No. 54
Author Admin / 2017-11-17
Climate Change Humanities, 5th Week, on Arts

5. Arts, under climate change times (예술은 무엇인가?)


Artistic Methods for Scientific Intuition and Concept


When we visit any city, both small and big, in Europe, we can not help visiting cathedral (catholic church). Cathedral is architecture where there are many different represented characteristics of not only the religion but also the spirit of the time when it was built. I do not want to identify historical category (Gothic for example) of the architectural types of visited cathedral, instead, I generally see vault and column of the cathedral which always attract my interest; columns and ribs of vault are always connected, from the floor to the top. Whenever visitors enter cathedrals, they always look up toward the vaults, with their mouth opened and astonishment from the height. This is purpose for cathedral designers to intend to let the visitor behave as cathedral is most divine place. The exact intention of the designer is to help people in the cathedral to feel divinity, rather than to give them some feelings of incompatibility from the height. Thus, artist type of architects try to design their architectures to represent symbolic and other practical purposes. They use various different elements for architectures, but, also have to use two fundamentals: harmony and regularity, to make their arts to be an unity (instead of building having compositing elements which are not harmonically composed). We do not want to see the column separately, but, try to see it under the harmony with vaults, beams, stained glasses, statues, paintings, and others. Another big harmony from cathedral which architect wants to achieve is difference in sounds (or music) from between outside bells and inside pipe organ; sounds from outside bell and inside pipe organ represent most unstable/disordered and divine/stable/harmonic ones, respectively.


Please taking aside the cathedral for a moment, then, let's take another example with a great painter named Picasso, especially his representative works titled Guernica (1937) and Massacre en Coree (1951). Picasso wanted to represent horrible aspects of wars committed by human cruelty, using his artistic talent to abstract something important from the accidents. Thus, the two works of Picasso are not photos but paintings which Picasso used abstracts something touching us, from horrible war affairs that actually occurred in Spain and Korea. When I visited the Sophia museum in Madrid, I had stood in front of the work of the Guernica for longer than a hour. Of course, I was shocked by the sad and miserable scenes but also very much touched by his abstracting, and representing styles (not the cubism) from his hidden intentions. Instead of reading already printed explanation of the work, I would suggest you to think different representation of bright and dark faces of the objects in the work, and why he painted that way.


One more example for me to want to take is works made by Kandinsky (1866-1944), Russian painter. Whenever I look at his works, those remind me of two things, first, he follows color theory made by Goethe not by Newton, and secondly, he tried to integrate music (sounds) into picture. He is known expressionist and also founder of modern abstracting technique, but, I personally want to call him both artist and scientist.


Before going through main parts of this section, I feel necessary to look into definitions of art and science as we are discussing about the two. Aristotle and Plato had different opinions of arts, capability to make catharsis and only dealing with shadow of existence, respectively. Hegel described on art, in his book of Lecture of Aesthetics, together with thoughts of Goethe, that we have to know individual characteristics of fundamentals of object, in order to know the beauty of art; here, the characteristics is (i) reality, (ii) type or mode (motion, shape, color, shadow, etc.) of the reality, as existence. From this description, I understand art is collection of actions and consequences of taking abstracts from objects that artists observe, through reality representation and abstracting of either subsistence or inherence of the represented reality. Meanwhile, Einstein defined science as a creation of the human mind with freely invented ideas and concepts, not just collection of unrelated facts and laws. As we studies, ideas and concepts are interconnected with corresponding realities, from our observation and sometimes imagination. Art and science have similarity and difference at the same time, in methodologies, activities, and resulted consequences. Similarity lies mostly in methodologies for object observation with senses, intuited and represented reality, and concepts making, while, difference exists in rules and principles to make abstract and/or concepts from represented and/or intuited realty.


Art and science both start with observation of object, using sensibility, and transform it to represented appearance(s), using analysis followed by synthesis or a method with unity, through intuition. Then, from the represented appearance(s), science try to make concept(s) (which is knowledge) with rules or principles (combination of rules) logically governing each appearance and underlying between those, however, art make work by abstracting characteristics from the representation(s), using freely acting imagination based on, not strictly, rules or principles, the same as for science. Science should use some principles of necessity, comprising of cause and effect, but, art does not follow this principle, instead, uses contingency, which is a big difference in methodology, between art and science (contingency versus necessity). We may find necessity concept in some artistic works, but, it is not common and we can not find creativity and freedom from those works. To the contrary, we can not find contingency concepts from scientific works.


Artists use methodologies exactly the same as ones of scientists, except for principles of necessity. Only difference lies in the principles, mentioned above, for artistic abstraction from objects and accidents (mode of the objects). When we see the art work of Picasso, Guernica, we do not think the scene of the work actually existed during the Spain war, and the same to the work, Massacre en Coree, during the Korean war. Instead, Picasso used his intuition and imagination to abstract the elements from the horribles, and combine those using his freedom and artistic creativity. If we asked Picasso why he selected all the comprising elements for one work, he might answer he selected those by artistic format (for harmonic combination), but not by the scientific principles (i.e., necessity concept). Once again, please recall yourself artists create the artistic format (even it is very free and creative) based on some scientific principles and/or rules. With these artistic format with underlying creativity, the Guernica can appeal, even after a long time, the saddest history with human cruelty to descendants who do not experience any war, as Picasso imbued his creative spirit and actuality into the unreality (i.e., the work); masterpieces of artistic and scientific works ever last due to the created actuality and creative knowledge.

