Archive for the ‘week 8’ Category

Week 8: Space and Chance by:Jessica Amaya

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

spaceart3kopia1This week’s topic was really interesting. I’ve always associated space with science and not much more. However, while looking for research for my midterm came across various magnificent images of space. With pictures taken of space various design ideas came to mind. My ideas included creating a clothing line with design patterns based on photographs from space. spaceshirtAlso the shape that the nebula form gave me and idea of constructing similar shapes for building plans. In which the buildings would have that soft and curved edge to them. Of course this also made think of how I would relate space images with chance (the second part of this week’s topic). One of the ideas that I came up with concerned gathering various images from space and entering them into a database and using a program (not sure which one) trying to create a composite of them and once  the composite is done then use that composite to do a sculpture of it. Gil Kuno was a real inspiration to me, so many things that I’ve encountered in my high school classes were brought to a different level by him. For example the web site in which you create your own song by simply moving the buttons to different locations was great! He showed that you can take existing objects and add a twist to them that would make them something more that what they are. For example he did this with his onion piece in which he uses the natural chemicals the onion gives off and the tears of the audience to create an artwork based on chance.eo31









Overall, this week was fascinating.

-Jessica Amaya

Week 8 / Outer Space / Justin Kiang

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

This week’s lecture focused on the topic about space.  Unfortunately, my knowledge to this is so limited, I still can’t tell the difference between a star and a planet.  I felt like there’s enough about the Earth I need to learn already, and we are just a tiny fraction of the whole space, therefore I gave up on seeking further knowledge about this space we were talking about.  However, this week’s lecture brought me attention once again about the space.  I just finally realized, that the study of space can be closely relevant to us Earth-living people.

When we think of the United States of America is a large piece of land.  True, it’s about 3000 miles across, but then think again.  The distance from the Earth to the Sun is 93 million miles.  That is 93,000,000 compared to 3,000.  See how many more trailing zeros are there?  And this is only a small fraction of the whole galaxy, which we still have little knowledge of. Watching the video “power of ten” during Tuesday’s lecture, was truely inspiring.  It totally messed up my concept of “scaling”, what I previously defined as big, all in a sudden turned out to be so tiny.  It amazes me so much that everything is just merely about our prespective, and can change all the way around so fast when we switch our prespective.

The empty space outside of the tiny blue ball we live on, although has been breifly investigated by human being, still remains mysterious to us.  There are so much to this space that we have yet to learn about, and we have a long long way to go about this.  There are a lot of resources out there that would benefit us Earth dweller, and I really hope that we will have more understanding of the beautiful space soon.  But for now, all it is really to me, is just an empty black backgroud where the tiny little blue dot we live in sits on, just like the boring black background of all the powerpoint slides we have in class.

Space by Jessica Young

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

Space, or the final frontier as it is often referred to, is steeped in mystique because of its vast and uncharted nature. It leaves room for infinite possibilities and begs the question of just what might be out there. Space has a universal draw for both artists and scientists alike, because of its boundlessness and freedom. It defies all the rules and allows people the experience of creation without the constraints of gravity. As technology advances, we are able to gain a greater appreciation of all the anomalies the earth presents, but when it comes to space, we have merely scratched the surface. Even with all the required technology available, I believe it would be impossible to know space in its entirety, it is simply too vast.

When I think of space exploration, I am simultaneously reminded of oceanic exploration. Although what has been charted of the sea is decidedly greater than what has been charted of space, both realms remain largely untouched. Just as how new discoveries are made every time high-tech submarines make deep sea dives, space explorations always offer new insights that have a marked effect on scientists’ view of space. Oceanic exploration also segways into space exploration because it presents the challenge of dealing with extremes in climate and conditions: high pressure, extreme heat and cold and the issue of dealing with limited and no oxygen supply within the environment. Scientists have recently made an important discovery involving deep sea organisms that exist without sunlight, using only the energy provided by hydrothermal vents to carry out all their vital processes.

hydrothermal-ventsThis peaked my interest and begged the question of what other forms of life could have made a similar adaptation to be able to survive under inhospitable conditions, such as those presented in some parts of space.

