I, too, think that Mr. Briot's essays might be interesting judging by his previous series. This is obviously a fellow who likes to muse matters of aesthetic theory.
But Briot's first essay of the series , "Art and Science", made me wince. It was a strained, contorted train-of-thought spaghetti bowl of flimsy assertions and weak similes that read more like a high school composition than a well considered essay. It was awful.
I knew Briot was in trouble as soon I read the first paragraph, which was a seminal statement for all that followed. It read:
Photography consists of two separate elements: art and science. It is through the successful combination of these two elements that the creation of world-class photographs can be accomplished.
No. For starters, photography is not intrinsically an art form, "world-class" or otherwise, as is implied in this paragraph. An insurance adjuster taking pictures of your bashed fender is not seeking self expression. Art is a matter of intention, not a matter of medium. So to be more precise, albeit less rhetorically dramatic, we might restate that paragraph as,"All photographic processes rely upon science. Using photography for artistic expression must therefore, in effect, amalgamate science with art."
But that's still an awfully lame thesis, isn't it? It just got worse from there as more strands of pasta were mixed into the bowl.
Briot seems to have a problem quite common today: an utter misunderstanding of what "science" means. He misused the word and concept as a prop for his thesis. "Science", as a noun, refers to a contiguous body of knowledge. (Ex: genetics, electronics, et.al.) "Science", as a verb, refers generally to the "scientific method" which is a structured process of discovery through experimentation to build that body of knowledge.
"Technology" is not a synonym for science; it's a different matter altogether. Technology refers to the application
of a science. Consequently, all art forms -photography, painting, sculpture, drawing- rely on various technologies, not directly on sciences. But I suppose that might be pedantic.
Here's hoping that Briot's future essays will be somewhat more cooked. We can always use good 10,000 foot essays on photography and its aesthetic, emotional, and intellectual factors.