From Ruth Gambles, "Redeeming the Sound . . . "
The Baroque signifies an attempt to bridge the gap between man and things implemented by the mechanism of the scientific revolution[.]
The Baroque as a proto-Romanticism, then? Or, perhaps, a proto-Modernism? Either makes sense within the context of the passage quoted here.
But is this in fact true of the Baroque as a philosophy? Was there at that time a cultural anxiety regarding increased mechanization?
UPDATE: A basic principle behind the idea of mechanization is that people know how things work--not just machines, but the cosmos. Caribbean intellectual Edouard Glissant notes that the Baroque (as artistic expression) emerged as a response to Rationalism's claim to contain and codify all knowledge. Those with a greater knowledge of "the modern scientific view of reality" might have some questions about Glissant's claims (I myself know only enough to wonder if what he says is so):
Imitation of Nature as an objective assumes that, underlying outward appearance and inherent in it, there is a "profundity', an unassailable truth, artistic representations of which approximate more closely as they systematize their imitation of reality and discover its rules. The revolution represented by the introduction of perspective during the quattrocento can thus, perhaps, be seen as part of the search for this profundity.
It was against this current that the baroque "diversion' began to make itself felt. Baroque art was a reaction against the rationalist claim to penetrate the mysteries of the known in one single, incisive, uniform movement. The stone with which baroque art disturbed the rationalist pool was an affirmation that knowledge is never fully acquired, a fact that gives it all its value. Thus the techniques of baroque art were to favour "breadth' to the detriment of "depth'.
The modern scientific view of reality coincides with and confirms this expansion of the Baroque. Science does, indeed, assert that reality cannot be defined in terms of outward appearances and that it has to be examined "in depth', but it also accepts that knowledge is never wholly acquired and that it would be absurd to claim that its essentials can be grasped at a single stroke. Science has entered the era of the uncertainty principle, retaining, nevertheless, a form of rationalism which henceforth abjures paralysing, mechanical, once-and-for-all dogmatism. Its conceptions of Nature are "expanding', becoming relative, problematical. It is moving, that is, in the selfsame direction towards which the Baroque tends.