I’ve been trying to write a post regarding the parallel between the art and sciences, only to come to multitudes of conclusions and thoughts all contrasting against each other. So I thought I would write them all. Sort of collected sketches of my thought regarding the issue. Maybe I would be able to see some pattern in my divergent thoughts should I carry on doing it for a long time.
The subtle parallel between the art and the sciences are readily available everywhere I see. Modern practices of art, such as some of the experiments of the abstract expressionists from coincidences and random outcomes of color and pattern to Tara Donovan’s styrofoam and foil constructs, the similarities in goal and practices of the medium abound everywhere. The fetishes and gods emerge out of their woodwork and stony silences frozen in their attempt to walk and talk among their worshippers and creators, the blotches on canvases look as if they would soon drop on the world into an ever spreading smudge. All pieces seem to be wanting to walk out into the world and speak of things in their hearts, but what really is life in the eyes of their artistic creators? Is the life-like qualities of the results and practices of art wholly intentional or something merely accidental, an evolutionary dead end in pursuit of something else? What is the trait of life that ties itself to the art in so many fields and actions, regardless of their truth?
I’d say the artist’s description of life is a system in eternal transition without destroying self. Constant change while maintaining unique characteristic that defines itself is the universal trait of life-like things most closely related to their artificial cousins. Tara Donovan’s pieces are formed of simple elements repeated ad nauseum, a process that begins to turn them into something different, while still maintaining and even exploring the nature of its components, to the extent that the new forms begin to act as a strange extension to the nature of the original components. This is a process startlingly similar to some of the approaches taken by artificial life students and certain schools of modern music. Such characteristic is instilled in the basic fabric of the modern art. Take a look at Hans Hoffman. The powerful brushstrokes and colors lend weight to the painting and the energy and form are coalesced into something powerful, and yet soft and almost random while being able to maintain certain thematic vision, a quintessence of the painting capable of metamophosise the colors and the masses into refreshing waterfalls and flowers of a ravine.
The significance of the life in art as being a system in endless state of transition while being able to maintain itself is in the meeting between the medium and the definition such interpretation can provide us. Modern arts, through its tireless search for form and beauty, have provided us wit an understanding that certain things are able to maintain the illusive trait of ‘self’ while going through a total disembodiment of its usual medium and composition. The integrity of the medium combined with the definition, the ‘being’, at the horizon between a thing and its definition lies the concept of life from inanimate.
Now, think of such a construct, not drawn on canvas but beating and breathing, walking among us. A graffiti on the fabric of biosphere.