Archive for the ‘Week 5_review and midterm’ Category

Midterm by Danya Linsteadt

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

This class centers around the relationships between art, science, and technology, as the course title suggests. All the topics we have covered thus far are related to these relationships. In the first week we discussed the current divide between scientists and artists, or “The Two Cultures.” This set us up for the class well by getting us started on thinking about the relationship between art and science, how it used to be, and how it should be in the future. The second week we learned about Mathematics, time, and space in art. We learned about perspective and how it is really based on mathematics and is used to depict a three (or more)-dimensional world on a two-dimensional canvas. We also learned about the controversy over the fourth dimension and the different ways artists dealt with this controversy. During the third week we were introduced to the industrial age and its effect on the art world. This movement inspired kinetic art and robotics. Then, most recently, during fourth week we got to experience art related to the human body and medicine. We saw how people used their body as art and how medical advances have effected such artwork. It is plain to see from these topics how they relate art, science, and technology.

My theoretical installation falls under the umbrella of many of the above mentioned topics. It represents a union between the worlds of art and science by using art to share a scientific understanding of an event with the world. It also could be considered kinetic art since it is made up of moving pieces. This would not be possible without the industrial revolution which popularized mechanical movement and interchangeable parts which made mechanical movement available to the general public at reasonable prices. My piece also relates to the human body and medicine. It is thanks to medicine that we know so much about the process of childbirth and the anatomy of the female reproductive system. It is pretty evident how my project relates to the human body since it is a replica of a specific section of human anatomy. My creation effectively combines art, science, and technology to produce one resulting product. I used art to create an aesthetic appeal and creatively represent human anatomy in a way that could be enjoyable for the general public. I involved science in my research of reproduction and more specifically labor. Last but not least, my product requires extensive technology to operate properly.

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Also, Please post your extra credit assignments to the category entitled “Extra Credit Blogs”

WEEK 5: Midterm Blog by Eric Bollens

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

Three cultures surround us, the two described by C.P. Snow of art and science theory, and then a third of practice. In DESMA 9 so far, we’ve explored this third culture, the culture melding of art and science. Innovations in science have fueled changes in art. Perspective, cubism, relativism, and changes in philosophy have been borne from scientific advances in the study of space and time, most notably from Einstein’s fourth dimension, and, moving forth into the twenty first century, it seems certain that mathematical constructs will continue to influence art. Similarly, biology and anatomy have had a giant impact on art, all the way back to Da Vinci’s human body diagrams. Some would say that plastic surgery is as much an art as a science. Sometimes, heartless science has also fueled a countermovement in art, as seen in all the objections towards electroshock therapy, overuse of drugs, and more.

For my project, I looked to meld the topics of perception, reproduction, the digital age, and the human mind that we’ve discussed so far in DESMA 9. As a DJ, I understand the power of music, as well as the way the industry has changed in the digital age. Davis’ writing on digital reproduction struck me very profoundly. It highlighted, to me, a duality in that the digital age has both depersonalized and individualized art, music included. For music, I see this in how no longer are the best orchestras available only to the elite, but instead to everyone in their own home through recordings. This is evident, as well, in how every possible genre of music now rests at the fingertips of anyone with an Internet connection. And of course, this is most evident in the upsurge of music that has only been possible because of the Internet, with the rise of electronic DJs and producers.

The “Lights and Sounds” exhibition I proposed for my midterm project could take this a step further. When standing on a stage, mixing and DJing for a crowd of hundreds or thousands, one can feel the collective consciousness of the crowd. This makes the experience completely individual for each event, even if the digital recordings used begin as exact replications. Why not tap into this consciousness even further? Science has revolutionized so many forms of art, and so too can it here. Why not let neurofeedback and biofeedback guide the entire experience? In 2003, a music performance was thrown that used brainwave readings collected through EEGs to influence the ambiance and tone of the performance. The technology is there to go even further. Hewlett-Packard released artificial intelligence DJ software that used EEGs to guide song selection, but this too could go even further. The very nature of the music played, how long songs loop and rise before they drop, all of this could be fueled by tapping into the collective consciousness of the audience. The experience would be unique each time, individuality fueled from the digital revolution that has supposedly depersonalized music.

