Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Straw Men

I recently came across another article (don't remember where) in which the author, in the first three sentences raised the old art v science "debate". I don't remember much else about the article because the first sentences stopped me cold. We've heard versions of this for years and years and years and years.

Is there a way art can exist without science? Science without art?

Chemists who make pigments, optical scientists who make lenses possible, metallurgists, mathematicians, textile and paper makers...

And, since science relies on observation - an ability to see, compose, sort, frame, use perspective, and make intuitive leaps seems essential in both disciplines.

These are scary times (when aren't times scary?) partly due to a rush toward ignorance and superstition. Anti vaccinators, homeopaths, psychics, Qui Gongers et al., and religious fundies of all stripes are gaining ground. This is where the art v science "debate" can become dangerous. Scientists are portrayed as nerdy unfeeling cold Mr. Spock logical godless sorts, and the new age/fundie/alt med crowds all vie to be depicted as the owners of spirituality that "art" is built on.

The occasional scientist who paints (or writes, or composes music) is sometimes held up as if to say "see, we make art too!"

I once was speaking with a surgeon who got all "gee golly I could never do what you do how do you do it" with me about my art. I mentioned to him that his ability to take people apart and repair them, to keep them alive and well was probably just as valid as making pretty art. He got all waffly with me again.

The need to make order out of chaos seems to me what drives both disciplines.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Pride Parade NYC 2010 and other odds and ends

The more things change, the more things change... When I was a kid anyone dressed like the gentleman above would have been arrested, hauled off to the laughing academy, and/or worse


This one would have caused a small to medium sized riot...

And for al the world this looks like Aunt Flo from Fort Lauderdale. It is to wonder.

When I was done shooting the event I wandered over to a local garden where weddings are sometimes held on the weekend. Not for the wedding, but to shoot perty flars and such. Wafting from the garden were the strains of "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring". It was a Jewish wedding. This confused me. It's a little like serving pork chops at a Seder.

The bee didn't care...