Archive for the ‘week8_space’ Category

Week 8/ Arthur Woods/ Tammy Le

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

This week’s topic conveyed the enormity of opportunity and perception that can be found in space and all its elements.  The possibilities of the correlation between art, space, and life is just as endless and vast as space itself.  This week’s guest speaker, Gil Kuno, briefly mentioned one exhibit in particular that caught my interest, Arthur Wood’s the Cosmic Dancer.  Woods who, studied psychology, arts, and literature at Mercer University in Macorn, Georgia,  is a space  artist whose interest in using space as his muse is rooted in his experience  working at the Kennedy Space Center during the Apollo Program in 1968 and 1969.  He demonstrates his ability to combine elements of art and space to create masterpieces through his creation of the Cosmic Dancer in 1993.  The Cosmic dancer is based off of geometric sculptures he has been creating since 1981 whos form and angular shape enables them to be positioned in different ways, thus enabling observers to view the piece from different perspectives in relation to their surroundings.  As a result, the same sculpture can appear to be an array of different three-dimensional forms as a result of its positioning.  The cosmic dancer was is a painted, one kilogram geometric form made out of welded aluminum tubing measuring approximately 35 x 35 x 40 centimeters.  It accompanied cosmonauts of the Russion Mir Space Station in Earth’s orbit, putting it in  Low Earth Orbit and allowing the sculpture to take life as it “danced” in a weightless environment.  The purpose of the sculpture is ”to investigate the properties of sculpture in zero gravity and to examine the integration of art into a space habitat environment” (Woods,  The lack of gravity and restriction on the piece allowed it to take on free, unprectable movement.  The sculpture had a personality of its own, with no guidance its motion from human hands, but solely on the weightlessness in Low Earth Orbit.  The sculpture was no longer a stationary piece of work, but was almost like a performing art piece.  When paired with music, the Cosmic Dancer’s movement is poetic and conveys a sense of gentleness and freedom.  Although it is a masterpiece on its own, when humans do have a role in manipulating its movement, the sculpture takes on a new persona.  It can convey a story or an emotion as it’s geometic, angular shape creates a unique movement through the weightlessness of space.  Since the original, 99 more different versions of the Cosmic Dancers have been created in order to fund the project.

A Cosmic Dancer with a cosmonaut

A Cosmic Dancer with a cosmonaut. The video for The Cosmic Dancer can be found on this site:


Another interesting piece that has been proposed but not yet realized by Woods is the OUR-Space Peace Sculpture, a sculpture to be launched into space whose shape represents peace and cooperation.  It is an inflateable, circular shaped sculpture divided in the middle by a cross that holds a metal sphere in the center.  The form of the sculpture is an ancient and universal symbol found in cultures throughout the world.  It is the Greek symbol for world and the medicine in American Indian Cultures.  The sphere was designed to resemble the planet earth while the inflatable circle around it would read the word “peace” in different languages.  Woods plans to have it ceromoniously pushed into space from a space station by a cosmonaut while people on earth watch on tv, uniting them in a moment in which a cry for peace through art is being projected into space and circles the world in which it is speaking to.  Woods proposed the project at a time when therelationship between Soviet Union and United States was still tense.  He hoped that the space programs would work together to support his one art piece and cause, seeing the sculpture as  “a symbolic artistic statement of world peace and cooperation”(Woods,

Artists like Arthur Woods have explored and realized the creative possibilities space gives to artists.  Art can be used to convey messages to the small world which inhabits the vastness of outerspace.

Final_Abstract/ Week 8/Tammy Le

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

With the use of facial recognition technology and a room equipped to emerse an observer in a world of virtual reality, a subjects emotions will be projected into the ambience, allowing the subject, and other observers, to view his/her inner emotions outside of the body.  The room, we’ll call it “the shell,” will start off as a blank, empty room that begins to come alive with colors, images, and music that correlates to their feelings conveyed through expressions on a person’s face changes as recognized by the facial recognition software.  The exhibit will create a better connection between a person and his/her emotions as they are able to phsyically see, hear, and experience a virtual world that expresses their emotional and psychological psyche.

paige marton/week 8/space and non place

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

Space occupies a number of different meanings. However, it never seems to be tangible, it is always an abstract idea. Although the human race has continued to explore outer space and the universe we still know so little, it is impossible to grasp what it really is. And space exploration only covers one result of what we call “space”. It is such an abstract word/place/thing; there’s a number of different interpretations.

 I have personal experience with what it takes to make space exploration possible. My uncle, David Paige is a professor at UCLA and also works with NASA to develop shuttles to explore space. He has previously worked on the “Mars Lander” and is currently developing a ship that will map the moons surface. The exploration of space has a whole different meaning for me because I’ve been lucky enough to see my uncle at work. Blood and sweat goes into the production of these ships and it is common for them to malfunction and self-destruct (which my uncle has experienced many times with the Mars Lander). Because of him I understand how important space exploration is and how little we actually know.

