Archive for the ‘Week5_Midterm’ Category

Fractal Drawbridge by Adriana Rosas

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009


As a civil engineering major, I find myself intrigued by the revolutionary structures such as skyscrapers and bridges. Upon thinking of a topic to base my midterm on, I decided to create a retractable drawbridge that’s movement when drawn aside resembles the swirl-like pattern of a fractal. Through the artistic movement of the drawbridge, this project connects a civil engineering project (drawbridge) to art.


Many architectural engineers have mastered this combination of smart engineering and art.  For example, Santiago Calatrava is a world renowned architect and engineer who has designed and constructed various masterpieces  such as the Campo Volantin Foot Bridge and Sadelhofen Railway Station in Spain. He has won the Gold Medal from the Institution of Structural Engineers in 1992 and has received the Gold Medal from American Institute of Architects in 2004.

For this project, I wanted to try to take an everyday object that is typically not seen as art and turn it into a piece of art.  I also want to explore with fractals and incorporate their interesting mathematical pattern into this project. More specifically, I would like people passing this bridge to not just see a drawbridge, but rather see a functional master piece that ties art, science and mathematics.

The basic bridge type behind this project would be a beam bridge. Because of the amount of forces that act upon beam bridges, the length would not be able to span more than 250 feet between each pier. Usually many piers are used in beam bridges to further extend its span. However, for this project the Fractal Bridge will consist of only two piers (one on each end) and a single-leaf simple trunnion bascule in order to get a clearer appreciation of the fractal motion.


Because it will be necessary for the area to be a navigable waterway to allow the passage of boats and ships, this bridge will need to retract when passage is needed. On one end of the drawbridge, there will be a bascule pier where the mechanical operating system is located. A counterweight is placed on the side of the bascule pier to minimize the energy required to lift the bridge. As the bascule leaf rises, the counterweight scoops into the bascule pier. As the trunnion bascule leaf rises, the leaf will also begin to bend over one piece at a time.  This swirl-like motion, which resembles a fractal pattern will continue until the entire leaf rests on the bascule pit.

As I have seen and learned during the first five weeks of taking DESMA 9, there are various ways one can combine two seemingly opposite subjects. With this project, I was allowed to explore the mergence of art and technology. Technology, which is comprised of science, mathematics, and engineering,  was given an artistic flare causing these cultures to all come together during this project.

If I were to further this project, I would go into more depth in regard to calculations for the bridge. I would also try to find ways to minimize the cost of construction and also find ways to make it economically sustainable. 

Triple Whammy! Allie Gates

Monday, February 16th, 2009

Three posts for the price of one!

The first is the blog i wrote the first week before I had gotten onto the correct blog and had created one of my own.  The second is the midterm post, as I accidentally posted it to my other blog. The third is this week’s. Happy reading!


Several centuries later, the Two Cultures that Snow outlines are still confined to their own exclusive enclaves. This is polarization of art and science is an idea that I’ve been chewing on for some time, as it seems like a divide that I jump on an hourly basis; much like Snow, purely because of my own unique circumstances. The recipe was set from the start. My mother is an artist– an award winning graphic designer to pay the bills, a doodler and illustrator to satisfy her own artistic itches. My dad, on the other hand, is a mechanical engineer–my entire childhood quietly tapping away on his keyboard, writing cutting edge computer simulation software. On top of that, I was born a synestheid (, which is a neurologically based phenomena wherein letters, numbers, and other abstract things are perceived to have an inherent color and spacial orientation (on of many reasons I think math is so beautiful; the colors and shapes of higher level math are exquisite). For these reasons, art and science have always seemed like deeply interrelated and interdependent subjects–at times, one in the same. Coming to UCLA was a shock, as a I had never felt like math and art were so geographically and socially isolated pursuits. Although I didn’t realize this at the time, I came to college with diametrically opposed interests. My major was chemistry, but I am a licensed hairdresser by trade. As Snow describes, it felt like jumping between cultures that speak different languages–and (enter tiny sad violin music) for a long time I didn’t feel like I really belonged in either. I attribute much of this to the fact that there are misconceptions and stereotypes on both sides. So, like Snow, I think it’ll be interesting to clear the air about the nasty little slanderous ideas that exist about both sides.