Week #5: Midterm Blog by Jeff Poirier

Monday, February 9th, 2009

Being halfway through the Design and Media Arts: Art, Science, and Technology course, I have been exposed to many new ideas, theories, and philosophies as they relate to artistic endeavors, scientific inquiry, and society as a whole. I really enjoyed the beginning of the course when we discussed the Two Cultures debate, the societal schism that has developed between science and art. I felt that this issue affected me very personally since I am a South Campus major, but I enjoy North Campus classes just as much, if not more. From the context laid by the culture discussion, we moved onto mathematics and time in art, which was extremely intriguing. I was impressed by the discussions of fractals, the Fibonacci sequence, and the golden ratio. I began to look around and notice the spirals and patterns that seemed so highly theoretical before. I had worked with geometry in art before (as illustrated by my midterm project), but the intricacies of Fibonacci and fractals were truly startling. As in this sunflower:

The section of the class that has been the most interesting in a contemporary context has been, in my opinion, the robotics and industrialization section. The work of MacMurtie, Stelarc, Feingold, and the Survival Research Labs are all so different from anything that I had previously experienced. In thinking of robots, I had always pictured scientists and labs, rather than the artistic applications I have been exposed to as of now. However, I do have to remember, that without the sciences of robotics and the highly advanced mechanization, such artistic practices would be unattainable. Thus, they are dependent upon each other, the two cultures.

I was also very intrigued by the human body and biology section of the class. The work of Orlan regarding the human body image and plastic surgery was well beyond my normal comfort zone, yet I was impressed by her dedication and steadfast beliefs about society. Though the art in this section was interesting, I was most engaged by the ethical debate, which also stems back to robotics. The questions posed in the Hippocratic Oath for medicine, as well as the more current interpretation, were so pertinent to the issues of present day life! The biomedical ethics of plastic surgery and genetic engineering must be seriously considered by our civilization. This too relates to the ethics of robotics and how “human-like” and independent technology is truly becoming. Serious questions regarding our society’s dependence on technological advancements and robotics must be asked in the not-so-distant future.

All in all, I have been very satisfied by the first half of the DESMA 9 course. I really enjoyed all the different artistic mediums and artists presented. However, honestly, I have most enjoyed the societal debates regarding the two cultures, robotics, biology, and the human body. Art and science are interdependent. They are within one another, of one another, and yet distinguished from one another in so many ways. As our society progresses through time, our sciences and our arts seem to consistently approach an intertwined unison.

-Jeff Poirier

Week 5 Desma and Me by Brendan Ryan

Monday, February 9th, 2009

Desma nine has so far served to open my eyes to the practical application of science for creative purposes. My midterm was on the potential coming extinction of bananas and how to help prevent it. Bananas have been put in danger by genetic engineering which has made them more delicious but less resistant to disease. Before art science and technology I might not think of genetically engineering a fruit to be more delicious the same way. If I look at that statement with the article “Two Cultures” in mind it makes me think of what an awesome blend of science and art that is. The use of genetic engineering to make my environment more delicious is a very creative application of science in an artistic way.

Having seen the artistic and creative potential for the very same concepts I am learning about in engineering classes is inspiring. I am beginning to see the possibility of innovation whenever a new skill is learned. The application of creative problem solving I think is the core of this class which is the same as most of my science classes but the difference comes with desma being more based in practical application and science being rooted in esoteric theory. While I appreciate both it is encouraging and exciting to see examples in class of artistic applications of science. I have developed a new interest for concepts like these of Luigi Colani:

Desma 9 is a wake up call to scientists, reminding them all of the importance of creative innovation in their work.  Without artistic integration science is far less useful as a tool for creating a better world.  In a strict sense engineers can make the world a better place and contribute to world happiness by playing by the rules and using traditional applications of skills.  However, many of the largest breakthroughs in science, the ones that really make people happy came about by way of creative application, such as the internet, the electric motor, or even something as basic as a musical scale.  The modern musical scale is an application of the idea of waves and overtones in a creative manner.  Many of the most revolutionary scientific breakthroughs are extremely artistic.  It is no coincidence that Leonardo DaVinci was a great artist as well as inventor, this is because the best science is also art.