What my uncle does, space exploration, is the most common thing associated with the word “space”, however, there are so many different realms of space. Which lead me to research the theories of Marc Auge. Non-Places refer to excess time and space, which is created by the constant evolution of technology. Auge describes a place as “relational, historical and concerned with identity, then a space which can not be defined as relational, or historical, or concerned with identity will be a non-place”. He gives examples such as a motor way or supermarket. I came upon a website that provides more information about place, space, and non-place that relate back to Marc Auge’s theories: Sections of Auge’s Plaes and Non-Places are available até+-+Place/Non-place&printsec=frontcover&source=bn&hl=en&ei=31isScb3CZGUsAOh0bDIBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=4&ct=result#PPA7,M1

 -paige marton

Week8/Horseshoe orbits/Connor Petty

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

Something interesting I found discovered when researching orbits was AA29. AA29 is an asteroid that follows earth’s orbit around the sun. What makes this asteroid interesting is that it is in a horseshoe orbit that makes it approach earth every 95 years. What’s more,  is that every 600 years the asteroid will appear to orbit around the earth! This is really just in appearance since AA29 will only be a quasi-satellite since it is really only orbiting the sun.

Here are some videos demonstrating this behavior:horseshoe, Earth’s orbit, quasi-satellite

A horseshoe orbit is a unique type of orbit that occurs when two planetary bodies share nearly the same orbit. A horseshoe orbit occurs when a small planetary comes close to a much larger planetary body during its orbit. As the asteroid approaches earth earth would exert it’s gravitational force on the asteroid. One might think that this would lead to the asteroid colliding with earth, but what actually occurs is the opposite. This is due to the laws physics when regarding orbiting bodies. Whenever an orbiting object moves faster, it will move outward and achieve a larger orbit. And conversly, whenever an orbiting object slows down it will shift to a smaller orbit. It is this behavior that prevents the asteroid from colliding with earth. As the asteroid approaches earth it would be accelerated by earth’s gravity and then thrown into a higher orbit and thus it would drift away from the earth. And when the earth then catches up with the asteroid in another 95 years, the asteroid would be decelerated and would be put into a smaller orbit causing it drift away yet again. A horseshoe orbit is just a neverending cycle of tag between planetary bodies.

How AA29 will appear to orbit the earth can be explained by the asteroid’s low eccentricity and it’s inclination of 10 degrees. The asteroid’s eccentricity (how circular it’s orbit is) causes it to move in and out relative to the earth and it’s inclination causes it to move up and down relative to the earth. With these two properties combined, the asteroid’s orbit never touches earth’s orbit and instead loops around it. There is one more thing that makes AA29 truly unique, and that is the fact that this is the only known asteroid that can go from a horseshoe orbit to a quasi-satellite orbit and back again. The last period of such behavior was around 550 AD, and the next will be around 2600 AD. During it’s quasi-satellite mode the asteroid become temporarily trapped by the earth’s gravitation influence, causing it’s orbit to remain in sync with earth’s for a short period of time.

Interesting enough, AA29 is not the only asteroid that has a horseshoe orbit with the earth. Another asteroid, Cruithne, was discovered several years earlier and that has an even stranger orbit than AA29! Cruithne has a much higher inclination than AA29 and a much greater eccentricity. This causes Cruithne’s path around the sun appear kidney shaped. It takes Cruithne about 385 years for the kidney bean to drift all the way around and meet the earth again. Cruthne is not the last of the asteroids that have a horseshoe orbit with the earth, there are at least three others thare are still being researched.


Final Abstract/James Martin

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

The human body is one of the most complex organisms on the face of planet Earth. With ten of the most organ systems known, the human body is extremely complicated and very hard to learn about. Many learn about the human anatomy through textbook, but there are many who never get hands on experience with the human body. Through eleven very large exhibits, people will be able to explore the human body and gain as much knowledge as an expert. They will learn and be able to see how food goes through the body and how each individual organ works within the body. The human body is a very useful tool.

Week 8: Space, A new dimension of art Claudia Zapien

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

As technology has advanced the limits of what was once seen as something impossible to do or obtained have been pushed and we can say that the sky is the limits. In the past century a new and highly diverse genre of art has emerged and it has everything to do with the outer space. Human’s curiosity has been evident by out fascination with the unknown and before our success with traveling into outer space we had no concrete evidence of what was out there and how our knowledge on the matter would affect our lives. Even without the evidence people for decades have had an idea of what it is that the world beyond earth is and this has been introduced to us in literature, movies, television and art. Space art came into being before the successful journey of man going into outer space and it is because of artist that push  for the development of this type of art that this type of technology has been advancing  as it has.

