Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Week 9 Space and Art

         I really enjoyed learning about space and art. One part of this week’s lectures that I thought was interesting was how space exploration involved nanotechnology. Bucky balls are carbon cages in space. Scientist has been conducting new research that has led them to believe that Bucky Balls are responsible for creation on earth. There are two parts to the Bucky ball that I think are really important. The first one is the structure of Bucky balls. Bucky Balls are shaped like soccer balls and are held together similar to the structure of a cage. However, they are small and hallow which makes them the perfect molecule for nanotechnologist to manipulate and research. The other part that I think is interesting is the idea that Bucky balls can have a significant medical impact in the future. The carbon structure of the Bucky balls makes them extremely strong. Therefore, nanotechnologist are conducting research to see if they can transport medicine to patients through Bucky balls. I think this could be vital to patient’s health, because it could lead to a safe, efficient, and effective way to treat patients in the future. Just like Victoria Vesna mentioned in the first lecture, Nanotechnology connects to biotechnology and other topics that we have discussed in class

  Another part of this week’s lectures that I found interesting, was the idea that space exploration started as an imagination. People’s dreams of going to space or extraterrestrial life were translated into science fiction movies. One of my favorite space movies is 2001: A Space Odyssey. The film revolves around a spacecraft that is bound for Jupiter. Unfortunately, when they are in space, the astronauts encounter multiple problems including a manipulative robot.  Although the film mainly takes place inside the spacecraft, the graphics of the film depict what Stanley Kubrick believed space and spacescrafts to look like. I think it is extremely cool that science fiction is now turning into reality. There is now virtual reality that can accurately depict what space looks like to the general public and there are spacecrafts that are taking people into space! Soon our world will no longer be confined to a single planet.
            Space exploration and art are extremely important in our evolving world. Luckily, artist are collaborating with scientist to show space to the general public, make a beneficial impact to the word, and hopefully turning space exploration into a reality.

 1. Lewin, Sarah. "Virtual Reality and Mars: 4 Ways Tech Will Change Space Exploration." Space.com. 18 May 2016. Web. 24 May 2016. <http://www.space.com/32912-virtual-reality-humans-to-mars.html>.
2. Ginny, Elizabeth. "Buckyballs in Space Solve 100-year-old Riddle." Nature.com. Nature Publishing Group, 15 July 2015. Web. 24 May 2016. <http://www.nature.com/news/buckyballs-in-space-solve-100-year-old-riddle-1.17987>.
3. "CODED UTOPIA." Continental Drift. 2007. Web. 24 May 2016. <https://brianholmes.wordpress.com/2007/03/27/coded-utopia/>.
4. Rhodes, Margaret. "The Amazingly Accurate Futurism of 2001: A Space Odyssey." Wired.com. Conde Nast Digital. Web. 24 May 2016. <http://www.wired.com/2015/08/amazingly-accurate-futurism-2001-space-odyssey/>.
5. "Buckminsterfullerene." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 24 May 2016. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buckminsterfullerene>.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Event 3

This week I attend the sculpture exhibit from the hammer museum. The sculpture exhibit includes multiple artists who explore mundane objects that people use in their life and how they can transform the objects to reference the human body. When I attended the exhibit, one piece in particular caught my attention. I will mainly focus on that particular piece. 

