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The Asymmetry Between Artists and Scientists

  • The separation of science and art also follows from the different ways that the two are practiced in modern society.
  • Most scientists are salaried employees.
  • Most artists are "self-employed".
  • Both situations introduce some "noise" in their creative life.
  • Salaried employees are concerned with the bureaucracy they work for and its rules (in particular, for promotion).
  • Small businesses are concerned with delivering a product that sells (in particular, with marketing).
  • Both are stimulated to innovate, but one has to innovate within a bureaucracy (the research laboratory) that rewards innovation whereas the other has to innovate within a free market (the art market) that rewards innovation.
  • Therefore the relationship between art and science cannot be symmetric. Artists need inspiration from anything in order to innovate. Scientists only need inspiration from within their bureaucracy.
  • Artists are interested in learning about science. Scientists have little to gain from learning about art: it is not required by their bureaucracy in order for them to progress within it.
Proof-edited by Alexander Altaras