Wednesday, June 8, 2016

EXTRA CREDIT Event 1: Fowler Museum

  Today my friend Matt and I went to Fowler Museum. The first exhibition that we went to was "Art of the Austronesians. The Legacy of Indo-Pacific Voyaging. There were so many pieces to this collection I didn't really know where to begin. What struck me as having the most correlation with our class was the incorporation of Art and Culture and finding new innovative ways to create different types of clothes, designs, and ways to express their culture and even to tell a story about their lives, as well as the way in which technological innovations and the way they made art advanced.

The Indigenous Peoples of Tawain: was a part of the indigenous people who stayed in Tawain. The climate in Tawain required them to have particular clothing and shelter where they soon derived their artistic and cultural expression. A lot of this expression was done through loom weaving, the footrest on the loom acts as a drum, sounding with the rhythm of work to signal the industriousness of the weaver. The use of the fibers were a norm before trade introduced cotton cultivation. This ties in music, art, and the first creative and technological way to create cloth on a loom. 
The second exhibition was called "Reflection Culture: The Francis E. Fowler Collection of Silver" I thought this part of the museum was very cool, I love silver so it was interesting to see where it all comes from and the various uses of it that express 16th century to 19th century Europe. These pieces tied into our class I believe by reflecting the culture, inventions, status and style of the cultures that it was meant to represent. By using the various techniques and the advancements of technology that blacksmiths were able to use on their work to develop this immaculate silver, reflects how art, culture and technology have all advanced and continue to reflect culture in Europe through silver. 

My personal favorite gallery was "Pantheon" de Diablito Rojo (Cemetery of the Little Red Devil) by Jose Guadalupe Posada. There was a video on how all of the pieces were made, such as the skeletons and various props,  that were made from newspaper spreadsheets which I found pretty amazing that someone is that creative to create these sculptures of skeletal figures, animals, and caricatures. This art pieces were used to reflect the Mexican culture and the struggles of how they found an identity after the Mexican Revolution. 

Proof that I went to the museum: also another awkward photo of my friend Matt and I

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Event 3: Sam Wolk

Sam Wolk is a young and brilliant up and coming visual artist who focuses on fiction film making. This lecture was given on the Replica of a life in a particular ecosystem. Mr. Wolk uses artificial life, or a synthetic world biologically designed nutrient field to see the DNA and biological makeup of various plants and animals.
Although a very awkward photo: proof I went to the event :)
  What I found most interesting and comprehendible in my brain was the manipulation of plant DNA. By taking a strip of DNA from a plant that has just sprouted and visually separating them on a screen, gives the viewer the ability to see the represented different values for particular genes in the plant DNA. By doing so, Mr. Wolk can tell how much of each nutrient it needs to survive and grow, indicate how much nutrients it has at the given moment, and can even tell how much of an odor the nutrients give off.

Plant DNA and nutrients
Mr. Wolk presented an abstract world of creatures and how they live and function in their world and juxtaposed these creatures to mankind. Time is a human construct, we're the only species that functions on a schedule around every minute of every day. If the virtual world that Mr. Wolk created crashed and then was repaired once again, the creatures would have no idea or way to represent that there was some sort of glitch in their everyday lives, they would simply continue to live as if nothing happened. Contrasting this to humans, if we were being recorded by some sort of higher order of the universe, just as the creatures are, and our system crashed, we would continue to live just as the creatures did. This part of the lecture put  into perspective for me how small we all really are, and that we could have no scientific knowledge or facts that prove or don't prove that there is something larger than us experimenting with us.
500-1000 plant DNA/nutrients being compared 

I found this lecture very interesting, but it was difficult to follow for me. I'm an American Literature and Culture major so I'm not much of  science gal, but in all I thought it was really cool. I can see how this would be useful to explain biological processes in artistic way can help people learn about biology and various sciences in the educational system.

Week 9: Space + Art

This weeks lecture on space was awesome, I find it all very applicable and interesting, and as Professor Vesna said, it encompassed all of our previous lectures into one that we're still discovering more and more about it every day. 

What I found most particularly interesting in this weeks lecture, is that science fiction had such a large impact and influence on scientists and exploring space. Although it goes vice-versa, I thought that it would be the other way around first. It goes to show how creativity and imagination of various artists can develop phenomenal ideas that will change the world and expand our knowledge of it as we know it. Roger Malina from the Leonardo Space Art Project claimed, "The space age was possible because for centuries the cultural imagination was fed by artists, writers and musicians who dreamed of human activities in space." For example, Jules Verne who wrote From the Earth to the Moon, described the idea of weightlessness and gravity, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky was the first to describe and create the idea of the first space station in the novel Beyond the Planet Earth. Particularly, the idea of a monstrous elevator that would mankind to travel from Earth to space was created by Arthur C. Clarke in a novel called the Fountains of Planets, and is being made into a reality by David Smithman.

