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"There is a way that nature speaks, that land speaks. Most of the time we are simply not patient enough, quiet enough, to pay attention to the story." ~Linda Hogan
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Greg's Art Journal
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How is Art Interdisciplinary?
Interdisciplinary Nature of the Arts
The Arts have a special function in society because they function in an interdisciplinary way. There are many ways by which we can observe the interdisciplinary way of art. Here are a some of those ways.
Art-Subjects are Interdisciplinary
Artists [at least those who live in relatively free lands] have the opportunity to explore virtually any subject they desire and express it in their personal artistic language. For example, a visual artist may be interested in Fractals, a mathematical concept, and this interest may inspire the artist to create "Fractcal Art". In this case the visual artist is forming an interdisciplinary web between visual art, math & computers.
Artists Inspire Artists; & Non-artists Inspire Artists
Artists are constantly learning from and inspired by other artists. It is standard for musicians to learn from past masters; or for an artist of one generation to be inspired by an artist of another generation; or for an artist from one art to inspired by a contemporary artist from another art. In short, the interdisciplinary activity between artists is endless.
In addition, artists are inspired by non-artists. For example, painters paint portraits of presidents; actors & actresses play the role of athletes; and biographers write about famous scientists.
Another way the arts express their Interdisciplinary Nature is through Training. An artist is sometimes trained in one art and later transfers Knowledge, Skill & Technique to another art. For instance, a tap dancer who learns tap rhythms may transfer those same rhythms to drumming; and vice versa.
Artists of all eras have created art in more than one field. Examples among historical figures include King David (poet, writer, musician, warrior, king; app. 1000 B.C.E.); William Blake (painter, printmaker, poet, writer; 1757 - 1857); & Bruce Lee (martial artist, film artist, writer, philosopher; 1940 - 1973). Countless more artists created works of art in various fields; Michelangelo, Leonardo De Vinci, Felix Mendelssohn, Frank Sinatra & Gregory Hines are but a few examples.
Interdisciplinary Nature of Art's Essential Concepts
Art's Essential Concepts, such as Balance, Composition & Form are interrelated. For example, Balance applies not just to one art but to all arts, including dance, painting, music and so on. It is the case that the Technique for achieving Balance may vary from one art to another, but the Essential Concept remains the same. For example, a dancer uses the form of her body to display Balance and a painter uses the form of her paint (or brushwork) to display it, but both cases the phenomenon called Balance (or Imbalance) will be present; hence, the Technique can vary but the Concept is Interdisciplinary.