On the one hand, most south campus folk think that cosmetologists are all failed strippers. Community college dropouts. Pretty chicks that can’t do anything better than cut some hair and then go party.


At my salon in Santa Monica, the stylist to my left is a helicopter pilot, training to fly for the Red Cross. The stylist to my left is a real estate genius and has made a killing in residential sales– he has previously dropped out of veterinary school because it was “too easy.” The stylist across the room is the drummer in a very successful LA based lesbian punk rock band. Oh yeah– our receptionist is an Arytrian refugee who is a cage fighter in his spare time. Regardless, these people are bright, interesting, business saavy and most of all: intelligent. Whatever their reasons for hairstyling, they’re all some of the sharpest knives in the drawer.

On the other hand, most stylists/manicurists/makeup artists tend to think of scientists/mathema-what-have-yous as insufferable knowitalls. Robots. Boring dweeby geeks who couldn’t find their way to a party if it poured a beer down their throat.

If there is anything that my time at UCLA has showed me, its that south campusers work hard and play harder. They just happen to know all the chemical pathways that are being tickled when that alcohol or nicotine hits. Period.

In the interest of space, I’ll leave you to dispel or confirm your own remaining notions about hairdressers and scientists. But as a special favor to me, try not to raise your eyebrows too high the next time you find out your hairdresser knows her stoichiometry better than you, or your chem tutor walks in with a haircut that Madonna would envy. People are living gradients, not categories.

With that, check out this video. I think it encompasses the romance of art and science pretty intensively.


Allie Gates


Two: Midterm Review

If there is anything that had been driven home during this course, it is that art and science are married. Intertwined. One in the same even; the kind of polarized dichotomy you are taught to understand of Jesus– he is man, but he is god, even though the point is that they are opposites. I feel the same is true for art and science; nothing is purely science, and nothing is purely art, and they are united by this elusive idea of creativity. More specifically, art and science seem to mutually nurture each other by informing the creative process.  Both Amy Tan and Elizabeth Gilbert have incredible TED talks on the subject of creativity. TED talks are an amazing movement– a couple hundred of the worlds most interesting and brilliant people gather in Monterey, California every year and each talk for 20 minutes on whatever is the object of their passion– from science to art and everything in between.

Elizabeth Gilbert:

Amy Tan:

Elizabeth Gilbert had an especially interesting point about creativity.  She began researching the way that people have conceptualized the creative process over the last several millenia. During the time of the Greeks and Romans, people did not believe that creativity came from within. They believed that those crucial creative moments, the Aha! moments, the moments where the frustrationa and block disappate in the wake of a great idea, those moments were not your own thought, but that this muse-like entity called a genius would come to you from the divine and guide an artist’s mind and work. This conceptualization allowed people to, on the one hand, not be burdened by the pressure of great work, but also dabble in many different creative endeavors and see if genius would visit them and allow them to create outside their regular mediums.

I think propagating this idea of being visited by genius, rather than being a genius, could have interesting implications in this nebulous, gray area we’ve been grappling with, the area between what is art and what is science, what is both and what is neither.  I’d like to think that many people might start to understand that their creativity, their genius, in one area can be translated to work in another.