The infinite unknown which we call space has often lent inspiration to artists throughout the ages. Some of the earliest writings question the origin of space, such as the concept of creation offered in the first book of the bible, Genesis. Other great thinkers have presented the theories of how space was formed, such as the big bang theory. Philosophers have also drawn inspiration from space, such as Aristotle and Copernicus. Although their theories were steeped in controversy at the time they were introduced into society, they caused the people to question common held beliefs. Musicians, dancers, painters and photographers have all turned to space at one point or another for inspiration. Van Gough’s painting often drew inspiration from the heavens, as demonstrated by these two works. He seemed to be intrigued by what lay beyond the human world, scattered amongst the stars.


Art can transcend its obvious pursuit for aesthetic appeal, and be used to help people experience something utterly intangible, as seen in this short clip:

The moments of the dance and the texture of the medium used allow this art form to appeal, not only to the physical, but also to the audiences’ kinetic senses. Art is boundless, just as is space, and their common liberating quality allows the masses to take part in something they would otherwise never have the opportunity to experience, that is the final frontier.

Week_8 Space Technology By Gaurav Bansal

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

The first thing people consider when thinking of space is viewing outward to find things. One of the biggest questions amongst today’s society is whether we are alone in the in the universe. A chunk of space science is dedicated to detecting other Earth like planets. There are a few techniques to do this, but one of the early space observation methods is deep field telescopes.

Deep field telescopes have produced a large ripple effect for space observation with respect to the public due the beauty of some of the images taken. It’s amazing how artistic the pictures of galaxies look, and I find it funny that people often forget just how much radiation it actually is, and the fact that you can only see images like this through specific lens filters. Here you can see how the sun looks under different filters.

Sun Bands

Sun Bands

Antennae Galaxy

Antennae Galaxy

Recent news in deep field telescopes includes the decommissioning of the Hubble space telescope, and its replacement, the James Webb space telescope.

James Webb Space Telescope

James Webb Space Telescope

There is much we can learn about our own planet by observing objects in space. One of the biggest examples would be the way the planets move. It was believed for a very long time that everything revolved around the Earth. One of main observations made that refuted the current idea of a geocentric solar system was the way Jupiter’s moons behaved. It was observed that the moons of Jupiter all circled around it. This model was applied to a large scale to better understand our planet. The other space observation that aided the heliocentric theory was Venus eclipsing. The better understanding of how our planet behave allow for technological progress.

Our lives are very dependant technology in space, mainly satellites. Satellites have many different applications, some include GPS, Earth observation, space observation, communications, meteorology, and the list goes on. There are thousands of satellites in space and these systems have made our lives very convenient.

Satellites in Space

Satellites in Space

Can you imagine not being told it’s going to rain, or not having satellite TV? Along with these amenities, satellites allow us to live our lives the way we do now from a militaristic perspective as well. Many satellites are purely dedicated to scanning for heat plumes of a missile launch. If we did not have this, and other capabilities, national security would be a much harder job than it already is.

It is worth noting that the level of space technology we currently have is due to the space race between Russia and the US. Though the results of this race are beneficial, the determination at the time was far from beneficial as a whole. From the movie clip shown in class regarding Sputnik, when they have a successful launch, one of the officials stated that the missile had enough range to reach the US and everyone started cheering. Also, a lot of other technologies were first made for the military, and later adopted for civilian use.

By Gaurav Bansal

Week 8

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

During week 8’s lectures, there were a few things that I thought was interesting and stood out to me. One of them was the concept of “power to the tenth.” Kuno played a video that showed us the definition of the tenth dimension during his presentation. We watched that video before a couple weeks ago in one of Professor Vesna’s lecture.  Also I believe a student showed that video during discussion. After watching the video, I was still a little confused on what is the tenth dimension. From what I learned, the tenth dimension is based on the concept of uncertainty and occurs during our “time.” So does that mean that we are living along in the tenth dimension?  The following video is another video from Rob Bryanton (the person behind the video of the 10th dimension). It’s more of an explanation of space and time, I found it quite helpful since I was a little confused. In this video, Bryanton also talks about the number zero and how it is not empty like how we usually think it is.