When we see works of Leonardo da Vinci (the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper) and Raffaello Sanzio (the School of Athens), similarity in methodology is more clear. They are known as founders of using technique of perspective with painting which make clear difference appearances for objects located in near versus distant places. Meanwhile, Picasso intentionally ignored the perspective in his works to make his distinct and creative artistic works which we may call scientifically manipulated artistic works.


We have discussed definitions of, difference and more importantly similarity between, art and science. Recall that the main objective of this section is to obtain some helps from the artistic methods to do natural science, with respect to scientific concept and idea which are equivalent to represented abstract with beauty in art. Thus, it is sensibility and intuition that we can share to use when conducting both art and science; who has most sensitive sensitivity and creative intuition among expertise in their domains? It is probably artist, thus, we need to learn something from those. Sensitive and effective sensibility is essential for both artists and scientist to be able to find objects, realistic and sometimes even unrealistic, to be analyzed or intuited with an unity. A scientist focuses (and had better) one domain among various areas, but, the selected domain has to be observed in many diverse aspects, i.e., with respect to not only existences and realities but also different types of modes, such as motion, and interaction with others through causality and reciprocity. This is why both scientist and artist need creative intuitive capacity once they catch targeted objects for their works through sensitivity. Scientists can practice their intuitions, having specific subjectives and objectives, with observed objects, while appreciating (and enjoying) and studying both artistic works and working processes of the artists with their formats.

There are ways for scientists to take for a travel from observation to concepts and ideas (i.e., knowledge). Different ways request us to pay different travel expenses; we need a certain sensibility to receive objects in outer world into our inner world, and also need certain roles of our intuition to transform the object to represented appearance and intuited reality, then need our understanding ability to make concepts from the unified representation and intuited reality. Depending upon different domains of scientific research and preference (characters*) of scientists, some scientists may stress importance of role of scientific sensibility, or roles of intuition or understanding. I personally feel there needs a research to classify key influencing scientific research results whether the researches are successful in delivering the importance and highlights, using mainly either sensibility or intuition or understanding. Whatever it is (I personally believe it is intuition as artist extend the intuition into realm of emotion, and scientist deduces the intuition into rational knowledge), it has been also known intuitive capacity of scientists are generally weaker than ones of artists, with understanding being probably opposite.

In order to learn something from arts, for science, with respect to working rules, performing techniques, underlying philosophy, and many others, especially in sensibility and intuition, it is necessary to know individual characteristics of each art, including architecture, status, music, paint, and poet. I recommend you to read the Aesthetics written by Hegel if you are interested in. According to Hegel, architecture is located on the lowest level, in terms of aspects of dealing with our spirit in connection to the outer world, instead, uses many scientific, especially mathematical laws, such as geometry (such as symmetry, intentional asymmetry) and structural mechanics (such as force balance). Most of architectures, if architects design with artistic intention, have symbolic parts to represent something of importance for the architectures, which should be harmonic with architecture itself and other components. Architecture often adopts different kinds of arts, including statue, paint, and music (as mentioned, big comparison between sounds of tower bells and inside divine pipe organ); stained glasses in cathedral, beautiful decorations, can also screen from too bright light and enable to use candle in the cathedral. We may use this conceptual idea of harmony of composites, at least practicing our scientific intuition when performing scientific research. Music is the domain of art that probably has most contingent underlying principles of all other arts; musician uses beat, harmony, and melody of sounds to touch inner minds of listeners, without any necessity. No one actually identifies why a certain combination of high and low notes, and specific melodies can give big touching, which seems a magic. With this reason, I think music needs more sensibility and intuition, with contingency, than any other art domains. I want to believe there is a plausible reason why the writer Conan Doyle always adopted the scene that after Sherlock Holmes gathered all the evidences needed for his inference (reasoning), he used to play violin before he got to clues and a final solution; the violin music, I think, could stimulate his intuition and subsequently affect either understanding or reason to effectively get to the answer (inducted or deducted knowledge). As music delivers something beautiful, existed in the outer world, into the inner spirit, so paint extracts something beautiful, from the inner mind and spirit, and spread the abstract on the outer world (work of exteriorization). It is the language that different domains of art represent differently, in either inner and outer worlds, sometimes somewhere between the two: sound for music, color for paint, and words for poet.