It is fascinating to think about how much mankind has discovered and accomplished in space over the span of 60 years, it is remarkable to think what else we can achieve as technology advances. The idea of creating an economy out of asteroids, comets, and various other extraterrestrial objects in space, that will that will make our global economy that much more competitive. To think that this all began from artists unleashing their imaginations from what was seemingly impossible to something possible and achievable, proves that there are no limits on what we can discover and achieve. It seems inevitable that soon mankind will be occupying and discovering various planets, life forms, and aliens. 

Vesna, Victoria. "Space + Art | Lectures." Lecture Part 1. 29 May 2016. Lecture.

Malina, Roger. "Leonardo Space Art Project Visioneers." Leonardo Space Art Project Visioneers. MIT Press, n.d. Web. 28 May 2016.

Verne, Jules. From the Earth to the Moon, and Around the Moon. New York: Heritage, 1970. Print. 

T︠S︡iolkovskiÄ­, K. Beyond the Planet Earth. New York: Pergamon, 1960. Print. 

Clarke, Arthur Charles. The Fountains of Paradise. London: Millennium, 2000. Print.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Event 2: Hammer Museum

This last week, a friend and I went to the Hammer Museum just for fun. Unfortunately they were switching between their Winter collection and their Spring collection, but they still had a few galleries open. Some were very interesting and I understood the artistic approach behind them, while the others I'm still not quite sure what to think.

Here's a photo of me with a piece of Kenny Scharf's art 
Immediately I fell in love with the spray painted pieces along the walls by Kenny Scharf. He takes the imaginative unusual/ somewhat scary anthropomorphic creates and makes them playful and interesting. I loved all of the colors and the how someone has the artistic ability to create images like this with their imaginations. I appreciate the spontanaiety of creating art like this, I'm a fan of graffiti and street art as a way of expression and creativity. 

The gallery that was most impactful to me was the Catherine Opie portraits. She takes reminiscent images of contemporary America. She uses various people, objects and place as her subjects which trace America the past 30 years, as well as her life. She has various portraits of people from diverse backgrounds that she is close to that are contrasted against a dark background. I thought that these portraits as well as the the one of the rainbow were beautiful and really captured contemporary America.
How do you live with yourself? 
Cardboard and Spray paint over acrylic-based  paint
  What I had a hard time understanding as 'Contemporary Art' was the exhibit by various artists, one mainly, Judie Bamber. Her piece titled How do you live with yourself? After researching more of Judie Bamber's art, I can see how she is commenting on gender and sexuality. Although this is very, provocative, it is definitely a statement piece which I've come to appreciate. 

  Tony Feher is also an artist I grew to appreciate after visit the museum. He takes overlooked items that we don't see value in and makes light of them and uses them to project emotion on the seemingly invaluable. 

Week 8 NanoTech + Art

What scientists can do with nanotechnology is fascinating, the leaps and bounds we could make in medicine, food, and everyday life are what caught my attention during this weeks lectures.
The fact that nanoparticles have existed for such a long time and humans just didn't know it is quite astonishing. In lecture part 3, Dr. Gimzewski was speaking about how Silver Nanoparticles are used for various things. One of the most useful ways the Silver Nanoparticles could be used is for self-cleaning fabrics, the amount of water and energy this would save if it were a common thing would be insurmountable. It would create a way for us to be more efficient and clean with our clothes.

What scientists can do with nanotechnology and medicine I believe, will move medicine and offer great benefits to people in the future. Samuel Stupp and his coworkers designed a molecule that will regenerate tissues and organs while using self-assembly. We have the potential to regenerate limbs and organs that humans can't regenerate on their own, it could potentially rid of prosthetics all together if this became more advanced and common.

To me, most importantly from this weeks lecture is that nanotechnology gives scientists the ability to improve lives. My grandpa who has had a long battle with cancer would benefit from the possibility of their being other ways to go through chemotherapy. There is now nanotechnology that reduces the toxicity of the treatment, and there are nano shells that target cancer cells, illuminate them with infrared lights and kill off the cancer. I really enjoyed this weeks lecture and I'm excited to see how nanotechnology will continue to grow.

Gimzewski, Jim, and Victoria Vesna. "The Nanomeme Syndrome: Blurring of Fact & Fiction in the Construction of a New Science." The Nanomeme Syndrome: Blurring of Fact & Fiction in the Construction of a New Science. UCLA, n.d. Web. 22 May 2016.

Gimzewski, Jim. "Nanotech for Artists Part 1 - Dr. Gimzewski." 22 May 2016. Lecture.

