Re: Artists and Engineers

Alexander Chislenko (
Tue, 29 Oct 1996 21:30:18 -0500

I prefer drawing distinctions along functional lines.

Here are my two distinctions for art and technology:

1. In every action, there is a purpose, and there is a method.
Or "how" and "why". "how" is the domain of technology.
For example, how to mix paints, or how to tie your dancing shoes.

2. The _purpose_ may be to create something

a) enjoyable or
b) useful

useful means that at some other stage it will hopefully be used
for creating something enjoyable; that's an intermediate product;
we never consume those.

"useful" belongs to domain of economics, and is counted on the
monetary or project-management scale. "enjoyable" is art and is
counted by the human internal emotional machinery.
Some art forms may be perceived through physical senses; others,
like philosophical ideas or elegant designs, should be downloaded
through a semantic interface and digested before they can produce
the joy.
Food is an interesting example here - some of its function is
body economics (parts that get absorbed through intestines),
another - the parts that cross *your [consciousness]* border,
are [culinary] art.

Alexander Chislenko <>
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