Friday, 16 March 2012

Art and Science: One in the Same

I hate the implication that art is just purely subjective; it's not. If it were Transformers 2 and Twilight would be masterpieces heralded for eons to come. Art is, when you boil it down, a science. When people say “Art is just opinions, just because you like something that's just your opinion". It really annoys me, especially as a writer, I feel more qualified to judge what is and what is not good writing. Just like I wouldn't look at a dance routine and say to the dance pro "I think you're doing it all wrong!" 

I refute the idea art is purely opinion and subjective viewpoints. It's not, that's why there are Arts degrees, we are taught how to do things right and how not to do things. It's all predicated from the human belief that we're all completely unique individuals when as much as we'd like to believe it, that's a lie we tell ourselves, we're not all that unique, we're not even that genetically diverse a species let alone personalities that form from social norms and ideas.

There are breakthroughs in art, in film people like Tarrantino, Welles, Scorsese, Copolla, Wilder, they were break through artists. But they just created something "good" that hadn't been done before. There is a universality (is that a word) to our collective experience, it's why Shakespeare is often considered the greatest writer of all time, because what he wrote was universal, it was human themes; revenge, love, hate, trickery e.t.c.

Everything at the end of the day can be boiled down to science. I think art is a science at the end of the day, just an extremely complex one that we don't fully understand the implications of how it affects us. People who have studied a science know more about it, a marine biologist knows more about his field than I do. Just like I know more about art in writing than he likely would. Art is the most complex of sciences because it deals with a level of human psychology we've only just begun to scratch the surface of even today.

By this precept, it is critical analysis and thinking that is evolving over time with new elements being constantly introduced into the field; experts of the craft understand it better than most. Ironically as I write this the "experts" of my own field are the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, whom I disagree with on a yearly basis at the Oscars. In this sense, art is not subjective, it is critical, it is logical, it is a complex logic, but it is logic non-the-less. Art is something we enjoy and "experts" figure out why we enjoy it. Rather like how a chemist would figure out how a drug makes us feel.
There's an old saying:

"If the human mind were so simple we could understand it, we would be too simple to understand it."

Art is based on facts, very complex facts that we don't understand yet and may never understand in the course of human history. Which is why for me it's so important to understand art, because I believe it is the key to human enlightenment and expansion. The highest form of complex science is the arts. When we as humans, limited in our capacities create something as infinitely complex as the Mona Lisa, the Parthenon, Citizen Kane, Let it Be – it proves that perhaps, just perhaps, we’re not as limited as we might think.

So... yeah.