Closing the Barrier: An Integration of Modern Art + Science

Closing the Barrier

An Integration of Modern Art and Modern Science

Table of Contents

Birth of a Modern Medium 3

The Push and Pull of Science and Art in the Age of Photography 5 Photography and the Essence of Time 9

The Fourth Dimension 11

Photography, Time, and the Fourth Dimension Applied 13

Edvard Munch 13

Futurists 15

Marcel Duchamp 19

Modern Art and Modern Science: Parallel Endeavors 23

Appendix I: The Nature of Human Curiosity 25

Appendix II: The Nature of Human Creativity 28

Bibliography 31

Photography and Art References 32


The Birth of a Modern Medium

The birth of photography occurred in a time when modernity was blossoming. A middle class and cities were emerging in great numbers as industries flourished under Capitalist America. Newspapers and other high- speed presses were growing along with everything else, and a demand for pictures naturally arose. Photography was soon to change the world and the way people thought. Parallel to modernity, this medium grew and changed with the modern age and therefore is embedded into the very fabric of the world that we experience every day.

The discovery of photography has a very unique history. All the materials needed to make a photograph had been around for over a hundred years before they were correctly combined to fix a photograph on a sheet of copper. While Louis Daguerre, a French artist and chemist, and Joseph Niépce, a French inventor, are generally credited to its discovery in 1838, it is known that others around the world had discovered the same thing around the same time (perhaps even before Niépce and Daguerre finally reached a resolution). Historian of photography Pierre G. Harmant has estimated that twenty-four people claimed to have invented photography in the year of or before 1839, which was the year of the discovery’s announcement.i

Francois Arago was chosen to announce Daguerre and Niépce’s collaborative findings in France in the year 1839. Arago himself was a renowned physicist and astronomer who made contributions to the study of light waves. The mere fact that Arago, an influential scientist, was the one chosen to introduce photography to the world spoke volumes of what photography would impact. This simultaneous invention was discovered by artists and scientists alike, all at the same time. These truths seem to have foreshadowed the integration of art and science in a medium thriving on modernity. Before this was to happen, though, there had to be a push and pull of the politics and uses of photography throughout the second half of the 19th century.


The Push and Pull of Art and Science in the Age of Photography

With the new age of industrial expansion and rapidly growing business, the entire economic system called for as much efficiency as humanly possible. The idea of scientific management, also known as Taylorism, was introduced by Frederick Taylor in 1911.ii His theory was that if the most efficient way to accomplish a job, such as brick laying or shoveling, was determined, then that single method could be practice by an entire workforce in order to get the most out of each individual worker. In theory, this technique would develop an elite working force that would persevere in the marketplace. Studies were conducted that singled out the most competent workers; their action while engaging in their job would then be scientifically studied to determine their exact motions. These techniques would be confirmed and mass-taught to all of the people responsible for that specific job. This method was designed to create business that got the job done without wasting any time or money.

The practice of scientific management was drawn to photography for its ability to record real life with great accuracy. Taylorism’s reliance on photography was based on the camera’s ability to capture the precise motions of the exceptionally efficient workers they wished to study. The long exposures worked in the favor of scientists who advocated for this technique. 

Photography’s scientific relevance was extended to the economic demands of the emerging 20th century. In the study of scientific management, the fourth dimension is used by economists who strived for a prosperous industrial marketplace within the world. The use of photography, and especially the use of long exposures, echoed the fourth dimensional influences in areas that stemmed into political and economical situations. Higher dimensional awareness was growing as the 20th century was ushered in by scientists and artists alike studying the subject matter. Photography was merely used as a tool to explore the fourth dimension, and often times its goals were as varied as those pertaining to Taylorism and Muybridge’s animal studies. Photography and countless scientific experiments helped usher in this new way of thinking that progressed and influenced modern art in the 20th century.

The mere fact that artists and scientists are the ones that brought photography to life is what sparked the debate over the definition of photography. It was mechanical by nature, and therefore inherently a mechanism meant for science and discovery. Artistically, though, it could render the real world more precisely than any artist’s hand could; it had potential to become the iconic medium of modernity. From the very first spark of the new phenomenon, art and science were together trying to find meaning within the wonders of photography.

