Tag Archives: #creativity

Learning from Leonardo: What does death teach us about life?

Leonardo da Vinci, The skull sectioned (1489). Pen and ink over traces of black chalk. Codex Windsor, Royal Collection Trust, London.

While I thought that I was learning how to live, I have been learning how to die.
– Leonardo da Vinci

If the brilliant Renaissance artist, scientist, inventor, engineer, and genius Leonardo da Vinci were alive today would he do a TED Talk?

We don’t think so.

That’s why Steph Rizzo from the Artisans of Florence International embraced the challenge of presenting a DED Talk on what Leonardo’s studies of death teach us about life. 

Thanks to Leonardo’s insatiable curiosity, boundless imagination, keen observation of nature and ability to depict its nuanced beauty, he is regarded as one of the world’s greatest thinkers, artists and scientists.

Leonardo’s fascination with death and dying has influenced our modern ideas about life in a myriad of ways. By connecting his studies in anatomy, nature, engineering, geology and the arts Leonardo came to a deep and unique understanding of the universe and our place in it.

Steph will present some of Leonardo’s lesser-known discoveries that raise questions that are central to both science and the arts. The session is interactive and audience members are invited to be part of the conversation.

Steph Rizzo presents Learning from Leonardo da Vinci: What does death teach us about life?

Saturday 5 August, 3pm
Edge Galleries, 35 Main St, Maldon

Free. Register your place as seating is limited.

The DED Talks (ideas worth undeading) will be introduced by Kimba and Stass from Last Hurrah Funerals.

The Goldfields Gothic Festival of Dark Ideas runs from Friday 4 – Sunday 6 August in Maldon (Vic)

Check out the jam-packed program: https://www.goldfieldsgothic.com/program

The role of imagination in science

Albert Einstein may, or may not, have said that “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

A century ago the American philosopher, logician, mathematician and scientist Charles Sanders Peirce wrote that inductive and deductive reasoning on their own never led to a new idea. He warned us that by analyzing the past, and crunching numbers to predict the future, we are doing nothing more than extrapolation. If we stick to measuring what we can already measure, we cannot create a future that is different from the past.

Since Archimedes, we have taken comfort in following the Scientific Method; namely systematic observation and experimentation, inductive and deductive reasoning, and the formation and testing of hypotheses and theories. What has been less understood is the role of the imagination in science.

Without imagination, science would never ever have existed. Imagination and innovation are key to achieving change.

As the past few years of the Covid-19 pandemic, a global climate in crisis, and political upheavals have demonstrated, our understanding of the world, and our role in it, needs to change. We turn to our heroes Archimedes, Leonardo da Vinci, and Galileo Galilei to celebrate how their imagination and creativity enabled them to see things differently. They understood that everything is connected to everything else, made it possible to see the invisible, applied knowledge from one field to another to generate new knowledge, and had the courage to not give up if their experiments failed.

We have so much to learn from them.

Photo: Galileo: Scientist, Astronomer, Visionary, Waikato Museum, Hamilton NZ, 2021