Iconic images, symbols, and archetypes: their function in art and science

Frances R. Westley, Carl Folke
2018 Ecology and Society  
The relationship between art and science is one of contrasts and commonalities. We look at one commonality between art and science: the central role of iconic images. We argue that iconic images are the touchstone symbols in both art and science and provide similar functions for both. We propose that these iconic images provoke an openness and a receptivity to our deepest emotional capacities and a connection between those and the dynamics of the broader social-ecological systems in which we
more » ... rate. Such iconic images may also act as attractors that provoke the emergence of increasing levels of intellectual and aesthetic self-organization, not only at an individual level, but also in terms of larger social, scientific, or artistic fields. Finally, through a combination of this attraction and this connection, iconic images may play a role in transformation.
doi:10.5751/es-10495-230431 fatcat:rcwxwm2y5rfz5oeonbxblwv2ny