“I’m always pleased to say that what I work on has no practical significance whatsoever. The great thing about science is you never know what’s gonna be discovered or what’s the implications. What if you had to pick one area that had less direct practical significance, it’ll be hard to find one that add up more than mine (regarding his role in the public understanding of science). I try to understand how the universe began and how it’s going end and these questions are incredibly important for us culturally but the kind of new physics that we try and develop and understand affects the universe on scales that really are divorced from human scales directly. Obviously, they relate to what the reason of how we got here and ultimately we want to understand these questions and unfortunately religion tries to protect and use up those question and I want to point out how science can dress them so they’re fundamental sort of cultural questions. I’d like to say my work is as useful as a Mozart Symphony… at its best it enhances the cultural experience of being human.”
“…one of the problems with science is that it has practical utility.”
Lawrence Krauss, “Lawrence Krauss and Dave Rubin: Donald Trump, Nuclear Thread, Science and more (Full Interview),” The Rubin Report video, Oct 21, 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erSOdcN8VUI.
- Science engages with practical utility but art helps to navigate, question and mediate it? Science is about discovery–good or bad, whatever implications remain secondary–and art is about questioning these impact?
“…Einstein argued that there was only one time and space–that of physics–and that what Bergson was after was nothing more than subjective time–that of psychology. We recognize here that classical way for scientists to deal with philosophy, politics, and art: ‘What you say might be nice and interesting but it has no cosmological relevance because it only deals with the subjective elements, the lived world, not the real world.’ The funny thing is that everyone–including, in a way, Bergson–was convinced that he had lost, and that indeed the whole question was another episode in the gigantomachy of objective reality versus subjective illusion. To the scientists, the cosmos, and to the rest of us, the phenomenology of human intentionality. So the answer to the question ‘Which space do we live in?’ is clearly: we live in a subjective world with no reality for physics. Einstein: winner.”
Bruno Latour, “Some Experiments in Art and Politics,” e-flux journal The Internet Does Not Exist (2015): 49.
“Art doesn’t come from the mouth, you know. It is not a telling experience. We want experience to tell us something, but I don’t think that understanding has to do with telling anything… Science is creating and comparing, and art is creating conditions that do not quite exist. That is why art is different from science. The ideal of science is to create at least theoretical models of things we hope have some correspondence with what exists; whereas with art, you try as human being to create something that wouldn’t exist unless you made it.”
Carl Andre, Six Years: The Dematerialization of the Art Object from 1966 to 1972 (London: University of California Press, 1997), ??.