The Art of Physics and Beethoven by Diana Rivera

Energy can be neither created, nor destroyed. It can only change form. This is a law of energy conservation and also a premise for creative activity. It could help to explain the energy it takes to create a product from one’s imagination, as well as the challenges artists overcome, to direct energy toward their artistic product. All that creative energy is neither created, nor destroyed, but changes form in relationship to thoughts, beliefs, social and cultural milieu.

Let me fasten this connection with Leonard Shlain’s book, Art and Physics, to Beethoven.

Shlain’s book looks at a history of art through the lens of science to assert that scientific phenomena was, in many cases, first looked at, grappled with and explored in visual art. Artists were either consciously asking or working within the consciousness of exploration that scientists were invested in, specifically space, time and light. Listen to a lecture by Shlain here.

The book expanded the galaxy of imagination to consider artists as scientific phenomena. Take Beethoven and the vast talent in his form: he struggled intensely in his personal life with memories of a verbally abusive childhood, to medical issues affecting his stomach and ultimately his own hearing. As the savant composer began to make his mark in music history, he slowly became deaf.

For many, a disability to this extent could be the end of their career. In fact, Beethoven also struggled with depression and thoughts of suicide.

An artist’s drive to create is an energy and that energy can not be destroyed, it just changes into form. In the epoch of Beethoven’s weakest physical state, that energy was a force that thrusted into the galaxy of the imagination. As a result, he produced the 9 symphonies that have marked his career in the history of art, music and culture.

Thinking of this reminded me of Symphony #7. Whenever I listen to it, I feel an incredible potential moving toward the center of the unknown. In my youtube research, I discovered the exact visual experience, and it was deeper. It was symphony #7 to hubble space images.

The energy that had changed form in Beethoven resembled the luminous spirals in our galaxy. If it were a song, this might be the one to serenade an experience through the outer unknown manifestation of our imagination. If not, then what a fascinating voyage through the art of physical phenomena and the physical phenomena of art.

Points to ponder:

What is the role of energy in your personal, professional and creative life?

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Pina Bausch and Leonardo da Vinci at the Goodwill by Diana Rivera

Since I was in middle school, I have had a very synergistic relationship with vintage shops, garage sales and sidewalk peddler products. Not sure how it could be that one day I’d be imagining some ambiguous silk chinese cocktail dress, and then I’d get an instinct to go to the Goodwill (a salvation army style thrift shop), and all of a sudden, it would be there. The one I had imagined. Besides no one, I am the only person that has such a rare existence with a thrift shop. It’s clearly a conversation with destiny: goodwill represents a space where my imagination materializes.

I go there to find things to repair, rip up and recreate. I go there to salvage treasures. I also call in creators from the past. I know this one seems like a stretch, but I have some evidence.

A year or so ago, I wrote a piece on Pina Bausch (read it here) whose work has stunned me, haunted me, left a trace embedded forever in my imagination. Recently I realized that Wim Wenders had produced a film in honor of her.

The day I saw this trailer, I had been thinking of Pina, and as I was driving by the Goodwill, I knew I had to stop in. Like a whisper-of-an-instinct of where to go, I quickly walked to the poster section and there it was. An original framed poster of the women of the Wuppertal Theatre, Pina Bausch’s theatre company. Here is a picture:

To me, it’s highly unlikely that a poster like this is circulating regularly around Goodwill, untouched and only $20. In fact, I am so positive about it, I felt that feeling that I had been gifted with a present from the creator herself. Perhaps it was a recognition of the work? Or perhaps she knew she was on my mind?

The next evidence of said relationship is with Leonardo da Vinci. I had been reading of his contributions as a scientist of the arts and an artist of the sciences in Leonard Shlain’s book, Art and Physics. I was driving by the Goodwill and I had that same little voice go off. It was clear: go to the magazine section. I went and guess what I found:

How is that I have been called by instinct to the Goodwill to find these little treasures? The beauty is that they could be meaningless garbage to everybody else, but for me there is clearly a greater message: Pina and Leonardo had their eyes on me too.

It made me think: what if there were creators from the past who you follow that also follow you? The one I refer to is a more transpersonal approach to following, something that twitter could never compare to.

Point to ponder:

What if it took a little faith in believing that you are taken care of by the creative entities you most admire? How would things be different for you right now?