Artists have been at the forefront of space exploration since its very beginning. Their works of imagination have stimulated and pushed the desire for us to push for the development of technology in order to obtain the knowledge that was desire about the unknown. Works of art and literature about space have both anticipated and stimulated space development while exploring destinations and technological concepts that were often too dangerous, too distant or too advanced for the science and technology of the moment.

Artists have worked closely with space scientists and engineers to help them to visualize and develop their scientific and technological concepts making the dream of space exploration a reality. Science Fiction literature that revolve around space and movies have gained high publicity and have encouraged the advancement of space exploration. Because the idea of space has been so popular it is easy to gain support whether it be physical or monetary for the development of this branch. As such it stimulates the public’s fascination with space exploration and likewise has a positive influence on maintaining the public support for further space development.

Now that we have achieved the capacity travel beyond earth we have found a whole new dimension to explore and create art. Not only are we bringing space to earth in architecture, art, literature and television, but now we have a completely different way to bring art to life and that is in outer space where we can play with the idea of weightlessness. Once we got into a place where the laws of gravity do not apply in the “normal” way in which we are accustomed, we have opened a door for great possibilities.


By Claudia Zapien

extra credit

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

 I have always tried to picture any nano concept as a concept that deals with objects that are ten to the minus nine small. When I  heard about the NanoSystems Seminar Series, which was particularly designed to discuss about safer products and cleaner processes, my older perpective of it somewhat changed. It turned out that nanotechnology involves developing materials and devieces that are within the nanometer scale, which is a little further deep than I thought. High-Temp Superconducting Nanowire System is First of its KindBelow is a example of an array of YBCO nanowires with 20-nanometer diameters,a nanotech piece from the Image courtesy of James Heath.





During the lecture, the lecturer mentioned  his and the Thrust Group1’s two big goals in the study of  nanotech, as it is abbriviated. The first one was the use of the more safer nanomaterials to get to a cleaner technology. One of  the safer material that one his students spotted was NaBH4 , which used almost 10 equations, as a new method. The second one he mentioned was purity in order to get a geener technology, which had to be done by washing materials with organic solvent. Again one of his students thought that using the method of diafiltration would be more effiecient and did not require the use of organic solvent , which could have been a hazard.

Another point he mentioned was the design for waste reduction. We all know that today a greener California will produce a more healthy environment for us to live.  According to the Oregon Thrust Group1, finding a way to completely get rid of waste will succefully lead to this purpose. For example, they conduct experiments and thrive to seek for possible newer ways and more safer ones. This link is the famous way through which the University of Oregon which has concocted these powerful points regarding how to turn a place into a greener one using nanotech should and could be done. To sum up, I believe that if we all decide to follow methods such as using NaBH4 with ten equations as steps to get to a clean technology, we will reduce pollution by a significant amount and also we will create a nation of more cognizant people.

Final Abstract / Midterm Continuation / Erum Farooque

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

My idea is takes an art program that lets the user draw on a touchscreen displaying their artwork as they make and modify it in the center of the room through the use of a hologram. This project explores the pioneers in technology that we have made and uses them to enrich the lives of others. I am trying to use a concept of technology that is not very commonly used or seen to let people experiment with it and see its potential of art without boundaries. The project aims to educate kids and adults about art and let them create what they please and see their own creations embodied in 3d form.

~Erum Farooque

Week 8/ Time in Space/ Andrew Curnow

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

Space, what is it exactly? Is it in the astronomical sense: the infinitely growing area we, our planet, out solar system are immersed in. Or the rather common term: the area we live our lives in everyday. Either way though both are areas we reside in, however the complexities of both are extremely different. As I contemplated my own life, living day by day, feeling emotions and having petty concerns with my environment, I realized that as human beings our idea of space is that of the living world we work in. However once you look deeper, our days, years, even lives are undoubtedly insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Space, in the sense of galaxies and solar systems, causes our own lives and persona to be nearly nonexistent, something that seemingly never occurred.

