Archive for the ‘week_3’ Category

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Saturday, March 14th, 2009

Robot teacher! What?,2933,508184,00.html

So I should be studying for finals right now, but I had to share this: another example of Japanese robotics.


Monday, February 2nd, 2009

One of the negative effects technology has on art is the ability to make duplications. Reproductions can be found in a variety of places, in a number of forms; some paintings look so real, the only way to discern the difference is through complex scientific processes. Technology has made the differentiation between originals and copies very challenging. While the presence of this ability allows art to make its way to the masses, it also depreciates the value of the piece. As new technologies enable more individuals to acquire seemingly identical reproductions of classic pieces of art, the seamless convergence of art, science, and technology has been completed.

     Benjamin argues “mechanical reproduction of art changes the reaction of the masses towards art” (8). As art is available to more and more people, individual reactions are muted; no longer is a piece of art seen as an incredible creation, but one of many that millions can see, similar to a piece of cinema. Before art was reproduced so seamlessly, it had an air of uniqueness to it, only certain individuals able to see the work of artistic masters. With reproduction, however, art has reached the masses, and the distinction between the haves and the have-nots is diminishing. While artistic reproductions provide the majority of individuals to see the amazing works of fine artists, there are a number of negative aspects that are equally important.



-Junki Chae

Art inspires technology, and technology inspires art

Monday, January 26th, 2009

My mom is a painter who uses pastels.  The medium she paints in requires special technologies in order for her work to succeed.  Because of the field of pastels a special sealant was developed that makes the pastel stick to the canvas.  My mom also extensively uses photo shop to create mock ups of her artwork before she paints it.  In this way different technologies were developed for the purposes of artwork.
I went to a comedy show on Sunday where I saw technology inspiring art.  Throughout the show different technologies were joked about in what is arguably one of the only improve forms of artwork.  One particular joke involved the history of communication where the comedian talked about how a drunk telegram would sound when the telegraph was a major form of communication.  There were also jokes about facebook, as well as many other modern technologies.  In this way comedy and modern technology are inextricably linked.  One thing we have not talked about yet is the affect communication has had on artwork.  Now when someone creates art its ability to proliferate in society has greatly increased.  This allows artists to make a political statement and actually expect to have an influence on the world.  One example of how pervasive art has become lies with YouTube and this video on wall paintings:
<a href=’′ >wall painted animation</a>


Monday, January 26th, 2009

Walter Benjamin claims in “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” that works of art have often been reproduced for various reasons. Some of these reasons include educational and monetary gain, and these replicates have been crafted by the hands of men. In this age of mechanical reproduction, however, new technology has made it increasingly easier to reproduce works of art, faster and more efficiently. Of course, the copy still cannot match up to the original in terms of historical value or authenticity.

Douglas Davis claims in “The Work of Art in the Age of Digital Reproduction” that as science and technology develops, art feels the repercussions of these changes of well. During the age of mechanical reproduction, the copy could still be distinguished from the original, whose value does not diminish due to the existence of a copy. But in the age of digital reproduction, it’s a whole different story. Now, technology is able to so flawlessly reproduce a work of art that it is practically indistinguishable from the original.

The topics discussed in these two articles are very closely related to what we are currently studying in class. Our main focus is to address the coexistence of science and art, and how they affect each other. The discussions in these two articles provide an important insight into the nature of the relationship between science and art. They suggest that although artistic ideas originate through man, the actual creation of art is facilitated by science.

I agree with the articles and think that this is a reasonable conclusion to make about the relationship between science and art. There can be no doubt that the ideas and inspiration for art are found in the minds of men, but the physical appearance and quality of works of art are determined by the level of technology. A good way to put it is to say that science is the tool that makes into reality the artistic ideas that originate in our minds. For example, suppose an artistic or sculptor wants to create a painting or a sculpture. In order to do that, however, the artist needs to utilize pencils to put his picture down on paper. The same goes for the sculptor, who needs materials with which to sculpt his work. These tools are provided by science. And the more advanced that the technology is, the more sophisticated the work of art will turn out to be.

The two articles not only convey that science is the tool that creates art, but they also address specific effects that advances in science have on art. Going back to how easily art can be reproduced now, the point to be made here is that the level of science determines the quality of the artworks produced. Benjamin mentions that the Greeks only possessed two methods of reproducing art, both of which were not very satisfactory. Then, as science developed and we arrived in the age of mechanical reproduction, replication of artworks became much easier to do on a wide scale, although the authenticity still failed to match that of the originals. But in the age of digital reproduction, even that problem is gone. Now the originals and copies are so similar that it is difficult to distinguish between them. This progression of science demonstrates the point that as science develops, the quality behind the creation of art also increases.

