Thursday, February 25, 2010

More on science and art

For those of you who weren't put to sleep by my rant on light and physics.....

Here are a couple of books you might be interested in

In case it isn't obvious, am kind of obsessed with how changes in theoretical physics influence the way artists make and perceive art, and how theories that are obscure mathematical formulas eventually filter into mainstream culture. We now have two popular TV shows that are based on Hugh Everett's 1954 Phd. dissertation on Parallel Universe Theory, but no one knows who he was. We have many art history courses offered that will talk about how religion, disease, philosophy and the economy all influenced the history of art, but none on how the theory of relativity directly influenced cubism, or how Einstein ( the first physicist to prove a theory without physical experiment) influenced Duchamp ( the first artist to make art without actually making it).

In another life I used to test motorcycles for magazines and review their racetrack performance. You would think that riding motorcycles at 180 mph with a full pit crew to do my bidding was the best part of the job, but the really great thing was all the other people I met in this amazing world of moto-journalism. After testing the bikes, the manufacturer usually took us out for a spectacular meal and I would get to sit at a table with a couple of ex World Champions racers, a bunch of other writers and other motorcycle VIP's. It was always a table of amazing people, and it was treat to know that no matter who I sat next to they would be fascinating. One of my favorites was a guy named Charles Falco, who is an avid motorcyclist (co-curator of the Guggenheim "Art of the Motorcycle" show) and one of the worlds foremost optical physicists. Charlie was the scientific side of the Hockney/Falco analysis of old master paintings. You might be interested in him because his work (along with David Hockney) completely shattered everything we thought we knew about the Renaissance.


Fiat Lux said...

Other good books:
Seeing the Light - a beautiful texbook for a class that doesn't exist
Art and Visual Perception - Arnheim
The evolution of Physics - Einstein & Infeld
Aesthetics of Shadows - Tanizaki
Interaction of Color - Albers

Mark Jenkinson said...

I have actually read most of them except Tanizaki, so I ordered it from Amazon.

FYI, I was Arnheim's TA when he taught at Cooper


Herrien said...

Nice post, thanks for sharing this wonderful and useful information with us.

Green Tea Weight Loss