Though I can neither 'carry a tune in a bucket' nor 'draw my own breath' I experience Music, Art, and other forms of beauty as Intellectual explorations. Both Art and Music are important in maintaining Intellectual and Emotional health, and critical for stimulating constructive mind activity.
Music very much affects my moods and stimulates creativity. Pleasantly harmonious sounds add a vital richness to our shared reality!
Art and Beauty-- in their many forms-- are awesomely mind expanding, and provide a rich medium of communication and emotional comfort. For sure, the intellectual and emotional ripples artists create in other minds is fundamental to human happiness and mental stimulation!
Artistic Beauty can be found in many unexpected places, and should always be noticed and appreciated. Beauty can be seen in molecular structures, clusters of galaxies, a flight of birds, or even the pattern of street lights below a plane at altitude.
I guess one could say that beauty is anything that resonates pleasantly with our personal pattern recognition software. And the more you grow your mind, the more patterns and beauty you can see!
As an example-- once you learn even a little about biology and nanotechnology, you will never see a tree the same again! You'll see not only the surface beauty of form and color, but the staggering beauty of a choreography of countless molecular machines working tirelessly within a purposely built structure. A tree isn't just a static structure like a rock, but a thriving community of varied biological life forms-- each with its own assortment of molecular machines! Once you can imagine the molecular machinery in a single tree-- look at a whole forest and the immense magnitude of what that is will take your breath away! My god-- the planet is covered with self replicating nano-machines building 'cities' for themselves!
Did you just experience an epiphany? Wasn't that epiphany beautiful in itself?
Epiphanies are like a beautiful fractal spawning in your mind-- and sometimes that new fractal continues to self-organize with other fractals into a whole new logic structure! Not only is that beauty, but it's a hell of a rush!
As that epiphany illustrates, beauty also exists in abstract concepts. Experimental designs, elegant verbal and written communications, epiphanies, and knowledge itself are all forms of art, music, and beauty.
The future of Art and Beauty
I see Artistic expression as a window into the future. It's becoming obvious that the blending of technology, biology, and humanity will create both conceptual and material art forms that are presently inconceivable. With the power of arbitrary creation provided by Nanotech, AI, robotics, mind enhancement, etc-- we will modify our physical and intellectual realities to any form we wish-- and yes that includes both our minds and bodies. Our intellectual reality will be as changed as our physical reality, as new virtual concepts (and new personal logic structures) will be created. Just as people now create personal forms of expression with beards, hairdos, tattoos, and body modification-- our Transhuman successors will recreate their bodies and minds as expressions of individuality.
Below, I will struggle to express this interconnectedness I see between Art and physical reality. I will work on this as I get time, but here's a start.
I'll illustrate each idea with pics from the web. Links to the original source are included were possible. Note that I consider Art as anything purposely created for its aesthetic appeal, though many naturally existing things are natural art, as they resonate pleasantly in our minds.
This list will grow forever... there truly is more beauty to see than can be found in one lifetime... and more is created all the time!
And, check out Transhuman Art too!
In the future, I see people and structures created like Bonsai trees-- they will be changed and recreated as need or whims change.
Part of the appeal of Zen Garden designs is that they are fragile and temporary, but create meditative therapy while being made and enjoyed.
Like Zen Gardens, in the future we'll create and recreate social structures to suit the times. Part of the art is in creation. We are starting down this path now, with ad-hoc business and social groups formed quickly via technology. Geographic location is becoming irrelevant.
People participating in on-line gaming is a pervasive example of Zen Gardens of temporary social structures created in the sand of random social groups. In the future, enhanced humans will be smart enough to create elegantly structured social groups, with efficiency and pleasure equally served.
This Stainless Steel tree is amazing! It's shocking because it's 'artificial', yet beautiful in it's mimicry of life.
Can you picture-- that in the future trees like this will self-replicate from nanobots? So will buildings and whole cities!
Plant a nanobot seed, and a massive structure will grow from the ground!
I like beautiful things built on a grand scale. As a modern society, we should have art embedded in all aspects of life, yet we don't. This lack of art shows we are still struggling so much with daily survival, that we don't have time to create arbitrary expressions of beauty! We are still so damn primitive...
Technology as Art
I see the most profound art as art with function. Art doesn't need to be static, and it's sad that most art is static.
In the future, once we are free from the struggle of survival, everything will be created with both meaningful function and elegant form. Smart matter will be the ultimate form of 'living' art! Computation and control over matter will be ubiquitous, so why not make everything artistic?
I love functional art - even this old Jaguar engine is beautiful !
Low Pressure turbine rotor - thermodynamics molded in metal ! What wonderfully alien shapes will our machines take in the future?
Modern turbines are beautiful in function - They are massively powerful, and can run for decades without repair!
Our future creations will run perfectly, repair themselves, and last until no longer needed! This will truly be beauty in function!