Science will probably never be able to “think” up new ideas for artworks, but it does play an important role in the physical creation of art, and greatly affects its quality.

Wen Wu

Week 3 - Stephanie Mercier

Monday, January 26th, 2009

You know when you Adam asked if anybody was in Psychology and was studying vision? Well I am. The last chapter I read in my Introduction to Psychology book was about the senses, mainly vision. Besides describing how the eye processes images through axons and what not the book taught me a few things about vision which I thought were interesting. Like how what we see is not actually what is there. For example, if you look at one light bulb and you look at another that’s twice as bright we don’t perceive the second bulb as being twice as bright. Or when we look at the horizon moon it appears bigger than the overhead moon even though they’re the same size.

Also, there was a picture in the book which Professor Vesna showed in class. It was of a blind man with a device over his eyes and electrodes connected to his occipital lobe. Here the point was that a camera could record what was in front of the man and that information could be sent straight to the occipital lobe for processing. In the lecture however, I think the point was to show how robotics and technology have advanced. Anyway, I thought it was cool that the picture that was in my Psychology book was used in the PowerPoint. I would post a picture but I can’t seem to find it on the internet and don’t know how to copy it from the PowerPoint. It’s on page 33.

Overall, I really liked this week’s lectures because I wasn’t as confused. Many of the topics she talked about such as industrialization and Taylorism I had learned about in my Work, Labor, and Social Justice Class that I took last year. I remember watching the Charlie Chaplin video and other videos like it and laughing, but feeling a little discomforted at the same time because that really is how working in a factory is like minus the comedy. Here’s a classic video from I Love Lucy.

I Love Lucy

Both are a criticism of the components of industrialization such as Ford’s assembly line and Taylor’s theory of scientific management. According to Taylor’s theory of scientific management, work could be reorganized into its simplest components so that a task could be done as efficiently as possible. Along with Ford’s introduction of the assembly line, industry was revolutionized. Workers on an assembly line each did a small task to produce a larger object which made the process of production efficient. The management treats the workers like robots trying to extract as much work as possible from them.

-Stephanie Mercier

Week 3: Technology and Art

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

The realm of the 21st century entails a world that is technologically driven. If you think about the time when our parents were growing up, they were thoroughly deprived of so much of what we find to be completely natural—and even necessary—to our modern existences. Cell phones give us the ability to stay effortlessly ‘connected’ 24/7 to our communities, iPods allow us to carry around hundreds (even thousands) of songs right in the palm of our hand, and the internet has given us the limitless power of knowledge in which one can ‘wikipedia’ just about any meticulous subject matter and be quasi-experts on them with a click of a finger. It is clear that technology has made a large contribution to art as well, as it allowed a fuse of man and machine, causing a whole new reality to emerge—one that blurs the lines of what art itself is. Technology became a gateway into other peoples’ lives and works, and thus our art reflects that. With mass reproduction made easy, an individual’s artwork becomes easily accessible, affecting and inspiring more people than ever before. This causes a cycle of intertexuality in which one person’s art can be a part of another person’s art, which can become a part of another person’s art (and so on). This gives way to the notion that the ‘purity’ and ‘originality’ of an artwork diminishes somewhere within this cycle, especially when it becomes impossible to even pinpoint the origin. Technology hence is the catalyst of the blurring of all lines and things (which makes for a very complicated humanity). Modern art has always been about man’s reactions to the changing world, and now more than ever this becomes relevant.

The clip I want to share with you is of Banksy’s newest art exhibit, the “The Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill”. Banksy is a famous British contemporary artist who first became known for his defiantly political graffiti art. He is known only as “Banksy” and remains anonymous otherwise.

This exhibit, which was disguised as a hole-in-the-wall pet store in New York City, is an exhibition of some of his unique animatronic creations. It includes a rabbit pensively applying make-up on her(?)self, little chicken McNuggets sipping in on barbeque sauce, and fish sticks swimming around a in a fishbowl. It sounds more than absurd. It appears to be a commentary of our technological world, and perhaps our perceptions on living and non-living things. The technological advances have allowed us so many things, has empowered us in so many ways, but in a sense it is causing us to be more and more detached from the world of natural and human things. Technology can help in many ways but can also do damage to our psyche, and the way in which we percieve the living world. But the use technology to make a point about the living? That to me is kind of enlightening. These little creatures that reside in the pet store are so realistic in their own way, they seem alive. It is an interesting juxtaposition that Banksy created: using the available technology, he created something ‘living’ out of the ‘nonliving’. The clip below is of a leopard perched on a tree…or is it?

