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Humanity's Evolution through Art and Innovation

Art as a reflection of an age; innovation as its advancement.

Mary Ellen Bornak

on 12 April 2012

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Transcript of Humanity's Evolution through Art and Innovation

Evolution of Humanity
from Atoms to Cyberspace Consider the breadth and power
of Lascaux images, and the
natural materials used to create colors. Hope for immortality. . .
Sculpture translated is "he who keeps alive." 2350 BCE Early Egyptian art reflected sense of order,
poise, austere harmony - Ideals Egyptian life. Ancient Greece: 4th and 5th Centuries B.C.E
Great Awakening:
Thinkers, Artists, Builders
Creators of classical ideals.
Greeks saw themselves as the center of culture.
It was the landing place of adventurous seamen, pirate kings.
Homeric tales of tribal wars Greeks saw things in geometric style.
Their art illustrated knowledge of the body, and
celebrated natural forms
What does that tell us about their society? Athena Parthenos,
447 BCE (36 feet high),
wood, covered with gold, ivory.
Awe-inspiring idol linked to ancient superstitions. Goddess of Victory,
Greek civilization prized grace, ease Greek faces were idealized.
Emotion would have distorted features Then came the Roman conquerors
Establishment of the Repubulic in 509 B.C.E Moses Striking Water from Rock
third century (old testament) Basilicas of mosaics, 6th century,
Images told Christian stories Miracle of Loaves and Fishes, 500 AD
one of series of 26 mosaic panels,
Sant' Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna Mother and Child altar mosaic
834 Early Arabs preserved Greek work in math and science.
Using the value of digits and zeros, they developed trigonometry and first clearly defined sine, cosine, and cotangent functions. They further developed algebra (from the Arabic, al-jabr, which means "the missing").
They also made contributions in the fields of mathematics, medicine, optics, and physics. Alhambra Palace, 1238 Early Chinese art reminded its people
of their golden age of virtue Scholar Viewing a Waterfall,
MaYuan silk scroll, 1200 China had reverence for skills of an artist
while Christians saw artists as tools of God Western Art, Science in Europe,
6th to 11th century. Monasteries became keepers of learning
when barbarians invaded. Craftmanship of Danes, Vikings
was elaborate attempt to ward off more primitive evils Osberg Dragon Head
prow of ship, 820, Norway Metal and wood,
twisted bodies of dragons, birds
to exorcise evil spirits St. Matthew's Manuscript
800 Art of the Western World seems to say life
was in the hands of a higher authority Bayeau Tapestry, Castle 1080
showing Norman conquest Stained glass windows taught.
Annunication, Chartres Cathedral,
Art's purpose was to worship.
It reflected the wish to please the supernatural with cathedrals, spires and to teach the with Biblical stories in sculpture and stained glass.
Nature was reflection of God. Church Triumphant:
This civilization dedicated to pleasing God. Humans perfected use of stone and glass.
They solved technicality of distributed weight
for the purpose of worship and salvation.
Notre Dame Cathedral,
13th century Society organized into Guilds and
recognized artists as tools of God.
Betrothal of the Arnolfini,
Jan VanEyck, 1434 Culture drove art.
Affluent left diseased cities for country estates
- commissioned paintings to re-capture classical legends Birth of Venus,
Sandro Botticelli, 1485 Last Supper,15 x 26 feet, behavioral masterpiece
Leonardo daVinci, 1495 Mona Lisa, daVinci, 1502
Hint of internal reflection 17th Century Reformation Peasant Wedding,
Pieter Bruegel, 1568
Commoners life The Christening Feast,
Jan Steen, 1664,
life of the people 18th C: Art for Status:
Travelers Postcards Age of Reason, Enlightenment
Late 17th -18th Century Artist capture ordinary people
rather than trappings of power Voltaire,
champion of reason, wit, intelligence
Jean-Antoine Houdon, 1781 Ingenuity Energized the 19th Century Break from tradition:
Scientific Expeditions
Development of Mechanical Devices
Painting elevated landscapes, everyday life
Artists view reflected realism, Impressionism, Symbolism Manet Working,
Edouard Manet, 1874 Increasingly abstract, Expressionism.
Science was prompting artists to begin seeing things in an original way.
Scienctists explored the physiological, psychological, and phenomenal.
Artists explored those things with the effects of color. Still Life with Ginger Jar,
Paul Cezanne, 1890 Scientific Theory of color and vision The Bridge at Courbevoie
Georges Seurat, 1886 Emotions: Feelings expressed Vincent VanGogh
Wheatfields with Crows, 1890
Optimism and hopelessness Exploration of the Mind The Scream, 1895
Eduard Munch Inwardness: Rejection of progress and science,
longing for regeneration of the world through new art Cossacks, 1910
Wassily Kandinsky Abstract Art: psychological effects of pure color Cubism: Reform of Representation Exploring construction
instead of representing objects Violin and Grapes, 1912
Pablo Picasso
Constructed of uniform parts,
jumble of disconnected Composition with Yellow, Blue, Red
Piet Mondrian, 1920 Surrealism:
Dream pictures and exploration of mind -
rejection of time as rigid. Persistence of Memory
Salvador Dali,1938 Divine madness: Freud (1900), Einstein (1916) Eight, 1950
Jackson Pollock What next? We Are All Cyborgs Now: 7:53 min. The cave contains nearly 2,000 figures, which can be grouped into three main categories — animals, human figures and abstract signs.