Thompson, D'Arcy Wentworth, and John Tyler Bonner. On Growth and Form. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1961. Web. 22 May 2016.

"Nanotechnology in Energy." Nanowerk. NanoWerk, n.d. Web. 22 May 2016.

"Benefits for Treatment and Clinical Outcomes." NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer., n.d. Web. 22 May 2016.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Neuroscience + Art: week 7

Neuroscience and Art has a very intriguing relationship. In this weeks lecture, Professor Vesna spoke about FMRI Butterfly, Sea Sponges, and the Brainbow that are amazing discoveries that stayed with me after watching lecture.

Suzanne Anker, a visual artist and theorist initiated the Neurocultrue Project FMRI Butterfly which is where she took 15 images of brain scans and placed identical butterflies on each of them, but each of the photos look different which I found fascinating.

Sea Sponges among scientists are known as the "simplest forms of life" (Thomas), but it has been discovered that they share an amazing amount 70 percent of their genes with humans! Typically genes associated with diseases and cancer. This could help scientists have major breakthroughs with cancer and stem cell research. Today, there is even talk that a molecule from a sea sponge may be able to give us a solution against the fight against Leukemia and various cancers. The scientists have honed in on one molecule, cancer cells grow in a similar way that stem cells do because they don't have a solidified identity with the body. The molecule from the sea sponge helps remind the cancer cell to return to its original state in the body, therefore halting and erasing the cancer as it progresses.

I find it amazing that we have the technology and power to find solutions like this for families people that are dealing with cancer. This gives me a lot of hope for the future that soon we will have the technology to eliminate it and many other diseases with stem cell research. 

Vesna, Victoria. "Lecture II." Neuroscience +Art. 15 May 2016. Lecture.

 Anker, Suzanne. "‘Science, Art and Bio-Art': Harvard Lecture by SVA’s Suzanne Anker." SVA Close Up. SVA, 12 Dec. 2012. Web. 16 May 2016.
 Poppy, Carrie. "Sponges May Be A Secret Weapon Against Leukemia." Tech Times RSS. Medical Xpress, 28 Sept. 2015. Web. 16 May 2016. 
 Thomas, Brian. "Are Sea Sponges Mostly Human?" The Institute for Creation Research. ICR, 16 Aug. 2010. Web. 16 May 2016.
 Vesna, Victoria. "Lectrue 1." Neuroscience + Art. 15 Mar. 2016. Lecture.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Week 6: BioTech+Art

What is life and what does it mean when we manipulate it? The relationship between biology scientists and artists is very intruiging. Joe Davis (lecture) is considered the pioneer of bioart, he created the Audio Microscope, which transforms a living cells to turn into an image. He also did an experiment where he showed how E.Coli reacts to different types of sound waves, which is pretty amazing. Eduardo Catz fluorescent bunny, (lecture) the bunny had genes from a fluorescent jellyfish interested in it and it was called ‘art’, it is pretty amazing that this is how we can see how the development of nerve cells in the brain and body to see how cancer spreads. I found this very interesting because my grandpa who has cancer has had this done to him.
Adam Zaretzky (lecture 2), he created four major biological artworks that are extremely controversial. I did not eve know that rats could laugh, it is quite astonishing that we are able to figure out what ultrasonic emmissions are created when the rats aren’t stressed out. Kathy Hyde embraced the idea that we should look at these animals as beings that can help us find solutions with human heath. (lecture 3)

In Ellen  Levy’s essay on Defining Life: Artists Challenge Conventional Classifications comments on slime mold, I believe it explained the exchange of art and biooigy perfectly, “It is an imporobable mix of animal, plant, and fungus- an anomaly that may exemplify some of the scientific and artistic developments taking place around us.” (1) this encompasses everything about this weeks lecture. In Chris Kelty’s essay on Outlaw biology, he talks about he wants to teach people the “ebbs and flows” of the microorganisms in the present environment by using he DIY module. I can see the greatness and usefulness in it, but at the same time I agree that it can be very dangerous if people mess with the wrong things. He puts it is, “it’s either an economic miracle waiting to happen or an apocalypse around the corner.” (2)

Vesna, Victoria. "Lecture Pt. 2." 8 May 2016. Lecture.
Kelty, Chris. "Meanings of Participation: Outlaw Biology?" (n.d.): n. pag. Web. 8 May 2016.
Vesna, Victoria. "Lecture Pt. 3." 8 May 2016. Lecture.
Levy, Ellen K. Defining Life: Artists Challenge Conventional Classification. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Web. 8 May 2016
Vesna, Victoria. "BioTech + Art." 8 May 2016. Lecture.