Banksy Village Pet Store & Grill - Leopard

Week 3

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

            Robotics has changed our world most completely and in very unique ways.  I think it is fascinating that art and the technology behind them can be so connected.  When we even take a look at the medical field, it is clear that robots have changed what is capable there.  This class had made me appreciate the connection of these two fields so much more than I ever thought I would.  The movie industry will never be the same now that robots have been introduced.  I remember the first time I watched Jurassic Park and then I saw some sort of documentary about how they made the dinosaurs literally come to life.  This raised my appreciation of the movie much greater.  The movies have taken on a new kind of art, one that could not have been possible even 20 years ago with out all the new achievements in technology and science. 

            Though it is not directly related to what we were discussing in class this week, I have developed a whole new appreciation for art and I am noticing art around me a lot more since I started taking this class.  I have observed that there really is art in nearly everything, even in the most unlikely places.  This past weekend, I was at home, and I was driving down some of the same streets I always do, but I noticed many new things.  All of this comes from the idea that people make functional things, but make them beautiful or creative in some way.  One example is in downtown Santa Barbara.  There are streetlights that have corn at the base and corn cut outs are found in the connecting railings between the lights.  Normal street lights of gray would work perfectly fine, but they are using the technology of lighting the street to creating something more pleasing to the eye.  Over the weekend I was struck by how awesome I think this is.  Bridges are often another functionally beautiful creation.  I have seen so many different bridges through the years, and some stand out as memorable because of the way the constructed.  The one in the picture stands out to me in my memory of being there and walking across it.  The wood-work that it took to create the bridge is certainly art, the function and technology are very basic, and the plants are just there to create a beautiful scene. 

1250035027_efec56765bAll bridges serve the purpose of getting people across areas, but some are more elaborate and decadent than others.  It makes me happy that architects can incorporate art into their work. 

            Another place that I have really realized is a form of art is cutting trees and gardening.  When we have our trees cut at home, my parents always directed which parts of the tree to cut and how to keep it remaining beautiful.  I always thought that this was kind of silly, but then I realized that this is another form of art.  When you compare the way quality cut trees look compared to those that were just “chopped” there is a real difference. 

            All around us there is art, whether in robots, movies, trees, or architecture.  I think this is the beginning of what this class is trying to encourage us to incorporate into our thought as scholars.


Natalie Ridling

week 3: theme parks

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

                The Industrial Revolution in the late 18th and early 19th century created a major burst of technological advances in transportation, manufacturing, and production allowed our modern day society to be greatly affected by technology. Some major inventions that came out of the Industrial Revolution, and time after, that greatly affected society are the airplane, cars, radio, steam engine, air conditioning, television, microwave, internet, computer, printing press and even Google.   

                Technology has greatly affected society in many different areas such as the media, entertainment industry, the medical world, and even the business world. Technology is everywhere and one place where technology is necessary is theme parks. Theme parks are the center of art and science of the world. Disneyland is the world’s perfect example of technological art. Several of Disneyland’s rides are very simple and generic robots and just amazing technological feat.  iasw11The “It’s A Small World” ride is full of little international robotic kids that sing in a very creepy way and the ride itself is artistic as well. Another great example is the Jurassic Park ride in Universal Studios.  The Jurassic park ride is full of robotic dinosaurs which are meant to scare the life out of you but most importantly is the fact that such a technological feat was created.jurassicush

                In all honesty I don’t care much for writing about robots I love to learn about them, see them, and even learn to make them so I apologize for the very pathetic attempt to write something readable. Thank you and sorry to have wasted your time this weekend, but next week’s topic sounds a lot more entertainment so yay!!! Yeah sorry .





Dafne Luna

Week 3 - Robotics and A.I. - Shanpeng Li

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

Robots have been the prime example of futuristic imaginations in countless movies. They are often depicted as extremely smart entities capable of thinking for themselves or performing advanced tasks. While such imaginations seemed impossible in the past, we are actually approaching such advanced technology today. If you think about it, we are constantly being exposed to advanced robots today not just from movies but also everyday tools. While they are nowhere like the imaginations that were created years ago, they are still considered robots that can perform their jobs extremely well.

