Archive for the ‘week_4’ Category

Midterm Blog_Wei-Yi Lin

Monday, February 9th, 2009

My understanding of this course is to learn about what makes the media art and the process of which media art can be designed by cross referencing the similarities and differences between art, science, and technology. This notion of perspective overlap is powerful and as a student, I feel obliged to go into the depth in these areas, grasping onto the fundamental ideas. My midterm presentation “Chamber of Fear: tragic catharsis” serves a platform of my wild imagination but at the same time, to maintain a balanced sense of practicability. It is not just a testing stone to show my progress in this course; more importantly, the making of the presentation is like creating a testimony which expresses the ideas I want to communicate with my TA Adam Fingrut and professor Victoria Vesna.

 

First of all, let me be brief on what I have learned over the past four weeks: “Introduction, Two Cultures”, “Mathematics, Perspective, Time, and Space”, “Industrial Age, Kinetic Art, Robotics”, “Human Body and Medicine.” Among them, I find “Introduction, Two Cultures” and “Mathematics, Perspective, Time, and Space” somehow anchor the gravity of this course. C.P. Snow, who recounts his experience as a scientist surrounded by friends with literature backgrounds in “The Two Cultures”, argues that science and art are not mutually exclusive from one another. In fact, he uses himself as an example to illustrate that the interaction between science and art allows him to excel in two groups while he maintains his preference as a scientist. Without such an exchange, Snow claims that a scientist’s lack of sensibility would make him less understandable while an artist’s lack of practicability would make his work unrealistic. For instance, he cites an example of an equivalent importance between Shakespeare’s play to artists as the Law of Thermodynamics to scientists. Drawing from this example, I claim arrogance is fed by ignorance and when we are over proud of ourselves, we shut the door for further advancement.

 

Linda Henderson in the article “The Fourth Dimension and Non-Euclidean Geometry in Modern Art: Conclusion” recaptures the importance of Snow’s claim (Week 2 reading). In her article, artists borrow the concept of the fourth dimension with respect to time from Albert Einstein’s Law of Relativity and come out with a new expression, which I called an expressionistic art (certainly being sparked during and after the era of modernism), apart from the Victorian sense of naturalistic expression. This is an interesting breakthrough because artists, especially painters, were challenged fatally by the the introduction of machinery during the industrial revolution, which is though discussed on week 3, and the camera. In fact, the spontaneous ability to capture physical expression with a relatively low cost of labor and time forces artists to seek something new. Among them, some seek scientific emphasis of time and successfully create a new genre. On the other hand, there is another group who decides to play another element of the fourth dimension: Space. Kandisky applies Non-Euclidean geometry heavily in his paintings while Pablo Picasso swings the concept to the far end of the extreme with Cubism.

 

Unfortunately, I don’t quite understand the objectives on Week 3 and 4 especially we spent the whole week 4 watching “Blade Runner.” It is an awesome movie, but to be frank, I don’t think it’s relevant because artificial intelligence, robots, and space excursion are no longer new as they were before when the movie was screened. So why show something that doesn’t produce any further insight, or something we have already known so well? Nonetheless, I absolutely appreciate and am delight watching the film; however, I must disagree that the connection between art and science is strong here. In fact, my ignorance remains.

 

Talking about my presentation. It’s based on a modernism theme I did on my literature honors class. Catharsis, in Greek, means purification. With a reference to Aristotle theory “On Tragedy”, I seek to implement a device that touches the sense of vision, smell, and movement which eventually collaborates and resonates to emotion. This emotion is attached or induced temporarily like a test drug on its experimental patient who reacts to it either constructively (recovery) or destructively (physical repulsion). Through gathering this sample of data, scientist can therefore draw a prediction of how human mind expresses itself under intense situation. But more importantly, it is to help people to reach to their innermost soul, or what I called the deep subconscious, which has played an important role in ways we perceive the world or decision making. I am seeking an ultimate point at which science is no longer science and art is no longer art -they fuse to perform an action that is so powerful that virtually anything can be understood.