Some theories of what these figures represent:
Visions from ritualistic trance dancing?
Accounts of past hunting?
Ritual to improve future hunting?
Dots may be their star charts
Venus of Willendorf,
Austria, 28,000 BCE
The Coliseum
Built 70-80 A.D.
Earthquake proofed with iron,
Covered with marble Protohistory themes were totems and rituals for protection and success, decoration for status Paleo Innovations
Art with afterlife focus: Incredible engineering to build pyramids.
Artists depict pharaohs as gods, enriched society as their blessing, culture as their entitlement
Entertainment was music (harps, lutes and oud).
Slaves provided manpower.
Trade routes established, goods exchanged.
Writing for myths, tales, accounts.
The story of our civilization seen through art and innovation

Art glorified human achievement.
Philosophy emphasized logical and rational aspects of the natural world.
Political theory allowed government to survive and influence subsequent civilizations.
Greek science was observational and theoretical - natural philosophy.
Culture was dominated by literate and aristocratic. Ancient Rome was about building an empire, and connecting it with engineering, ship building, architecture, medicine,
city planning - all roads led to Rome.
Cartography, mathematics, astronomy allowed documentation of the Roman world.
Infrastructure provided water, baths and sewers.

Human mind celebrated as key to understanding the universe.

Science established as mathematical, mechanical, and empirical body of knowledge Greek ideals: Harmony, Proportion
Balance, Pursuit of Beauty.
Is it human instinct to enhance and beautify life? Lion Man, 36,000 years ago
Ivory body of human with lion head