Sometimes the simplest applications of design are my favorite, although it is not particularily scientific i think the idea of using design to solve problems is a core concept in this class and the banana bunker is one of my favorite instances of this (i own one), it can be seen here.

Banana Bunker

Banana Bunker

It is a one size fits all case that protects bananas from any unwanted bruising or mushing.

Week 5: Midterm Blog Carmin Pelayo

Monday, February 9th, 2009

In retrospect, the last four weeks have continually attempted to link two of the most separated subjects; art and science.  There are many that believe they are on opposite ends of the spectrum, that focus, especially when it comes to education, should be more centered on science and math, leading to modern day budget problems with funding for art programs decreasing at alarming rates. In week one, one of the greater debates was if people should be expected to know scientific properties on an equal basis as they should know art pieces and works of literature. Cp Snow made the comparison that saying “I know the Second Law of Thermodynamics” should be equivalent to saying “I have read a play of Shakespeare’s.”

                Through this we also came to realize that apart from all of this, stereotypes further separating the two (such as the starving artist and the mad scientist) exist everywhere, even on our own campus. If you observe  the university everything that was covered can be seen; the whole difference between north campus and south campus, along with the fact that the university invests over 75 percent of its funding on science-related areas and less than about 5 percent on art, architecture, theater and film. Yet the more we got into the quarter, the greater relevance art and science had. An example would be the emergence of mathematical proportions and patterns in various works of art such as lines of perspective and the use of the golden ratio.

                With the further integration of art and science came the use of creativity to increase the productivity of machines. However, with greater productivity came the ability to replicate at a greater rate what used to be one-of-a-kind masterpieces. These robots didn’t only serve these purposes, once seen as being able to do only angular interrupted movements. They can now be made to have flowing dance routines.

                The new-found use for robots allowed for greater evolvement with such precise movements, they were incorporated in various jobs though to be only possibly done by people. You can now have your open heart surgery done by a robot whose programming is the same as that used in a robot on an assembly line making a car.

                However, I believe that the underlying purpose of this class, as well as the underlying purposes involved in the movement to fuse science and art, is to learn to combine them in the best way to help better society. This is also the purpose of my project.  With something as fundamental as your health, as much advances

                One of the most popular sayings in American is “two heads are better than one.”

                We need to begin to see art and science as more than opposites. When combined, you get the best of both worlds, and, upon combining them, the infinite knowledge of science and the endless creativity of art can create possibilities to help the world. The possibilities created by this combination are incalculable.  

Week 5_ Midterm by Joseph Duy Nguyen

Monday, February 9th, 2009

DESMA 9 class has been a very interesting and strange class for me. It is strange in that the topics do not seem to correlate with each other or have anything to do with a specific subject field. However, after attending five week worth of classes, I have found a relationship between everything discussed in class. This is such an eye-opening class on what art has to offer in conjunction with science.

Class started with the introduction of the two cultures of art and science and how they relate to each other. At first, there doesn’t seem to be much of a relationship between the two. Art and science has always been separated into two fields by most people due to little understanding of art by science people and science by art people. Second week I found myself immersed in the topic of the fourth dimension, third week in the topic of robotics and mechanical reproduction, and fourth week in the topic of human body and medicine. Each topic delved into both the art and science aspect with no bias toward the other. Fourth dimension was thought of as a spatial arrangement by artists and as time by scientists; robotics and mechanical reproduction were used by both artists and scientists; medicine and the human body were explored by both artists and scientists. From the daily readings and lectures, I have come to the conclusion that all of these subject matters discussed each week are related not directly as a subject matter, but indirectly as how they are used by both artists and scientists. Artists and scientists have showed the value of its research and studies to the subject matter. Regardless of what is said of artists or scientists, professionals in both fields are significant to humanity and have many connections with each other. Therefore, it is in the best interest of society to integrate these two cultures into one, in which each is utilized for its strength-art for creativity and science for discovery.

