*Light – Art and Technology
by Tania Scroggie
Technology is the queen of art of our life. It has totally changed our existential routine; it is in fact the genius of our century. Technology is a blend of every form of art and science; and the possibilities for growth and creativity are endless.
Having a background in Computer Hardware Engineering combined with my uncontrollable passion for arts, has made me a restless traveler between the two. Now, I am very happy that I can see a block connection between them that really completes me, and hopefully will be closer to you aesthetically and intellectually as well. My name is Tania Scroggie. I will be religiously sharing fountain of thoughts that I may have about the artistic nature of technology, and in doing it so, I am open to additions, comments and criticism to find an explanation of why technology and art are inseparable lovers.
First, it is important to understand that art can be divided into two branches: fine art and, mechanical functional art. Technology is of the latter, and it is the creative process giving birth to it, which earns it its place among the arts.
One can say that, the observant artist falls in love with Nature, whom becomes his or her Muse, a fountain of inspiration. The consummated love between the Muse and the Artist or Scientist, challenges existing concepts of natural law, producing many children in the form of technological applications. One excellent sample of this love relationship is the Scientist and Light.
How did we fall in love with Light? Was it its contrasting overpowering presence during the day vs. its shy, limited and seductive company at night? Or, was it our desire to reach out, touch and hold the stars at night whose twinkling beauty is flashed to us from far above the celestial vault? Or, was it our awareness of our soulful reflection in the eyes of our love ones under a light?
In ancient Greece, there was a belief that light actually radiated out from within the eye of the viewer explaining why we can only see with our eyes open. It was Empedocles, 500 years BC, who saw that, there was an interaction between the source of light and the eye itself, establishing the idea that light travels at a very finite but high speed*. 55 years BC, Lucretius, Roman poet and philosopher observed that light was composed of minute atoms which, once energized, traveled across space. The years and centuries have passed and each new romantic lover of light, such as: Rene Descartes, Issac Newton, Robert Hook, Albert Einstein, etc. have discovered more and learned more about her properties and beauty.
But, returning to light as a more specific form of mechanical functional art, we have solar panels. They use materials like Selenium that, when exposed to the sun, generate electricity, turning those solar panels into power sources during the day, and inspirational beauty at night.Briefly, Light travels as a wave, but interacts as a particle. It can be bent or refracted, and even bounced around or reflected, and can be dispersed into multiple colors such as the case of light going through prisms. Light can be directed and its intensity varied for various applications such as the case with Laser beams that can be used for eye surgery as well as military weaponry.
The Verdant Walk with its 7 wire sculptures wrapped in fabric is an example of such technological artistic application beautifying the city of Cleveland, OH. It was designed by the Toronto-based North Design Office and built by Eventscape, a custom architectural firm. The project was a 3 year installation, to collect energy from the sun during daylight, and light up a beautiful city at night.
Every new lover of Light will, as time passes, stand on new and old knowledge of it to create new forms and applications; thus, implementing Light into more and more gracious forms to service and display its beauty.
Beam by beam, ray by ray, and particle by particle, the never ending love relationship between Artist and its Light will continue inspiring the poet, the scientist and artist to create.
*Reference: Wikiepedia “Light” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light