Archive for the ‘week4_medicine’ Category

Week5/Midterm Blog/Connor Petty

Monday, February 9th, 2009

Art is human expressionism; always was, always will be (hopefully). It is from this understanding that arise the infinite possibilities of the human imagination. In the previous weeks, various aspects of expressionism were shown, as well as the different ways it can take form. From math, to robotics, to the human body; all are tools to help fuel the imagination and push the boundaries of the mind. It may seem wrong to generalize in this way, but the truth is that art has always grown right beside science. Even before they were distinguishable, they have nurtured and grown together; each relying on the other to help move forward one step at a time. But in the last hundred years, science began to take steps of its own and art has been left behind. It’s not art’s fault that it was left behind, but merely that it was time for art to walk on its own. What I have learned in this class is that art has indeed begun to walk on its own. Using technology as its median, art has taken great leaps forward and is trying to catch up to science. It is still behind however, and it may never catch up to science. But as long as art continues ride upon the newest advancements in technology, it won’t be far behind.

It is to this end that I propose my Satellite Constellation project. This project would use the forefront of space satellite technology to allow art to take a big step forward. On October 4, 1957 the first satellite, Sputnik 1, was launched into orbit around earth; this was a large step made by science and art has yet to make such a step. The night sky has always been the source of imagination for those who gaze upon it and yet it the only outlet of such imagination were the constellations. Times have changed, and since this is now the space era, the night sky can now be the artist’s canvas and art could make take a giant step forward. The Satellite Constellation project would be that step. Through the use of mirrors and electrodynamic tethers, orbiting satellites flying in formation would add constellations to the sky. And not just static constellations, but constellations that could move and rotate and change themselves into any shape desired. The night sky would no longer be static and moving constellations would be visible by anyone, anywhere.

Week 5/ So Far (Midterm Blog)/ Andrew Curnow

Monday, February 9th, 2009

Throughout the first 5 weeks of class various ideologies, theories and innovative techniques were presented to the students.  What started in my own mind as a contemplation of the separation of the Sciences from the Arts quickly dwelled into a realization that in both our society and our universe the sciences and art are constantly intertwined, if not interchangeable. During the second and third weeks, mathematics and authenticity of art were discussed. Which further expanded my thought that even math being formed using a pen and paper could easily fall into the category of art when applied to a physical object. During the fourth week, the class dwelled more into a biological perspective. It was at this time that I began to realize that in its entirety, art and science though commonly separated by opinion, is hardly distinguishable in the human body. Simply examining the human body is concrete evidence that not only shows one of the most complex scientific objects known, but also perhaps one of the most intriguing art pieces available to mankind.  This particular week was interesting to me, simply because we learned to what extent an individual would ‘use’ their body in the name of art, whether through a simple tattoo, to plastic surgery making them a living statue. Thus over the past weeks not only did I realize that the distinction between North and South campus ‘rivalries’  are somewhat unnecessary, but also in my opinion the combining of both culture would be innovative and productive for society.

In my own midterm project, I conveyed a rather strange idea of allowing a human to be put in a soundless, dark chamber, having control only of an android in their place for a period of time, both giving them the ability to feel the power of technology but also allowing researchers to exam the extent possible of human dependency on robotics. Though the somewhat cryptic idea of being ‘put away’ for an android replacement seems like something out of a science fiction film, I believe that I truly related it to the past few weeks’ worth of information in the class. At one point in the class, we discussed the future of technology in the world, and the depiction of the future in past films such as ‘Metropolis’. Additionally, we discussed the ‘art form’ of robotics and mechanical engineering. However, the controversy stands at how far is robotics ‘ethically correct’. Even as an art form, the ever-present fear of a robot run world is stronger than ever. This being said, I believe it is necessary for human kind to be truly aware of the effects on our own minds and instincts if dependence on robots increases. That was exactly what my project proposal tested. Though artistically speaking, it gives an individual to, in essence, become a piece of art work through the android, it furthermore allows research to be formulated as to how complete dependency on a mechanical creation affects the human psyche. Though it could be said that the project does not relate to the class, I truly believe that it falls directly under the discussions of technology in our future.

Overall, I look forward to the next few weeks in the class. Having discussed the similarities and differences in both the science and art fields, as well as dwelling into forms of an artistic mixture of both, I am optimistic as to what will be presented next.