The urge to uncover meaning and establishment in photography led to movements in both artistic and scientific realms. In 1889, J. Wells Champney, an American genre artist, wrote an article for Harper’s Magazine assessing the fifty years of ground photography had covered. When it came to science, he mentioned the range of opportunities photography had opened up: “The uses to which science has put photography are very numerous, from records of the infinitely little to the infinitely great, from microscopy, which deals with the invisible, to the vastness of astronomical wonders”.iii Its fifty- year milestone already established scientific photography as one of the leading fields in which photography contributed the most to. Among other benefiting areas were anthropology, criminology, and military purposes. The art world’s progress, however, was not so established. While artists were using photography as a tool to enhance their own work, photography itself was not yet an art form in its own right. The need to catch up with the pace science and other field were moving at would prove to be quite a challenge for art photographers.

Pictorialism was the first organized, full-force movement of art photography. Pioneered by Peter Henry Emerson, a medical student turned photographer, the mentality of the Pictorialists relied on the rejection of modern machinery and embraced the painterly qualities that had already been proven to be respected artistically. The Pictorialists’ attempt to elevate photography’s artistic status certainly gained recognition and respect by some, but there was an opposition. Photography was itself a literal example of modernity. Pictorialists did not treat photography as a progressive medium, rather it was in fact a regressive approach to champion photography as an art form. A rejection of tradition is what modernity, and photography, called for. Alfred Stieglitz and Paul Strand both recognized this cultural fact.

While Alfred Stieglitz himself practiced Pictorialism while the movement was in its prime during the late 1800s early 1900s, he eventually recognized alongside revolutionary photographer Paul Strand that photography should be used to its potential rather than resting on a completely different medium’s aesthetics. Crisp focus and modern subject matter such as city-life and machinery shaped the graphic art photography embraced by true modern men. Photography no longer dug for answers in mediums far from itself, rather it embraced its own potentials; the subject matter it then pointed to was in direct reflection of itself... the modern machine of the camera was turned to capture other aspects of modern life.

Photography and the Essence of Time

When the medium was still very young, beginning photographers would go out and photograph just about anything. The mechanism was an unfamiliar one at the time, and mistakes would obviously happen because of this. The long exposures back then required a lot of time to take one picture; often times it took several minutes. People would move about within the frame and their trails from the movement would be recorded onto the negative. This accident was part of the beginning of a new phenomenon in science.

John Szarkowski, the successor at MoMa of legendary photographer/curator Edward Steichen, had a specific view on time’s role in photography. To him, it was one of five inherent qualities in photography. One of those inherent qualities was time. Time is so closely bound to photography because without it, one cannot take a picture. Nowadays, photography often seems instantaneous. In reality, however, time is a requirement no matter how small or large the amount needed.

Eadward Muybridge can be credited towards grasping space and time in a way no one else had before; he was able to freeze time and reveal what the eye could not distinguish. He is often acknowledged as being one of the godfathers of cinema, and his famous experiment in which he set up twenty- four camera’s to go off specifically when a horse passed the middle of the frame was set at a shutter speed at 1/2000 of a second.iv The spectrum of time was narrowed down to an inconceivable fraction of a second; the camera’s mechanics could capture reality better than the human eye could. The experiment proved that it is indeed true that a horse’s all four hooves are at one point completely in mid-air during an all-out gallop. Most importantly, though, photography was needed to prove this notion, and it certainly did. The stop-motion photography of Muybridge showed the power of the medium; it exclusively demonstrated the fleetingness of time and how much the human eye can miss during observation. These experiments began as early as 1879, right in time for the beginning of what would be considered “the golden age of the Fourth Dimension”1. The influence of time in the art and science of photography is what helped spark an interest in the foreign world of the fourth dimension.