Another topic that really caught my attention was space and time. The majority of the time when people think about space, they think of a vast black background with billions of light but space apparently is much more grand than that. There is so much about space that we will never know. I believe Professor Vesna told the class that a short visit to space was nearly $38,000! Unbelievable! I thought that going to space would be a big and prized trip but I guess not. A trip to space cost less than one year of medical school, now are we taking the space around us for granted? The concept of space exploration is new and very interesting, and it pushed me to think further about the topic.


After lecture as I sit here and reminiscing, I remember bits and pieces of a movie that involved going back in time, “Back to the Future” of course. “Back to the future” relates to week 8’s topic of space and time. “Back to the Future” is a 1985 science fiction movie, it tells the story of Marty Mcfly, a teenager who is sent back in time from 1985 to 1955. He meets his parents while they were in high school and accidentally attracting his mom! Then there is Doc, a scientist that modified a car into a time machine. The car travels to a date and time using plutonium in a nuclear reaction. This movie shows that science (the time machine) and art (the movie itself) do coexist in everyday life.


 By Julie Pham   

Week 8

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

Space is huge.  The last statement was an understatement.  The vastness of space has inspired awe in man for thousands of years, as well as inspired art.  The man on the moon, the constellations, even the photos of deep space taken by the Hubble telescope.  The tantalising idea of life forms in outer space, has inspired its own genre of movies and literature.  The more we learn about space the more we create art to help us translate knowledge into visual understanding.  Space research has brought about theories of black holes connected by worm holes to other parts of the universe.  The movie contact played off of this knowledge and gave a visual interpretation of that idea.  The book Ender’s Game illustrated this with thoughts about aliens who attacked our planet, and how we as a race would respond to this.  It seems like science fiction novels seem to predict in part future innovations that will get discovered.  For example in Ender’s Game the idea of using virtual reality to train soldiers and commanders was explored.  This idea is being put into practice today.  There is a program being run by the government called Future Combat systems which involves the use of a video game to train soldiers and generals in the capabilities of new technologies presented on the battlefield.  The connection between art and Science somewhat relates to this idea of imagination.  Sometimes science can inspire art, as in the exploration of space, the moon landings and sattelites sent to other planets.  And sometimes Art can inspire science as in the Science Fiction novels.  Our ability to create is limited to our imagination and as Art Expands our imagination the link between art and science is critical.

Many Artists use chance in there art as in splatter paintings.  Just as perfection can be beautiful imperfection can also be beautiful.  A critical aspect of playing blues music relates to the beat.  Somone is a good blues player if they can play on beat, but somone is a great blues player if they can choose when to play on beat and when not to.  They can make you expect to hear a note and can build up stress because the note was not played, and just when you expect the artist has made a mistake, the note is played and all becomes right with the world.  This idea of chance or imperfection can lead to great works of art.

Week8_Space_by Heeseok Lee

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

The lecture this past week got me interested and i started doing a little research on some interesting things in space. It really was actually some of the most enjoyable research I’ve ever done. This week, what i found most interesting during my research were black holes. I realize that supernovas, exploding stars, etc can be somewhat redundant, but very few things that i read were repeatative. This just goes to show how quickly knowledge in science changes.