I began to realize that the time we live in, differs greatly, if not completely, than that of the time of space in the ever-expanding universe. And even more, our definition of nothingness is extremely biased. Through the human perception, without any deeper thought, when an individual looks at a spot on the ground the term ‘nothing’ comes to mind. However, deeper observation allows sight of bacteria and other forms of life. In deep space, the term nothingness takes a completely new meaning, though even still, basic atoms can certainly be observed. The time and ‘nothingness’ of space gives it its mysterious overtone, however what truly is time in space? Its obviously not measured in minutes and hours. This led me to research the topic, which led me to a knew concept: Spacetime. This idea, in a mathematical sense, kept the world we know and the universe we perceive as three dimensions, and time kept as a fourth dimension. The notion of spacetime, kept tangent all events in the universe as various ’spacetimes’, the events being unique points on the spacetime planes relative to their place and time. Thus, the recording of events in space isn’t actually a measurement of time, rather a graphed unit  in which events can be placed in four dimensional planes based on where and ‘when’ they occurred relative to each other. This whole idea truly boggled my mind, a timeline that has dimensions rather than a single line tying events.

The spacetime continuum is an idea that not many can handle, but even so the nothingness of space many can understand. The word nothing, though biased, can be proved nearly true in space, though mainly the nothing is more of an idea of movement. With no ‘ground-zero’ and constant motion in space, where a particle has been proves that there is a form of ’something’ at every point on the space-time continuum. And from this nothingness nearly anything can be created. The basic elements of hydrogen and helium gases, something a normal being may consider as ‘nothing’, can be compressed and forced under gravity to create the largest space body commonly known, a star. From this, the complexity of space is expanded even more, what exactly –is- space, if anything we could ever know can be seemingly created from nothing by the fundamental laws we know.

Week 8/ Italian Renaissance and Public Space/ Kelly Tseng

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

The term space refers to the boundless, three-dimensional extent in which objects and events happen and have relative position and direction. I decided to go beyond the topic about outer space and its exploration discussed in class as well as the topic of four dimensional space to focus on architecture and public space during the Italian Renaissance.

This site discusses about how the architectural language invented by the Italian Renaissance architects came to be the prevailing architectural language of the modern world. The architects of the Renaissance were the first to invent the idea of “public space” which relates to the organization of civic pride in a city-wide scale. Revering the great Roman writer on topics of architecture (Vitruvius), Roman architects followed his principles of architecture. Of his principles, the most influential is the one regarding symmetry, which involves geometrical balance.

This idea of symmetry leads me to think about how art was first seen as having objects, lines, planes congruently and evenly spaced. Art was not considered art if it did not contain some sort of symmetry and order to it. The spacing of the artwork had to be perfect and everything had to be in accord with each other. This theory of architecture is known as “dispositio” or “disposition”. It is quite interesting how as architecture developed, designers started to defy the conventional theory of symmetry and disposition. Many may think that this rebellion led to the complete rejection of the idea of space in time but I believe that to disorder, there lies some agreement. As architects combined out of place elements into their pieces and totally ignored the rules of balance, I feel that their objective to defy “space” (as in break through the lines of allotted space) was just another way of adhering to the laws of space since one can never really defy the laws of space.

This architectural piece was found at an Italian Renaissance blog:  I feel that every aspect and element of this structure looks like it is in complete harmony with time and space.

Week 8_Percpetions of the Past in Space_Section D

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

While a mile may seem to be a long ways away for walking, or 100 miles for driving, neither of these units of measurement would bear enough magnitude to merit even a point when measuring the universe.  Space is massive and apathetic towards our own vapor of an existence.  Our lives come and go before a single star can even be born, and the death of a star can last many of our lifetimes.  Our existence is, generously speaking, miniscule.

When contemplating the vastness of space, one thing becomes obvious: nothing is seen in the present.  Our neighboring galaxy, Andromeda, exists light years away from our own, and many of the stars that exist in our night sky gave the light that we see millions of years ago.  The travel time itself of the light from some of these stars extends hundreds of times the span of life on earth.  Could life have existed outside of our own planet?  Does it exist now?  Will it still exist when we find it?

Even though we haven’t found definitive signs of extraterrestrial life, space has managed to be beautiful without it.  Stars seem to be moved by an invisible hand to form constellations.  Deadly gasses surround planets and light passes through them to give a rich and full color to what would otherwise be considered death.  Stars themselves are most beautiful when they die with a bang.  As a red giant and hypergiants begins to perish, they release pillars of blue light from its poles and forms clouds containing practically every color in the visible spectrum of light.  The process is exact and without flaw or incident, and each death looks as though a master craftsman shaped them.As a massive star reaches the end of its lifetime, it dies in a show of God-like beauty.

 As a massive star reaches the end of its lifetime, it dies in a show of God-like beauty.

From a personal standpoint, I am glad that my existence can occur at this time during the life of our universe.  Any sooner in the galactic calendar and we could face a turbulent period, where young inconsistencies threw life on Earth into several mass extinctions.  Ice ages, meteor strikes and other cataclysmic events regularly plagued our planet.  Later in the life of our galaxy lies a horrid end, where the endless expansion of the universe spells death through, and by isolation.  As trillions of years pass, the distance between our nearest interstellar neighbors will increase until we are truly alone.