The two topics that stood out the most to me when I was going through the exhibit was the idea of two cultures and the missing third culture and robotics and art. I believe that the third culture is technology because is it able to merge together two completely unrelated areas. Collaboration, innovation, and expression between the two cultures is capable because of technology.
MacArthur Park
The piece that I am going to be talking about is entitled “MacArthur Park.” “MacArthur Park was made by artist, Martin Kersels. “MacArthur Park” explores the idea of everyday objects that people using being turned into a machine that references the human whom uses it. The base of the piece was created from a speaker. The base references the legs of the human. The Middle section of the piece had a large single ball in the center with smaller balls coming out of the middle that reference the arms and torso of a human. The top of the sculpture is made out of a old stereo and a VRC set. The top references the head of the person. In “MacArthur Park” I felt as though the two cultures were the art and the human. Therefore, the technology of the mundane objects were able to merge the two to create a sculpture that explores how humans interact objects. 
Proof I was There
Similarly, the piece also dealt with the idea of robotics and art. I thought this sculpture was a really interesting take on robotics because I does not look like a stereotypical robot. Rather the robots is a commentary on how people are almost becoming consumed with the technology that surrounds them. Therefore, it feels as though the person is beginning to become one with technology. I think that this is a really successful sculpture because it causes the viewer to contemplate how they interact with the technology that surrounds them and whether or not they believe that they are being absorbed by the technology.

I recommend this exhibits because it provides interesting examples of two cultures merging into a third culture. Also, the exhibit really causes the viewer to look at how they are being effect by the third culture. 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Week 8 Nanotechnology and Art

Growing up, I loved making stain glass art pieces. I would create a geometric design that included various different colors of glass and would cut and solder the glass myself. Making stained glass piece was a tranquil escape. Similarly, my family owns a glass blowing company. I grew up watching them manipulate glass by heating it and morphing the glass into their desired shape. However, I never looked past simply assembling a piece, putting it up for display, and it was not until lecture 5 that I started to realize that there is much more that goes into stain glass.
The vibrant colors of the glass are created through nanotechnology. Gold and silver Nano particles are trapped inside of the glass to create the colors. It is the shape and size of the nano particles that determines the color of the glass. Each color of class has individual characteristics. For example, blue glass has nanoparticles 40 nanometers in size and the particles are shaped like spheres. Red glass has nanoparticles 100 nanometers in size and the particles are shapes like prisms. After reading about how nanotechnology affects the color of glass, I feel a little naïve. I thought that the make up of glass was all the same and that color was based on artificial dye given to glass…however; color is based on the varying nanoparticles inside of it.
            Artificial muscles remind me of the organization that is talked about in lecture 5. Artificial muscles are made out of carbon nanotubes. The carbon nanotubes are woven together like yarn, with different materials filling in the holes. When you want the muscle to contract, heat must be applied. The Nano fibers expand against the surface, making it stiff. When cooled, the Nano fibers come back together. Nano muscles are being used as a way to make robots seem more realistic and in firefighters clothing. In some areas, developments in nanotechnology seem extremely beneficial. However, there are some areas where nanotechnology is making the world more artificial.

I believe that Nanotechnology is extremely important because it has expanded the limits of art by providing artist with new materials to work with and giving them with new ways to work with the materials. Nanotechnology has allowed for a broader understanding of how science works. However, depending on how it is used, nanotechnology can have positive and negative implications to our lives.

1. Diep, Franchie. "Artificial Muscle Stronger Than the Real Thing : DNews." DNews. Web. 21 May 2016. <http://news.discovery.com/tech/biotechnology/artificial-muscle-stronger-121115.htm>.
2.  "Frequently Asked Questions." Nano. Web. 21 May 2016. <http://www.nano.gov/nanotech-101/nanotechnology-facts>.
3. The Nanomeme Syndrome: Blurring of Fact & Fiction in the Construction of a New Science. Vesna, Victoria and Gimzewski, Jim. PDF.
4. The Science of Stained Glass. University of Wisconsin-Madison. PPT.
5. "Nanotechnology." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 21 May 2016. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanotechnology>.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Week 7 Neuroscience and Art

Lecture 1 talked about how Suzanne Anker created FMRI Butterfly scans. The FMRI Butterfly takes normal brain scans and super imposes a single butterfly onto the scan. When the viewer looks at the the varying brain scans with the same butterfly imposed onto each scan, an illusion is created. The illusion is commentary on how the brain functions and how it can alter someone’s perspective. The MRI Butterfly scan was extremely intriguing to me because without advancements in technology, the public would not be able to explore or understand how the brain works. The brain and it’s function would be confined to our subconscious knowledge.

