a third culture – jack kutilek

Being a student interested in both art and science, I have seen the people that stick to one area of study and stay as far form the other as possible. However, I’ve always found both worlds interesting and have myself used the creative possibilities that technology allows to look deeper into the way that science works and also to make nontraditional art through the use of the computer, but I have never thought that these would be the same thing. I’ve seen them as two different cultures with a bridge between them that I can easily use to get from one to the other. I’ve thought that art pieces that use technology are just borrowing tools from the science world, or that sciences were borrowing the artists’ way of thinking. I’ve never thought that there would be another place in the middle of the bridge.

Now, after listening to the lectures and exploring the Internet, I see that the artists aren’t borrowing science and the scientists aren’t borrowing artists’ methods, they both are combining the two cultures into a different culture: the third culture. There is the art that works with the emotions and complexity of humans, there is the science that works with the way the world works, and then there is the third culture, which explores the two combined. Perhaps it explores the human reaction the development of science and expresses it in a different way. I found multiple art groups that dedicate themselves to combining art and science. They work to further advancements in both art and science, and have thus created a new field that inspires a new culture. http://www.artistsinlabs.ch/english/index.htm works to “share common goals, to broaden the dialogue, generate ideas and raise awareness of the contributions both artists and scientists can make to the larger challenges of our time”. It is difficult to navigate this site as it is mainly in Dutch, but the idea behind it is still there. “Cabled Madness” is simply an art show that shows how the lightning fast advancements in technology can be used to create interesting art pieces. The one I found interesting was called “Feedback Fred”. In it, a man attached multiple loudspeakers to his clothes and wired them together through old circuit boards to create an outfit that responds to the surroundings with sound. The piece shows a man “Fred” as he moves around an environment in creative ways to make creative sounds. These shows represent all the different possibilities that are available through the advancement of art and science together, and bring forth the emerging third culture that narrows the gap between the two already defined cultures.
feedback fred

Feedback Fred

Being on the UCLA campus for only two weeks, I have not seen much of the two cultures. The north campus-south campus difference hasn’t been very prevalent among the students I’ve met. While the buildings are different, they both have their own way of aesthetic that I believe works to bring the two cultures closer. And while there are definitely students who don’t want to step foot on north campus or students who don’t want to go into south campus, there are also students that want to straddle both. It is these straddlers that define the emerging third culture, and it is up to them to push for its existence.


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