After pondering our existence in this universe at this seemingly perfect time one question enters into my mind.  Is it coincidence that we are able to view the universe at its prime? 

Gil Kuno lecture_Music_Jillian Cross

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

Our guest speaker this week was Gil Kuno. He spoke about a variety of topics, but the one that caught my attention was the discussion on technologically altering music.  He talked about the band Devo ( ) who tweaks their sound using a “circuit bend.” They were one of the first groups to make the synthesizer a key element in their music. When I first heard about this, I was thinking that maybe they weren’t really in fact making music in the typical artistic sense. I feel like people can use this technology to reproduce or change the beauty that is the sound of musical instruments. Maybe that eliminates some of the artistic touch to making music?

This thought process continued on as Gil Kuno began talking about Japanese noise music like the type Hanatarash creates. Basically, they use many microphones attached to different things and then go about smashing those things and recording sound. Now I would never consider that music, or even artistic, but I also lack a creative mind in many aspects. Who would want to hear tons of things breaking over their headphones? You can’t sing along to that or even draw much emotion out of such harsh noises (heard here: People attending these shows like to live on the dangerous side as Hanatarash’s live shows are usually pretty intense (

While I don’t see the direct connection between altered music or noise music and art, some groups do find these types of expression to be very artistic.  There are even people (synthesizer composers ) who “arrange” music to create new pieces. An article about one of their competitions can be seen here:  Groups like Devo even have cultish followings that appreciate and relate to their music (

When I think of artists, especially music artists, I think of people who have these amazing, creative minds and can channel their emotions into something relatable and harmonic. I think of these emotions and thoughts coming out naturally, or through a musical instrument, not through a computer.  Maybe I have a utopian view of this art form, or maybe altered music can be considered a different type of art altogether. It does, in fact, fall into the category of digital art. I guess I should see it as a separate art form.

Along those lines, I thought of the idea that strong emotions can’t always be put down in words. It seems to hold true for some of these alternative/technical music groups. They are inspired by something that cannot be created using a typical instrument. Hanatarash may be inspired by such emotion that they have to let it out physically as opposed to verbally or in another expressive manner.

Gil Kuno opened my eyes to cultures and genres of “music” that I didn’t even know existed. He seems to really appreciate these types of artists and it showed in his lecture. I think that the ability to express oneself is not inherent to all everyone and it is pretty amazing that so many people can be expressive through a variety of mediums.

Final Abstract\Self-Awareness\Jay Park

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

Self-awareness is a subjective attempt in understanding the psychological reaction towards self imposition in the space-dimension. The subjective attempt can only produce a procedural result based on the contexts of how the concept is understood. This is a logical circle that illegitimately asserts itself. Contemporary explanations of self-awareness can be the answer to explaining a new understanding of self-awareness that avoids this pitfall. I will take a contemporary definition of self-awareness and put it to the test, both hypothetically and experimentally–at the cost of my dear dog, Georgie.

Week 8/The Mystery of Space/Jay Park

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

For the most part, the terrestial realm has exhausted itself of mystery and awe, as satellites peer down on any and every inch of the earth. The world has shrunk in this sense, no longer beholding any surprises of the beyond. Indeed, Earth is much simpler now, with equations to find answers and answers to extinguish mystery. Our sense of imagination has been drying up since the day we began to rationalize phenomenons and criticize improbabilities. But as the curiosity in our planet diminishes, our curiosity in the universe begins to grow. Einstein ended his life without finishing his final quest for knowledge beyond our simple world, transfixed on searching for the ultimate, overarching equation of the universe. Hawkins’ is riddled by this same curiosity for understanding the beyond. What is it about space that has the greatest minds perplexed and excited? Mystery. It is frankly quite simple. The lack of answers in a mystery encourages hypothesization. The absence of proven answers promote multitudes invested interests and amateur exploration. Space is the greatest mystery territory known to man as of now. There are many reasons why. Primarily, it is difficult to explore and our technology limits the extent of accessibility to those parts we’ve already explored–such as the moon and mars. Secondly, it is the vastness of the territory, specifically the infiniteness, that miniaturizes mankind and consequently diminishes our feeling of importance. 


