Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

no remix tonight

i'm at this conference, (i told you about it)

i went to this speaker talking about how science art is more art and not enough science. i began to guide him down the path, but he got a little impatient, and i could feel the room turning against me. this was a room of science-types, not art-philosophs.

so, i'll put it here.

speaker talked about how science art is not reflective of science reality. how scientists and artists ought to work hand in hand to create accurate portrayals of the natural world.

but, he's wrong. accuracy is not really accuracy.

he dismissed imagery of the cosmos that was captured by wide angle lenses and given weeks of exposure. thus, no person could view space this way with the naked eye.

ah, but the wide angle lens and long exposure is a more accurate presentation of the reality of the stars - even if our naked eyes can't handle the reality that is larger than men.

he talked about how presenting the sciences with images that are so fanciful and unrealistic does harm to the scientific community by rendering the reality inaccessible and inaccurate and even impossible. he showed images of nanotech painted on covers of magazines with lighting effects and colors and shading - all impossible sub-molecular phenomena - and dismissed this style of art as a poor representation of the reality.

he showed his own piece (quickly, and quietly), and it was flat, unexciting, and a poor representation of the philosophical truth of nanotechnology.

you see, at the quantum level, the philosophy is the real. our eyes, our senses, they are the limited things, broken things, inaccurate things. our senses are not reality. they are interpretors of reality.

a common prejudice among engineers atheists and artists is this false notion that reality is limited by the senses. in fact, reality is unbounded far beyond the senses. to capture the philosophical reality is far more important than staying true to whatever foolish thing that speaker meant when he said "nature".

in the sciences, the philosophy is more real than our own perceptions.

painting with a sense of wonder, and skewed nature, is more true.

i asked him, at the end of his presentation, how he felt his topic of science and space art compared to the explorer artists of the prior centuries. he looked at me quizzically, and gave his blustery stall until he came up with his answer, that these men were more photographers than painters.

i pointed out that in this case, of science and technology art, he is also more photogropher than painter.

he agreed, as if this was the primary point of his presentation.

and it's not.

he and i mean different things when we say "photographer". he says it like a scientist imagining the precision of the lens' eye.

i say it like a journalist choosing how to display the wartorn countryside of foreign battles to make citizens care a thousand miles away. take photos of quantum philosophy, and pull them into our living rooms that we may wonder and wonder.

do not make them real. reality is gone. reality does not exist.

hyperreality exists. it is also an illusion, but it is an illusion that can change the future.

the room was not friendly to me. he was not as smart as he looked in his suit. he was limited by his own perceptions. he refused to think about the artists that painted the savage shores with the terrible giants and the sea monsters and the naked savages smoking pipes and the birds killed but posed in imitation of life and drawn again and the terrible, carnivorous teeth of the horrible hippopotamus, and all the hyperreality that fed the minds of men.

the mingled emotions of fear, joy, wonder, excitement, are all part of a photographer's tool belt. choose the image that reflects the chosen reality. true Reality doesn't care if we get such a thing correct.

if you paint like a scientist, you will inspire no one to be a scientist.

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