1 Physicist Michio Kaku referenced this “golden age”, explaining that it occurred between 1880 and 1920.

The Fourth Dimension

The concept of the fourth dimension has multiple connotations; it is most often attributed to extra special dimensions or dealing with the fourth dimension as “time”. With Einstein’s special theory of relativity, time proved to be a lot more like space than originally thought. In fact, time and space are the same thing (hence, the term space-time). However, this notion of “time” as the fourth dimension differs from the mathematical investigations of picturing an extra spatial dimension.2 Trying to picture what is beyond our own reality, the one we experience through our senses of seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, and tasting, may not be sufficient in imagining dimensions beyond the third. However, it is still possible to conceptualize a separate reality without experiencing it. If there are other dimensions, are we a part of it? What we consider “reality’ could be merely a smaller part of a much larger picture that we simply can not sense. As renounced theoretical physicist Brian Greene has said, “Our brain has evolved sensing the three dimensions of everyday experience.”v The fourth spatial dimension in mathematics refers to Euclidean space, the study of geometry in which flat space is based on vector point coordinates. This is not to be confused with Minkowski space, which is the basis for Einstein’s theory of special relativity, in which the four dimensions of space are length, width, height, and time. Euclidean space’s four dimensions involve length, width, height, and unknown spatial dimensions only to be conceptualized with mathematics. It should not be underestimated, though. Humans may have the capability to grasp such mystifying concepts.

Conceptualizing beyond our reality may prove to be possible; however, visualizing it is not likely to be possible. Consider a two dimensional being living on a two dimensional Their experience is based around living in a world with everything based on length and width alone. If one of these beings were to run into a third dimensional creature, it would appear two dimensional to them. Surely, in this situation, a three dimensional creature would look very odd to them. If it would turn in circles, for instance, it would seem to defy the logic of the two dimensional being. A two dimensional figure would not be able to picture a third dimensional figure because it is beyond their knowledge of everyday experience.

Similarly, humans in the third dimension can’t visualize the fourth dimension. However, with the help of mathematics and the arts it can be conceptualized. The fourth dimension gained recognition with the general public as early as the 1880s. Throughout the beginning of the 1900s, artists would take on this matter with a radical sense of reality; their minds were stretched beyond the third dimension.


Photography, Time, and the Fourth Dimension Applied

Fourth dimensional exploration and photography ignited the flame that would keep science and art in a consistent progression throughout the modern age. Revolutionary artists would apply the shutter-speed accidents that occurred early on in photography in new inventive ways. The quickness of modern day life was shining vividly through the work of countless artists. Exploring the most significant of these artists, though, will offer insight into their world of an ever-growing connection between art and science.

Edvard Munch: 1891

Edvard Munch’s exploration of photography and the fourth dimension is staggering once one considers the extent he practiced this medium. When he first became an artist, it is believed that he used a camera obscura or camera lucida (or both) to help him record the correct perspectives.vii The camera obscura and camera lucida are optical instruments that preceded the invention of photography. While these devices cannot fix an image on a flat surface, they optically render a scene on a piece of paper; the artist can then use the projection to obtain an accurate representation of the scene they are rendering. Munch’s use of these instruments foreshadowed his lifelong involvement in photography. His use of the medium influenced his paintings which impacted an entire centuries’ worth of in-depth analysis of the fourth dimension.

In 1891, his Rue de Rivoli  depicts a street in Paris crowded with people. There is something queer about it, though. It still has the same impressionistic qualities Munch adopted around this time in his career as an artist, but the figures are strangely elongated. The sweeping brushstrokes that were central to the influence of impressionism were used in a new way; Munch adapted the style to incorporate his interest in the fourth dimension. The brushstrokes are vividly apparent and create an overall vibrating blur; this blending of hues and objects create an intense essence of motion that draws the eye towards the advancing direction of the moving people. The buildings move backwards with the city folk, introducing a revolutionary take on painting. The people in the foreground are stretched as they move along the bustling Parisian street. As the eye is led back towards the vanishing point, human life is portrayed as dotted and fluid objects that mesh together. The painting is not a depiction of a single moment; instead, we are looking at a fourth dimensional interpretation of a familiar scene. It is very likely that Rue de Rivoli was not only influenced by impressionism, but the practice and art of photography. The atmosphere Munch created was a radical one, but it was most definitely a fascinating and revolutionary approach to painting that was most likely sparked by his involvement with photography and his interest in the fourth dimension.

