Thursday, October 27, 2011

in re: recent posts and two discussions, at Crooked Timber and Cosmic Variance based -begun- on the assumption that art and science are opposed, and that art is religious and science is secular.
The last paragraph of the introduction [pdf]
A few years ago, at a gallery opening I got into a conversation with an astrophysicist from Caltech; we were mutual friends of the curator. He felt slightly dragged along. He was game but said he didn’t understand art. The conversation drifted and he mentioned a book he was reading, a biography of Sandy Kofax, the great pitcher for the Dodgers, in Brooklyn and LA. He said what he liked most was the way the author wrote not only as an observer, a professional sportswriter, and fan, but as a woman, an outsider in the world of male athletics, and as a Jew writing about Koufax, another Jew and outsider in the gentile world of professional sports. He said her description of those relations was really interesting. I asked him if he could have described any of it as she had. He said no. I told him he understood art.
The above describes the secular function of art. Platonism is religious.

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