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What the “Swine Flu” Teaches Us About Art

I didn’t go to University for theatre. I went for computer science and switched to theatre. I made this switch after my first co-op term: I discovered that as much as I love computers, I didn’t love spending forty hours a week in a cubicle programming group health insurance software .

Us arts-types are wrongly stereotyped as being poor at science and math. I disagree – most of us just had bad teachers. I had very good teachers.

Arts and science are strikingly similar. An over-achieving classmate of mine at the University of Waterloo actually earned a double-major Theatre/Mathematics degree.

Music is math. Chords, intervals, progressions, tempos, rhythms, all math.

Science and art are so close in my mind, I hardly see the difference between the two. Take this recent strain of swine flu for example.

It’s improv. This genetic mutation is basically the virus improvising, playing the classic “Yes, and…” game. Adapting itself to overcome obstacles, becoming a fully-realized villain in the cat-and-mouse game of medicine.

It’s music, too! Some genius wrote a computer program that translates DNA strands into music. This is the “H1-N1″ genetics in musical form:

It’s hypnotic.

About the author

Craig Mason