For my midterm, I was visited by one of these geniuses.  I struggled and struggled to conceptualize a project that was, at once, purely scientific and purely artistic, one that played off the two in a synergistic way rather than being art in spite of being enabled by science or science that was made more widely appealing because it’s pretty.  After going to the Pacific Symphony in Irvine, I realized that music is one such art/science medium, but one that has a certain natural, organic quality to it that is not usually afforded to the futuristic projects we have been shown over the last few weeks.  After bumbling around for the first month of class, struggling to find something new and interesting to propose, my idea sauntered, fully formed, into my brain. It felt as if it had nothing to do with myself, but more like as if a little Dobby the house-elf had emerged from the walls of my room and whispered the idea in my ear.  Of course this didnt actually happen, but this feeling of being removed from the creativity and letting it come to me produced what I (immodestly) feel was a great idea. I decided to design a concert hall that incorporates a biological framework in its execution.  It is a concert hall that has walls outfitted with microchips that mirror the way an octopus changes color in order to produce visualizations of people’s brainwaves as they respond to the music.  If executed, it could provide a means for people to experience music on a new level of interpersonal cohesion.

And maybe that kind of inspiration and experience is what we need to coax the geniuses out of our walls…


Three: Biotechnology and Sexytime

One aspect of the biotechnological debate that I feel has been glossed over is simple: sex.

From the beginning of time, people have been trying to get off. Though, as a species, we’ve been overwhelmingly successful in this endeavor, humankind seems to try to stretch the limits of sexual exploration with every new generation.  For example, the turn of the century was a time when women across the globe were afflicted by the medical malady known as “hysteria”– a condition marked by feelings of unsatisfaction, anxiety, rapid heart rate, excess vaginal fluid and frustration.  Before the early 1900’s, women were not considered to be sexual beings; it was thought that men were the only ones who could experience an orgasm, and so sex acts were solely for the pleasure of the man.  Hysteria was treated by doctors in their practices, and their ‘treatment’ back then was accomplished either manually (thats right!) or with various metal tools (yowza!) in order to make a woman orgasm.  The woman would leave the doctor feeling satisfied in ways her husband wouldn’t bother to achieve, but nobody pegged hysteria was widespread sexual frustration for many years.  Needless to say, once doctors go wise to the complexities of female sexual urges they stopped offering handjobs in their practices.

However, these metal tools that they used to perform the hysteria treatment were the beginnings of what would eventually become a multibillion dollar industry: dildos, and all akin sex toys.  (In case I’ve lost you or made you uncomfortable by now, I just want to clarify that all of this is true and that Im coming around to biotechnology.)  What started as a technological advancement in the treatment of an illness caught on as a commercial product for sexual gratification.  In much the same way, I project that biotechnology that is being developed in order to push the frontiers of medical science will be diverted to a certain extent in order to serve sexual purposes.  After all, people tend to look to technology to unlock wonders that we never dreamed of, to solve problems and bring luxuries that we can’t even comprehend.  The fetishism of technology is everywhere. Asian anime porn is fraught with cyborg whores, cloned mistresses, and sex-kitten biobabes with the sole mission of sex sex sex. The mass media has already latched onto the idea of biotech fantasy girls– the new Joss Whendon series called Dollhouse plays off the idea of genetically programmable people, focusing on women that you can program to kill, or to give some sweet sweet lovin.  The series Forbidden Science takes the robot route in providing a conceptualization for the new sexual experiences that art and science may bring, wherein sex robots are designed to fit different ideas of beauty and are then tested, rigorously!, by scientists who happen to be incredibly hot.  AI, a movie that provides one idea of the future of human-robot interaction, also touches on the ‘exploitation’ of robots for sex.  This is all interesting because it approached the intersection of art and science from a new angle.  In harnessing the science of creating these objects/people of desire, they approach art in a new way, as it looks into the nature of beauty and aesthetics and catalogs it in a replicable, decipherable way, expressed in the fantasy-satisfying nature of these creations.

In the end, science and art serve what the market demands. And as we continue to demand sexual gratification, developers will continue to create ever evolving products to satisfy.

Hey, at least you can’t get an STD from a robot.