Rue de Rivoli is one of the first instances in which a painter referenced fourth dimensional space on a two dimensional canvas. Others were soon to dive into this matter, but on a much deeper level. One group in particular applied this idea to their work according to a manifesto largely based on the beauty within rapidity and glory within war: the Futurists.

The Futurists

The Italian poet, artist, and political activist Filippo Marinetti published the Futurist manifesto in 1909. Technological beauty, aesthetics in violence, strength of youth, and merit of speed is what epitomized this group. The Futurists claimed museums were cemeteries; the past was not even worth acknowledging to them. Their manifesto was a declaration of vitality; the new age of trains, heavy metal machinery, unbelievably fast automobiles and flying planes took flight in their minds and produced a rich proclamation of amazement. Space and time were annihilated as new technology revolutionized the world they lived in; therefore, there was no reason to rely on the past’s less-knowing deceased people for answers and guidance. Their harsh rejection of the past promoted an accelerated development for what was to come in the future. Their admiration of war was poured into their delegation, as well. The coupling of violence and modern artillery meant pure power to them. In their worlds where war and speed ranked supreme, their work was indeed rendering politics aesthetic.3War and injustice embodied the nature of life itself. Looking towards the future, they took on the modern day with vigor and a vengeance.

Some of the best work to come out of the Futurists was reminiscent of Munch’s progressive piece Rue de Rivoli. Their artistic approach is what brought their manifesto to life; the drawn out movements of modern subject matter proved to electrify the Futurists’ intentions. The technique first seen in Munch’s work led the Futurists to take on a technique called dynamism.

The Futurists approach to painting and sculpture was heavily weighted on the process and specific concept. In their technical manifestoviii on Futurist painting, they announced:

Indeed, all things move, all things run, all things are rapidly changing. A profile is never motionless before our eyes, but it constantly appears and disappears. On account of the persistency of an image upon the retina, moving objects constantly multiply themselves; their form changes like rapid vibrations, in their mad career. Thus a running

3Marinetti would later become a political activist for the Fascist party under Mussolini. He strived to make Futurism the national art of Italy (although he failed to make this official). The Futurists had a strong political lean in favor of Fascism. Their love of war, violence, and nationalism was illustrated aesthetically throughout their body of work.

The basis of this conviction was shaped by scientific and photographic/motion-picture influences (which is itself, by nature, scientific). Their testament states that the way we optically perceive reality is not merely stand-still objects; fast moving objects create shapes with the space they embody, as if moving through higher dimensions that we simply cannot see. The forms before our eyes that grasp space and time cannot be considered a mere solitary changes every time it moves, becoming something completely different with each second. When turning these ideas into art, their energetic depictions generated an unbelievable atmosphere; they contained an aura of otherworldliness that was years ahead of its time. This concept of sequential, rapid, and repeated movements was central to dynamism, and it was seen throughout the body of work of the Futurists; it stemmed into sculpture as well.

The flowing motions of figures moving through space can be seen in Giacomo Balla’s work. His Dog on a Leash (1912) [Figure 4] is the perfect example of the Futurists’ use of dynamism to characterize their admiration of speed. The woman being depicted is walking her pet Dachshund in the painting. The focus is solely on their motion, which is likely why the only part of the woman shown is her feet and the bottom of what appears to be her skirt. Literally everything in this piece exudes motion: the woman’s feet, the dog, from its floppy ears to its spunky tail, and the leash itself are moving at what seems to be at an overwhelming speed (in the point of view of the third dimension, at least). Even the pavement is represented by blurred lines that dart through the painting, creating a strong visual tension filled with motion. The dog and woman’s feet create sloped, unified shapes, a concept of great concentration with the Futurists. The blurred trails and repeated limbs are reminiscent of the early photographic “accidents” resulting from the necessary long exposures. That influence was carried on to the Futurists in order for them to execute their objectives. This piece epitomizes the Futurists close involvement with the fastness of life; nothing is ever still, and the fourth dimension is part of third dimensional life... it’s just a matter of acknowledging that.