This feeling and movement of space art is a relatively new and contemporary movement, beginning sometime along the completion of mapping the oceans and lands. The artists and audiences of space art has pushed the boundaries to encompass anyone raptured by the questions they ask themselves when looking up at the night sky. Space art isn’t reserved to an elitist group of avante garde thinkers, but to anyone who feels small due to the universe. Fueled with limitless imagination, space art thrives on the internet. Spherical planets, disc rings, space dust,  rays of light all are typical aspectst of space art seen online that guide our imagery of space. The vibrant colors and georgeous illustrations have only come to accountable accuracy after the technological advances of telescopic imagery that provided the first color glimpses of our universe. Before the advant of telescopes powerful enough to capture these breathtaking photographs, astronomers charted stars by hand to determine the shape of the Milky Way. The resulting image of these charts looked like a messy algebra plot problem. These pictures were the first concepts of our visual understanding of space. One of the first pictures taken was that of Earth from space in 1946. The black and white photo provided only the structural image of space, leaving the blanks to be colored in by our imaginations. Until recently, space art has taken telescopic photos and embellished them with personality, creativity, and imagination. Yet in all the excitement over the topic, artists unanimously agreed upon the characteristics of massiveness, geometry,  and overwhelming imagery. Only recently has technology allowed the Hubble telescope and more to produce the photographs that assert our imaginations’ proximity to the truths. 


Space is the new frontier, and it’s here to capture the imagination of the future generations for some time. The mystery and vastness double up as the perfect quest of the 21st century average man. Space is there for anyone to look up to and wonder about. It’s there and will stay there, tugging at our insecurities as a miniscule piece of the much vaster universe.

Week 8: Space Exploration/Jasmine Huynh

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

This week in class we focused on the topic of space exploration. The statement that stood out most in my mind from Thursday’s lecture was when Professor Vesna told the class that a short visit to space was nearly $38,000. The concept of space exploration is new and very interesting, and it pushed me to think further about the topic. I decided to explore the idea of “cultural space” for my blog post this week.

After some searching, I found a very interesting blog called “Space & Culture.”

This is a Canadian-based blog with five authors from various educational backgrounds, but all authors have an interest in sociology and technology.  The blog entries discuss current events, namely those relating to how society treats and views certain spaces and technologies. The topics range from the most recent protest issues to photos of detention facilities. While it seems like almost any topic is acceptable on this blog, the authors do a really good job of linking how their particular posts to a central idea of “how is society impacted by the changes in this space.” They draw examples and support from the media, pop culture and the past.

Two entries on the blog caught my attention. The “Lost in Translation” entry,, on January 24, 2009 was interesting because it showed how one specific space can be viewed in many ways. In this particular entry, the author takes the city of Tokyo and uses video clips to show how one city can be portrayed as several different things. The author shows how Tokyo can be viewed as both a “setting space” for movies and an “active space.” As a setting space, Tokyo is a brilliant backdrop for the filiming of movies. As an “active space,” Tokyo is bustling, crowded and very difficult to maneuver.

The other entry on the blog which sparked my attention was the one entitled “Where Cars Go to Wait.” It was also written on January 24, 2009. I liked this particular entry because it was quite witty, with a title that has a dual meaning, particularly for Angelenos. Its hard to believe that so many cars can be crammed into one area, or space. The title is witty because most of the time, individuals must wait inside their cars in traffic. But, in this entry, they showcase how cars themselves must wait inside the huge lots in order to be sold. The type of space that is discussed in this entry is unique from the space mentioned in lecture, and the space mentioned in the “Lost in Translation” blog entry. The “space” discussed here can also take on two meanings: 1. It refers to the plot of land that the cars are parked on and 2. Space can mean room, as in, there is no more space for any more cars.

Clearly, the word “space” has multiple meanings. It can mean outer space, a specific country, or a specific plot of land.

week 8 \ final abstract \ ben marafino

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

The world’s population currently stands at 6.8 billion people, and is projected to grow to 9 billion by 2050. Such increases in population will be met with concomitant resource shortages, particularly in water and food. These shortages will have devastating effects on the Third World as well as developing nations. However, such crises may be mitigated by decisive action and policy solutions that ensure that these resources are used and recycled efficiently – hence, sustainability. Through innovative use of projection technology and aesthetic presentation, this exhibition aims to inform visitors of the nature of the impending crisis, the phenomenology of population growth, and a series of approaches towards sustainability.

Week8/Nebula and Google Sky/Lam Tran

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

When people think about space, they usually think about a dark black background with hundreds of small white lights. The seemingly endless amount of white dots may bring a feeling of insignificance to the viewer. It shows how grand the universe is and how much more humanity has left to conquer or understand.

look at that link. It helps bring that feeling I was describing. Yes the people who brought us google earth has taken it to the next level. Now can you not only look practically anywhere on your planet (there are some areas that google earth just won’t let you zoom into), but into the vastness of space. It uses images from Sloan Digital Sky Survey, the Digitized Sky Survey and the Hubble Space Telescope. You can zoom in and out much like its predecessor. There are additional options at the bottom to select what you really want to see. You can just look at our solar system or focus on nebulae. Its nice really; when you are just browsing around the universe, google will point out nebulae, its name, and have a little pop up menu that says there is a showcase from Hubble or whatever other telescope. However the resolution and quality of pictures is rather pathetic. Perhaps there will be a pay version (much like google earth) that will provide better resolution and up to date pictures. Although I don’t think being “up to date” with the pictures will make much difference. Even if things that far away chance, it would take light years before the difference even hits our telescopes.