The MRI Butterly is also relevant to “The Spiritual Man”. In the reading Jung compares the subconscious and the conscious. Jung talks about how the modern man needs to be fully conscious of his existence and being a man. Jung believes that being conscious of what is going on around us and inside of us is important to our survival. Jung’s statement is really important because it conveys the idea that we are only able to adapt to the world that we are living in or try to change that world to fit our needs by becoming aware of what is going on inside of use. We will live better lives once we become conscious of how our brain works.

Laurie Frick is a engineer and data analyst who explores the subconscious and physiological diseases. She uses art as a way to display what is going on inside of an individual’s brain, the subconscious. In “7 days”, for seven days she tracks individuals use of their time. The data that she collected was translated into leather and aluminum color coded rectangles that shows how people used their time. The purpose of the art piece was to show people how they are defined by their time and how what people subconsciously do with their time and also to show people that their subconscious use of time tells them about their psyche and personality. Although the piece is not straight forwards, Frick exhibits the importance of knowing how the subconscious works.

Through art, new scientific advancements are being presented to people. Neuroscience and art has the ability to reveal the brain’s activity to people. Knowledge of the brain allows for a better understanding of how we function and gives a broader perspective of how the world works. 

1. Vesna, Victoria. “Conscious / Memory (Part 1).” Lecture.  <http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=DLVQIwOn7o8>
2.LAURIE FRICK. Web. 12 May 2016. <http://www.lauriefrick.com/7-days/>.
3.Noë, Alva. "Art and the Limits of Neuroscience." Opinionator Art and the Limits of Neuroscience Comments. 04 Dec. 2011. Web. 12 May 2016. <http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/04/art-and-the-limits-of-neuroscience/?_r=1>.
4.Jung, Carl. The Spiritual Problem Of Modern Man. PDF.
5.Landau, Elizabeth. "What the Brain Draws From: Art and Neuroscience." CNN. Cable News Network, 15 Sept. 2012. Web. 12 May 2016. <http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/15/health/art-brain-mind/>.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Week 6 Biotechnology and Art

           Since Mendel discovered the genetics of a plant, genetics have been highly experimented and researched by scientist. However, more recently, genetics have begun to be explored by artists. Artists are interested in finding new and enticing ways to showcase and reproduce genomes.
Marta DeMenezes is a Portuguese artist who is exploring the convergence of art and science. Her main focus is about how science can influence and change nature. One of her most well known works is “Nature?.” In “Nature?,” DeMenzes has created live butterflies with modified wing patterns. The new wing and their designs are not artificial or pigmented and  made out of normal cells. One important aspect of her project, that I greatly appreciate, is that she created butterflies that are not able to reproduce other butterflies with the same patterns. Therefore, each butterfly is unique and will never be seen in nature again. “Nature?” will not effect evolution in the long run. Although DeMenzes as created some beautiful wing patterns, her project is extremely controversial because it brings up the idea of harming animals for the purpose of art. Some people do not believe that this is ethically okay to alter the nature of animals and insects because they are ultimately not given a choice. The other problem that people have with projects like “Nature?” is the notion that artist and scientist are gaining too much power in how society will turn out.
            One concept that I found to be really interest was the idea of DIY biology movement projects from the Outlaw Synopsis essay. A project that captures the idea of DIY biology is “Foragers” by Dunne and Raby. “Foragers” explores the possibility of a world that is overpopulated causing there to not be enough food. “Foragers” is the idea of synthetic digestive systems and devices that would allow people to extract food from their environment by maximizing the nutritional value of nature. This project is attempting to solve the food shorten problem by making food universally and commercially accessible through nature to everyone. Dunne and Raby are providing a perfect example and depiction of what our world will look like if we are able to take control of our own evolution.

