COLUMNS PROMETHEUS AND THE MUSES On Art and Technology Barry Allen Ship design differs from the creation of poetry only in its numerate content. âââJ.âE.âGordon, Structures We tend to think of art and technology as having no important connection. What starker opposition than between the artist and the engineer â the irrational dreamer and the rigorous realist, the indulgent devotee of subjectivity and the austere technician? We tend not to think that engineering might be enhanced by the love of beauty, nor that it is impossible to be a really good engineer without understanding art. Yet we depend on essentially artistic skills in engineers, the capacity to feel technically and construct aesthetically. The invention of a seriously new alternative is an aesthetic moment in art and technology alike. No design is ever determined by calculations or technical necessity. Choice pervades technological design and is made, ultimately, on the basis of aesthetic invention (supplemented, of course, by careful testing). Engineering design is the analytical and imaginative synthesis of perception and technique, which is also the ideal, the point, the idea of art. There is art in good engineering and good engineering in art. To stand up and last, an
Common Knowledge – Duke University Press
Published: Oct 1, 2006
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