Search for transformation process? Christian ideals:
Strive for heaven, good works, love of God and neighbor, morality Arab culture: Reward in heaven,
equality, responsibility for others,
punishment and justice 15th C Renaissance:
Rebirth of art through church patronage
Trade, wealth, spread of ideas Innovations of the Egyptians? Stone handaxes, tools to fend for themselves and group.
Community artisans, exotic collectibles such as crystals and shells.
Temples for ritual, monuments to gods,
Sense of self-becoming? Lascaux Cave Paintings Paleo artists used science:
They discovered that plants and minerals found in nature can be crushed, combined, or transformed by fire to create dyes, tools, charcoal. Dynasty building,
Architecture, engineering, mathematics
City planning, building, management,
Science of body preservation,
Herbal medicines as curative and preventative of disease,
Agriculture, mass production, storage of food,
Writing on Papyrus, making it portable.
Alexander - 375 B.C.E., model of the ideal
Tutored by Aristotle,
Created largest empire of the ancient world - by age of 30. Artists capture Roman ideals of power, rule of law,
orderly world, sense of duty, esteem.
Created powerful cities with merchant and elite classes Infrasture and roads allowed Julius Caesar to travel from Rome to Geneva in 8 days -
with troops on horseback - 140 miles a day. Infrastructure, roads, dams, engineering, building - lots remain today.
Use of materials, logistical planning, government organization - copied today. Early Christian to Early Renaissance
First descriptive numbers,
intricate mosaics, artwork,
pursuit of knowledge
15th century Innovation? Gutenberg Printing press:1447
Common texts, reading reaches populace Innovation? 18th Century Innovations? Exploration into nature of gases and electricity,
Machinery, instruments, exploration,
new worlds and new ways Protestant leaders at Last Supper
Cathedral at Wittenberg Innovations:
Locomotive, steamships
Electricity, steel, Bessemer Furnace
Petroleum products,
Elevator, sewing machine,
Dynamite, coke and potato chips
20th Century Action painting Early 20th Century Innovations Splitting Atom, 1932
Transistor, 1947
Penicillin and DNA, 1953
Theory of Relativity,
Dirigible, airplane - global travel
Air conditioner, refrigeration
Television, radio
Personal computer, 1976
Internet, WWW, electronic mail
Eniac, transistor
Holography, kevlar,
Handheld calculator, television
Computer mouse, microprocessor,
ebooks, ethernet, internet
Personal computer, PC modem,
Space exploration,
Nuclear power, weapons
Mobile phone, social networking
Instant Photography,
Geodesic dome, video games, TV remote,
Integrated circuit, laser,
Artificial heart, Pencillin, DNA
Satellites Late 20th Century innovations 21st Century Innovations Ipod, nanotechnology,
Hybrid car, YouTube
Robotic medicine,
Genetic engineering,
Ramses 1 with gods of underworld: 1295 BCE Representation of human form on a grid system remained same for 3,000 years.
Notice the elaborate symbol system.
Plato, the teacher, and Aristotle
holding his great work, "Ethics." Many forms of technology used in creating pools, fountain, park.
Typical of Byzantine style Chinese earliest inventions:
Abacus, shadowclock,
First flying machines - kites, lanterns
Compass, gunpowder,
Papermaking, printing 13th Century:
Logic studies - William Occam
Birth of Medieval Universities
Black Death 1358 in Europe
Between third and half of population died. Leonardo DaVinci was blend of science and art:
Vitruvian Man, 1492
Many and diverse inventions, discoveries
Science of observation and applied thinking Advances in:
Geography - world exploration
Alchemy was early chemistry,
Astronomy: Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler
Physics, Mathematics,
Manufacturing, engineering
Botany, geology Breaking away from church,
leaving the lofty view Refracting telescope
Slide Rule
Method of blood transfusion
Steam turbine
Adding machine
Air pump
Palaestina (Terra Sancta)
by Abraham Ortelius
from Epitome Theatre Orteliani
Antwerp: Ambrose and Ferdinand Arsenius, 1601 Josse Leferinxe
Deutsch: St. Sebastian bittet für die Pestopfer
1497-1499 Map Making Columbus takes possession of the Americas The Astronomer, 1668
Johannes Vermeer The Geographer, 1668
Johannes Vermeer Girl with the Pearl Earring, 1668
Vermeer Painting reflected naturalistic thought,
celebrated scenes of everyday life The Bathers at Le Grenoui,
Claude Manet, 1869 Painters analyze tone and color, play of light,
saw color through different lenses Pointillism is formlessness.
Seurat invokes Chevreul’s law of Simultaneous Contrast: “Where the eye sees two contiguous colors they appear as dissimilar as possible; both in their optical composition and in the height of their tone.” Winslow Homer
Child Whip, 1876 Charles Darwin,
Origin of Species, 1871 Endless Forms,
Robert Farron, 1850 Morning,
Edward Lanseer, 1853
Artists View of Evolution Art and Science Beautiful Country Woman,
Francois Boucher London instruments Venice,
Francesco Guardi Two Children,
Joseph Badger George Washington American Seascape Setting Sun
Frederick Edwin Church Integtration with natural environment,
Kaufmann House Waterfall, Frank Lloyd Wright WPA public art,
Ill. State Museum Science Photography
Micro elements, nanophenomenon Virgin Mother, 2005,
fiberglass, poly materials
Damien Hirst Postmodern art driven by distrust of ideologues Ancient Egypt: 3100 b.c.e.-30 b.c.e. Art perspective, knowledge of anatomy,
detail creates mirror record of moment Les Demoiselles d'Avignon
Pablo Picasso, 1907 15,000-10,000 BCE Greeks saw power in beauty,
new concept of divine Sculpturesque buildings
Guggenheim,Bilbao, Spain, 1997, Frank Geary, Starting with atoms:
Neil deGrasse Tyson's M"ost Astounding Fact about the Universe" Colosseum interior, 5 sections, 76 numbered entrances,4 grand entrances
Could empty 50,000 spectators in 20 minutes Reconstruction of Umbilicus Urbis Romae
Navel of City of Rome, built 2nd Century B.C.E
All roads and distances in the known world were measured from this point in the Forum.
Art in the New World Later 20th Century Just as the historic original embroidery does, the animation depicts the lead up to to the Norman Invasion of Britain in 1066. Starts about halfway through the original work at the appearence of Halley's Comet and concludes at the Battle of Hastings.
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