Why Questioning Lines? by Ashley Smart

First, and most simply, it started with wanting to combine science and art and my interactions with each of them in a single idea--to blur the lines between art and science.

I thought about science and what the essence of science boils down to for me. It turned out it was questions. Within the questions, you draw lines to make connections between things to try to explain what is going on. Being able to ask questions about the world and figuring out how to answer them is the most amazing part of science. You have this world and it’s intricate and complex and we really don’t understand it and you get to ask questions about it. Then you get to see where the questions take you and puzzle out how to find the answers to the questions, because the answers are there even if they can’t be found yet because the world exists.

graphite marks magnified 50x

graphite marks magnified 50x

Then to art. What was the essence of art? Lines. They are what make up everything. Transitions from dark to light. Small strokes that come together and don’t look like lines at all. The first mark of a pencil on paper, leaving behind a thin layer of graphite. A drawing instructor told me, “Drawings are just lines, but the world is not lines. Lines do not exist in the world, and yet we can use them to represent the world.” This is an amazing idea. They don’t really exist, they are a change from light to dark, a change in texture, a change in shape, but they can be used so well to represent what is actually in life. The way we share and represent ideas are not through the things themselves but by questioning what those things are made up of and how to explain that to people. 

In science and art there is always an element of questioning things and drawing lines. A combination of using the abstract (lines, ideas, connections) to represent and understand the world. Questioning Lines was born as a way for me to share my drawn lines and questionings about science and art, through science and art. 

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