Science, Art, Litt, Science based Art & Science Communication
Science isn't something that comes from somewhere to spoil the aesthetics of art. Science is the art of understanding why we feel the way we do when we see something wonderful and beautiful. It enhances the beauty of art by trying to understand it fully. The 'measurements' of science can also be used to 'criticize' art.
Aesthetics can be defined as pertaining to a sense of the beautiful or to the science of it. It is having a sense of the beautiful; characterized by a love of beauty. It is pertaining to, involving, or concerned with pure emotion and sensation as opposed to pure intellectuality.
Understanding the science behind natural phenomena (and sometimes being reminded of how much more we have yet to learn or discover) can still make our encounters with them sublime. From this point of view, science is the champion of artistic creativity, not its enemy.
Aesthetics is a branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of beauty, art, and taste, and with the creation and appreciation of beauty. It is more scientifically defined as the study of sensory or sensori-emotional values, sometimes called judgments of sentiment and taste. More broadly, scholars in the field define aesthetics as "critical reflection on art, culture and nature".
Evolutionary Aesthetics refers to the theory which says basic aesthetic preferences have evolved based on survival needs. It is the nature approach that claims survival as a motivator for likeness within a species.
There is a false belief that only art deals with aesthetics and science doesn't. In fact aesthetics is itself a science.
Moreover, science is responsible both for explaining beauty and sometimes the cause and reason of beauty too! Let us see how.
Genes are responsible through biochemicals for the "production of beautiful objects". Genes influence several things in an aesthetic sense. If you really have "eyes" to see it and "a specific mind" to realize it, the genetic material is responsible for all the splendour and variety and beauty of evolution. Genes are responsible for colours, shapes, sizes, structures and behaviour of living beings and everything that you associate with "beauty"! If you say they don't, it means you see only a partial picture of Nature and not full picture to understand it. Even in non living objects like rocks, quartz, coloured diamonds certain chemicals are responsible for the production and brilliance of these colours.
Example: Quartz crystals of different colours and shapes.
A poet describes the moon as a beautiful object. An artist paints it in all splendid colours. An astrophysicist sees it as a natural satellite of earth with rocks and no atmosphere or life. When I think about moon as an artist, I feel happy because I could see it as an object of beauty - shining like a silver ball in the dark sky. And when I think about moon as a person from the field of science, I can still see the beauty of scientific theories like gravity, time, space and how wonderfully and harmoniously they are followed in this universe. Science too has a pretty view!
A poet or an artist sees the beauty of a flower superficially and enjoys it. Then inspired by it writes a poem or paints a picture of it. Then comes a scientist. S/he dissects it. Tells you all about it. The artist cries: "Damn it! These scientists don't know how to enjoy the beauty of a flower. They tear it apart and spoils it!" The scientist smiles. "Wait a minute my friend, you see only the superficial beauty of a flower. I can see its inner beauty too! I can see how the flower is constructed the way it is, how the colours came about, how the structure, shape, colours and its scent help in the reproductive process of a plant that produces the flowers. I can admire the Nature's true beauty by studying the inner secrets. This view of inner world is more beautiful than the outer ones you see. I can see the whole view unlike the partial one you can see. It is enhancing the beauty and studying it in its totality not destroying it."
When a painter mixes colours to paint a picture, is it spoiling the beauty of individual colours? When a sculpture chisels a figure from a rock by using a hammer and a chisel, is it spoiling the natural beauty of the rock? Like wise scientists try to liberate the Natural laws by unlocking the mysteries from the closed spaces they are embedded in. To understand the whole picture and enhance the beauty of the Nature!
'Science, far from destroying the beauty and romance of the world as seen by artists, musicians and writers, enhances it by revealing the underlying reasons and purposes' – McConnell .
These days science is helping artists create art aesthetically. Beautiful patterns of geometry and mathematical theories are influencing artists to create eye-catching works. Now artists are creating clouds and rainbows with the help of science (Refs 2 &3). Who says science doesn't deal with aesthetics?
How can we forget that the colours an artist mixes on his pallet are obtained because of different chemicals?
Even enjoying the beauty is associated with the interpretation of the brain with the help of eyes, ears and skin
Sweet melody creation in music is associated wit Physics and enjoyed with the Biology of brain! The chemical and Biological processes involved here are studied by several scientists. (Refs)
Similar to arts, scientists have defined beauty in science in terms of symmetries. Here we consider in brief the role of symmetry in elementary particle physics. We conclude that aesthetically appealing theories are more likely to be correct so that aesthetics should give motivation for the correct theories in science.
