Week 5 - The Concept that Connects All - Shanpeng Li

We began the course by focusing on the concept of “Two Cultures” between the sciences and art. In my opinion this concept is the central idea of the course and ties the later topics all together. The Two Cultures concept talked about how in our developing society, there exists a separation between the population. One is mainly focused on scientific study and knowledge while the other focused mainly on the arts and literature. This divergence produced high specialization in particular fields but did not allow crossovers and interaction because the two fields simply cannot communicate with each other efficiently. In my opinion this separation placed a limit on true innovation and creativity, the cooperation of these two fields will give rise to countless artistic yet technologically advanced creations.

Eventually we moved onto the field of mathematics and how it’s related to the arts. Witnessing examples from numerous slides and online research, I can say that creating a piece of artwork depended very strongly on the use of mathematics and perspective. Only through careful mathematical calculations can a piece of artwork appear to the viewers with the desired perspective. This topic is one of the great examples that combine the two cultures to create a product that encompasses the better aspects of both.

During the third week, we focused on the topic of industrial art and robotics. This is one of the most interesting topics because it relates some of the most advanced technology today to the creation of artwork. This again shows the correlation between the sciences and arts and how the combination of the two can create extremely artistic works. Artists can now express their imagination through the creation of robots or advanced machinery and by expressing it through the robots. For example, the video of the dancing robots is a prime example of the expression of art through the robots by programming them to perform dance certain dance moves.

The last of the topics we discussed focused on the field of medicine and body art. As a biology major, I took particular interest in this topic as it is amazing what technology allows us to perform in today’s world. Some of the topics we discussed include body art such as plastic surgery or artificial organs that appeal to the artistic world. Both of these topics connect the two fields of arts and sciences together in such a fashion that it is extremely appealing. We saw numerous pictures displaying body artworks being painted onto someone’s skin or technologically advanced equipment being used for surgical procedures. Plastic surgery, while many view it as a procedure to better one’s image, can also be used to create artistic creations on the body.

My project involves a highly technologically advanced equipment to promote awareness of the pollution that is occurring in today’s largest bodies of water. First of all, the creation of the equipment requires skilled mathematic calculations and scientific planning. Following the creation of the equipment, it has to be designed in such a way that it does not simply look like a big piece of metal being carried by the user. In a sense, this machinery is similar to the robotics topic we discussed in week 3, the creators of the equipment is expressing their artistic visions through the making of the underwater breathing apparatus. With the combination of both the arts and sciences, my project will allow the user to experience what pollution is doing to the oceanic ecosystems and hopefully spread awareness for its recovery.

-Shanpeng Li

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