A year after the creation of Dog on a Leash, Umberto Boccioni, another member of the Futurist group, took dynamism to a new level in his sculpture Unique Forms of Continuity in Space (1913). The figure is fiercely striding through space; it possesses the essence of a fourth dimensional being. The jagged forms jutting from the familiar human figure embody the Futurists’ need to characterize the fast pace of life and the fluidity of space and time. The ability to walk around it made it an even more powerful piece; the sculpture embodies the continuity of motion in which an object would appear to look like in the fourth dimension. The surrounding area and space it takes up still held up to the Futurist’s atmospheric art; the fact they translated this into sculpture was an incredible achievement.

Fourth dimensional depictions in painting and sculpture were revolutionizing art in the early 1900s. Their avant-garde work stemmed from their incredibly capabilities to translate scientific influences into the context of the fast growing world in the modern age. The Futurists lived up to their manifesto in that they truly left the past in the dust.

Marcel Duchamp

The Futurists were not alone in taking on scientific discovery and interest. Marcel Duchamp, alongside Futurism, took on higher dimensional subject matter. Duchamp worked closely with the French Dadas and contributed to the Surrealist movement. Duchamp came from a family of artists, and though he was the youngest of his artistic siblings, he made an immense impact with his art. Duchamp derived his sensibilities in an individualistic manner by studying the work of avant-garde groups such as the Fauves, Cubists, and Post-Impressionists.ix His personal style did not veer off track; rather, he used his exceeding capabilities and innovative mindset to revolutionize the world of art.

While the fourth dimension and beyond had grasped the attention of the public by 1910, Duchamp’s work shocked, repulsed, and outraged many


during the time his Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2 (1912) was showcased. The painting was first rejected by the Salon des Independants in Paris, and a year later accepted in the Armory Show of 1913 in New York City.

The fragmented figure in Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2 [See Figure 6] can be recognized as a human body, but it is indeterminable whether it is male or female. Without the title, one might determine that there are multiple cubistic figures being depicted. However, the reassurance of the singular title opens up a world of foreign dimensions. Duchamp’s nude is in fluid motion as it descends down the warped stairs. From the left of the painting, the stairs are curved on a downward slope, and the form is much more faded that the prominent part of the figure that is ahead in time at the bottom stair. Moving right, the stairs take on a distinction more familiar to us in the third dimension. The eye is initially drawn to the right-most body form because it is the most saturated in color, and it is the most recognizable, despite its simplified and fragmented nature. As we move back in time, so to speak, the form flows together beautifully. The shapes of the hips coincide with one another, and the same is true for the heads. No matter what individual body part one concentrates on at a time, they all seem to withhold a constant rhythm; the eye is rigorously moving, but it happens without any hint of hesitation. The painting moves and flows naturally, and coupled with the warm golden hues, Duchamp seems to have created a historical tribute to time. When the revelation occurs that one is looking at a single figure, the


essence of the fourth dimension is revealed. As complicated as this overall form seems at first glance, the complexity of it all seems to evaporate when one considers the fourth dimensional properties being explored. The black outlines traced around the snaking form enhance its’ fourth dimensional quality, as if to remind the viewer that the figure is merely a disintegrating memory of the past in the third dimension.

Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2 had parallels to the Futurist’s use of dynamism. However, the context was different and had a refreshing take on a shared technique. The nude form depicted in his piece relates to the Futurist’s process and view on rapid moving objects and the shapes they create in space. The Cubistic planes of the nude and its’ continuing motion down the stairs contains lines and trails that are both a reminder to long shutter speed photography and fourth dimensional atmospheres. The painting caused quite a controversy, as it seemed to reject the traditional rendering of the nude. Many thought he was mocking painting itself with this famous piece. Perhaps this is the perfect example of the disconnection between art and science. Duchamp’s work was greatly influenced by the fourth dimension, and the same public who rejected the painting had a growing interest in the possibilities of higher dimensions. However, it is possible that the public refuted Duchamp at first because their expectations were to see three dimensional depictions on a two dimensional canvas. When Duchamp made the leap from three to four dimensions, it may have thrown people completely off track. His radical style may have confused the general public at the time, but his legacy would thrive after the legendary year of 1919, with the help of a certain scientist.