Nebulae are basically gas and cosmic dust left over from star explosions. They can be. however, extremely beautiful. They can have a varitey of colors and shapes. They do not just conform to the circular shape that the sun in that area once was. Here are some examples:

Perhaps there’s a nebula out there that has the picture of Jesus or the virgin Mary (just joking). There is sort of a randomness to how the gas formations happen. Well, there are many things that affect it but I think i mean more of there is an unbias formation of the gas and dust formations. Its crazy how nature can think of such great patterns and shapes and all the different shades of color that form these nebulae. I guess the type of lens that the telescope uses also contributes to the color but at least the shape and shades of that color is really nature.

People often talk about the beauty of nature on Earth. Streams, meadows, and flowers are all examples of natural beauty that is on Earth. Nebula, that are probably trillions and trillions of miles wide, is the kind of beauty that exists in space. Its color and shapes do not even compare to anything on Earth, let alone the massive size. Again, it just brings up how sigificant we are in the grand universe.

(P.S. it errors me when i try to upload the image so just click on the links”

Week8/ Space/ James Martin

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

This week, our lecture was about space and everything that it incorporates. It seems as though humanity has always had a fascination with space and exploring it as much as possible. Also, space has been used to create many vital parts of our daily lives. The space race with Russia was quite interesting when we learned about it in Tuesday’s lecture and this space race has only further driven our want and desire to explore space. This desire that I speak about is fueled by the fact that humans continually want more. The fact that we as humans have not found an end to the universe (if there is one at all) is what really fuels us to keep searching. Personally, I am very interested in space because there is so much unknown about it and we are constantly learning more and more. Unidentified flying objects or UFO’s have always interested mankind. Are there other living being somewhere in the universe? Will we ever meet these other creatures if they do exist? My belief is that there are other life forms out there but I do not know if we will ever come in contact with them.
Many have currently defined space as infinite and that it goes on forever. To me, this means that there is an infinite amount of knowledge that we can gain from furthering our exploration of space. A great example of learning from space is Galilei Galileo. He is known as “the father of observational astronomy” due to his work in space. One of his greatest contributions to science was his invention of a better telescope that allowed mankind to see the farthest it had into space at the time. He discovered many new things about space and passed on his knowledge to many others. Another very well known astronomer and contributor to our exploration of space is Nicolaus Copernicus. His greatest contribution was his heliocentric model. It basically states the Sun is at the center of our solar system rather than the earth. This was unheard of at the time but he was right. Space has been and will continue to be explored for as long as humans live or until we reach “the end.”

Our fascination of space has also been explored in entertainment. The war of the Worlds was an American radio drama that aired on Halloween night and suggested that Martians had begun invading Earth. Many citizens believed in the radio broadcast and many became terrified. Due to the terror, many false reports were filed about aliens or poisonous gases flowing over the areas. It is believed that some actually fled there homes and tried to escape the invaders. The broadcast was not real but there were many who believed it. There was outrage that ensued the fact that it was all a hoax. This just goes to show how interested and frightened by the unknown. I am sure that many believe in other life forms. The unknown has always fascinated mankind and will continue too as long as there is the unknown.

