Week 5 Midterm Blog by John Philip Bongco

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

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