Modern Art and Modern Science: Parallel Endeavors

The relationship between avant-garde art and science in the 20th century was astoundingly equivalent. The repetitious patterns of technique in art and growing awareness of higher dimensional theories coincided to form a unique companionship of deep thinking and visual exploration. Discoveries in each of these two areas played off of one another to create a unification of art and science unlike any other point in history. The modern world allowed for such ideas, concepts, and discoveries to become a communicative and progressive union of two higher-thinking studies.

The compatibility between art and science in the 20th century can be attributed to both the development of photography and the rising interest of physics in the public eye.4 The reactions to scientific discoveries during this time were revolutionary, which was largely due to organized and effective mass communication.

Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity took off in 1919 when his calculations regarding the malleability of space-time were confirmed. When his discovery was proven true, the public reaction was one of reverence and excitement, rendering Einstein an instant celebrity scientist.x However, this is not to say that art and science are not inherently related. The connection between the two fields was most definitely strengthened by scientific discoveries in the 1900s.


I had never heard his name suddenly knew who he was based on his single- handed findings that changed their Newtonian understanding of the universe. This instant celebrity introduced a new and eye-opening universe where space could bend and time was relative. His ideas of the fourth dimension were embedded into the minds of people everywhere by this point in time.xi

Art stood firmly alongside this world altering discovery, and even long before it was popular to the public. Artistic interest in ideas such as Einstein’s relativity immensely relates to the comparable fundamental elements in art and science. In the 20th century, both are dealing with incredibly abstract technique and subject matter. Picturing what was beyond the third dimension and executing it to make sense of these notions was constantly overlapping in both art and science. The similar ways of thinking are apparent in the equations of scientists like Einstein and the dynamic techniques in artists such as Marcel Duchamp. With this consistent overlapping of high thinking, the distinction between artist and scientist begin to break down.

Appendix I: The Nature of Human Curiosity _______________________________________________

Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton asked why. -Bernard Baruch

Curiosity is deeply rooted in the nature of human beings. It can be considered a virtue, even a moral attribute. But is curiosity not something we are born with? As young kids we asked question after question; some experts say that four year olds verbally ask over 400 questions a day. It is true that some grow out of this curiosity, but with the people who stick to it, their knowledge is ever-growing. When the desperation to know thrives, answers come out of the dark and enlighten the world with an understanding never known before. People have pushed their minds to their absolute limits trying to grasp seemingly unanswerable questions about the meaning of self, the universe, and existence. For ages, humans have looked up and basked in the wonder of the cosmos hoping to find the answer in the natural world. An understanding is what humans desire most: religions, philosophy, and science are all the products of this enduring need. Our knowledge of the universe will continue to grow as we persistently ask these supposedly improvable questions.

It is a wonder in itself why some people ask such bold, elaborate questions that may not even be answered in the lifetime of the individual


posing the question. Questions about the universe can be an intimidating realm of curiosity; the vastness of mysteries is endless, but curiosity has prevailed through the ages. But why have people asked such bold questions that they could almost assume wouldn’t be answered in their lifetime? On the surface, it may seem pointless to go after a question one knows they won’t find the answer to. However, when going after such an arbitrary matter, answers to other inquires come up along the way. By merely posing the question, you’ve gained something. It is never a pointless journey, and working towards the answers to the biggest questions is an individual exploration, as well as a collective one for humanity.

Without collective human curiosity, we would not have the technology and answers that we have presently. Generations of intellectual history has provided for us the framework of our scientific understanding of the universe. Without this framework, the human race would be at a much more primitive level.

