„The formation of scales and of the web of harmony is a product of artistic invention, and is in no way given by the natural structure or by the natural behaviour of our hearing, as used to be generally maintained hitherto.“

—  Hermann von Helmholtz, The Theory of Sound (1862)
Hermann von Helmholtz Foto
Hermann von Helmholtz1
deutscher Physiologe und Physiker 1821 - 1894
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Paul Gauguin Foto
Isadora Duncan Foto

„The harmony of music exists equally with the harmony of movement in nature.
Man has not invented the harmony of music. It is one of the underlying principles of life.“

—  Isadora Duncan American dancer and choreographer 1877 - 1927
Context: The harmony of music exists equally with the harmony of movement in nature. Man has not invented the harmony of music. It is one of the underlying principles of life. Neither could the harmony of movement be invented: it is essential to draw one’s conception of it from Nature herself, and to see the rhythm of human movement from the rhythm of water in motion, from the blowing of the winds on the world, in all the earth’s movements, in the motions of animals, fish, birds, reptiles, and even in primitive man, whose body still moved in harmony with nature….. All the movements of the earth follow the lines of wave motion. Both sound and light travel in waves. The motion of water, winds, trees and plants progresses in waves. The flight of a bird and the movements of all animals follow lines like undulating waves. If then one seeks a point of physical beginning for the movement of the human body, there is a clue in the undulating motion of the wave. p. 78.

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Albert Einstein Foto

„Our experience hitherto justifies us in trusting that nature is the realization of the simplest that is mathematically conceivable.“

—  Albert Einstein German-born physicist and founder of the theory of relativity 1879 - 1955
Context: Our experience hitherto justifies us in trusting that nature is the realization of the simplest that is mathematically conceivable. I am convinced that purely mathematical construction enables us to find those concepts and those lawlike connections between them that provide the key to the understanding of natural phenomena. Useful mathematical concepts may well be suggested by experience, but in no way can they be derived from it. Experience naturally remains the sole criterion of the usefulness of a mathematical construction for physics. But the actual creative principle lies in mathematics. Thus, in a certain sense, I take it to be true that pure thought can grasp the real, as the ancients had dreamed. from On the Method of Theoretical Physics, p. 183. The Herbert Spencer Lecture, delivered at Oxford (10 June 1933). Quoted in Einstein's Philosophy of Science http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/einstein-philscience/

 Le Corbusier Foto
Paul Cézanne Foto
Erich Fromm Foto
Reese Palley Foto
Vladimir Tatlin Foto

„[the task of material culture is] to shed light on the tasks of production in our country, and also to discover the place of the artist-constructor in production, in relation to improving the quality both of the manufactured product and of the organization of the new way of life in general.“

—  Vladimir Tatlin Russian artist 1885 - 1953
Quote, May 1924; from Tatlin's lecture on 'Material Culture and Its Role in the Production of Life in the USSR'; as quoted by Larissa A. Zhadova, ed., Tatlin, trans. Paul Filotas et al; Thames and Hudson, London, 1988, p. 252 In May 1924, right in the middle of N.E.P., Tatlin offered his synoptic statement of what was still the task of material culture

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Piet Mondrian Foto
Jean Metzinger Foto

„So, music does not attempt to imitate Nature's sounds, but it does interpet and embody emotions awakened by Nature through a convention of its own, in a way to be aesthetically pleasing. In some such way, we, taking our hint from Nature, construct decoratively pleasing harmonies and symphonies of color expression of our sentiments.“

—  Jean Metzinger French painter 1883 - 1956
Quote of Metzinger in 'The Wild Men of Paris', by Gelett Burgess https://monoskop.org/images/f/f3/Burgess_Gelett_1910_The_Wild_Men_of_Paris.pdf, in 'The Architectural Record, Vol XXVII, May 1910, p. 414

Paul Klee Foto
Albert Einstein Foto

„Invention is not the product of logical thought, even though the final product is tied to a logical structure.“

—  Albert Einstein German-born physicist and founder of the theory of relativity 1879 - 1955
Context: During that year in Aarau the question came to me: If one runs after a light wave with [a velocity equal to the] light velocity, then one would encounter a time-independent wavefield. However, something like that does not seem to exist! This was the first juvenile thought experiment which has to do with the special theory of relativity. Invention is not the product of logical thought, even though the final product is tied to a logical structure. From his "Autobiographische Skizze" (18 April 1955), original German version here http://philoscience.unibe.ch/documents/kursarchiv/WS99/Skizze.pdf. Translation from Subtle is the Lord: The Science and the Life of Albert Einstein by Abraham Pais (1982), p. 131 http://books.google.com/books?id=U2mO4nUunuwC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA131#v=onepage&q&f=false. Pais notes that when he said "during that year", he was referring to some time between October 1895 and early fall 1896. Variant: "Innovation is not the product of logical thought, even though the final product is tied to a logical structure." Original German version: Während dieses Jahres in Aarau kam mir die Frage: Wenn man einer Lichtwelle mit Lichtgeschwindigkeit nachläuft, so würde man ein zeitunabhängiges Wellenfeld vor sich haben. So etwas scheint es aber doch nicht zu geben! Dies war das erste kindliche Gedanken-Experiment, das mit der speziellen Relativitätstheorie zu tun hat. Das Erfinden ist kein Werk des logischen Denkens, wenn auch das Endprodukt an die logische Gestalt gebunden ist. ("Autobiographische Skizze", p. 10)

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Robert Chambers (publisher, born 1802) Foto
Paul Klee Foto

„For the artist communication with nature remains the most essential condition. The artist is human; himself nature; part of nature within natural space.“

—  Paul Klee German Swiss painter 1879 - 1940
Klee's statement written in 1923, in 'Paths of the Study of Natura' (Wage dar Natur studiums), Paul Klee; in Yearbook of the Staatlich. Bauhaus, Weimar, 1919-1923, Bauhaus Verlag, Weimar, 1923

„The statement of a law of nature involves the formation of a concept“

—  J. R. Partington British chemist 1886 - 1965
Context: The statement of a law of nature involves the formation of a concept, or general idea, in which the likenesses of phenomena are collected, and the differences, in so far as they are not intimately involved in the nature of the case, are eliminated. Introduction

Jacques Lipchitz Foto

„Copy nature and you infringe on the work of our Lord. Interpret nature and you are an artist.“

—  Jacques Lipchitz American and French sculptor 1891 - 1973
Jacques Lipchitz cited in: Bernard S. Raskas (1976). Living thoughts: inspiration, insight, and wisdom from sources throughout the ages. p. 22; Quoted in: William Safire, ‎Leonard Safir (1990). Words of Wisdom. p. 34

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