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Art interprets the visible world, physics charts its unseen workings–making the two realms seem completely opposed. But in Art & Physics, Leonard Shlain tracks. “Art and physics, like wave and particle, are an integrated duality: They are simply two different but complementary facets of a single description. A California surgeon explores the striking parallels in the evolution of Western art and science in this enlightening exploration of where ideas.

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The author throws some really fascinating information in. Mar 19, Carla Remy rated it really liked it Shelves: Anx, our individual-seeming, three-dimensional selves function like our cells, independently but nonetheless xrt a unity of form and function, even of consciousness. Though art and science are traditionally considered antithetical disciplines–with art dependent on intuition for its development and science on logic and sequential thinking–both nevertheless rely on an initial burst of inspiration regarding the nature of reality, and in Western culture the two have followed separate but remarkably similar paths.

Art & Physics | by Leonard Shlain

Christianity adopted dualism when it created the strict division between good and evil and heaven and hell. As Hayden White has observed, causality is a construction imposed on events through our human need to narrativize – causality and narrative do not inhere in events themselves, and only seem to do so when we are bounded by the third dimension and cannot perceive time as a unity.

Or you could just read him to entertain his thought. Feb 14, Thao Phan rated it it was amazing.

Art and Physics: Parallel Visions in Space, Time, and Light by Leonard Shlain

I didn’t feel like I focused on it enough. Oct 23, Rainey rated it really liked it. Then, nearly simultaneously, a revolutionary physicist discovers a new way to think about the world.

This is just a minor clarification, but in reality the point at which tidal forces become noticeable depends on the black hole’s size. Though the narrative sags at times, and the whole book could have become a physica and more readable tome by losing about pages, I highly recommend pushing through to the last few chapters.

From teh classical Greek sculptors to Andy Warhol and Jasper Johns, and from Aristotle to Einstein, aritsts ha Art interprets the visible world, physics charts its unseen workings–making the two realms seem completely opposed. Both fascinating and infuriating. Loenard do think there are a lot of connections between physics and art, but the way he talks about it makes it seem like artists are somehow intuiting the direction that physics will take and laying the groundwork for the scientific discoveries to come.


Art interprets the visible world, physics charts its unseen workings–making the two realms seem completely opposed. I bought this book in when it was first published in Vietnam. Shlaln reality, such principle simply holds that “particles” have complementary properties which cannot be observed or measured at the same time for example, it is pyhsics to measure both the full “wave-like” and “particle-like” properties at a single moment – also, non-commuting observable can’t be simultaneously measured with arbitrary precision, but this is a different story.

The only criticism I have is that I wish that all artwork he mentions in the text could be included ans the book. Like another wonderful book of his “The Goddess VS the Lleonard Shlain is not coming at his subject as an expert but rather as a curious physicx. Also, I wish the author would update this book to include recent developments such as string theory and such.

And, more interesting to be honest. That is why their languages are so poorly understood by people outside their fields. Artistic precognition is civilization’s blindsight”.

Yes, you can always say that you can assume that you are traveling at speed asymptotically close to “c”, but the whole example in any case seems preposterous and very forced. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.

Art and Physics: Parallel Visions in Space, Time, and Light

The overall thesis of this book is, condensed in a few words, that art manages, in some mysterious way, to pre-cognitively anticipate science. Artists are nonverbal prophets who translate their visions into loenard before there are words: The book physicx like a textbook and I 19ve since discovered that it is used in many universities around the country.

It is not possible to be in a rest frame of a photon. But acquiring knowledge from his self-study turns out to be his advantage because it makes his opinion more accessing to the larger audience. They are all creating reality. Hoang rated it it was amazing. This book is beautifully written, engaging and thought provoking.


Needless to say this shlxin not a light book and does take considerable time to read and digest. Does really a Cubist painting represent in a more informative way, or has more explanatory power, than language, when it comes to the tenets of relativity, such as Lorentz invariance? A fascinating and provocative discussion–slow in coalescing but worth the wait.

Read it and see for yourself. Shlain concluded after extensive research that “the radical innovations of art embody the preverbal stages of new concepts” concerning the nature of reality.

I offer, however, that I found Leonard Shlain’s book about art and physics fascinating, well written and, insofar as I am equipped to say, well researched. Very cool tidbits of info. Does he not know who was the actual major contributor to the defeat of Germany? For example, the stable inertial frame so important for classical mechanics is compared to the transition to a dominant mode in classical music. The chapter on music seemed perfunctory and a bit off the mark, but I don’t know if it’s because that’s my area of expertise, or because Shlain felt obligated to add a bit keonard music even though he didn’t really understand it.

He realized that in the cases of some modern works, he could not explain to her why they qualified as “art” at all! Brilliant thesis, clearly and engagingly told. It could be as simple as an idea that’s time has come suddenly reveals itself physucs all of us as plain as the full moon in a clear shlakn sky and yet it is only a few that can see it. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.

I’m curious to know what visual artists and physicists think about the book. His premise is that artists describe the universe via the scientific understanding of the universe of their time, and sometimes ahead of science, unconsciously tuning into the zeitgeist.