My midterm project is an attempt to create a conceptual design of a structure that needs the input of both artists and scientists that benefits the continuing development of both cultures. Teleportation is currently possible for atoms and light only. Humans are a long way from being able to teleport from one place to another as described in my project. This project ties in with all the topics discussed in class so far. The fourth dimension is not clearly discussed in my project design but the idea of the fourth dimension needs to be utilized for the teleportation of humans. Time and spatial arrangement are a crucial factor to replicate a person to another location. The teleporter, in a way, is a product of mechanical reproduction. Each teleporter is built to be exactly like the other in terms of technology and ability. The knowledge of medicine and human body is needed to complete an exact duplication of a person. Humans are more complex than just a pile of atoms. Therefore, the teleporter has to take into account the genetic as well as the molecular make-up of the human body. The use of teleporters will affect both scientists and artists alike. Scientists would no longer need to find a way to create an automotive engine that does not release carbon dioxide into the air and artists will be able to view and display their art to a wider audience. People will be able to view the original piece of work rather than a copy.

-Joseph Duy Nguyen

Midterm Blog by Oscar Chacon

Monday, February 9th, 2009

The past couple of weeks in the DESMA 9 class have been mind opening.  I have developed a stronger understanding of the fusion between the arts and sciences, that I once though were polar opposites.  The beginning of this class provided an in depth and historical view of the separation between the two studies. The reading explained the reality of this separation being a creation of recent times.  The study of math and perspective strengthened my confidence in that true understanding is reached from focusing your efforts on a single study but on studying in general.  The study of the industrial age and robotics was surprising as an application for artistic expression but was well represented by the arts in science fiction and other media.  The study of the medicine was astonishing in its integration of the arts.  I had never though of medicinal studies having any value with artistic expression, but it is clear that they are necessary to study the human form in order to study it properly.  The past weeks of study have given historical and specific studies to elaborate on the integration of sciences and arts.

The ideas of the B-23 Bomber is directly related to the topics because it exemplifies the correlation between art and technology.  The robot itself is a scientific creation, but its implementation is utilized toward the painting of public works of art.  The use of this robotic technology is an example of the expansion of the artists’ form of expression. Much more than this correlation it transcends to a higher level in relation to communicating to human beings through independent propaganda.  This is the expression of ideas to the public of the realities of politics and  the media.

Graffiti is misunderstood as an art form and is commonly conceived of as the dissent of society, but to the contrary it is the opposite. As it is explained by “Broken Window Theory,” developed in the 1980’s by a criminologist when there is unrepaired damaged to public space people assume no one cares, and so the damages increase. It is if anything the most honest form of art, where there is absolutely no elitism. Street artist move the gallery to public spaces where no person is pushed away because of an admission charge. The graffiti created on the streets is an ultimate form of expression, as well as a strong political tool.  This art from has a strong potential to open the mind of the public to the reality of faults in society, or simply bring a smile to their face after a long day. The fact that this art form is ridiculed when considered art, and that it involves many dangerous aspects augments the sincerity of the art form. The art created by guerilla artist is made for no other reason other than the people, much like the arts and sciences. They exist for the people and by the people. 


Oscar Chacon

Maxwell Blanchard A blend

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

Personally i feel that the first week was extremely significant in tying up the last four weeks.  In the beginning lectures we discussed a third culture, a blending of art of and science.  We delved further into the possibilities and progression of this hybrid class and what it meant for both subjects.  The past couple of weeks have really focused on undoing the personal biases and stereotypes associated with what it means to be an artist or a scientist.  Throughout the weeks we went through examples such as stelarc, etc.  However, the first week i feel was vital to understanding the other three.  Through Vesna’s “Third Culture” and C.P. Snow’s “The two cultures” we can grasp the larger concept at hand.  Week two i felt was the perfect follow up since it dealt with such a scientic art.  The idea was somewhat of a struggle at first, but Henderson’s article definitely helped.  Week three was a blatent example after another of science combined with art.  Bottom line is the emergence of this third culture and understanding it and how it can prove beneficial to society today.  Not to mention how it already has.   I felt discussing the portrayal of science and art in media was beneficial as well to the understanding the combination.