Every now and then in history, there are people that put our measly questions to shame by their immense imagination and admirable curiosity. Scientists and mathematicians such as Johannes Kepler, Sir Isaac Newton, and Albert Einstein altered the perceptions of a world by pursuing a greater knowledge; one they personally believed would steer science and humanity in a new and more progressive direction. These individuals were the geniuses of their time. Without Kepler’s discovery of the planets moving in elliptical

orbits around the sun, perhaps Newton and then Einstein wouldn’t have had the tools to progress their theories into what they did. They each took the direction everyone was moving on and changed it to a new path, creating a new truth of enlightenment.

Appendix II: The Nature of Creativity ___________________________________________

“Let us accept joyously and with gratitude everything through which the spirit of man seeks to an even fuller and more intense self-realization”
-Paul Strand

Creativity is a symptom of the human condition. As inspiration hits, curiosity flourishes and a heightening of creativity is often the result. What is creativity, though? There is no single definition. The ability to imagine and pursue individualistic ideas is one explanation. Examining and understanding the long history of human creativity is the only way to fully understand the cause and effect of this intriguing quality of human beings.

The history of art is filled with over 35,000 years worth of human creativity. Art has evolved and changed among individual cultures immensely. The purpose of creating has altered; leaps have been taken with new discoveries and techniques within its history. This vast evolution can be attributed to the high level thinking of man; the ability to think what has never been thought of before is what has furthered the art world, and in turn has furthered humanity as a whole.

It is somewhat of a mystery of what sparks creativity. Perhaps there is a direct link to curiosity. Using the example of kids again, with the endless string of questions they are known to ask, there is also an undeniable need to


create at a young age. Before a child is subjected to school and begins to copy other kid’s “creating styles”, there is a point when they seem to want to create when they are given a crayon or two. Their pictures tend to take on an original touch. Perhaps this can be due to the fact that everything is completely new, and they don’t second guess as much as adults. Kids under the age of five are unquestionably curious of the world around them; their interpretations of their new discoveries are nothing short of original and fascinating.

Curiosity and creativity are inevitably intertwined. The sheer nature of these two attributes natural to the human condition are in constant relation to one another, and have influenced the quality of knowledge gained as well as art created throughout history.


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Champney, J. Wells, "Fifty Years of Photography," Harper's Magazine, August 1, 1889. (accessed April 3, 2009).

Bartusiak, Marcia and Goldsmith, Donald, ed. E = Einstein: His Life, His Thought, and His Influence on Our Culture.
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Greene, Brian. The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality. New York: Vintage, 2005.

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Kaku, Michio. Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the 10th Dimension. New York: Anchor, 1995.

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Photography and Art References

Figure 1: Taylorism

Figure 2: Muybridge’s Horses, 1879

Figure 3: Edvard Munch, Rue de Rivoli, 1891

Figure 4: Giacomo Balla, Dog on a Leash, 1912

Figure 5: Umberto Boccioni, Unique Forms of Continuity in Space, 1913


Figure 6: Marcel Duchamp, Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2, 1912

i Mary Warner. Marien, Photography: A Cultural History (Alexandria, VA: Prentice Hill, 2006)
ii Paul. Vitz and B. Arnold, Modern Art and Modern Science: The Parallel Analysis of Vision (Connecticut:

Praeger, 1984)

iii J.Wells Champney, “Fifty Years of Photography” Harper’s Magazine (August 1889)

iv Michelle Emmer, ed., Visual Mind: Art and Mathematics (London: The MIT Press, 1993)

v Brian Green, Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality (New York: Vintage, 2005)

vi Michio Kaku, Hyperspace (New York: Anchor, 2005)

vii Arnee Eggum and Edvard Munch, Munch and Photography (New Haven: Yale, 1989)

viii H. Arnason, History of Modern Art (Alexandria, VA: Prentice Hall, 2003)

ix H. Arnason, History of Modern Art (Alexandria, VA: Prentice Hall, 2003)

x Marcia Bartusiak and Donald Goldsmith, ed. E=Einstein: His Life, Thoughts, And Influence on Our Culture (New York: Sterling, 2008)

xi The Universe- The Complete Season One (Burbank: A&E Home Video, 2007)