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Artistic Awakening

August 18th, 2009

Each individual artistic path is not a linear affair, likewise with humanity. In the bigger scheme of things, our collective intellectual awakening was like a snap of the finger ago. Previous to this, “Truth” dictated all creative pursuit, likewise with scientific thought. Law and religious authority were the controlling factors in every facet of our lives. It is not even 400 years since Galileo dared question Earth’s role at the center of the universe. His argument for the theory of Copernicus earned him house arrest for the last 10 years of his life. He had said of the current doctrine: “Yes, but it is not elegant.” In the defence of elegance he paid a high price.

I believe that our creative and intellectual efforts have today reached a similar crossroad. Collectively, humanity has a choice to make. It is quite similar to conditions in Europe 400 years ago but in a very subtle way. Once again it is a question of elegance of thought.

A man before Galileo, William of Occam, succinctly put it this way: “The best model is the simplest one – the one requiring the fewest assumptions and modifications in order to fit the observations”. Do we still need today pundits who write and argue convoluted ideas about art and science? Why is it that so many of us are unable to tell the difference between a common criminal and a potential Nobel prize winner? Such questions beg for answers.

Published in french as Èveil artistique

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