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.

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