Sketch-Alife and Art

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.


2 thoughts on “Sketch-Alife and Art

  1. “Is [are] 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?”

    my view:
    life-like results can be a dead end as in any pursuit of communication … that is various cul da sacs, avenues and highways with a few dead ends for sure … expression, communication and
    survival are intrinsic to a thinking system …..

    plasma physics i imagine is highly abstract …. describing and represtenting the seemingly non existent .. and indeed a pursuit of “something else’ ..

    artificial life [robots etc] seem more to me a duplication

    intention is often masked and sometimes opposite to result

    i wonder if it is a ‘trait’ that should be examined …. perhaps it is not that there is a connection
    between life and truth but that truth is simultaneously subjective and objective as is life

    regards mx

  2. Thanks for your comment.

    Interesting thing is, I frequently see numerous iterations of duplication and abstract meeting each other in many cases of science and art, to the point that they become as one. A sort of emergent mechanic at work I think.

    While the science and art might be more or less separate from each other, the numerous similarities in their displayed trait leads me to believe that there might be something fundamentally similar within their innate nature. Just precisely what is similar, seem to narrow down to certain very life-like traits. Maybe this issue might touch with the question of observer prominent in both the fields of art and sciences.

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