The 3rd Culture: Art Meets Science
Moderator: Seong-wook Hong(Professor at Seoul National University(SNU), Program in History and Philosophy of Science)
Moderated by Prof. Seong-wook Hong, this conference invites a range of researchers who have been involved directly or indirectly in this project, which is based on collaboration of artists and scientists, and who are recognized as experts in consilience in Korea.
Date & Venue
13:30-18:30 Apr 4(Fri), 2014
3F Multipurpose Room, ARKO Artist House
Hong-jong Kim, Myeong-joo Kang, Ji-eun Hwang, Pil-jin Lee, Seung-cheol Shin, Jin-sang Yoo, Kenny Kyungmi Kim, Gyo-gu Lee, Sang-wook Lee
13:30-13:50 Shapes and Patters
Hong-jong Kim(Prof. in Mathematical Sciences, SNU)
13:50-14:10 Mathematics and Fluid
Myeong-joo Kang(Prof. in Mathematical Sciences, SNU)
14:10-14:30 Built Structure & Social Fluid
Ji-eun Hwang(Prof. in Architecture, University of Seoul)
15:10-15:30 Physics of Hidden Spaces
Pil-jin Lee(Prof. in Physics, KIAS(Korea Institute for Advanced Study)
15:30-15:50 New Materialism and Animate Art
Seung-cheol Shin(Prof. in Fine Art, Gangneung-Wonju National Univ.)
15:50-16:10 Forms and Fluidity of Coincidental Structure for Creative Methodologies
Jin-sang Yoo(Prof. in Intermedia Art, Kaywon Univ. of Art & Design)
16:50-17:10 Dynamic Structure & Fluid: Standing on the Border of Art and Science
Kenny Kyungmi Kim(President of NMARA(New Media Art Research Association)
17:10-17:30 When Art and Science Meet: Interactive Media Art
Gyo-gu Lee(Prof. at SNU Graduate School of Convergence Science and Technology)
17:30-17:50 Craftsmanship and Quintessence: Seeking Beauty in Art and Science
Sang-wook Lee(Prof. in Philosophy, Hanyang Univ.)
Shapes and Patterns
Prof. Hong-jong Kim(Dep. of Mathematical Sciences, SNU)
“We see yet cannot see, hear yet cannot hear. What we think we know sometimes hinders our new knowledge. If we call reason extracted from sensibility a pattern, understanding of patterns is greatly helpful in acquiring inspirations.
‘Which and which are the same?’ Patterns give us one answer to this question. This talk will talk about symmetries and patterns of Euclidean spaces. According to Leonardo da Vinci, finite plane patterns are classified into C-type(C1, C2, C3…) and D-type(D1, D2, D3…). A C-type pattern is different from its mirror image, but D-type pattern is the same as its mirror image. There are 7 different “stripe figures” which has one cycle on a plane. Also introduced will be 17 kinds of allover patterns which have cycles. Also, different patterns of objects in spaces will be dealt with. Once we let go, we start to see.”
Mathematics and Fluid
Prof. Myeong-joo Kang (Dep. of Mathematical Sciences, SNU)
Recent films/animations require more realistic depiction of all kinds of natural phenomena, ranging from big disasters such as surge, storm and explosion to small ones like the movement of leaves due to swirl or waves of water in a glass. These natural phenomena are caused by complex motions of fluids. Realistic depiction of natural phenomena can be roughly broken down into a model for fluid motion, its calculation and the visual rendering of such movements. We access these animations often and closely in big-scale movies dealing with wars, space science or history, or advertisements and industrial design that dream of future. For instance, the characters in Star Wars and the tremendous fluctuation of sea water in Titanic were possible thanks to such animation technologies. Thus, computer graphics technologies, which aim to present big natural disasters, ruins after battles or imaginary cities in future in the most real way possible, are progressing as a new medium of expression in arts, industry and throughout everyday life. In this presentation, I would like to briefly introduce the fundamental mathematical theories for realizing such technologies.
Built Structure & Social Fluid
Prof. Ji-eun Hwang(Dep. of Architecture, University of Seoul)
The essence of architecture, the history of which is as long as that of mankind, would be construction of space. In prehistoric age, men used to construct spaces by marking their territories, by drawing on a cave wall or digging up the ground; the techniques of space construction were developed in Gothic churches of the Middle Ages or Baroque palaces, as a platform for the state-of-the-art science and arts of respective eras. A wide range of science technologies from modernity to the current era, while facilitating techniques for space construction suitable for population increase, urbanization and mass production system, are encouraging the emergence of new spaces. The formative principles of physical structures are developing from Euclidean axioms to computer algorithms, and immaterial spaces embodied into material structures are linked to complex human life, analyzed in the frames of psychology or cognitive science, and our settlement and life are economically and socially reinterpreted via space.
