The Integration of Art and Science
Okay, guys, I know I've been obsessing over yin and yang recently, but I'm not finished.
The symbol captures so much for me of the Dao, the way of life. The intersecting of dark/light, and how there is light in the dark and dark in the light... So many layers and levels of meaning-making I want to communicate at the same time... but I'll just pick one.
I want to talk ART...and about SCIENCE, and about the art IN science and the science IN art.
Generally, art is thought to be fluid, expressive, bubbly and, well, "artsy fartsy."
Yet within every art, there is a science. I call this "craft."
Sometimes, I like to sit down at the piano and just play. Nothing complicated, only simple chords and rhythms that flow from my heart to my hands. This is what most people think of when they think of art, that act of expressing. And don't get me wrong, I LOVE it. Yet even my simple piano skills involved training my hands to move, my ears to pick out chords and melodies, and my eyes to read music or quickly glance to see where I need to place my hands. While I'm not a great piano player, even what I have involved submitting to the craft of piano. Music theory, scales, ear training, without these tools and rules I might not even know what I was doing. Therein lies the science. Not only that, but if I wanted to be truly great at piano, I would have to submit to the science of it all the more. My ability to realize what I want to express and make it happen (art) is dependent upon my capacity within the confines of the medium I choose (science). When I took drum lessons in college, it was a great opportunity for me to rebuild one of my favorite forms of expression from the ground up, and I'm a better artist because of it. It's not just a matter of having the best equipment, for only the great artists make great instruments sound as such. Submitting to the process of learning a craft can feel laborious, I know how much I loved (hated) practicing for piano lessons. Yet, if we are going to be great artists, we have to be comfortable with mastering the science of our craft, plain and simple. In writing, there is SO MUCH science, and flowing down to put words on a page can feel arduous. Without the discipline and structure, what art would get done? Art needs science.
Then there's the art within science, I call this passion. When we think of science, we often think of brightly colored chemicals bubbling in vials, men and women wearing goggles and white coats, and... numbers. Spreadsheets, academic jargon, I can be honest and admit these tools have little appeal to me. Yet, any great experiment or scientific pursuit is guided by questions. Scientific inquiry is the name of the game. These questions are formed and are investigated with all the tools available because of someone's passion. From human flight to fossil discoveries, even "science proper" is filled with artists using the medium of science. Then, there's us outside of that field, even we have art and science together. In our jobs, in our families, in our lives.
There are many tedious and detailed aspects of our working lives, but how do we inhabit the space? Do we merely fill a role and check boxes, or do we bring our best selves into every facet of what we do? There are problems to solve, solutions to pursue, even rules to follow... How can we do this fully engaged and alive? This is the art within science. In my work at Collins Chiropractic, there are some very technical aspects of my role, but it is not the exacting details people notice, it is my presence and person they remember. Or when I used to bartend, there was the science of "mixology," a technique for that perfect pour, yet so much of my job was building an instant rapport with many different people seemingly all at once. How will people feel when they are in and after they leave my presence? How am I creating space for inspiration and transformation in all that I do? This gets at the heART of the matter within science.
In our arts, science. In our science, art. These elements of logic and reason belong with intuition and expression. Left and right brain, yin and yang, two halves of a greater whole.
May we be fully expressed, finding joy in the broad strokes and the details as well.
To our collective evolution and cultivating unity within and beyond ourselves,
P.S. If you want to help me with my ongoing pursuit to cultivate unity as we be/live/love, the simplest way to do that is by becoming a patron! Support the art with a monthly donation at whatever pledge level works for you. From blogging to podcasting to crafting workshops that transform people's lives, you help make it happen! Thanks! :)