Week 8/ Site Specific Art and the Space Race/ Ariel Alter

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

In her pathologically academic essay, Sculpture in the Expanded Field, Rosalind Krauss explicates the historical transition from Modernist sculpture to the ambiguous “expanded” sculpture that was occurring in the 1960’s onward, in site specific locations rather than confined by the white walls of the gallery space. She first characterizes Modernist sculpture as “the negative condition of the monument,” having “a kind of idealist space to explore, a domain cut off from the project of temporal and spatial representation.” This means that Modernist sculptors sought to invert the monument, which memorializes and/or represents a specific thing or person in a particular time and place, resulting in abstract configurations and unorthodox material, embodied in the work of Anthony Caro and Picasso, among others. Google Modernist Sculpture. In quotations.
Albeit, Modernist sculpture defied a loyal representation of a location and concept but the “ideal space” of exploration was still confined within the gallery or museum space. By 1950, Krauss says, Modernist sculpture “appeared as a kind of black hole in the space of consciousness, something whose positive content was difficult to define.” Think of the Washington monument, hollow and made of nylon, imploding on itself like the deflation of a roadside advertising balloon.
The sculpture that departed from Modernist sculptures imploding like putty in the galleries took the form of Minimalist “sculpture”- in quotations because the definition of sculpture was coming under fire. Minimalist sculptors used industrial materials (contrary to Modernist notions of “unique” materials) and eradicated their art objects from the gallery space, placing them in landscapes or on or in architecture. The result was what Krauss calls “pure negativity,” because these art objects were “in the landscape but not the landscape, in front of a building but not the building.” Krauss calls these new sculptures “not-landscapes” and “not-architecture,” and is even so helpful as to provide a diagram where sculpture bifurcates into enumerated.
In the 60’s, not-landscape and architecture were the “manifest destiny” of the art world, whereas it can be argued that space was and is considered the final frontier for technology. It is curious that the Space Race occurred simultaneously with the rise of Minimalist sculpture and site specific works. Just as the Russians and Americans were vehemently hurling all sorts of animals, vegetables and minerals into outer space, artists were emancipating art objects from the gallery setting and sending them where no art object had been before. Allan Kaprow conducting his “happenings,” Robert Smithson carving The Spiral Jetty into the Great Salt Lake, and Alice Aycock erecting a maze that rivals the weighty solitude of Stonehedge- it must have been a crazy view from space.
But now the analogy between exploding art and space technology must bifurcate. Though united by uncharted territory, the differences can be found in the functionality of documentation of space exploration and site specific work. Significantly, the only way one could experience either of these hallmarks of art and technology without time travel (driving hella far into the Utah desert to see the Jetty, or breeching the thermosphere in a rocketship) was through its documentation. The common person’s knowledge and experience of earthworks and space travel was thoroughly mediated.
The images of space exploration were meant to demonstrate a country’s military and technological prowess- a monument, if you will. The image of the moon landing and the planting of an American flag on the head of the moon not only documented a scientific achievement but proselytized America’s power, glory, and imperial dominance of just about everything. The documents of site specific artwork have different, less tangible objectives- rather than monumentalizing connotations of power, the experience of the work either on public land or through photographs debunks power structures existing in the art world- the gallery or museum’s position to unveil artworks, the artist’s confinement to gallery walls, and the viewer’s passive interaction with pieces. The site specific artwork is not a thing to be possessed, but to be wondered about and experienced someday. And that’s what the Space Race should have been. The end.

The gallery system found ways to co-opt the documentation of site-specific work into the market. Don’t worry folks!
The Space Race ended. Sort of. Now the proletariat can go to space- at a rate of $100,000 an hour!

Week 8- Space – “Nonplaces”-Gindy Nagabayashi

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

The term “nonplace” coined by French anthropologist Marc Auge argues “If a place can be defined as relational, historical and concerned with identity, then a space which cannot be defined as relational, or historical, or concerned with identity will be a nonplace”. In contrast to the nonplace are the anthropological places, such as churches which embody the social identity of the same city—a space of historical relevance to the people and the city. Supermodernity has jet-set our society into one that stresses the individual straying further from community. Auge laments, “a world where people are born in the clinic and die in hospital, where transit points and temporary abodes are proliferating under luxurious or inhuman conditions…; where the habitué of supermarkets, slot machines and credit cards communicates wordlessly, through gestures, with an abstract, unmediated commerce, a world thus surrendered to solitary individuality, to the fleeting, and temporary and ephemeral….” Auge concludes that the supermodern “nonplaces” needs to be studied, and that the “social game is being played elsewhere”, not in the supermodern nonplaces.

I agree with Auge that we live in a time of the individual, in which social gatherings are often reduced to special occasions and random gatherings. For example, an airport which takes you from point A to point B or a supermarket which is a place with one purpose— groceries are places in which little to no communication occur with others except for the courtesy of saying “thank you” and “have a nice day” between the purchaser and cashier.

With this idea, I wanted to know, in the modern society, where and how are people socializing? Would the phenomenon of social networks such as Facebook and Myspace be considered nonplaces or anthropological place? For some it is a place concerned with identity; however, it’s not a physical space, but an intangible cyberspace. Facebook and Myspace are the modern solution to socializing. With our fast pace world consumed with production at low cost and minimal time, Facebook and Myspace appear to be a form of connecting our individualized society. It is a place that even politicians recognize reaches millions, as exemplified by Obama’s Facebook and Democratic Senator Gil Cedillo’s.  Facebook is allowing people to reconnect by sending invitations to events and sharing links to interesting news stories. It acts as a catalyst for physical social gatherings. In my opinion, the nonplaces of supermodernity are not places in which communities will connect, but we are finding alternative ways to build community.

As humorous aside, here is a link to Newsweek’s “Seven Lies We Tell Ourselves about Social Networking”.