Lawrence Weschler: Art and Science as Parallel and Divergent Ways of Knowing
Artists and scientists tend to think of their ways of probing the world as distinctly different. But such was not always the case. In fact, the divide is only a few centuries old. (Think of Leonardo, think of the wonder cabinets of the seventeenth century). Nor may the differences be all that distinct—or even real. In a lecture originally developed for a conference sponsored by the National Science Foundation, longtime New Yorker writer Lawrence Weschler—director emeritus of the New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU (where the sciences were emphatically included as part of and central to the humanities) and author, among others, of Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder and Everything that Rises: A Book of Convergences—will extrapolate on such themes, with side-meanders into the thinking of artists Robert Irwin and David Hockney (subjects of his two most recent books) and a whole new interpretation of Rembrandt's "Anatomy Lesson."
Lawrence Weschler (born 1952, Van Nuys, California), a graduate of Cowell College of the University of California at Santa Cruz (1974), was for over twenty years (1981-2002) a staff writer at The New Yorker, where his work shuttled between political tragedies and cultural comedies. He is a two-time winner of the George Polk Award (for Cultural Reporting in 1988 and Magazine Reporting in 1992) and was also a recipient of Lannan Literary Award (1998).
His books of political reportage include The Passion of Poland (1984); A Miracle, A Universe: Settling Accounts with Torturers (1990); and Calamities of Exile: Three Nonfiction Novellas (1998).