Allie Gates

josh bohbot - week 5 midterm - Are you enjoying the shoooow

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

Part 1

Concerts are beginning to have in recent decades an extensive use of technology. Some artists try to be part of the technological aspect during their own shows. Some artists will use technology to just plain replace themselves on stage, while others will perform the most surreal show they possibly can. Ill talk specifically of the groups Kraftwerk, Daft Punk, Radiohead and their concert styles and how those relate to topics covered.

During their show the group Daft Punk try to physically become a part of their stage set. Their DJ equipment is positioned at the top of a pyramid set. In addition, the pyramid also has a massive lighting set up and uses intricate video projects. During a typical Daft Punk’s shows, the complex lighting systems incorporates various ranges of light. The lighting may suddenly become very dark and the only thing the audience can see is the figure of the artists. The only time you can see the artist is when they consciously want the audience to see them, but only as an image in the lighting.  Kraftwerk, a 1970’s techno band, are a very design oriented band. During the duration of the show, a video is constantly playing on a very large screen, in the background. The band will put different animated abstract art work which is projected onto the background screen. Sometimes the band becomes very creative and replaces themselves with a robotic version of themselves, which dance to the music in a mechanical way. Lastly, the band Radiohead incorporates diffused lighting in order to captivate their audience, to give them an outer body experience. Radiohead also uses voice distortions, created by modern equipment, which gives this band a mysterious, trippy and unique sound.

Part II

Music based video games have gained great popularity in recent years, mainly due to games such as great Guitar Hero  and Rock band. Most of these rhythm and music games are all very much reflex based. The music plays a large role in the game play but the player’s ability to be creative during game play is limited. I want to create a game that will combine different concepts from music based game play and action games. My game play concept will force players to become more sensitive to the music while still having an interesting and action packed experience.  Advances in technology have given artists, in many different artistic areas, the ability to use music in so many ways and on an incredible number of mediums. Music is now being coupled with programming techniques, creating digital abstracition. The medium I would using would the Nintendo Wii  videogame console. Users would use the Wii’s motion sensing remote to come “follow the music.

Desi Midterm_Nicole Carnarius

Monday, February 9th, 2009

The topics that were discussed so far are two cultures, mathematics and perspective, robotics and kinetic art, the body and medicine. But it was much more than that. It was how art is used to communicate science. More than words alone, art can recreate reality in symbolic form. Objects are simplified, but they still retain their role. The class was also about how technology is used by artists to create even more dazzling art. For mathematics, Artists used formulas to accurately depict perspective and now use mathematical equations in the form of computer code to create animated works. Artists use robots to convey the human form. Replicas of humanity are very important for some reason. People see humanity in everything they interpret. Art speaks to everyone personally. The more accurate it conveys what the artist wants to say, the more people understand it. Technology makes art more accurate. Technology also exponentially improves science. The more technology can accurately depict what scientists want to experiment, the more they can prove.
Art and science exist together in the realm of higher human intellect or heightened self-awareness. They use the same tools, and in the renaissance, could be mastered together by one individual. Art and science both elucidate reality. In modern times art and science have drifted apart. Specialization in the rule of the era, but there is spectrum of professions between the two bodies of thought. If design had to be put somewhere in the spectrum, it would be at the middle. The term design encompasses any act that uses both science and art.

My midterm was called “Plants Growing on People.” It proposed the idea of creating a method through the ingestion of small seeds and genetic manipulation, some one could grow plants, chia plants specifically out of their skin. In my midterm, superficially I was concentrated in the topic of body and medicine, but the tools used were mechanical, involving math and robotics. Depictions of the human body are one of the most common artist expressions. Careful examination of the body allows people to know better how it operates and how to manipulate it. My project was about body manipulation. The artistic portrayal of the skin diagram clearly described the objective of my projects in mere seconds. The diagram I created was replicating a combination of actual microscopic photographs and other drawn diagrams. I noticed that there were not any skin diagrams done on adobe illustrator. I think that in the future everything will have to be integrated into vector art. We are in the beginning stages now so perhaps knowing to use Illustrator will be obsolete in the future. Using a keyboard and a laptop cursor is not the best interface for artistic expression, and people in digital art have been known to develop wrist and shoulder injuries over time. Nonetheless, by converting this data into vector art, it makes art more accessible to different forms of publication. In that way, it is an improvement in print and mass media. This form of art incorporates digital technology, which is a type of technology created with the use of mathematics for programs and robotics for its construction.