My project was basically a online user friendly platform for aspiring artists to use.  As I said before, we’ve spent a lot of time in the past couple of weeks trying to destroy past biases and stereotypes pertaining to art and science.  This conceptual site that i designed would bring a new tool to that aim.  It would also provide a means for artists to share work and criticism, as well as search for new jobs, contracts, etc.  It would be extremely similar to facebook or myspace, but with a more specific application.  It would provide a connection that seems to be a problem for artists.   To be completely honest, up until this class, i was completely unaware a third culture even existed.  I doubt many of the students in DESMA 9 were. If there were a website where people could register and enjoy the fun of facebook, with the practical application of art education, this third culture might be much more well known.   In addition, while the majority of our DESMA 9 class are “South Campus Majors,” there are plenty of artists in our class.  I doubt they were aware of this emerging class either. This just reiterates the problem.  My project would be part of the solution to this problem, as well as provide a service free to the public, that would enable artists to find gallery owners or custom contracts etc.  We’ve all heard of the “starving artist.”  This project would hopefully provide a solution to that problem as well.  Also, this site would enable artists to search for inspiration among fellow artists’ work, or even just search for groups and organizations to further whatever personal goals he or she has.  Nonetheless, the idea remains in contributing to the awareness and support of todays society of the emergin third culture.

Week 5: Review & Midterm - by Adam Parker

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

These last 5 weeks have brought out the creative side in me. This class is one of the few that allows students to express themselves artistically and I think that is necessary for education and development. During the first few weeks, I really had no idea what this class was really about. I would just come in and sit down every week and watch the images and visuals go by on the screen. But after some of the discussions and the personalized blogs, I kind of fell into the process and enjoy seeing the new topics every week.

The first week was a great icebreaker topic that got me thinking about the physical, mental, and social differences between the North and South campus and more importantly Science vs. Math people in general. It made me realize that people with different backgrounds can actually see different things entirely. Take the spinning dancer for instance. The class was mesmerized at the fact that your brain could process visuals differently than other people. Seeing first hand that the left or right part of a person’s brain might be more prominent was very interesting. After looking at the dancer for a while myself, I found that if focused hard enough, I could actually get the dance to switch back and forth in direction. It seems that the left and right parts of my brain are competing for dominance.

The Mathematics, Perspective, Time & Space week was especially interesting as an engineer. I got to look at different dimensions from various artists’ views and learn how tesseracts represent the fourth dimension. The most entertaining part of lecture was definitely the 10 Dimensions video that we watched on youtube as a group. I never really thought about a 5th dimension let alone a 6th though 10th.

Industrial Age, Kinetics, and Robotics was fun to learn about because, let’s be honest, who doesn’t like robots? I enjoyed writing the blog that week because it forced me to become familiar with modern and relevent robotics technology. ASIMO, the Honda robot project has come a long way since 2000.

The Human Body and Medicine unit definitely provided some disturbing images. The “artist” who had plastic surgery done to her while she read passages from a book was not only weird and twisted but painful to watch. The most eye-opening topic we covered was the video linked by another student’s blog which allowed us to see another culture’s definition of “ritual”. The tribe that repeatedly sliced the skin of the boys becoming men was even more painful to watch than the surgery.

These past weeks opened a creative flow that allowed me to think of an idea for this midterm. Had this project been presented at the beginning of the quarter, it would’ve been quite an effort to figure out topic. After thinking about robotics and the progress of technology for so long, I inevitably chose a technology related project. My proposal is to create a large spherical virtual reality room in which a participant could travel throughout Earth and Space as easy as Google: Earth. In a nutshell, my exhibit would be like X-Men’s “Cerebro”, but on a smaller scale. Using a touchscreen navigation device, the user could select predetermined tours, such as “The Moon”, “Eifel Tour”, our “The North Star”. Hopefully something as advanced as this will exist in the near future. Until then, we can only wait and see.