Some of the well known movies that depict robots are movies such as The Matrix, Terminator series, and iRobot. In each movie, the robots differ in numerous ways such as appearance, function, complexity…etc, but there is one fundamental similarity that connects them all. This similarity is artificial intelligence. Each robot has a consciousness of its own and they are capable of learning from humans. This technology is definitely something that is not developed yet. Robots in today’s world are very one-dimensional entities that are specialized into certain tasks because they are programmed to do so. Each robot has its own unique program code that commands what it is supposed to do and how to do it. It is simply impossible for robots to think for themselves and perform actions outside of its commands. Many such robots exist today and while they seem extremely advanced, but they are still not in the same realm as those depicted in movies. For example, if we look at common household items such as the television, it is programmed to receive signal and project the signal onto the screen for us to watch. Also complicated machines are used to create products at unimaginable speed such as those that build automobiles. It is programmed to movie car parts to extremely precise locations and combines them together. Such robotic machines serve a purpose in our daily life, there are also those that do not serve anything purpose but simply for entertainment and technological achievement. Sony, one of the world’s largest multinational conglomerate leading in the manufacture of electronics have developed many highly advanced entertainment robots such as ones that can perform synchronized dance and those that can move in response to different music. ( More information can be found at and Even though these highly advanced robots do not serve much of a purpose in our lives, it definitely displays the true power of technological advancement in today’s world. Comparing to the movie clips displayed during lecture, our technology today still does not live up to the past’s expectations.

Many futuristic imaginations are made into movies as shown from numerous examples, but nearly all of them do not come true. Movies in the past depicted today’s society with highly advanced technology such as flying cars, robots that think for themselves, and every household item being automatic without us having to perform any action. Even today, movies are being made about the future and one of the popular themes consist of robots gaining a conscious of its own and turning back on its makers such as those shown in The Terminator and The Matrix. In my opinion, I highly doubt that artificial intelligence will be developed in the near future because the fundamental concept behind every machine is still the same. A programmer is required to write every single action the machine is capable of and it is simple impossible for the machine to learn on its own and perform actions that dramatically differ from what its programmed to do. Every response the robot is capable of is written in its code and cannot change on its own. When the day comes where artificial intelligence is developed, that’s the day we have to start worrying about robots turning against us. 

-Shanpeng Li

Week_3 Getting People to Interact with Robotic Art By Gaurav Bansal

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

Robotic art is the epitome of art and technology working together. Robotics has an aura of technological advancement, and the future, and in a modern sense, it is hard for people to connect to that. Through art, people can become involved with robotics and feel as if they are in a high tech future, right now. One of the more conventional ways this occurs is through robotic art instillations. One in particular I found interesting is called “the Flock,” by Ken Rinaldo.



This instillation entails large robotic arms that move around with the music being played. The motion is suppose to signify the natural movement of groups found in nature. The interesting part from the website is that there are pictures posted of people interacting with the instillation. By the few pictures it is easy to see that people really get into these pieces of art. This is one way that art uses robotics and tries to bring it to today’s culture. However, art can utilize robotics without having ever physically constructed a robot. Popular media has thoroughly made use of “robotics” in digital media.

Many movies make use of robotic technology. One of the more visually appealing examples, as well as relatively recent, is the movie I,Robot, directed by Alex Proyas. The robots in the movie are very high tech and interact very well with the humans in that world. There is a point in the movie at which the main character questions why the robots have to look like humans. Though there is no direct answer to this question in the movie, it is possible to make a good guess at why the movie was created with the robots this way. In this example, the audience is the viewers, and the movie is an instillation. The digital robotic art is trying to make the audience interact with the robotic characters, and it is much easier for the audience to interact with a humanlike object, as opposed to an obscure shape with blinking lights.

I, Robot

I, Robot


Obscure Robot

Another way art is using robotics through digital media is television. The television show that stands the most out to me for using robots is a show called Futurama.


In the series, the main character is from the year 2000, and is accidently cryogenically frozen until the year 3000. In this future world, robots are a common part of everyone’s daily lives. Eventually a robot becomes the mains characters best friend. This series does an excellent job in artistically exploring new ideas relative to robotics, and technology. Again, it does not take the direct approach of human interaction with robotics, like the instillations do, however anyone who watches this show will find something in the show that they would want in real life, thus indirectly having the audience interact with technology, even if it is only mentally.

No matter what type of robotic art is used, it is possible to have humans interact with it, be it directly or indirectly. Robotics is the path of the future and human beings need to be able to interact with them. Robotic art is the beginning of this path.

By Gaurav Bansal