Despite the rapid pace of technological development, art has not missed a beat in integrating itself into our modern science driven culture and is only becoming more present in society as technology gets more advanced.

Week 5_Midterm and review_Long Lau

Monday, February 9th, 2009

In the past few weeks we have covered quite a range of topics: from the polarity of the two cultures, to mathematical perceptions of upper dimensions, to industrial rise of robotics, to medical frontiers in cosmetics. Each of these topics intertwine in intriguing ways. The first week we were introduced to the groundwork of the opposition of art and science; how scientists view art has subjective and static while artists view science as fruitless pursuit of knowledge. We were, however, also introduced to the idea that the society today is built from advances of both cultures, that without either one, our world is incomplete. We were also shown that these two cultures are actually fundamentally connected; this is evident in week 2’s topic, mathematics. Science, besides being empirical, is also statistical and quantitative, and the discipline that governs statistical and quantitative analysis is math. Mathematicians are rather like artists: numbers are  their pigments, mathematical operators are their  palettes, equations their canvas, and theorems their paintings. They are able to paint out beautiful patterns such as fractals and non-euclidean geometric shapes. Painters, on the other hand, are rather like mathematicians too, except they can do their calculations in their heads before they lay it out on canvas; with their perception of depth and perspective, they calculate optical angles that can transform everyday objects into lines and interceptions. Week 3 was about robots and their applications. Mathematics ties into this because the programs that are used to run robots require softwares written by algorithms; furthermore, the very method of cybernetic communication is using long chains of 0’s and 1’s. Robots may seem to be disconnected from art because theyfunction by routine and lack an element of creativity. But with the advancement of technology, who is to say that one day we won’t develop artificial intelligence and bio-computers? With that we moved on to week 4 where we discussed the human body and medicine. While scientists (reductionists) think of the human body as a intricate, efficient working machine with cognitive abilities, artists view it as a piece of natural sculpture that moves through time. Either way, the human body is a unification of both cultures because it is where both originate and also where the stage lies for both to perform on. An example where both fields converge is cosmetic surgery.

My project is called “Lost in the Centre of Infinity”; I am interested in travelling to other dimensions. With current technology, this is obviously impossible, if not unimaginable; however, using the right tools, we may actually simulate such a journey. Using computer simulators that generate mathematical manifolds and complex surfaces and project them onto multiple screens that surrounds the participant in a 360 degree manner, the participant will feel immersed inside one of these virtual mazes. To further simulate a feeling of being “lost”, the exhibition is installed aboard a microgravity simulating aircraft like the ones used by NASA for their free-fall experiments. The addition of apparent weightlessness will erase all senses of directions felt by the participants and they will truely feel like they have entered into another dimension. This project utilizes knowledge from mathematics for writing the computer program as well as knowledge from medicine for physiological effects of microgravity. It will also inform and educate the participants of the union of arts and sciences.

Week 5 - Mind Cube

Monday, February 9th, 2009

Desma 9 has been an interesting experience for me. I did not really know what to expect from it in the beginning and I did not really understand it, but when asked to do my midterm I set my mind to put together what I had learnt. My midterm is somewhat a combination of all we have done in the class, a video game which deals with virtual technology.

Topics which i have found particularly intersting are the topics of mathematics and the human body, as well the kinetic arts. I liked the possible applications of mathematics in the field of plastic surgery and other medical practices. Being a biology major, I find intersting novel ways in which to explore the field i hadn’t thought of. The Van Googh Brushstroke representation John showed in class is an example of this.

