\ Visualizing Evolution: Why don't art and science mix? (this time, anyway)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Why don't art and science mix? (this time, anyway)

Hey cool, someone agrees with me! Jonathan Jones of the Guardian posted this article, "Why don't art and science mix?" yesterday about the Darwin's Canopy art competition I blogged about last June. His thoughts on the various entries were the same as mine, if not expressed much more strongly:
"The Darwin's Canopy commission was a chance for artists to engage with science. What a shame they turned their backs on this challenge... This commission was a great chance for artists to engage with the most important idea of the last two centuries, to find ways of illustrating - and championing - the theory of evolution at a time when irrational religious forces menace Darwin's common sense revolution. What a chance for art to show it can engage with science, and also wade into a fierce debate! The artists have run a mile from any such challenge. Few address evolution at all."
So very true! I also agreed that of all the entries, the NHM thankfully picked one of the non-abstract proposals. Jones says:
"The proposal chosen, by Kovats, is a respectful homage to Darwin's own drawing of the tree of evolution. But the exhibition is a dismal insight into the total lack of interest in science displayed by most contemporary British artists."
Of course, going back to the title of his article, I would have to say that art and science do mix, quite easily! But in this case, yes, most of the artists dropped the ball. They should have commissioned some scientific illustrators instead of 'fine artists,' perhaps.

1 comment:

Kumah said...

ugh, how do things like this happen?

It's like people get so caught up in their own world they don't even notice what's ridiculous.