Re: art&science

From: Robert Bradbury (
Date: Tue Apr 11 2000 - 03:41:44 MDT

On Mon, 10 Apr 2000, Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:

> Robin wrote:
> > I think you have a point here, although I don't think this is the most
> > important difference between art and science. Science is constrained
> > by reality (or rather, it *seeks* constraints), while art has few
> > constraints ( mainly some cultural and a few technical constraints)
> > and actively tries to avoid them. Engineering is similar to art in
> > this respect, although it is constrained by a deliberate purpose it
> > has to achieve.
> I wouldn't say it quite that way--art that avoids constraints is crap,
> like most free verse or abstract visual art or interpretive dance.
> Great art thrives on constraints: sonnets, realistic visual art, ballet.
> The constraints, though, are chosen by the artist. Picasso certainly
> chose different constraints from Michaelangelo, but he did hold himself
> to the standards he chose.

Science seeks to determine the rules (patterns) of the current reality.
Engineering seeks to produce machines that operate at the limits those
rules allow. Art seeks to define patterns of reality and explore the
phase spaces they allow. Given the human mind is a pattern recognition
machine, it would be difficult to imagine true "art" that did not have
an underlying set of constraints. Whether it is Picasso or Escher
or Erte or Warhol, they have to follow a pattern or else the human
mind doesn't "grok" it.

Where its all going to go haywire is when the reality becomes
virtual and the barriers between art and science are dissolved
by engineering and we are allowed to edit the pattern recognition


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