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Art and Science... they inhabit the same world, but see it from two different points of view. What science calls interaction, art can just as easily call transformation. Science calls it data, art calls it intuition. Changing what you call something, CAN change the way you regard it. We've got a two-edged sword here. Science going one way. Art going the other. It's a single weapon, it's a single tool; but we can look at it from different sides.
For the moment, let me talk to the art edge of the sword. And to do that, let me to go to the old story generator, above which it is written that, "Everything we know, we know from stories." Remember the tale of the Trojan Horse? Years of fighting, back and forth, Greece and Troy, no decisive victory. One day, the Greeks appear to withdraw, leaving behind a great wooden horse as a token of surrender. Elated with victory, the Trojans bring the horse into the city. That night, Greek soldiers hidden within the horse, open the gates of the city, allowing the returning Greeks to enter, and Troy is vanquished once and for all. Moral of the story. Art is a force, not to be underestimated. By marginalizing it, by historicizing it, by equating it with decoration and impracticality; you strip it of its transformative powers, and you leave yourself exposed and vulnerable to strange diseases against which only art ever provided you protection.
Perhaps, it was the opening of that hole in the ozone layer. Perhaps, it was the pathetic way that Elvis died, I don't know, but somehow a great mushrooming self-referential media cloud has come into our world, intent it seems, on ripping from us our hold on truth and self-esteem. The early symptoms of this disease? A lurid fascination with infomercials, and with the DETAILS of the Monica Lewinsky case. As your symptoms worsen, you find yourself unable to see your life as anything other than a scandalous advertisement. By then, it is too late. Ladies and gentlemen, I am here to tell you that sometimes art, is all that stands between you and irrelevance.
Art's role against the larger cultural backdrop, may indeed be small, but rather like the pituitary gland is to the brain, a few well-placed drops from that small sensibility can completely alter the chemical balance of the system. In such an altered state, facts suddenly don't seem so factual, and dreams don't seem so sleepy. Order and meaning stop strutting about long enough to lend a receptive ear to chaos and ambiguity. In such a state, it might even occur to you that things you now find delightful and interesting, you had not even noticed before. Who knows, you might even enjoy a good laugh at your own expense.
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