Art, Freedom and Science

This post is part of a series about Governing Emerging Technologies that I’m writing for a UCL course of the same name.

Early this November, the seizure of a staggering 1,500 artworks lost during the Nazi era was made public by the German police. The find includes works by many key painters of the last century: Picasso, Kandinsky, Matisse, Klee, to name just a few. They all shared one commonality: The Nazis branded them Entartete Kunst” (Degenerate Art).

I read about this in the Independent article “When the fascists tried to tame the modern masters”. It contained this quote by Goebbels:

Art Fascism“The freedom of artistic creation must keep within the limits prescribed, not by any artistic idea, but by the political idea”

It is not obvious that this has anything to do with emergent technologies. But because I spent the morning reading about technology governance before I picked up this newspaper, I experienced the classic case of a prepared mind connecting new information (the quote) to existing information (a lot of thoughts on governing technologies). Continue reading