slowly progress into graphics, and then you start programming robots for world domination. Fortunately for you, my robots are still in the prototype phase.

By now, I hope I have convinced you as to my artistic and mad science abilities. You might now argue that I am one in a million, a freak with split personalities and conflicting interests. I won't deny it, but I don't think that I am all that unique, freakish traits aside.

When it really comes down to it, what is art, really? I believe that it is nothing more than strategic, carefully chosen placement of colours, shapes, and lines designed to capture or inspire an emotion. To be a truly great artist, you have to have a reason for the structure and look of your piece; there must be an underlying rationality to it, a reason for its being, or it is nothing more than the scribbles of a well-intentioned child.

Likewise, science is a result of humans needing to express a thought or idea through lines, shapes, and words. And it takes creativity to organize the shapes and lines into something meaningful. Otherwise, the lines and shapes are nothing more than tools, sitting around collecting dust.

So are art and science really so different? Can the too really never mix? Or is the separation as arbitrary as the color of a pencil? I'll let you decide.

1 comment:

  1. You sound like a really interesting person, Amarylis. Remember to post every week if possible.