Tag Archives: art

Tim Minchin – Thinking the arts and sciences are at odds

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Please don’t make the mistake of thinking the arts and sciences are at odds with one another. That is a recent, stupid, and damaging idea. You don’t have to be unscientific to make beautiful art, to write beautiful things.

If you need proof: Twain, Adams, Vonnegut, McEwen, Sagan, Shakespeare, Dickens. For a start.

You don’t need to be superstitious to be a poet. You don’t need to hate GM technology to care about the beauty of the planet. You don’t have to claim a soul to promote compassion.

Science is not a body of knowledge nor a system of belief; it is just a term which describes humankind’s incremental acquisition of understanding through observation. Science is awesome.

Tim Minchin  

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Richard Feynman – No government has the right

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Richard FeynmanNo government has the right to decide on the truth of scientific principles, nor to prescribe in any way the character of the questions investigated. Neither may a government determine the aesthetic value of artistic creations, nor limit the forms of literary or artistic expression. Nor should it pronounce on the validity of economic, historic, religious, or philosophical doctrines. Instead it has a duty to its citizens to maintain the freedom, to let those citizens contribute to the further adventure and the development of the human race.

Richard Feynman   (1918-1988)

David Hume – Beauty and value of nature’s productions

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David HumeIt is a great mortification to the vanity of man that his utmost art and industry can never equal the meanest of Nature’s productions, either for beauty or value. Art is only the underworkman, and is employed to give a few strokes of embellishment to those pieces which come from the hand of the master.

David Hume   (1711-1776)

Joseph Addison – Deviation from the rules of art

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Joseph AddisonThere is sometimes a greater judgement shewn in deviating from the rules of art, than in adhering to them; and…there is more beauty in the works of a great genius who is ignorant of all the rules of art, than in the works of a little genius, who not only knows but scrupulously observes them.

Joseph Addison   (1672-1719)

Frank Lloyd Wright – I’m no teacher

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Frank Lloyd WrightI’m no teacher. Never wanted to teach and don’t believe in teaching an art. Science yes, business of course..but an art cannot be taught. You can only inculcate it, you can be an exemplar, you can create an atmosphere in which it can grow. Well I suppose I, being an exemplar, could be called a teacher, in spite of myself. So go ahead, call me a teacher.

Frank Lloyd Wright  

Plutarch – Blemishes in the picture

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Plutarch  As in the case of painters, who have undertaken to give us a beautiful and graceful figure, which may have some slight blemishes, we do not wish them to pass over such blemishes altogether, nor yet to mark them too prominently. The one would spoil the beauty, and the other destroy the likeness of the picture.

Plutarch  

Oscar Wilde – Teaching acting

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Oscar WildeThe mere mechanical technique of acting can be taught, but the spirit that is to give life to lifeless forms must be born in a man. No dramatic college can teach its pupils to think or to feel, it is Nature who makes our artists for us, though it may be Art who taught them their right mode of expression.

Oscar Wilde   (1854-1900)