There is a culture of either art, science, and some other domains, for a class, a family, a department, a school, a city, or a country. Having a definition of culture of converting mere thoughts into actualities, we have our own cultures of art and science; yes, our class does, GIST and Korea have it own. All of the cultures influence individual members, and vice versa, thus, we can be away (free) from the culture. When you study more to obtain degrees, you are supposed to be advised by your advisor, which means you are most likely influenced by a culture. Consciously or unconsciously, you may use a certain language of science, for a certain research, for your dissertation and some works. We learned something important from our predecessors, from their papers and books, and share the language of both arts and sciences, with our contemporaries, under a certain culture (small or big). Please do not confine yourself within an isolated room surrounded by walls; but, this is not about making friends, but about cultures of art and science, for research and living. Also, under the culture, please try to meet yourself because it is "I (myself)" who perform both artistic and scientific work. Respect and polish up (perfect) your intuition, through meeting your intuition, that is only way not to be addicted to mannerism in a brutal (so competitive) world; why? Science generally requires us to analyze object, but, analyzing is sometimes one of obstacle to creative work. Intuition (not itself but with data from observations) may compensate the weakness of the method of analysis. Archur Schopenhauer said the God trains us with only time.


Characters of Human:

There is a way to classify the human characters: sensitive, emotional, intuitive, and rational (understanding). For better understanding, let's take example of the entertainment show named the Endless Challenge. Who falls on which classification? First, sensitive persons is, of course, very sensitive, thus, they never skip even small accidents and/or problems, and are very good at details. This probably goes for Gil and Chung, Hyungdon. Second classification is emotional character. People in this class usually try to talk about themselves, their own things, and so. And, they have a habit of telling their liking or disliking even though they are asked; probably, Park, Myungsoo, and Chung, Junha fall under this classification. We could easily witness these two characters conflict each other very often. The third is intuitive character which goes for surely Noh, Hongchul who continuously generates new and interesting ideas, with ad libs. I think HaHa has half of sensitive and half of intuitive characters. The final (rational) goes for Yoo, Jaesock. What a perfect match, right! How about one night and two days? I think Lee, Sunggi and Kang, Hodong are both rational characters, which might be one of the reasons. These are all for fun.


Practicing problems:

  1. Please take one of movies you watched whatever that is. With recognizing movie is one genre of art, describe concepts of necessity and contingency which you found with the movie.
  2. After selecting one picture of any painter who you like, analyze or describe his or her techniques (or principles or formats) to extract abstracts from objects which she or he observed. 
  3. We have discussed certain languages of different arts, and we know the language of mathematics is number. Then, please think about language(s) for natural science.


Language of Art: Point, Line, and Plane


based on the book, Point and Line to Plane (1979) by Wassily Kandingky:


Previously, art was fairly discussed with regard to science, and paining was regarded as action of abstract, started from observation of objects in Nature, which is similar procedure of scientific works. However, there is a work in painting which does not use processes of observation followed by abstracting, instead, making concept then intuition for application, which is the same as in Mathematics. This was attempted by Kandinsky; Kandinsky made concepts of point, line, and plane, at the beginning, then, used these concepts to make beauty with objects in Nature and Universe. There are of course connections between the concepts and the Nature, by feeling and probably intuition. Point, by him, implies silence, inner tension as point is always towards inner mind or world. A good example is the Big Bang which our universe originated and finally should return. Line implies movement and dynamic, and is an extension of point, thus, is the secondary (not rudimental). Once we define some concepts of point and line. We can make lots of works having various meanings with different beauties; once again, the works are similar to the ones of Mathematics which can produce lots of knowledges from defined concepts.


When we look at works of Kandinsky for the first time, without understanding his ways of making works, his works look very weird and may make us not like him as artist. But, we understand his ways of working, it is charming to appreciate his works. We can feel static and dynamic motions, loose and high tension, freedom versus highly restricted states, and we can also hearing melodies of sounds through his works. If we look a scenery, we can see many points and lines, and then we understand objects to be seen are comprised of the points and lines. Artificial buildings and structures are comprised also of points and lines, for examples, cathedrals, temples, highways, houses, dams, and many others. Even when we enjoy a dance, we can find many points and lines intersect to form a certain movements with different feelings into our minds. Dances with points and lines being emphasized are ballet with feet (ballet pumps) and hands/arms, which points and lines dances. Musics with points and lines types of sounds being mostly played are piano and violin, for examples.

Line is formed by breaking the tension of point, to make new laws, new beings, new lives, with direction. I do not know how and why Kandinsky differentiated characteristics of horizontal versus vertical lines, but, he found coldness from horizontal line, and warmness from vertical, thus, he gives colors of black and white to the former and latter lines, respectively. Oblique (diagonal) line encompasses both characteristics with colors of red and green, with him. Lines intersect to make angles with different values having different properties, such as sharpness and activeness from acute angle, coolness and controllability from right angle, and weakness and passiveness from obtuse angle. Thus, acute, right, and obtuse angles implies vision, realization, and hangover, respectively. Repetition of lines mean reinforcement; repetition of a straight line at equal interval may represent primitive rhythm, such as play by many violins, while, repetition with different intervals means kind of qualitative reinforcements with different line music instruments (i.e., violin + viola). Other characteristics of line are thickness and length which may have different qualities (length may imply time concept, for example).