Saturday, November 10, 2012

Material and Consequence and Solving Puzzles

Works of art "are real as answers to the puzzle externally posed to them."

Another quote from Adorno's "Theory of Aesthetics."

What does it say about science? Although Adorno insists that art is non-empirical (presuming the opposite for science?) I think we can apply the quote to science as well as art. Our projects are particular, perhaps particularistic, and in the sense that no one may care about them (tree falling in the forest) may be considered not to have a grounding in reality, even though they may spring from observations or thoughts about the natural world.

So the scientific project, the experiment, certainly the hypothesis--are all puzzles "externally posed" by the scientist, just as art derives from a puzzle externally posed by the artist.

In my opinion the acts involved in posing and solving the puzzle, as well as the media used, the standardized framework involved, and the potential for isolation (or connection) are remarkably similar in art and in science.

Looking at this rotting concrete wall on the MIT campus, a mixture of physicality and theory, design and destruction, time vs. purity, material and consequence, convinces me that creating boundaries between art and science is a futile endeavor.

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