I was introduced to so many different programs and softwares used by not only scientists and researchers but by students and artists. I particularly liked processing which introduced me to this world of animation which was simple to create and easy to understand. My initial idea for the midterm was to create a machine where you could insert the animation through Java or C++ and accoring to the audio input, a 3 dimensional video would be displayed on all the surrounding surfaces. This would use a lot of softwares and programs which were introduced to me in this class.

I feel, that in the 21st century we are going to see the creation of a large number of machines that will revolutionalize the way we live our everyway lives. Simples chores such as cooking, watching television, even washing dishes will be assisted by robots. Transport will have to change due to the energy crisis the world is currently facing. With a limited, quickly diminishing supply of oil and petroleum, new sources of energy must be found which will power not only cars but airplanes, helecopters etc.

With the arrival of such machines and robots, human beings will have to find new and advanced method for carrying out research, and even imparting education. With intelligence systems such as Artificial Intelligene (AI) and visual systems such as Virtual Reality (VR), man has shown that it is capable of understanding itself to almost its entire entity with the onset of new technology.

This is why I finally decided to do my midterm presentation on a VR video game console which will combine the discoveries of scientists, artists and gamers. MindCube has been designed using different existing technologies in a way never used before. With 3 dimensional projectors already being used, and C.A.V.E., a virtual reality system used by most research facilities in the study of the human body, the universe and even human psychology. Both of these have been combined to produce a video game console which not only relaxes the mind, but also helps train specific muscles of the body, for use by sportsmen, and can be used by students to study cells, the brain etc. With games designed to increase the imagination as well as the thinking capabilities of children, MindCube will be the next gen game.

Week 5 – “Midterm” by Derek Spitters

Monday, February 9th, 2009

Over the past four weeks, we have studied many of the connections between art, science, and technology. Although we started this course by looking at the divide that exists between the “two cultures,” it is clear that there is an increasing interconnectedness between the arts and the sciences. It seems that without science, there could be no art, and without art, there could be no science. Many of the tools used by artists have their roots in technological advances. Similarly, many scientific breakthroughs are the result of creative thinking. We have looked at various specific examples of the link between these two seemingly unrelated worlds. First, we examined how mathematics plays a role in artwork. Mathematic techniques allow artists to create more accurate depictions of the real world. Additionally, mathematical relationships can be found in some of the most beautiful works of nature. After exploring pure mathematics, we moved on to some more practical examples of technology in art. We then studied kinetic art and robotics. Although robots were initially created to perform certain actions in the place of humans, it is clear that there is also a place for them in art. One of the most interesting questions that this raises is what exactly constitutes art. If a robot creates a replica of a painting, is that art? Additionally, will we ever be able to build robots that can create their own original works of art. One of the most interesting subjects we discussed was the presence of medicine in art. I am planning on becoming a physician, and therefore, I am very interested in the application of medicine in art. It is clear that there is an inherent beauty to the human body, but medical augmentation of the body raises many ethical and moral questions. Putting these questions aside, some artists have explored the medium of the human body. It is apparent that the central theme throughout all of these topics is that the arts and sciences share a unique synergetic relationship. These two fields benefit greatly from advances made in either one of these disciplines. It seems that we are seeing a return to a world where art and science are one and the same.

I am an avid photographer, and therefore, my project deals with photographic concepts. The art of photography is deeply connected to many fields in science. Photography is possible because of advanced concepts of in physics and chemistry. In my project, high-speed photography is used to try to capture the passage of time, the fourth dimension. In my project, users are photographed using strobography in order to illustrate both a singular instant in time and the passage of time. By taking photos in a completely dark room, the shutter of a camera can be allowed to stay open for long periods of time because the photo will not be exposed. A strobe light is used to illuminate the subject and expose the film for only a fraction of a second. A single flash will capture things too fast for the human eye to detect, while on the other hand, a series of flashes will produce the perception of movement.



