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.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Event 1: Toni Dove

I really enjoyed this event with artist Toni Dove because I wasn't completely sure what to expect. What I found most interesting was her work with Interactivity, which is using part of human sensory as a way in which we connect to media. Before this show I did not even know that art like this existed or was even possible.

She showed us how she does her work with Artificial Changelings: scrolling and scrubbing the video with her hands. It was really cool to see because the relationship with media is different because her body was the interface that controlled everything. She described it as "It almost feels as if you're on anesthesia, you get to play with all of your senses."  In the clip below, she is controlling all of the video with her hand and arm movements. At first I didn't believe it, but as she slowed down and explained to us how it all works it became very engaging.
The video posted below is what Toni Dove labeled Spectropia, she used improvisation and collides it with narrative to create a new entity and is about the augmented real world. 
I thought it connected very well with our class these last few weeks with finding a "third culture". It's taking an art and combining it with cinema and science and Toni Dove's use of Interactivity. It opened my eyes to a very creative and artistic world that can help create other cultures beyond a third culture. It helped me realize that there are still a lot of ways in which we can combine the two cultures for more creativity that people haven't discovered yet.  

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Week 4: Medicine-technology-art

In this weeks lectures and readings what stood out to me the most was all of the information about MRI's. Being a student-athlete at UCLA, I've undergone a lot of injuries where I've had to get MRI's and X-rays. I didn't realize that MRI's were used as an art form, but it is very interesting to see such detail in ones own body based on the images from the MRI's. In Silva Casini's article she talks about how in the 90's an artist named Justine Cooper was the first to attract a wide range of attention from her art using the MRI. Art using an MRI has expanded and is growing popular, youtube has hundreds of videos of people using the MRI to try some strange things. One that I found interesting and sort of creepy to watch was a man chewing and swallowing through an MRI as seen below. 

The transformation of the views and art of the human body is fascinating. In 1858 when Henry Gray published "Grays Anatomy" as Professor Vesna says, it marks the growth and change of anatomical illustration of the human body, it also makes me wonder if Shonda Rhymes named her show after this book. 
I have been to the exhibits of Body World in Nevada and was amazed that the bodies could be preserved for that long and that they replaced the fat and water in the bodies with plastic materials for longer preservation. It amazed me when Professor Vesna said during lecture that the exhibits had been around since 1979 by Gunther Von Hagens using polymers and plastination.

It is interesting how plastic surgery became most prominent during WWII, driven by empathy for people who come back without limbs and parts of their bodies. It's also crazy how much plastic surgery has gone to define what beauty means, especially in modern society. As professor Vesna talks about Orlan and she stayed awake during her plastic surgeries I start to think her view of art and beauty is a little extreme, but thats what makes her such a prominent artist. 

Casini, Silvia. "Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) as Mirror and Portrait: MRI Configurations between Science and the Arts." Configurations 19.1 (2011): 73-99. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.
Vesna, Victoria. "Medicine Pt. 1." 24 Apr. 2016. Lecture.
Gray, Henry, and Henry Carter. Gray's Anatomy. N.p.: Arcturus, 2009. Print.
Vesna, Victoria. "Medicine Pt. 3." 24 Apr. 2016. Lecture.
Rose, Barbara. "Orlan: Is It Art?" Art in America. Stanford Education, 8 Feb. 1993. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Week 3

It is pretty amazing how mostly everything we do nowadays has to do with robotics the idea of separating work into bits and pieces to make more production has been around since the printing press. It is also amazing that the printing press was created by the Chinese in 1040. To think that this is how so many different ways of life, religion,  and particularly knowledge is spread through books that came from the printing press being able t proceed mass copies. For example, Renati Des Cartes is to this day still called the father of philosophy based on the ability to copy his book.

Nikola Tesla is another inventor who created the wireless communication, that modern day society couldn't live with out. Henry Ford and his car assembly lines began the discussion of a human being treated like they were apart of the machine, which has had a massive influence on mass production, robots and machinery. Alan Turing is considered the father of computer science he formed the concepts of algorithms and computation, this book his huge in philosophical literature. This goes to show that although a mathematician, he still had a massive influence on other areas that we've talked about in this class, artificial intelligence starts with him.

Norbert Wiener laid the foundation of concepts like feedback principle and output. Through all of these amazing and brilliant inventors and scientists, all of them had one thing in common besides being geniuses, they all had imaginations. In Douglas Davis's "The Work of Art in the Age of Reproduction", he says that "These events empower imagination rather than reason, as ew tools placed in the hands of people with open minds always have." (p. 382) particularly in cinema today. I posted a video of Charlie Chaplin called "Modern Times" where he struggles to live and keep up with modern industrial society. A film that I recently saw called "Ex Machina" is about how in the future humans create a robot that has such human like qualities it is able to live among us unknown to the humans around it. It's pretty crazy to imagine that that is a possibility with all of our technological advancements compared to the Charlie Chaplin video below. Both films mark how advanced we have become and there's no stopping the progression.

