Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Postscript to "Nature in Art"

In response to various comments from both close friends and from people who've known me for a couple of hours, which were along the lines of
A not-so-young physicist, un Indio
Posted on his blog about VIBGYOR.
"The passion is clear,
The physics, 'No fear!',
But the tone, ahh that is a failure!"

After what RS, ARM, DST, SP, AP, SK, PSK, JB etc have put me through over the last few weeks in the "Home Truths Dept.", I think a Maoist re-education camp will be a piece of cake!


One of the above friends: "Do you acknowledge that you have been personally responsible for suppressing millions of hard-working peasants?"

RST: "Yes."

Same friend: "Wait, you've already self-confessed? I don't get to torture you?"

RST: "The other friends in the list above have said pretty much the same thing about me, so it must be true."

Some friend!: "So what are you going to do about it?"

RST: " 'Do about it?' ? What do you mean? That would require me to be different from what I am! ... Oh, I see your point!"


So here goes: I want that post to be seen as a learning opportunity about observing nature, not art criticism nor artist criticism. To be very very explicit: The artistic representations aren't incorrect representations of nature - they don't have to be, reality is not the only domain of art. They're just not realistic/scientific representations of nature. True, which doesn't prevent them from sometimes being spot-on in capturing some essence of nature.

In exchange, I would like acknowledgment that
1)  scientists can appreciate beauty in nature, in spite of "having an equation for it", and that
2)  scientists can appreciate art, in spite of being very analytical (Read any art reviews lately?).

In that post "wrong" should be interpreted not as a commentary on the moral nature of the artist, but rather as "observationally incorrect representation of nature, but of course the artist has artistic license to do what she or he wants, just use this as an excuse to step outside and look, really look, at a rainbow!"

A painter friend of mine in Madrid (Javier F L)  put it best when I asked him why he painted, "I paint because it gives me an excuse to gaze for long periods of time." I couldn't disagree less about why I do science, or data analytics for that matter. (This isn't helping me get a job, is it?)


Anonymous said...

the artistic representations aren't incorrect representations of nature. they're just not scientific representations.

Ranjeet said...

@anonymous: Point well taken, and added, in red.