–Derek Spitters

Week 5_Midterm_by Crystal Lin

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

The “Art, Science, and Technology” class is designed to introduce students to the cultural impact of scientific and cultural innovations, including technology-driven art inspired by science, and other art/science collaborative projects. Professor Vesna began the class on the topic of “Two Cultures.” Two Cultures refers to the separation between the arts and the sciences, and the respective stereotypes that have come to be attributed to the two. Today, artists and writers are known to be creative, unrestrained and original. Scientists are known to be precise, mathematical, and procedural. When you picture a member of the arts, you may see a dancer, but when you picture a member of the sciences, you most likely see a mad scientist with goggles and bubbling chemicals. Even at UCLA, South Campus majors are stereotyped to have more homework and a harder course load than North Campus majors. People like Professor Vesna are hoping to bridge the gap formed by the “two cultures”.

Though there is a lot of talk about how different the two fields may be, art and science can be, and is in many cases, interrelated. In Week 2, “Mathematics, Persepctive, Time and Space” was the topic. Science mixed with art in all these respective cases. The fourth dimension is a scientific discovery that opens an entirely new field for artists. Perspective in art has to do with vision and the eye, both scientific studies. As in the case with fractals, mathematical equations used to create beautiful and unique pieces of art. These topics can be seen as using science in art, where art is the main purpose, and science is just one of the means used to create the art. The opposite is apparent in many cases as well.

Scientific discoveries go on undoubtedly every day. When the field of art is brought in, these discoveries can become more efficient, and aesthetically pleasing as well. This can be seen in Week 3’s topic, “Industrial Age, Kinetic Art, and Robotics”. For example, robots have been a dream invention in the scientific world for many years. In the beginning, movies had robots that were big, bulky, box-y, and unattractive, but innovatively cool. Now, the arts have established a strong influence over the design of robots, and movies like iRobot show sleek, smooth, efficient, and more human-like robots. In this case, it is like science is the main purpose, and art is just one of the means used to make it more appealing.

One of the most easily identifiable mixes of art and science is the topic of Week 4, the human body. Our bodies are a beautiful, intricate, and complex work of science and art. Multiple systems in our body run separately and together in a way that allows us to live, breathe, think, move, and so much more, which is truly an art form in itself. Doctors use their skills to make sure that this art form continues to function to the best of its ability. The Hippocratic Oath is taken by doctors to ensure they practice their art with their best knowledge and ability, and always keep in mind and respect the privacy and well-being of their patients.

My project, “Jell-O Electrophoresis,” combines the fields of science in art as well, bridging the gap created by the “two cultures”. The scientific process of gel electrophoresis is used by scientists to separate DNA strands, RNA strands, and/or protein molecules by applying an electric current through a semi-porous gel matrix. This separation is used for other processes like cloning, DNA sequencing, and Southern blotting. Gel electrophoresis can also be used to identify a culprit in a crime scene, as a high school lab class usually does (DNA samples from 3 different pens are compared with a suspect’s DNA). In using this process with Jell-O as the semi-porous gel matrix, I can go crazy with what designs I want to create in jell-o mold. My art skills and creativity can then come in to play.

The jell-o electrophoresis project is similar in concept to crystal laser etching. In both, a 2D or 3D image is created within a solid to make it seem like the image is floating in the middle of it. In crystal laser etching, many intricate designs are created by taking in to account mathematics, space, and especially perspective and dimensionality. In order to get the image to look exactly like you want it from all angles, the dimensions must be very precise, and especially in a 2D image, the perspective must be accounted for at all times.

