Agree or disagree with the title of this topic.
To clarify, I don't mean that because art is the realm of the legendary, that true legends are entirely fictitious. I'm not trying to be nihilistic or pessimistic in any way. What I'm trying to say is that an artist, whether they be an author, painter, or musician, who can create something amazing is the exclusive form of legend in modern civilization. Why? Because despite the fact that any large organization can have an incredibly loud voice, a true artist can speak the more clearly. They are the only people who can create something beautiful completely independently, and have their work remain unparalleled for centuries. The work of technology and science, while largely beneficial, is always updating and discarding old ideas. True art is immortal.
I think that anyone who does significant work in math or science will probably be remembered as long as someone who creates a great work of art, and in this day and age, perhaps longer. We no longer place the same emphasis on traditional visual art that we once did. It's just not as important to us! We express ourselves largely through other ways - music and writing, mostly. According to my art-major friends, those don't count as art. And what about film, or theatre? Are those art? Some people say yes, and others say no. But regardless, I think Bill Gates will be remembered just as long as Sarah Brightman or Joss Whedon or whoever else.
Disagree, in a sense.
I consider anyone who can independently construct and relay an original idea an artist, and that includes some scientists, but only the ones who are truly innovative and can think divergently to come up with new and creative ideas that will be expanded upon. Math, though, I can't consider an art, because it has a strict set of rules that have to be followed. The reason ideas are always being discarded in fields like that is because they aren't actually "ideas" in the creative sense but rather misconceptions that have to be re-evaluated and corrected. These days we don't believe art can be 'corrected' but that hasn't always been true. Most historic artistic movements started out with an artist or group 'improving' or turning away from the established norm to what they thought was better. From Byzantine to Gothic, from Renaissance to Baroque- each time, a style was forgotten about so that the civilization could forge ahead into one that was 'better'. They updated and discarded old ideas- it's only recently that we've challenged the meaning of art and accepted that one style isn't necessarily better than another and that it all depends on the viewer. In some time periods art was burned or thrown into the sea, only to be rediscovered centuries later and thought of as genius. Cave paintings are remembered as a significant step, but if someone did a cave painting now, it wouldn't be considered great. Who's to say that some scientific discoveries won't be the same way? Some people love technology and rather than improve it, they spend a lot of time rebuilding old monitors, just like some people would rather recreate old masterpieces. Computers and microchips may speak to them in a way that Picasso doesn't. Both technology and art are a way of tracing mankind throughout history, and one area isn't more important than the other.
Also, these days technology and art go hand in hand. The film industry uses all sorts of artists; graphic, animation, set design, etc. Are we improving in these areas, or are there films that will be timeless as well? Besides, the reason we can maintain literature and art for centuries is because of technology and science. What if we couldn't preserve Davinchi's pieces or restore the Sistine Chapel? What if we couldn't print books, and still had to copy them all by hand? By now, translations would be off the wall, and we may not be able to get from it what the author intended. Without science, art wouldn't be timeless.
[When I first read this, I mainly saw the title and I didn't quite get your argument, and the reason I disagreed was because I think that anyone can leave a legacy, and it can be through personal actions rather than art. I wanted to say that anyway.]
Disagree, but if it was rephrased as
Art is a great realm of the legendary.
I would agree.
As a scientist and an artist. Who happens to be just old enough to have witnessed the birth of the internet/www, and born after the start of the space age. That matters not cos it means I know better (couldn't be further from the truth) but because people who are so old that don't use the internet may not be aware just how much things have changed, and people who were born after the internet and use it all the time, likewise.
Think of YouTube. It's a democratising medium (in some ways) for the AV arts. For the arts, this is a good thing. "Folk arts" are now on a levelling playing field with "high arts". Without the technology, and it's availability to the "folks" this art wouldn't be widely accessible to the masses. So the legends who invented the internet, also, incidentally, invented the possibility of the folk-based AV arts. Plus thousands of other benefits, the online portfolio and art gallery, being another example. More artists have to 'compete' with each other, but you don't need to be signed to a gallery and self-censor, for people to be interested in your work. This can be quite liberating, and when considering the relationship between art and politics/religion, it can also be revolutionary. Even if you only have two twitter followers, they might share that little jpeg to millions of people....and who knows what may come of that :)
Also, I don't think artists are 'special' just like scientists are not 'special'. Yes there have been some amazing ideas that people classified as either have put out there. But very rarely did they know it would have the impact it did. The audience/technologist creates the legend. We turn those little ideas into big events by saying 'omigosh, i could totally imagine doing Y with that X" and then things change. Artists and scientists also do exactly the same thing when they create the X in question, because creativity is a human trait, not just a professional skill.
There is also something to be said of the benefits of tradition, too. Even when an art movement has sprung up to question the old media, the skills learned in the old media are part of the skills used and question in developing the new media. Same with science. Einstein revolutionised Newton, but he had to study Newton to come up with something else. Invention/Innovation, are sides of the same coin.
Also, with cave painting; although new styles and media might not come up that often there, I think it is amazingly legendary to have this portal to what is often the past. To look and see wow this has survived that long. It's also an artform that's at risk due to development, mining and that sort of thing. But it is also an artform that is still practised. Just as an example, and I may be misinterpreting the cultural implications here, but there are still people in parts of Australia that preserve cave paintings that are said to predate their group's arrival in the area in question, and those cave paintings have been touched up for thousands of years - I refer to the Mimi paintings of course. Then there is the tradition of the hand paintings. Some people put a hand print on a cave or rock wall, and then get their son to put one next to it; and some paintings including hundreds of generations of people doing exactly this. It's a living record of a family, as well as an art tradition with strong historical roots, of legendary consequences. The intention of this art, I think, was never to change the world or turn us all into space cadets or whatever - it was probably just a reminder that we all come from somewhere. Quite frankly, sometimes that is the most revolutionary reminder we need. It's certainly impacted me knowing of this, and I've never seen those paintings. Maybe also, because I'm saying this on the internet, the technology I'm using may increase the legendary consequences. But I don't know that for sure. Hence kind of demonstrating my point.