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Mike King
From Max Ernst to Ernst Mach - Epistemology in Art and Science

Internet Publication

Working Papers in Art & Design
Vol. 2
University of Hertfordshire
ISSN 1466-4917

July 2002

full paper

In this conference paper, delivered at the Research Into Practice conference, 2002, I pursue the intersection of art and the science, through the work of painter Max Ernst and physicist Ernst Mach (a serendipitous wordplay). Mach, though a key forerunner of the Logical Positivists - and therefore naturally associated with a horror of all things "metaphysical" - turns out to have a subtle approach to the pursuit of knowledge in physics.

His subtleties lend themselves well to a juxtaposition with the "knowledge" pursued by Ernst in his artistic representations of the unconscious. The paper argues for an epistemological pluralism across the domains of art and science, requiring both different kinds of knowledge and different exploratory methodologies.

related outcome:
Linden Reilly: An Alternative Model of Knowledge for the Arts

back to Mike King home page

London Metropolitan University