Aesthetic preference is something that ultimately varies from person to person. Whether it is culturally taught or branded into our genetic makeup, preferences for beauty, style, and other characteristics of aesthetics can all be linked back to preferences. Cultural factors undoubtedly influence what kind of art a person enjoys — be it a Rembrandt, a Monet, a Rodin, a Picasso, a Chola bronze, a Moghul miniature, or a Ming Dynasty vase. But,
even if beauty is largely in the eye of the beholder, might there be some sort of universal
rule or ‘deep structure’, underlying all artistic experience? (Ref 1)Some theorists believe that the baseline is tied to Evolution. That is to say that we developed our taste in looks to accommodate survival and promote the wellbeing of our species. Based on this theory, things like color preference, preferred mate body ratios, shapes, emotional ties with objects, and many other aspects of the aesthetic experience can be tied with how we evolved.
Mathematical considerations, such as symmetry and complexity, are used for analysis in theoretical aesthetics. This is different from the aesthetic considerations of applied aesthetics used in the study of mathematical beauty. Aesthetic considerations such as symmetry and simplicity are used in areas of philosophy, such as ethics and theoretical physics and cosmology to define truth, outside of empirical considerations.
Art appreciation is not Universal like universal science appreciation which are based on certain rules. Yes, again cultural conditioning of minds decides to an extent which art works have aesthetic value which ones don't! It seems some faces look beautiful because the symmetry of their shapes shows that the person is highly fertile! However, the smell of a person's harmones too make one feel feel s/he is beautiful! And alcohol makes a man's brain think all women are beautiful!!
Judgments of aesthetic value rely on our ability to discriminate at a sensory level. Aesthetics examines our affective domain response to an object or phenomenon. Viewer interpretations of beauty possess two concepts of value: aesthetics and taste. Aesthetics is the philosophical notion of beauty. Taste is a result of an education process and awareness of elite cultural values learned through exposure to mass culture.
Aesthetic judgments may be culturally conditioned to some extent.
Although scientists are trying to give a formula for good aesthetics, I am not very convinced. There is still a lot of work to do to arrive at a conclusion. One person's beauty is another one's ugliness. Things like cultural conditioning of minds play a lot of role in having aesthetic experiences and therefore it is difficult to have universal scientific measurements. If you try the experiment in Asian conditions with the same art works you get different set of results. For example, Mona Lisa is considered as one of the beautiful art works in the West but I have heard people here questioning this 'concept of beauty'. They say other things like artist's name, fame, cultural conditioning of minds, people's definition of beauty have an effect on aesthetic measurements. Without taking all these things into consideration, your work won't be accurate. That is what I am worried about. People are not taking several things into account that influence the results while arriving at conclusions. As a person from the field of science, I am not convinced by some of these scientific studies.
Aesthetics and philosophy of art:
Some people argue that Aesthetics stands for art. And for some, aesthetics is considered a synonym for the philosophy of art, while others insist that there is a significant distinction between these closely related fields. In practice aesthetic judgement refers to the sensory contemplation or appreciation of an object, while artistic judgement refers to the recognition, appreciation or criticism of art or an art work.
Philosophical aesthetics has not only to speak about art and to produce judgments about art, but has also to give a definition of what art is. Art is an autonomous entity for philosophy, because art deals with the senses (i. e. the etymology of aesthetics) and art is as such free of any moral or political purpose. Hence, there are two different conceptions of art in aesthetics : art as knowledge or art as action.
The philosopher Denis Dutton identified six universal signatures in human aesthetics:
Expertise or virtuosity. Humans cultivate, recognize, and admire technical artistic skills.
Nonutilitarian pleasure. People enjoy art for art's sake, and don't demand that it keep them warm or put food on the table.
Style. Artistic objects and performances satisfy rules of composition that place them in a recognizable style.
Criticism. People make a point of judging, appreciating, and interpreting works of art.
Imitation. With a few important exceptions like abstract painting, works of art simulate experiences of the world.
Special focus. Art is set aside from ordinary life and made a dramatic focus of experience.
Here is a link to a video that explains Darwinian theory of beauty: http://kkartlab.in/video/darwinian-explanation-of-beauty
After watching the video, I feel, the pictures drawn by the cave men are based on "observations" of the world around them. They are a prelude to scientific illustrations. So some don't consider them as art. The tools made by them again were in "particular shapes" because these shapes were convenient to handle! It may be a coincidence if some people find them beautiful too!
The article to which the above link is provided says : Studies from neuroscience and evolutionary biology challenge this separation of art from non-art. Human neuroimaging studies have convincingly shown that the brain areas involved in aesthetic responses to artworks overlap with those that mediate the appraisal of objects of evolutionary importance, such as the desirability of foods or the attractiveness of potential mates. Hence, it is unlikely that there are brain systems specific to the appreciation of artworks; instead there are general aesthetic systems that determine how appealing an object is, be that a piece of cake or a piece of music.