Wilson, Stephen, (2002), ‘Art and Science as Cultural Acts’

Wilson mentions that in the ages before the Renaissance era. Science was referred to as natural philosophy which encompassed the understandings of, rituals and religions on; life, afterlife, weather, animals plants and death. This was often the job of a Shaman. Later came the Renaissance era when Science was greatly appreciated for its increasing knowledge of the world and answers to old mysteries. Art on the other hand was no longer compatible with Science and steered off onto a separate path. Further adding, that you couldn’t neither be a scientist and an artists, it was more a case of ‘or’. 

The apparent question of Art and Science continuing to stay separated in the 21st century? In an example, Wilson discusses the Influence on Thought; he explains that new technology uncovers the old mysteries and thus change our perception on how our universe operates. In a case such as the origins of stars which prompt philosophical interpretations, It requires the fields of Art.

Indeed, I agree, from that example – that science and art do need to come together to challenge new understandings, equally I believe the two subjects are strong  however, together they can solidify answers.

Another interesting point is mentioned when Wilson discusses the topic of ‘What is Technology? What is High-tech Art. In agreement, our versions of what is considered “high-tech arts’ is something that evolves with the future. What was once at the time; paintbrushes, sculpting tools and printmaking apparatus considered Hi-Tech
(extensions of human creativity) has now shifted to photography, cinema and radio etc, these “High-tech Arts will continue to advance with humanity’s future. To conclude, there is no simplicity of drawing a line to where Hi tech ends because it its forever evolving into something greater.

Wilson, discusses the concept of ‘Aura’, also discussed in Walter Benjamin’s “Works of Art in the Age of MechanicalRepresentation”whereby in the past a piece of work had a time and a place of it’s existence –  a masterpiece, however later in his summary he concludes that the quality a of masterpiece which transcend space and time are lost and no longer timeless due to technologically reproduce able work era that is now.

Agreeably, when a piece of artwork can be so easily replicated and produced for the masses, where lies it’s uniqueness? As it can be accessible in several places.

Ending on the topic of Organisms in a world dominated by Image and Media. An interesting paragraph that refers to humanity struggling with the everyday realities that allow us to be human i.e relationships, health, eating etc.. are replaced with mediated abstractions as opposed to the real things. Ecologists suggest that this may be an improvement because it ends the indefinite production and consumption of objects, however if this is the case for the future, then living in a world where realities are not dealt with on a real level but a technological digital one could be dangerous to human development when dealing with real situations.

To conclude a good and broad insight to our past and future.


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