Science and Art

I'm a big believer in providing students with a well-rounded liberal arts curriculum.  I also believe that we made a critical error with our education system when we marginalized the "industrial arts." Not that I think every kid needs to learn how to fix an engine, anymore than I think every kid needs to write poetry on a daily basis, but I do think that our education system is letting down our kids and our industry by not finding a healthy balance between what could be called a "practical education" and a "liberal arts education."  Thus you may understand why I found this post by Fred Wilson so interesting:

I've been thinking about what happens at the intersection of science and art, how science impacts art, and how art impacts science, how New York City has been blessed to be at the intersection of science and art for at least two centuries, and how much of what is interesting to me in the technology revolution of the moment, the Internet, is at the intersection of science and art…

Science and art are seen as two very distinct endeavors and I suppose they are. But I see science and art as the yin yang of creative culture and innovation. To quote from Wikipedia, science and art are seemingly contrary forces that are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world, and they give rise to each other in turn.

I was talking to a longtime reader of this blog, Chris Dorr, last night. Chris has been working in the film industry for a long time and blogs at the Tribeca Film Festival Blog. We were talking about changes in the film business and Chris blurted out that "filmakers and software developers need to start sleeping together and it is starting to happen." Filmmaking is art, particularly great filmmaking. But the art of filmmaking has always been based on a number of fundamental scientific inventions. And Chris' point is that the art of filmmaking will continue to be impacted by scientific inventions that are happening in real time…

I was at a meeting yesterday with an economic development group in NYC. We were talking about 3D Printing, an important new technology that was "science" a decade ago. The economic development types were explaining to me why 3D Printing technology is so important to NYC. They explained that our artist and design communities need 3D Printing technology because it allows these artists to turn their ideas into objects rapidly and at lower cost. It is a game changer for artists, designers, and architects. Our portfolio company Shapeways and other innovators like MakerBot are doing just that right here in NYC.

2 thoughts on “Science and Art

  1. Paul Jones3

    Interesting that the MakerBot was mentioned. Summit School has 2, that the students participated in building from kits. That is easy, relative low cost technology that can do more for that intersection of art & industrial skills, than most anything else.


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