THINKING ABOUT ART AFTER THE MEDIA: RESEARCH AS PRACTISED CULTURE OF EXPERIMENT
In the relations between the arts, sciences, and technologies there have been just as many hot phases as ice-cold ones. According to my observations, the temperature of these relations describes a wave-form that propagates approximately every 200 years. In the early modern era, for example, there was a period of high tension in these relations, from 1600 to 1800, in which the modern-day separations and division of labour developed. After this period, one of the most severe cold phases in recent European history was, to my knowledge, at the end of the eighteenth century. A poet, whom we admire but do not necessarily associate with the technological arts, Friedrich von Hardenberg known as Novalis, wrote his poem Hymns to the Night in 1799, which is located at the very centre of the theme that I shall elaborate in this chapter. I shall quote only a few lines of this inimitable poem, which is at the same time a discourse; it is a mixture of poetry and analytical reflections: a depiction of research.