ART is the expression of inspiration. Art can be contemplated mentally but at this stage, it is still an inspiration. For it to become art it has to be expressed using our body out on some kind of medium. Art may elicit a sense of beauty in both the creator and the observer but this is not necessary as art might not elicit any sense of beauty and just be a raw medium for the expression of inspiration.
All art must carry some kind of interpretation, even though it elicits no sense of beauty.
Art encodes the idea of a creator in some medium. It must not be logical but succinctly express a state that the artist wishes to transfer into a physical medium to be observed by someone else or herself.
To do art one must train the body and the brain. One cannot do good art with bad equipment or medium of expression. The requirement for training the body or limbs, which is the tool of expression and the brain which is the receptor of inspiration, is very important because even though a good inspiration is received through the brain, without a well-developed brain mechanism the idea will be distorted and without a well-trained body for expression, the art will be distorted further upon creation, even though the urgings of inspiration has been as clear as possible.
The body/limbs are trained by a repeated application into attempting to create art on the medium of one's choosing. A study is also very important as it introduces one to the history of the field. Without some kind of study, one might still succeed in doing good art through self-training and practice, but this can be an arduous path bounded by failures and heartbreaks not suited for all personality types. A study, especially of the works of masters of the field will enable one to gain short cut access to greater states of expression. But there is no exception to honing the physical skills needed to express great art. The body must be trained through endless practice to bring the nervous and muscular systems into greater alignment so that inspiration flows without much obstruction from bodily weakness. If you aspire towards painting, then the mechanism of manipulating brush and canvas must be mastered before one attempts to bring out the inspiration in one’s mind.
The writer of words must work with the pen or the keyboard, the practice must lead to a state where expression is without much conscious interference so that the inspiration flows without limitation. The audio creator must practice her sound tools and hone their skill to a very high level. The singer must train their voice to a very high level perfecting long before they choose to face an audience. The perfumer must develop their noses to great heights, able to distinguish even the subtlest of smells and the cook must cook and cook and cook.
There is no shortcut to mastery, although education can remove most of the obstacles on our path practice alone assures us of our destiny as masters of our art.
The brain too must be trained in the art of mental focus. One must engage in some discipline that hones the ability of the brain to concentrate its attention on an object for an extended period of time. This ability is required to be able to hold on to inspiration long enough for the physical body to express it completely with little distortion. With the ability to focus comes memory, because sometimes it’s not our memories that are the problem but rather our inability to encode the memory solidly because we are lacking a solid ability to focus.
There are many meditative paths to follow with the Zen method being one of my favourites.
Artistic expression appeal to some sense organ in our body, like our eyes alone or can appeal to more than one sense organ simultaneously. Nature is an artistic immersion, where all our senses are stimulated simultaneously.
To be really good in expressing inspiration in a particular medium, one must be versed in the lingo of that medium and also subject oneself to discipline in training in that medium. The art one seeks to express might be to appeal to the hearing sense as in the creation of sound. The visual sense as in the creation of images or moving images. The olfactory sense as in the creation of scents or to appeal to the taste buds as in food. Food nowadays has another dimension which is visual so the food artist is not only creating for the tongue but for the eyes because what the eyes find appealing to eat it will want to eat. It is left for the tongue to decide if the visual imagery reconciles properly with the taste faculty. A good food artist knows how to blend these elements together.
The art form of dance includes expression with the whole body. The body is moved in certain configurations to not only appeal to the visual sense of an observer or communicate meaning but also evoke a sense of pleasure in the dancer. Another form of art that involves expressing with the whole body is acting. In this form the actor expresses a character using his body, this character is usually designed by an artist or a group of artists – the purpose of which is to express content and meaning via visual, auditory and mechanical movement.
Artists can work alone or in groups when alone the responsibility for the creation is solely in the hands of the individual artist but once in a group, then the responsibility lies in team coordination, each member of a team has honed their skills to a very high level to enable them to participate in the team. Apart from having their skills honed to a high level, they must also be good team players if the project requires a high degree of collaboration. Some projects don’t require this kind of high integration, but most do. The success of a project that has a high degree of integration doesn’t depend anymore on individual participation alone but also the ability to blend in the group and perform as a team.
Art can be symmetrical or asymmetrical, harmonic or an-harmonic. Symmetrical art tries to evoke a sense of beauty through the perfect proportional balance of elements, while asymmetrical art tries to conjure a sense of balance through what might be perceived as chaos.
