In a previous article I had initiated a discourse on art, and it’s relationship with science. Science gives us conceptual knowledge of the situation, and art helps us experience it. However, there is more to it. Science, more than anything else, also gives direction to art, true, in a very complex sense.
The way science guides performing arts is different from how it guides visual arts. Implementation of science to performing arts is rather immediate. In early days, magicians were the first hand users of new technologies – these days it is cinema. Whereas the way science guides visual arts is slow and much more progressive in nature. Science creates the possibilities and the rules for the formation of other works – in most cases artistic. For example, Marx is not just the author of the Communist Manifesto or Capital. Freud is not just the author of The Interpretation of Dreams – both established an endless possibility of discourse, and also made possible a certain number of divergences from their original thought. Galileo made possible not only those discourses which repeated the laws he had formulated, but also statements very different from what he himself had said. From these discourses, newer thoughts emerged. Newer tools for interpreting the world and it’s functioning emerged.
However, the process of science and arts have taken a backseat in the past few decades. Since Tagore, there hardly has been a poet who has heeded to this call. The divorce between science and arts is partially due to formal education, and partially due to lack of interdisciplinary interactions in modern colleges. The concept of universities is slowly vanishing. Students of one discipline are usually stuffed in a smaller campus. Regional languages have suffered more in the process. According to senior Hindi poet Narsh Saxena, who also worked as an engineer throughout his career – regional languages have slowly and systematically been cut off from scientific discourses. As a result, simple scientific terms are out of reach for regional debates, leave alone arts and literature. This has led to the fall in the quality, progressiveness as well as the status of regional authors. The solution lies in not seeing science and arts as polar opposites. Men of science becoming poets and authors and poets studying scientific philosophies. It’s time to jump fences and experience the other side of life.