Neuroesthetics is the study of how and why we respond to art. It's a relatively new phenomenon which takes into account how the brain is stimulated neurologically when brought into contact with many artistic elements.
According to Semir Zeki (Professor of Neuroesthetics at University College London) as quoted in Stylist Magazine (Issue 63) states that 'The artist is, in a sense, a neuroscientist exploring the brain with different tools'.
Amplification, isolation, problem solving, tricks with our peripheral vision, emotional play: These are just some of the tricks which have been utilised to make iconic pieces of art dating back centuries. When you read into the science of it all it makes perfect sense as to why these pieces are iconic and why we are attracted to them BUT I don't care.
I love science generally but this is one step too far. Have you ever seen a child discover that Santa is not real? Okay, so that's horrifically cliché but remember how it feels to lose the illusion.
If science like this continues then art will no longer be creative but will become formulaic. With all the hypocrisy of our formulaic funding systems and entertainment sectors surely we should be trying to allow for actual creativity not more a more strategic understanding of what exists.
I hate to be a stickler but it also means the end of the world for actual artists. Intellects will be in a position of power as they follow the formulas and use the tools. Obviously I know that the 'actual artists' have developed systems and have an understanding of what makes a great piece but this is sacred.
The knowledge comes from investment in the art, practice and instinct. Occasionally something comes along which blows everything that went before out of the water and this reinvents the formulas which exist.
It's exciting, cannot be conquered and is sometimes impossible to articulate. Surely that is the essence of real art? Once we understand it in a scientific manner it will just become another controlled element of our society. I will no longer express in my choreography but will problem solve neurological pathways. The element of nervousness as the audience enter the theatre will be numbed.
With the best of intention I will avoid the research and formula but as the knowledge evolves creative practice will naturally become obsolete as other practitioners can work faster and as a result at less cost.
I really feel that our quest for knowledge has gotten lost along the way. Enlightenment does not come from dissecting everything but experiencing everything. Art is all about experience and if we over analyse it we will take that away. If that is taken away I know that I'm not going to be the only one who is completely lost.