blackhole32A black hole is actually a region in space, created by dying stars with a mass somewhere around 20 times the mass of our sun, in which nothing, including light(electromagnetic radiation) can escape. The escape can’t occur past the event horizon, which is the line defined by the theory of relativity in which an observer is not affected by anything past the line and vice versa. To escape the earth’s gravitational pull, whatever it is must be traveling at 11 kilometers/second.This is when we apply a Newtonian approach. However this becomes somewhat difficult when you realize that light, a massless object is affected by the pull of the black hole. To resolve this, we resort to Eienstein’s theory of relativity. In a nutshell, Einsteins theory of relativity states that time and space are not independent concepts, but rather that something cannot move forward in space without moving forward in time etc. It also states that nothing can change its position in space in a smaller period of time than light. Anyone who wants to research it further should focus on the spacetime continuum. When addressing the issue of the gravitational pull, it’s interesting to note that the black hole can increase in mass. This is actually where the correllation drawn between the mass of the dying star and whether or not a black hole is created becomes important. When a certain amount of mass is present in a “sufficient” amount of space, all paths in space etc are directed towards the center of that mass in a path in which not even radation or light can escape. Even interstellar dust is pulled towards a black hole. Something else I found rather interesting was that black holes may have a finite lifespan. Research currently indicates that black holes may emit a form of thermal radiation, know formally as Hawking radiation. This emission of energy suggests that, unless it is infinite, it will one day run out, implying a finite number of days to exist! This is also in reference to the theory of relativity in which mass is merely highly condensed energy. So it’s somewhat of a weird war between gain and constant loss of mass. It’s also speculated that a supermassive black hole( that one’s self explanatory) exists at the center of every large galaxy. This implies that the two are obviously connected in some way. Scientist are actually quite positive, currently anyway, that a supermassive black hole exists somewhere in the milky way. Another really interesting fact that has nothing to do with black holes is cold welding. I found this researching black holes and it’s interesting to find that contact welding, in which no form of fusion etc exists. That by the force of adhesion, and a possibly more ductile surface, two metals can weld and stick together in space. Check this video showing that blackhole destroys stars.

Week 8 Space and Art

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

Week 8_space and art

The earth is only a dot in the universe.  While we think the United States is a large piece of land, light can travel across the entire circumference of the world in seconds.  But while light can travel around the earth in roughly 3 seconds, it takes a staggering 8.3 minutes for light to shoot at its lightning speed to reach earth.  This 93 million miles from sun to the earth is NOTHING compared to the size of the galaxy, nor is it any comparison to the size of the universe.  This staggering size of the universe really does make us humans wonder about life; we dream about UFO’s, spaceships, and wiggly aliens, but I feel these creatures’ influence on earth are merely just… dreams.  The staggering size of the universe also means galaxies are ridiculously far spread apart.  The nearest stars are 100s of light years away; impossibly and unfathomably far, and to our current knowledge, impossible to reach alive.   Even if we could reach light-speed, a feat currently deemed impossible, no spacecraft could stock 100 years worth of oxygen, supplies, or living room  to allow humans to breed.  We humans have explored our neighborhood well enough to essentially rule out life in our solar system.  Now because of the vast size of the universe and the infinite number of other planets, I believe very strongly that other life forms exists in the universe.  But because the universe is also so big, I don’t think humans will ever contact other life forms outside of our little water-covered ball.   So then are these alien sightings and ponderings of space useless? Far from it.
Because space and the universe is so vast and expansive, it is the perfect influence and inspiration for generations of artists.  Space has no gravity, no air, no real anything but radiation and light wavelengths.  But in reality, everything is in space.  Everything we know, which is Earth, is in space.  In space, there are millions of world, and constantly evolving balls of rocks, burning fireballs, and so much more.  These concepts can be, and should be practiced in art.  Art is one of the most abstract studies and practices of humans.  The expression of an idea on a canvas or on a sculpture does not actually serve a solid practical purpose save decoration. But as we all know, art’s influence is major in thought development, culture, and expression..  As this class has so extensively discussed, arts and the humanities influence people’s desire to learn and encourages our mental development. Space and our fixation on space thus very similarly parallel art.  Space develops art by simply existing.  The abstract thoughts involved with space’s infinite expanding area not only inspired us, but given us many by-products.  Our exploration of the space and beyond has yielded many new technological advances such as satellites, space food, weather tracking, GPS, and etc.  Space has inspired people to pursue things such as fuel-cells which could eventually lead to a much clearer environment. Humans looking to the sky will probably never see UFOs, we as a race should ceaseless continue looking to the heavens to find inspiration for expression and even discover unknown practicalities on the surface of the earth.

Space Art

Space Art

by: Jason Kwok


Sunday, March 1st, 2009

I’m just going to jump right into the random thoughts this class inspired in my this week.