In this conference, I would like to introduce new ways of space construction which are emerging in the field of architecture lately and discuss practical attempts based on site work, more experimental trials and their implications. Also, it aims to point out emerging phenomena in architecture due to its encounters with newly named technologies such as parametric modeling, physical computing, robotics, 3D printing or smart materials, as well as the innovative changes in space cognition brought by social media and mobile technology. While connecting tentative predictions for near future to the history of architecture, I would like to share and discuss ideas about the unshaken human instinct for settlement and social presence.
Physics of Hidden Spaces
Prof. Pil-jin Lee(Dep. of Physics, KIAS(Korea Institute for Advanced Study))
There is a famous question in geometry in the mid-20th century: Can we hear the shape of a drum? It is asking, if there was a drum in a random shape, can one figure out its shape just by listening to how it sounds? It is easy to tell violin from bass from the sound, but is it possible to picture an instrument’s size and shape by listening to its sound? This rather theoretical question comes to physicists in a more concrete form now, for the world predicted by super string theory requires a hidden 6-dimensional space. This hidden space is so small, seen neither by human eyes nor the most precise equipment in the world, and said to be sitting on every space and time point of the 3-dimensional. This means that every space/time point in our universe is actually not a ‘point’ but ‘space.’ Moreover, the concrete look of this hidden space determines most of the microscopic properties of the visible universe, which is to say that we can also infer how this hidden space looks like once we observe all the physical properties of the visible universe. The mathematical diversity of hidden spaces also represents diversity of the universe itself, and this shows that our universe is merely one of numerous possibilities, which was also a reason for some super string theorists to argue for Multiverse. In this presentation, we are going to look at and discuss the mathematical and physical diversity of hidden spaces.
New Materialism and Animate Art
Prof. Seung-cheol Shin(Dep. of Fine Art, Gangneung-Wonju National Univ.)
The process of ‘discovering forms’ which started accidently from the experiments of architectural structures in the 1960s became a major methodology in today’s artistic practice. The calculation of structural mechanics for adapting to the environments has produced dynamic and freer forms of architecture that humans cannot easily conceive, and the free activities of materials soon began to replace human imagination. In reality, this type of artistic practice has already gained attention since the ancient times. Roman writer Lucretius, Renaissance humanist Leon Battista Alberti and Leonardo Da Vinci were among those who paid attention to ‘accidental images’ produced by clouds, rocks, mountains or stains on the wall, and also to the mechanisms of form generation via the movements of materials in the nature.
Concepts about materials went through spontaneous changes along with this interest. Conception and material realization, or the dichotomy and hierarchy of form and material –which has already begun with Plato- has disappeared due to the artistic practice based on free movements of materials; and materials, which have always been considered as passive and nondeterministic entity, have been recognized for their potential. Materials activities which generate forms through autonomous movements boast their vitality now. And we start to discover in art certain intimacy or continuity of nature and art, instead of spiritual origins.
The recent perspective of new materialism encompasses such material activities. It emphasizes the life force of materials and their free movements. Form and life are generated in material activities, through which art creation and changes in natural history are placed at the same level. In this conference, such material activities will be introduced, while shedding a new light on the border between nature and art.
Forms and Fluidity of Coincidental Structure for Creative Methodologies
Prof. Jin-sang Yoo(Dep. of Intermedia Art, Kaywon Univ. of Art & Design)
Visual art is composed in the combination of numerous forms, colors, textures and successions. Unlike linguistic combinatoire, visual combinatoires are marked by idioms that escape clear definitions and by links that go beyond syntactic rules. The reason why we can recognize or find each visual event familiar nonetheless is probably because there are predictable patterns within the combination of visual elements. Creative methodologies of fine art are positioned across the predictable or conceivable patterns, and the unpredictable links which transcend these patterns. Therefore, creative methodologies ‘apprivoiser(tame)’ ‘unpredictabilities.’ In other words, it is to pave a path in the realm of ‘chance.’
Our sensations recognize or try to recognize the plausibility of extremely complicated links, decipher their tangled threads, and achieve brilliant artistic arrangement and combinations out of it. For this purpose, it is necessary to acknowledge the differences and types inherent in ‘chance’ and classify them. A range of types exist in the category we call chance: arbitrary, selectiveness, probability, statistics, ales or al-azar, fortune, coincidence, accident/event, chance, happening, hazard, unpredictable, combinatory, indescribable, unsayable, unknown, untreatable, blurred, undistinguishable, or about-to-happen. Each of these chance elements represent different movements, structures and patterns. We name all the chance structures we can possibly distinguish. And they show that this world is an infinitely varied series of what is flowing constantly.