 

Wei-Yi Lin

Week 5: The Midpoint- by Leslie Grant

Monday, February 9th, 2009

 

I am going to be completely honest- when I signed up for this course I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. In fact, I had never even heard of it. However, it managed to catch my attention because I thought that the idea of learning how art and science correspond and interrelate was a novel and fascinating concept, as many other courses seem to go out of their way to minimize the connections that the two have. As the course has progressed, I still cannot say that I know what to expect with each coming week- but I do feel as if this course has made me much more aware of current technologies and fusions between the artistic and scientific world. 

I truly believe that the topic of two cultures that we discussed during the first week serves as an overarching theme for the class. The more I learn about the symbiotic relationship between art and science, the more I realize the extent to which other people limit themselves to the appreciation of their own element. Examples of this were revealed to me in discussion of each topic. For instance, although most artists utilize math in their perspectives, as demonstrated by week two’s discussion of dimensionality, it seems that many of them would be reluctant to link their works to art. Of all the artists whose works I am familiar with, Escher seems to be the one who most clearly acknowledged the analytical aspect of his work. Yet even with his obvious talent, he refused to call himself a mathematician.The fact that there is such a huge debate over whether robotic reproduction of human activities such as dancing can be considered art or not also shows just how divided people are on the topics of art and science. 

The topics covered during week four regarding the human body and medicine seemed to be the greatest source of controversy. It seems to me that people have the greatest difficulty in seeing the connection that art has to science when the topic of medicine is brought up. This was even a slight difficulty for me, although Orlan’s shocking use of plastic surgery helped put it into perspective for me. Perhaps the fact that medicine and art are not overtly connected to each other, the fact that one must dig a bit deeper in order to coherently discuss the link between the two, subconsciously encouraged me to look into a topic that related to medical advancements for my project. My project deals with the emerging technology that is 3D printing. The mechanics behind this idea are currently used on a small scale, and primarily for more artistic purposes. However, while the machinery behind this has great potential to do wonder for the art world, such as formulating a 3D archive for Michelangelo’s works (http://www-graphics.stanford.edu/projects/mich/), it could also serve as a biological miracle in upcoming years. I decided to focus on this aspect of the 3D printing technology, and as I was doing my research I realized that none of the websites that discussed the idea acknowledged its artistic and scientific capabilities, it was one or the other. In order to sort of compensate for this shortcoming I tried to tie in a little bit of the artistic aspect into my project while still maintaining my original focus. 

I suppose the gap between art and science will remain wide for many years to come, which is a shame as it will probably be limiting to society overall. However, all I can do is hope that as time goes on more people are willing to apply both to their endeavors so that society’s advancements can become applicable to more areas. 

 

 

Use of science to create art...it's everywhere!

Use of science to create art...it's everywhere!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leslie Grant

Midterm Blog Leona Goto 003604219

Monday, February 9th, 2009

What the hell happened to us???

What the hell happened to us???

Desma 9 has certainly been an interesting class for me to take so far. I happen to be an extremely ‘North Campus’ person, as one might put it. My inclination is certainly more towards philosophy and art rather than science. I have never been in a class with so many science majors, and it was a good chance for me to see how they perceived art and science.

What this class has taught me is that between art and science, there is technology. Technology is the love child between the two ‘polar opposites’. This shows that while the two rivaling fields have different ways of approaching ideas and materializing them, both are needed in order to advance humanity into a higher level of seeing, perceiving, and understanding. Since the industrial revolution, the progress of technology and its applications have exponentially speeded. In the last one hundred years, life for the ordinary man has changed so much so quickly—then ever before. Considering the rapidly changing experience of life, I feel that it is important to take a holistic approach to what all this ‘technology’ really means in the grand scheme of life (as an individual, as a people, as an inhabitant of planet earth). If you don’t think about the effects of technology, and what its significance really means, you lack the wisdom to know what you should and shouldn’t do with the power that comes with technology. The irresponsible use of technology can be the most destructive of things on this planet. Even things like cosmetic surgery (remember the clip of the female ‘artist’ taping her own plastic surgery procedures) may be supported by the claim that it is empowering to the human being, you must really question if that is truly what empowerment entails. I think the problem that we have is that with the rapidly advancing technology where everything is in a constant flux, we are not spared a moment or two to really reflect what is going on. To really evaluate the effects of technology. Time would be needed for that, and it seems that is the one thing we keep losing more and more of.

I feel that I took a different approach with my project than what was perhaps expected. My project was about achieving physical human advancement through a natural process. Technologizing without artificializing. I wanted to make a point that, in dealing with our physical bodies, much of what we can add, or subtract, or create through bio-technology usually ends up being only a ‘temporary’ solution. I think this is because we are not machines; we are living creatures that cannot be physically perfected in artificial ways. My idea was that the physical advancement would come from integrating physical activities like Parkour (free running) and martial arts into society, into each and every one of our lives. This EXTREMELY hypothetical idea, while it may not necessarily be actualized any time soon, shows truth in what humanity is capable of. I truly believe that we have to find a way some how to advance physically, because we are advancing so fast intellectually, and the imbalance of the two will eventually hinder us greatly. As you can see through this cartoon, it is possible to say that something has gone awry with our physical evolution since the technological revolution. This sort of regression is a product of our inability to have a balanced evolution. And being self-aware beings that actually have the ability to alter our own fates as a species, we cannot leave this be.

Midterm by Komal Kapoor

Monday, February 9th, 2009

The focus of Desma 9 is to fill the gap between north and south campus, providing students with an understanding of the integration between art and science.  We started the class with a discussion of the prominent separation between Art and Science. Over the past four weeks, the topics have demonstrated that this divide is flawed because art and science are interrelated. In week 2 we discussed the use of mathematics, perspective, and dimensionality to create art. The creativity and imagination of artists often gets transformed into practical technology, and vice versa. We saw examples of this in week 3 where the imagination of science fiction writers is now coming into life with the formation of robots. In Week 4 we discussed plastic surgery, thus far my favorite topic. Plastic surgery is new technology that has provided us with a form of art where our bodies are the canvas. Once again, technology is used to create beauty and art bridging the gap between art and science.  

However, we have not really discussed the importance of art. Art therapy is a prominent for of healing for patients with mental disorders or conflicted feelings. My midterm project focuses on the importance of art for individuals to lead an emotionally balanced life. The act of creating something provides a certain sense of fulfillment. However, if you are not blessed with artistic talent, it is hard to express those feelings and emotions. As an artist thinks of what to draw, they can also perceive the lines and shapes that are needed to compose an image. But most individuals are not capable of translating their mental images onto paper. There are already ways to synthesize music using only technology, but no way to paint unless you have the skills. Therefore, my project proposal is based on providing such individuals with an outlet for their creativity in a way that they have a concrete piece of art to show for it. RoboArt will be a way for individuals to express themselves without any artistic talent. It is a device that uses a neuro-headset to translate the user’s mental image into a digital image on the computer. The computer is then connected to a painting machine that will use a robotic apparatus to reproduce the image on a canvas. There is existing technology where human thoughts can command robot movement. RoboArt seeks to take this a step further so people can explore their artistic side.

During my research, I came across an interesting new discovery. Scientists have performed experiments with brain-computer interface where a monkey’s thoughts have made a robot move. Also Professor Vesna mentioned in one of the lectures, that recent studies trump the belief that humans are different from animals because they have thought processes. It would be interesting to connect RoboArt to an animal’s brain and see the variety of mental images they produce, providing a breakthrough on how we perceive and understand animals.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/15/science/15robo.html?_r=2

monkey1

Komal Kapoor

Week 5_Midterm Blog-Junki Chae

Monday, February 9th, 2009

The relationship between science, art, and technology has been studied for centuries. In ancient history, men who worked on some of the most advanced technological innovations were known for their art. Their understanding of the natural world added to their success as artists and technological inventors. The three areas of art, science, and technology are intertwined in numerous ways. Using science and technology, art can be made more beautiful; consider the understanding of light and dark when taking photographs or painting. The creativity required to produce beautiful art also enables a person to create inventions that can revolutionize the world. The fundamental principles of science, when applied to the rest of the world, can lead to some significant advances in science and technology.

 

Art is also known to reflect trends in science and technology. Consider modern books and films: many present natural principles of science in a fictionalized, fantastical way. The film “The Day After Tomorrow” sensationalizes global warming, making it entertaining for the masses. “Blade Runner” raises concerns dealing with one of the most controversial issues scientists face: cloning. Using the arguments of C.P. Snow, society has been divided into “two cultures,” two extremes regarding any particularly controversial issue or topic. On one end of the spectrum are literary intellectuals, those who think abstractly and creatively. On the other end are the natural scientists, those who use quantifiable data to make rational decisions. Art and creativity often exist on the opposite side of science; if these two cultures work together, the controversy would be addressed in an efficient manner, providing both with the best possible solution.

 

When one looks at the modern version of the Hippocratic Oath, it explains how a bridge exists between science and art. “I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug,” it reads, explaining how individuals on one side of the spectrum must not forget the other when working for or against scientific gains. When considering the big picture, it is imperative scientists and physicians remember they are treating patients, not sampling specimens or working with cells. Beneath it all, gains made by science will affect the population as a whole; considering the humanity affected makes an individual a better scientist, physician,etc.

 

My presentation stands in opposition to cloning. Too often, physicians and scientists forget the moral dilemmas they face during their experiments. The cells they work with are not simple; many work with embryonic cells, essentially the stuff of life. They are working with human cells, raising questions about the very source of life; in a sense they are attempting to play God. In their search for progress, it often seems they forget the human side, that they forget their own humanity. To successfully address the controversy, the two cultures need to come together to find a balance between the search for progress and the underlying humanity.

 

 Cloning is such a controversial issue that it is likely to remain unresolved for years. In this time, new advances in technologies will be made, and the issue will be addressed in new and varying ways. In order to be resolved successfully, it is imperative scientists work together with individuals with a moral agenda to determine the best course of action. This issue is as complex as opinions are diverse; all aspects of the argument need to be considered before any policy or scientific decisions can be made. Cloning is an area where art, science, and technology come to challenge each other; scientists know with modern technology, they can eventually copy cells, potentially curing life-threatening or fatal diseases, or providing children for those who are unable to reproduce. Artists know this skill can get out of hand, with the exploitation of the human body, and the potential for the development of a “God Complex” on behalf of scientists. While this issue is as controversial as any, it is one society will need to address in coming years, as science and technology gradually lead us down the path towards this unique ability. 

Week 5 Midterm Blog by John Philip Bongco

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

Part 1: DESMA 9 Art, Science and Technology

For me, DESMA 9 is a course that encourages students to self-define the way in which the three focuses of art, science and technology overlap. In addition, the course is a forum for students to discuss the ways in which society has created boundaries between these subjects. In week one, we discussed how the divisions between art, science and technology are visible on campus here at University of California Los Angeles. Tradition has shown that we separate studies in humanities and arts from those focusing on science with bruin walk which divides UCLA into  a north and south campus. We learned about how C.P. Snow caled the division a division between two cultures. We realize that this division can be both harmful and counterproductive to advances in all of these respects. I believe that this theme of understanding how society has constructed this division continues even as we focus on more specific parts found within the three focuses of art, science and technology.

In week 2, we talked about mathematics, perspective, time and space. We talked about different philosophers, researchers and scientists who argued about the existence of dimensions beyond the 3rd dimension. Frankly, the readings for this week were pretty dense in my opinion, however, I think it still stuck with the overarching theme I choose to interpret what we discuss in this course. We continue to analyze various perspectives of art, science and technology that are rarely discussed and see how different people try to put a definition to these words. Of course, in discussions we were only successful enough to conclude that the three terms that name this class are nebulous concepts, meaning that they lack definite form (meaning).

In week 3, we talked about robots. Section A TA Adam Fingrut brought up a youtube video of robots that simulated dancing. Our discussion had an interesting debate about whether or not their movement could even truly be considered dancing. We  argued that because robots might not elicit the same emotions in people and that since the robots did not have emotions themselves, they might not dancing at all and the “false dancing” might not be considered art at all.

In week 4,we lightly touched on the idea of health and art intertwining. One thing related to this topic that intrigued me was the idea of healing being an art–in the same way, that the idea of robots dancing could be debated to be art. In addition, we talked about a women who gave birth to octuplets with the help of embroyos being implanted into her.We debated the ethics behind this and whether or not it would be sick for people to consider this a form of art.

Part 2: Presentation-Class Correlaton

I believe that my project coincides with the overarching theme of the class which is to realize the value of understanding how art, science and technology overlap and should not always have such a huge division as society has impressed on us (covered in the first week of class). I felt that this is certainly portrayed in my idea of the ArTSy Fit which shares many similarities with the Nintendo Wii Fit. I feel that Nintendo Wii Fit in itself represents art, science and technology. In addition, my project takes into consideration how art, science and technology can be used to heal people when working together in harmony. The ArTSy Fit is a piece of technology in itself, involves the making of art through its touch-screen paint capabilities and involves science in its aim to improve the health of pediatric patients. If this is not convincing enough, I feel that my project certainly touches on how it correlates with the class more in depth on its own.

By: John Philip Bongco

Week 5- Midterm Blog

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

Week 1 to me was basically the thesis for the class. CP Snow’s “The Two Culture” explained how the humanities & arts and the sciences should not be as distinct as conventional wisdom makes them out to be. That they should coexist with one another, that they aren’t as different as we assume them to be, and at the very least, one should appreciate both perspectives and if possible, refer to both of them as academically valid. I’m a south campus major, biology, I rarely ever go up to north campus. If I do, it is usually in Bunche for a chemistry discussion section. The only north campus classes I have, including this one, are all GE classes and none of more pre-requisite for the major involves non-science courses. Week 2 was a combination of mathematics, perspective, time, and space. My calculus teacher once told me that everything can be explained through mathematics, that if we had something to say, we would develop an equation, and if we had nothing to say, we would instead write an essay. Although I would not agree with him that everything can nor should be explained through mathematics, I got from it that mathematics does make the world go around. From our computers to cell phones to technology in general, at its very core, we can thank mathematics. Mathematics, although at first thought, I think of equations and deriving equations to make more equations, but from desma9 class, we see countless artists using mathematics, which encompasses perspective, time, and space, for art. MC Escher was a master when it came to perspective as well as time and space, his physically impossible artworks challenges our mental image of reality. Others use math in their music, which is known as “math rock”. Week 3 was industrial age, kinetic art, robotics, and cybernetics. Robotics relates to week 2 because math is what creates the robot’s codes and programs. We have seen robotics in art through films as well as in reality. From walking robots such as ASIMO to dancing robots, we are fascinated to try to have a non-living thing mimic human actions as closely as possible. Robots, although they run due to math, codes, and program; their design is very artistic. The creation of robotics is both science and aesthetically sound. Week 4, we finally reach something that isn’t pure numbers and is in fact quite opposite to robotics, as in the human body and medicine. The human body or organisms in general is basically what the study of biology and life science is all about. One can study each and every anatomy and how they interact with each other. One can study how the medical field can help our bodies function better or recover quicker. But the human body is not pure science; some may even argue that the human body is one of the most beautiful pieces of art. At the very least our bodies have been revised so many times through evolution; we are very complex organisms. And to relate to robotics, many of the newer robots are human like visually and action wise. These robots have very similar movement and speech as humans.

andorid

My project is a mouth guard with motorized brushes to improve oral hygiene which I am calling the mouth brush. To me, it is neither just science-orientated nor art-orientated, it represents both sides. This representation of both sides was the theme of week 1 and CP Snow’s “The Two Culture”. The science part is building the device, the art and aesthetic part is the design as well as acquiring a pearly white smile through regular uses of the device. A pearly white smile is much more aesthetically sound than a set of yellow teeth and blackening gums. As for week 2’s theme of mathematics, it is going to be design by engineers, so the actually construction of the mouth brush technology is going to be mathematical. As for week 3, although the mouth brush is not exactly robotics, but it is a piece of technology used to more effectively clean our teeth. Many further advances, such as the use of nanobots to clean our teeth will have a better relationship to robotics. And finally, my idea of the mouth brush was related best to week 4, the human body and medicine. The mouth is part of the human body; there is a complete field in the study of oral biology as well as teeth structure and anatomy. The whole medical field is the study of the human body and medicine. Medicine for oral hygiene can be seen through something as simple as tooth paste with fluoride, chewing gum with xylitol to more complex medicine used in oral surgery. All in all, all four weeks in some way related to the development and idea of my project.

smile

By Arthur To

Week 5 by brittany santoyo

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

At the beginning of the school year, the lecture during week one encompassed the severance in the worlds of the arts and the sciences, especially relative to our very own campus. Week two incorporates fractals aspects displayed in art while week three focused on robotics and their place in the future of our society. Week four converges the idea of plastic surgery and the scheme of deoxyribonucleic acid transformation.

All four weeks embrace the notion of a strong intimate attachment and finding oneself in that in week one, the discussion included the tearing down of the barriers we construct between our own field and the field of others contrasting our own specialty. With this, one can build a stronger bond with the people in his or her community that otherwise they have never known. The person can find themselves by broadening their mind and encompassing everything imaginable into their own life’s philosophy; therefore, bettering their own life. In week two, fractals were brought up which exemplifies the expanding of one’s thoughts into art which, in turn, leads to the finding of one’s deeper core. This builds in the person a more passionate bond within themselves. In week three, robots were discussed bringing up the aspect of developing the mind to explore the world outside of the normalcy of society. When in week four, the topic of self changing through the use of plastic surgery, which correlates into tattoos and piercings. This allows the person to portray on the outside what a person feels on the inside. It epitomizes the essence of a person giving them the self esteem and confidence it takes to carry themselves as they wish. This gives them a better sense of knowing themselves. DNA modeling allows a person to “pick out” their own child and model them into a “perfect” offspring. This, for people, gives them a stronger connection with their child because he or she is exactly flawless in their eyes. Whether this is ethical is another story.

My project is based on the concept of male pregnancy. In my development, a male subject was implanted with a chip that, when activate, gives off signals to the brain “tricking” it into thinking that actual symptoms of female pregnancy are occurring. For nine months, the male will experience such things as fatigue, nausea, the sensation of a baby moving inside of them, and finally, once full term, intense contractions and “pains of childbirth.” This relates to “a stronger intimate attachment” to one’s partner in that, through this unorthodox procedure in a male, he will break down the gender barriers and be able to feel the intensity of childbirth. The pain and strength of the mind and body of a woman that gives birth will transpire into the body and mind of a man. If this project could truly be performed, it would enable him to feel the tenderness and pain that a woman goes through bringing the two closer together to share in an unbreakable bond. This practice correlates to the concept of “finding oneself” in that it allows the male to sincerely channel his “feminine” side and rid himself of ignorance in the situation; therefore, discover his true self in the process of doing so.

by Brittany Santoyo

Week 5 Midterm Blog by Mitch Platter

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

 