-Crystal Lin

Week 5 Midterm - Isaac Arjonilla

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

The topics that have been studied in Desma 9 have very much exceeded what I would have thought we might have studied. The idea I had of the class was of some course I would take that would only teach me about new kinds of art, but what we have learned so far is far from it. During week 1, the topics that we studied were “Two Cultures,” in which we were introduced to science and art and we were given examples on who they entwine to create a new breed of art. This is what set the foundation for the rest of the class. It was during week two that I became very interested in the class, it was when we began studying, “Mathematics, Perspective, Time and Space,” and we saw how art could be created by using different and new scientific methods. We saw how time and space and perspective in a way inspired the rise of kinetic art, which we would later study. Week three showed us introduced us to, “Industrial age, Kinetic Art, Robotics,” and during week four we studied how the Human Body and Medicine were being used in the modern world. Although these topics might seem to be on the opposite side of the spectrum, they both show very similar qualities. When we were introduced to Kinetic arts, we saw how sculptors, rather than focusing on a immovable object, decided to trace their movement and apply it to the sculpture. This showed a new way of approaching sculpture. The rising of robotics has truly helped the development of modern medicine. Robots of modern age can perform tasks that would be impossible for a human to perform, both from a scientific perspective and an artistic perspective. Robots should be thought of as an artistic masterpiece, because it epitomizes the art of science. People might argue that robots are only facilitating life for people, but realistically, they are only allowing us to explore worlds and territories that have never been explored before. The advancements of technology have allowed medicine to develop and grow, giving hundreds of cures to diseases that would be seen as lethal decades ago. Ultimately, all these topics are traced back to two cultures, because each one has completely different ideologies, and objectives but they can all be related to one another, it just depends on what the person is trying to see: the science found in the art, or what how the art is influencing the science.


In my midterm I decided to focus on robotics, and in a sense, the human body. I began to think how two of these topics could combine to form something that is yet to be perfected. I remember seeing a clip of an octopus, and how it used camouflage to escape from its enemy; the video is quite amazing, as the octopus can change its texture, color, and body composition. I thought if there could be a way that a human body could be able to do that, ofcourse with the help of robotics and technology. I thought of a camouflage suit that could blend into any environment, just exactly how the octopus could but I couldn’t see a way to make that happening, after doing research I found out about microscopic robots, and that is how I came across nanotechnology and metamaterials. Research that was being conducted shows how the newly developed metamaterials can affect the light that hits it. And after researching on the Chromatophore cells worked, I applied it to my project. From the robotics perspective, I would be using nanotechnology to create a new kind of body armor that could mimic any surface that it comes in contact with. As for the Human body aspect, I decided focus on the octopus and try to replicate the Chromatophore cell’s functions and apply them to the nanomachiens that would be used in the suit.


By Isaac Arjonilla

Week5_Midterm: Midterm by Matthew Robertson

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

 It’s been interesting to see different examples of how art and science can work together.  While there is a divide between the two cultures, I feel that a lot of impressive scientific works incorporate some art and that a lot of artistic works incorporate science. Of all the things that we’ve been exposed to I’ve been most impressed by the Circle Limit series by M.C. Escher. I read the paper written by Coxeter analyzing its geometry. Its very impressive that anyone could conceptualize and then create that piece of work.

    I had never really considered visions of the future to be art. I found this segment of the class to be very interesting. Blade Runner was of particular interest as I had read the book (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip K. Dick) but never seen the movie beyond a few scenes. I’ve been thinking about the scene in which Roy dies over and over again. The book does not have the movies thorough depictions of the environment. I found the movie interesting because it was made in 1982 and depicts 2019. As time progresses the movie’s predictions of the future become increasingly inaccurate. An interesting exhibit would be a time line consisting of various visions of the future. 

    I really enjoyed working on my midterm project. As a Computer Science major, I spend a lot of my time programming. The assignments are often very structured, and there is usually no real room for creativity. It was very refreshing to design my own program and have it do what I wanted. It was also the first time I’d worked with audio, which turned out to be slightly more work than I’d imagined.
    Here are some images from my project:



    And a demo: