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Claudia Giannetti


Art - science - art

Deliberations on the connection between art and science have various points of departure. The most general considerations are limited to the assumption of a parallel development. In his writings published in 1970, Werner Heisenberg, who along with Max Planck counts as a founding father of quantum theory, stated that the tendencies towards abstraction in the sciences were comparable with those in the field of art. According to Heisenberg, new artistic and scientific forms can result only from new content, but the converse does not apply. To renew art or to revolutionize science, he wrote, meant to create new content and concepts, and not just new forms. [1]

A question more complex than that of parallels between art and science is the extent to which art influences the sciences. According to Peter Weibel, this question can be answered only methodologically, that is by applying a comparison which views art and science as methods. While science, says Weibel, is distinctly methodological in character, art is generally not regarded as a method: «This is our first claim: art and science can only reasonably be compared if we


accept that both are methods. This does not mean that we declare that both have the same methods. We only want to declare that both have a methodological approach, even if their methods are or can be different.» [2]

Accordingly it would be permissible to view art and science as convergent in the methodological sense. As Weibel sees it, science is influenced by art in regard to its methods, but not by its products and references: «Because any time science develops the tendency for its methods to become too authoritarian, too dogmatic, science turns to art and to the methodology of art which is plurality of methods.» [3] The objective nature exists neither in the framework of the sciences nor in culture regardless of social construction, «art and science meet and converge in the method of social construction.» [4]

This position finds its most radical expression in the science-theoretical contributions of Paul Feyerabend. As a critic of scientific rationalism, he develops new interpretations and connections among the arts and sciences. He is of the opinion that artists and scientists developing a style or theory frequently

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