Ex Machina. Dir. Alex Garland. Universal Studios, 2015. DVD.

Leonardo, Vol. 28, No. 5, Third Annual New York Digital Salon. (1995), pp. 381-386. 
Turing, A.M. (1950). Computing machinery and intelligence. Mind, 59, 433-460.
Vesna, Victoria. "Lectures Part 1." Robotics + Art. 17 Apr. 2016. Lecture.
Wiener, Norbert. Cybernetics: Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine. New York: Wiley, 1948. Print.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Week 2: Math + Art

I agree with professor Vesna and Richard Fuller that the education system "de-genuiuses" does reduce or limit our ability to experiment and try new things. (Lecture video 2, 11:18) I found it very interesting when Professor Vesna talked about the vanishing point and how in order to find that in a piece of art, how many mathematical rules and geometry is needed in order to find it. Fuller claims that, "Perspective is necessary in order to understand painting. It is completely mathematical, concerning the roots in nature from which arise this graceful and noble art. . ."

When we use sound and we are able to transform it into numbers that we can alter and make music with. It is eye opening to read "Music and Computers" and being able to see what we can do with artists and their music, by transferring all of the sounds into numbers. In order to do this transformation scientists start  by using an analog to digital converter, which is fundamental for music on ones computer. I also found it very interesting how origami is essentially math and one is able to tell  how much geometry is involved based on the "blue print" of the creases once unfolding the piece of paper based on Thomas Hull's article on "Origami Mathematics". I found it pretty amazing that in origami there are thousands of theorems to fold paper that create beautiful and elegant pieces of art like the origami rose I posted below. 

Time and a "fourth-dimension" seems to be the largest phenomenon from this weeks lecture and readings. Based on time and our ability to perceive the various dimensions and the ability to record these sounds, angles, and art with mathematical principles to make various patterns. After reading "The Fourth Dimension and Non-Euclidean geometry in Modern Art" by Linda Henderson was evident in the work of M.C. Escher and his mathematical art


Alberti, Leon Battista, Cosimo Bartoli, and Giacomo Leoni. The Architecture of Leon Battista Alberti in Ten Books Of Painting in Three Books ; And, Of Statuary in One Book. London: Printed by T. Edlin, 1726. Print.
Vesna, Victoria, Prof. "Mathematics." 10 Apr. 2016. Lecture.
Hull, Thomas. "Origami Mathematics." Page. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2015.Henderson, Linda Dalrymple. The Fourth Dimension and Non-Euclidean Geometry in Modern Art. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1983. Print. 
Smith, B. Sidney. "The Mathematical Art of M.C. Escher." Platonic Realms Minitexts. Platonic Realms, 13 Mar 2014. Web. 13 Mar 2014. <>

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Assignment 1- Week 1: Two Cultures

  Hello all, I am an American Culture and Literature major and I found myself leaning more towards the literary intellectuals throughout lecture and this weeks readings. I found it very interesting how in C.P. Snow's "The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution", he talked a lot about how the education system is too specialized. (Snow, 19) There is a large separation between literary intellectuals and the scientific intellectuals, even in the physical sense for example UCLA's campus is designed that way with the South and North side of campus, one being for the arts and the other for the sciences. I play on the women's soccer team at UCLA and even my teammates will get into arguments about the arts and science and which has more meaning or relevance between our individual majors.
  In the first video of this weeks lecture, professor Vesna brought up Aldous Huxley and his view that scientists want to purify common language to avoid any ambiguity, where as poets and literary intellectuals purify common language to express the inexpressible. I found this to be extremely true which I believe is partly due to the severity of miscomprehension between the two. Thomas Kuhn was also brought up in lecture about the paradigm shift in the revolution which tied into the fourth video about how the two reasons 1. the economy and 2. cultural. We need to shift from this model of the education system of being focused on the industrialization, and expand the arts and creative thinking. I do agree with Professor Vesna and her take on artists working with technology I believe that this is helping bridge the gap between the humanities and the sciences. In Kevin Kelley's article on "The Third Culture", he also talks about how computers and art have manifested the new culture, scientists created radios, computers, and various types of technology where pop culture is involved allowing people to share and express their creativity and art with the world. I'm a pop culture freak and didn't even realize the connection between the art and sciences until I read Kelley's article and how large of an influence science has on films, music, television, GCI, science fiction films etc.

C.P. Snow "The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution"
Aldous Huxley (lecture)
Thomas Kuhn
Professor Vesna "Toward a Third Culture: Being In Between"
Kevin Kelley "The Third Culture"