Put simply, science tells us what the universe is like, and art tells us why it matters. Art deals in context, nuance, and meaning; science deals in objective, testable, strongly supported models of the mechanisms that govern natural systems.
Yes, science embraces data and art is embraces expression, but there's more to it.
Science zooms in; art zooms out.
Both are fueled by the drive to know and to create.
Both share the goal of understanding the world by conceiving models of it.
Both create complex models to define concepts, though the models are qualitatively different.
The models in art are intangible and implicit.
The models in science are defined and explicit.
Both use intuition and logic to test the robustness of the models.
Both want to question, both want answers, and both invite interpretation.
Art explores concepts through subjective experimentation.
Science explores concepts through objective experimentation.
Art suggests answers, but the emphasis is on leaving the questions open.
Science leaves the questions open, but the emphasis in on finding answers.
They differ in the modes of expression (artistic media vs. data) because each needs to use the language best suited to the models they've built and the tools needed to test them.
So What is SciArt?
There is no consensus definition yet, but here are some questions worth considering. Is SciArt nothing more than using artistic tools to do science or scientific tools to do art? What are the questions being asked in SciArt? Are they qualitatively different from either art or science? What are the benefits of making and doing SciArt? Do SciArt projects aim for a blend of both subjective and objective understanding of the world? Is the emphasis equally on questions and answers or weighted towards one or the other? Are the models nebulous or defined? implicit or explicit?
Join the SciArt Forum on my Discord server and help grow it into a place where we can talk about interdisciplinary science and art.
LINKS These are links I've bookmarked over the years.