The convergence of art and biotechnology has the ability to change the world. However, giving people the opportunity to determine evolution can create an artificial world that will not longer be unique.

1.     Kelty, Chris . “Meanings Of Participation: Outlaw Biology?  Outlaws, Hackers, Victorian Gentlemen. ” PDF. 05 May, 2016.
2.     Levy, Ellen K. “Defining Life: Artists Challenge Conventional Classifications.” PDF. 05 May, 2016.
3.     Miranda, Caroline. "Weird Science: Biotechnology as Art Form." ARTnews. 18 Mar. 2013. Web. 05 May 2016. <http://www.artnews.com/2013/03/18/biotechnology-as-art-form/>
4.     "Biotech Art – We Make Money Not Art." We Make Money Not Art. Web. 05 May 2016. <http://we-make-money-not-art.com/category/biotech-art/>.
5.     Gkoutzioul, Katerina I. "Art and Biotechnology: When Art Looks into Science." The Rest Is Art. 26 Oct. 2010. Web. 05 May 2016. <https://therestisart.wordpress.com/2010/10/26/art-and-biotechnology-when-art-looks-into-science/>.
6.     Delgado, Rick. "How Artists Are Blending Biotechnology And Art." MakeUseOf. 08 May 2015. Web. 05 May 2016.

7.     Delgado, Rick. "How Artists Are Blending Biotechnology And Art." MakeUseOf. 08 May 2015. Web. 05 May 2016.<http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/artists-blending-biotechnology-art/>

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Event 2

Today, I attended Toni Dove’s lecture at the Department of Design Media Arts. Toni Dove is an artist whom specializes in interface design, specifically interactive cinema. While listening to her lecture, two of her works stood out the most to me. I will discuss two of her works that I found to have close connections with what we have been learning in class. 

Spectropia. Courtesy of UCLA DMA
The first piece I am going to discuss is called “Spectropia”. Spectropia is an interactive video game that is about a girl who is searching for her missing father. Along the way she encounters moments and people from the past. Spectropia uses video motion sensing which allows the viewer to use their hands to dictate the movement of the girl throughout her journey. Toni Dove explained how the human body interface is a powerful immersive language. The language is created by the ability to combine the feeling of disbelief and a powerful narrative. The disbelief comes from the audience’s ability to feel as though they are part of the narrative. Interacting with the narrative creates a strong story. I think Spectropia is a really good example of robotics and art. In Spectropia, the narrative serves as the art and the robotic machines are enhancing the art, which allows the audience to have immersive interaction. The only downside of Dove’s technology is that people will eventually become too comfortable with living in an artificial world. This can be detrimental to their ability to communication and function outside of a game. 

Toni Dove demonstrates her interactive media 

The second piece I am going to talk about is the piece modeled after the human spine. Toni Dove created a spine that the audience was able to travel through on an aircraft. Toni Dove explained her multiple reasons for creating this piece. Her first reason was to explore the idea of an interactive autopsy program. In week 4 lectures, Vesna explained how it was crucial for a doctor to understand the human anatomy. Rather then seeing a 2D image of the human anatomy Dove creates a 4D image of the human body, which enhances the way to see and interact with the human anatomy. Toni Dove’s other reason was to try and fool the person interacting with the piece. Dove explained how one’s relationship with media and their body is a way to trick the body into feeling a particular way. I found this reason to connect to Diana Gromala ideas behind using Virtual Reality. Diana Gromala uses virtual reality to change patient’s pain levels. Compared to the other piece, this piece is a more realistic and helpful piece. Instead of using dangerous medication, Dove is creating a effective and safe way to try and help people. 

Overall, I found Toni Dove’s lecture to be extremely fascinating. She is pushing the boundaries between art and robotics by creating an immersive and interactive experience for the user. She is changing flat artwork into a stimulating viewing experience. 
Awkwardly standing next to Toni Dove!