In this conference, I will focus on how the understanding of chance structures pays attention to interesting clues of how creation relates to the world and how it leads to the clues of thought not only valid in visual art but similar in scientific insights and philosophical reflections.
Dynamic Structure & Fluid: Standing on the Border of Art and Science
Kenny Kyungmi Kim(President of NMARA(New Media Art Research Association)
The first theme of Art & Science Integrative Project is Dynamic Structure & Fluid. In visual art, structure is expressed as a figurative element; fluid is included as a basic concept in sound art and music is what shows a flow in a structure. New media art sees spatial and temporal concepts coexisting, and possesses a dynamic quality in its program and content. Also, the dynamic is maximized in the process of audience reception and communication.
Structure is a relation or system of parts and the whole, while fluid is a dynamic combination of time and space, showing movement and change. It starts from a relation’s possibility to change and from the view that the world is not a sum of its part but a whole. Every phenomenon is dependent to each other, and individuals and society are deeply engaged in the cycles of nature. Part and whole cannot be separate; they are mutual. We can approach the whole only through its parts, and the properties of them can only be understood in the whole’s dynamics. This exhibition is conceived not as an integration of separately appearing parts but a network of mutually related elements. Here, what is important is process. A stationary structure is not absolute but merely a temporary appearance of process. Nature is a dynamic organism where all things and events are linked and constantly flowing. In this regard, the theme was organized keeping in mind that it is meaningless to distinguish subject and object, and thus man and things, man and nature are one.
The presentation will introduce the overview of the entire project, and how the related mathematical and physical theories on structure and fluid are combined with the artworks.
When Art and Science Meet: Interactive Media Art
Prof. Gyo-gu Lee(SNU Graduate School of Convergence Science and Technology)
Development of technologies such as sensing, actuator or pattern recognition are enormously influencing not only innovative IT technologies including smart phones but also the arts. These new technologies maximize the expressive capacity of artists and enable the expressions of artistic imagination previously impossible, facilitating the delivery of artists’ intentions and the birth of a new genre called ‘interactive art.’
As its name suggests, interactive art sees a new concept which has never been seen in other art forms: interactivity. Previously, it was impossible to change an artist’s intentions once they were portrayed in painting or sculpture. Receiving such intentions are entirely up to the viewers; whether they can accept them or not was beyond the artist’s responsibility. In other word, the communication between artists and viewers was uni-directional. In interactive art, however, things are very different. Of course, the motif or foundation for an artwork is up to the artist, but ‘audience’ play a very important role in expressing and picking them up. Thus, the communication is ‘bi-directional.’ In addition, it has a fairly unique quality: the work responds to its surrounding or audience’s input –voices, movements, etc.-, making each audience member help create their own work. To make this happen, artists should move beyond paints and brushes and use different state-of-the-art technologies including senser/actuator technology, computer graphics or video and voice recognition – which is truly the integration of art and cutting-edge technology.
In this conference, I will show different examples and demonstrate how such technologies are utilized in art, especially interactive media art. I will also introduce a project which uses real-time superprecision locating technology to design extremely realistic virtual reality and apply it to real ar spaces.
Craftsmanship and Quintessence: Seeking Beauty in Art and Science
Prof. Sang-wook Lee(Dep. of Philosophy, Hanyang Univ.)
Pursuit of ‘beauty’ is a natural and familiar quality both in artistic creation and scientific research. To artists, ‘beauty’ seems important to the extent that it appears as a meta-concept even for an artwork that deals with something commonly understood as ‘ugly.’ Scientists often describe their work of looking for ‘hidden’ truths of nature as a journey to find beauty. Looking a little more closely at this surface similarity, however, we see an undeniable difference as well. For example, I am not sure how much artists would relate when molecular biologists say DNA double helix is ‘beautiful’ but it would be barely possible to regard Einstein’s equation of gravitational field, which physicists call ‘beautiful,’ as something aesthetic. Likewise, scientists might find it rather easy to agree the geometric compositions in Crivelli’s paintings are beautiful but find it difficult to say Messiaen’s music in integral serialism is beautiful.
Despite these clear differences, I’d like to suggest that artistic beauty and scientific beauty have similarities in two different dimensions and propose a new frame of understanding: one is the aspect of craftsmanship seen ‘well-made’ artwork and ‘well-executed’ scientific research; the other is that of quintessence which penetrates the essence of something important and complicated such as life or universe and presents it succinctly. In this way, we will be able to understand seeking beauty in art and science in a more pluralistic yet integrative way.