As part of the search for extra terrestrial life, scientists have routinely broadcast messages into space. For one such broadcast, scientists at NASA blasted “All Across the Universe” by the Beatles in the direction of the North Star. The more I think about it, the more ludicrous it all sounds to me. In order to effectively broadcast a message to another galaxy, the signal would have to be very highly concentrated. Otherwise, by the time it arrived, it would be nothing more than a faint whisper in a mosh pit at a mettalica concert. Even if the message were being broadcast constantly, from the equator, the message would be restricted to a plane. Given the vastness of the universe, what is the likelyhood of another intelligent life form being on that exact plane. Then consider this, what if our broadcast is on a frequency they dont hear? Or better yet, if they can hear it, what if the alien tasked with listening to space that day is on a bathroom or coffee break. The futility of it all is flabbergasting.

After reading about NASA’s broadcast of the Beatles song, I saw another article that claimed some scientists had expressed concern over this particular broadcast. Making light of the matter, the article was titled, “Scientists Fear Aliens May Be Rolling Stones Fans”. While the title might have been farcicle, the scientists concerns were not. A few scientists, concerned that this Beatles song might earn the ire of an alien species, feared an attack, but most dissidents had a more realistic concern. Essentially, their concern was regarding the lack of careful consideration that went into the message being blasted into space. This led me to ask myself, what if something out there is listening AND they understand our message? What if all human knowledge, all human progress and all humanity is judged by aliens based on a single message? Would we want it to be a doritos commercial?

Dorito’s Space Ad

I think everybody should have a say in how we choose to represent ourselves to alternate life forms. Perhaps we should all chip in and hire a publicist, pr firm and advertising agency. Then again, who knows what aliens like? Maybe we should just keep to ourselves until we know a little more about any potential life forms we are trying to contact. Who knows how, if at all, aliens will react to our message. After all, we have been studying human nature for thousands of years and we have little to show for it.

Space is so vast and we know so little about it. Speaking about it in generalities is pure insanity.

Oh, I almost forgot, the movie in class about sputnik was very interesting. In particular, it was fascinating to see just how primitive sputnik was.

Enrico mills

PS I was unable to embed the youtube clip of the doritos ad in my post, for whatever reason. Wordpress kept stripping the code out of my post. Also, somebody might want to look into the RAMPANT trackback spam on this blog.

Week 8 - Space and Chance by Natalie Ridling

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

            I thought that this week in the class was really interesting with all the talk about space.  Last Spring I took a astronomy class, and I the thing I appreciated most were all the beautiful colors and star formations.  It is amazing to me how much like art these completely natural occurrences are, honestly, it is something that we humans can not really come close to matching.  Each star has a different look as it goes through different stages in its life, and each one is uniquely glorious.  This link takes you to a site that demonstrates the life of a star and the different stages:  Look at the different colors and the different sizes; it is pretty cool that this all just happens on its own.  It would be really fun to use these colors and their different patterns in a piece of art. 

            The guest lecturer on Thursday was really fun.  My favorite project that he showed us was the one about the slinkies.  I liked that he incorporated other departments in his display of the art, like the WAC dancers.  The ant project was a really cool idea, though I still do not understand how it works.  As a musician, I have a great appreciation for his work with the guitar.  I play both oboe and flute, and the mechanics of only having 10 fingers can certainly become a problem, similarly to the 6 string dilemma of the guitar.  What I took away from this lecture is that chance can be an art form all on its own, and there is something about nature that just makes it that much more beautiful when something is created that way.  As I think about how the guest lecture fits in with the discussion about space, it makes so much sense.  We cannot control the dimensions of our world, just like we cannot control what goes on in the atmosphere around us, or under the ground with ants. 

            Over the past quarter I read a book called Glory Season, by David Brin.  The book was recommended reading for one of my classes, and I am so glad that I was probably one of the few to read it.  It is about another planetary system where the reproduction is different than it is here, and women rule everything, for the most part.  This week’s topic got me thinking back to the novel because there was a lot of space travel in the book and the characters all dealt with chance in their worlds.  Part of the book was centered on a game called Life.  Everything in the game and in our lives is about chance, and this is something that we often take for granted.  In the novel it took the game to make the characters realize that chance is special, but here, it can add so much to a project or our perception of what happens around us.  I am going to take these ideas into consideration when I am working on my final project.14776272


Natalie Ridling