In general, the task of an artist is to create some kind of order out of chaos. Symmetrical or harmonic art tries to create absolute order, this is the world of perfect forms of Plato, while asymmetrical art tries to show us the order underlying some system that was previously thought of as chaotic.
In nature, it is rare to find perfectly symmetrical systems or even perfect asymmetry. Nature usually contains a balance of symmetry and asymmetry, harmony and an-harmony.
While Art in its purest sense is just the expression of inspiration via an artist using a medium, design is more focused on finding the solution to problems.
Rarely is the creation of anything a one-pass process, there is usually a creation and re-creation of the same work, trying to wreak out as much of the inspiration that was had until the senses reconcile that which is created with that which was inspired. We are not perfect beings so we cannot capture the entirety of inspiration on the first try. This is why our first attempt at creation seldom captures everything. We must iterate, and reiterate, going over, correcting errors and adding details until our work reconciles with our inspiration.
DESIGN is the use of inspiration to create solutions to problems. Design can be artistic or functional. Artistic design is usually seen as a design that appeals to some sense. Not every aspect of design can be observed by some sense because some aspects of design are usually about designing processes that might function with details hidden from observation.
The functional design focuses on putting together elements to solve some problem of functionality in the most efficient way possible, it cares not for the “beauty” of the form it evokes but for the function. If a functional design problem is well stated in all its completeness, the product of the process usually turns out to possess some form of beauty that appeals to an observer.
SCIENCE is a systematic method of obtaining knowledge about a system. Most of the time we have science being done on natural systems to obtain knowledge about them, this is referred to as natural science. Science is not limited to natural systems as one can also want to study some man-made system systematically too, this is also science so one must realize the presence of natural science and science of artificial objects.
Science most times proceed from observation, hypothesis, experimentation and theory but sometimes these steps are not followed strictly. Sometimes a theory is worked out by manipulating an existing bunch of other theories that have been expressed in some systematic language like mathematics. This theory is then subjected to experimentations, that is experiments are designed with the intent of discovering the validity of the mathematically conjured theories. Observations are then made and the theory is confirmed as valid if the observations confirm the theory.
Science is the pursuit of the knowledge of facts, and the scientific method is the most prudent and efficient means of obtaining knowledge that is beyond doubt for the time being. Another mode of obtaining knowledge might be intuitive or inspirational, that is the knowledge arrives at us with having being mechanistically pursued from prior knowledge.
This kind of intuitive or inspirational knowledge can either be expressed artistically with the artist interpreting to observers what his art means if it is expressed in forms other than words, or in the case where we are dealing with scientific intuition, then it must be subject to experimentation to confirm its validity.
DESIGN SCIENCE applies the scientific method to the solution of solving design problems. When a problem is presented, the designer seeking to apply science must go through a rigorous process of obtaining all available knowledge pertaining to the nature of the problem, observation stage, and from this knowledge develop first a working hypothesis of the solution to the problem. This hypothesis must now be subject to an iterative cycle of experimentation, verification, and optimization until the most optimal solution is found. This optimal solution is like a theory in the regular scientific process. The theory states that this solution, obtained through design science is the most optimal for the problem. During the iterative cycle, many hypotheses that fail the verification stage are cast away and new ones formulated. A new hypothesis can be formulated through a rigorous systematic search of a space of possible solutions or obtained intuitively via brainstorming.
There is another brand of design science called, Comprehensive, anticipatory design science, championed by R. Buckminster Fuller. This flavour seeks to find total solutions, hence comprehensive, to design problems with the added dimension of being anticipatory of the future. Meaning we don’t only try to produce an optimal design via design science methods but we must anticipate the future trends as we create our solution so that it is robust enough to stand the test of time.
TECHNOLOGY is the application of scientific knowledge to solve a problem. Most of the products of design science are usually some kind of technology that solves the problem.
Technology is a system of components that encode the solution to a problem. These components could be physical or abstract or contain both physical and abstract aspects combined together in harmony. it is a system because it is made up of elements that are connected together in an efficient manner to achieve a goal.
When we think of technology, our minds go to the man-made devices that we use to achieve certain goals in our lives, but the natural world is filled with systems that are technological by the definition given above.
Technology is created via the scientific procedure and it is a design solution to a problem, and technological solutions can evoke a sense of beauty in an observer hence it is Art. With the above written I hope I have spelt out the differences between Art, Design, Design Science and Technology and united them in this last paragraph of this writing.