The assignment for this week’s blog is a little different than usual, seeing as how we are basically asked to relate all of our blogs to each other. The first week discussed the theme of the “two cultures,” being science and art. Using this as the foundation, it becomes fairly simple to relate all the other topics to this common theme. In the second week, we discussed mathematics, perspective, time and space. Several artists have taken a mathematical approach to their works, including the famous M.C. Esther, who manipulated perspectives to create some of the most mind-boggling effects ever seen.  Esther exemplifies the relation of art and science through his use of perspective, and by doing so, connects are first two weeks. The third week of class brought about the idea of the industrial age, kinetic art, and technology. The relationship here between the two cultures is obvious. Science has created these new technologies, in which artists use to create pieces of artwork. Professor Vesna’s works, shown to us at the beginning of the quarter, exemplifies this idea of using technology, created through the field of science, to add new elements to the field of art.  This brings us to week four, human body and art. The way in which I think this is connected to the two cultures is the human body itself is an ideal example of science and technology. Our bodies consist of the Golden Ratio several times over, which makes everyone’s body a unique part of art.  The complex systems that live inside of us, such as the respiratory and digestive, are terribly complicated and intricate, highlighting the scientific aspect of the human body.

My inspiration for creating my project The Dream Machine came from a combination of all of these ideas. The ones I feel that I used the most are the two cultures, naturally, and that of the human body.  My major is Psychobiology, so naturally when the human body was brought up, I thought about how the brain itself could relate to the field of art. This led me to the idea of dreams, and if we could create visual representations of our dreams, what it could possibly do for the field of art.  This idea naturally ties in science, which would make all of this possible. Science has allowed us to discover what part of the brain is responsible for dreams, which is the basis of my project. Also, perspective comes into play in the dream machine. In theory, the Dream Machine would be creating an alternate reality, in which you can live out the dreams you had the night before in a large room full of projectors. The idea of creating basically a new world fully uses the idea of perspective and its relation to art.

By Mitch Platter

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

Week 5 Midterm Blog by Mitch Platter

The assignment for this week’s blog is a little different than usual, seeing as how we are basically asked to relate all of our blogs to each other. The first week discussed the theme of the “two cultures,” being science and art. Using this as the foundation, it becomes fairly simple to relate all the other topics to this common theme. In the second week, we discussed mathematics, perspective, time and space. Several artists have taken a mathematical approach to their works, including the famous M.C. Esther, who manipulated perspectives to create some of the most mind-boggling effects ever seen.  Esther exemplifies the relation of art and science through his use of perspective, and by doing so, connects are first two weeks. The third week of class brought about the idea of the industrial age, kinetic art, and technology. The relationship here between the two cultures is obvious. Science has created these new technologies, in which artists use to create pieces of artwork. Professor Vesna’s works, shown to us at the beginning of the quarter, exemplifies this idea of using technology, created through the field of science, to add new elements to the field of art.  This brings us to week four, human body and art. The way in which I think this is connected to the two cultures is the human body itself is an ideal example of science and technology. Our bodies consist of the Golden Ratio several times over, which makes everyone’s body a unique part of art.  The complex systems that live inside of us, such as the respiratory and digestive, are terribly complicated and intricate, highlighting the scientific aspect of the human body.

My inspiration for creating my project The Dream Machine came from a combination of all of these ideas. The ones I feel that I used the most are the two cultures, naturally, and that of the human body.  My major is Psychobiology, so naturally when the human body was brought up, I thought about how the brain itself could relate to the field of art. This led me to the idea of dreams, and if we could create visual representations of our dreams, what it could possibly do for the field of art.  This idea naturally ties in science, which would make all of this possible. Science has allowed us to discover what part of the brain is responsible for dreams, which is the basis of my project. Also, perspective comes into play in the dream machine. In theory, the Dream Machine would be creating an alternate reality, in which you can live out the dreams you had the night before in a large room full of projectors. The idea of creating basically a new world fully uses the idea of perspective and its relation to art.

By Mitch Platter