-Andrew Curnow

Week5/ Putting It All Together/ James Martin

Monday, February 9th, 2009

This my first class at UCLA that has dealt with north campus and the arts and I am thoroughly enjoying it. The first week of class we covered the two different cultures in society and I specifically placed my argument around the UCLA campus. The difference between north and south campus seemed very large because I had only been here one quarter and my first impression was that there was a big difference. My life was on south campus and Desma is my first class on north and the difference is pretty drastic. South campus seems a lot more structured than north campus. However, north campus is much more free and artsy. The second week consisted of math and art. The golden ratio really intrigued me. It seemed to fit everything that was “perfect” including shapes and faces of the most “beautiful.” I must admit though, I do tend to enjoy the art with math than without it. The third week was all about robotics and art. Robotics interests me especially since my major right now is mechanical engineering. There are many companies that I am interested that are involved in robotics so I researched this topic a lot. There are many art projects that are involved with robotics and many them were very interested. I spoke of a robotic suit that allowed for superhuman strength. Robotics are very important and technology base but I brought of the question: Is there a point in which we will take robotics too far and thy will be too powerful? Week four was about the human body. Plastic surgery seemed to be a major topic for many people and it was for me as well. It was first developed to help disfigured people but now the average person can get it to enhance them. It is a very big fad and seems to continuously grow as we progress. Several different things affect art. Before Desma started, I always saw art as just art and nothing more. Now that we have progressed through the class, I keep seeing mre and more ways in which art is connected to many other things. Professor Vesna has taught us a lot so far this year and I am looking forward to the upcoming weeks to see how art can be used in other ways.

The idea I came up with was to create a very large replica of a human body and allow people to go into the body to learn about it. A first hand experience of the human body seems like it might help a lot of people learn and retain information. The human body is very complex and is very hard to learn about. A virtual tour and being able to actually be in a body would allow for the participant to actively learn and retain information. The human body in itself is a piece of art. It is the perfect model for other pieces. A healthy body is much more desirable than a very unhealthy and if we can show the common person the differences between the two, it will be very beneficial.

James Martin

Week 5 / Integration (Midterm Blog) by Marie De Austria

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

As I look at all the topics we have discussed since the beginning of the course I realize that everything has a counterpart, or in literary terms, a foil, that differentiates and defines it. Art is the expression of human creativity, a realm of abstract imagination, and sometimes, a fictitious representation of reality. Science, on the other hand, is built on facts, statistics, numbers, mathematics, experimentation, observations, inferences, theories, and concrete details. Then we began to talk about industrialization and robotics. We learned how the advancement in science brought about our current economics and technology as well as futuristic books and movies that predict a possible outcome of uncontrolled science. We saw how scientists invented robots that could move like human beings and do human activities such as chores, bartending, dancing, and other things. The following week we discussed the counterpart of robotics – the human body. We learned how humans have been trying to discover more about themselves by experimenting on cadavers, using digital imaging to represent their bodies, as well as using their own bodies as canvases for their artworks.

The more I analyzed the topics, however, the clearer the blur between the opposite subjects became. What I mean is that each topic feeds upon the other and the more connected, rather than separate, they become. Art may be filled with abstraction and fiction but it still has a sound basis. For example, an architectural building can be as crazy and imaginative as creating a modern home on a waterfall but the structure of that home needs to be carefully calculated using mathematics and reinforced by proper materials. The mathematical calculations as well as the analysis of materials fall directly under the realm of science. Similarly, the difference between robots and humans is gradually decreasing. Robots are created to perform human activities, replace human parts, or replace a human being completely (such as in very dangerous jobs). There have also been speculations on creating an A.I., or artificial intelligence. Humans, from birth onwards, are trained to be consumers; they are programmed by their DNA to survive, eat, take care of their children, sleep, feel, etc. And as a clincher, there have been developments related to bionic technology wherein humans are given robotic body parts.

The integration between these traditionally considered opposite topics is apparent in my presentation topic – ironic gallery. The rich defines who the poor is and the poor defines who the rich is. I proposed to create a gallery filled with ironic drawings or photographs related to waste. In it I explained how the privileged parts of the world can take their resources – such as food, water, energy, money, time, knowledge, etc. – for granted by wasting them while underprivileged parts of the world cannot even dream of these resources much like a person with no senses cannot imagine the world abstractly because he has not even had the chance to experience it. The goal of my project is to raise awareness towards the growing disparity between the rich and the poor in this world – to try to lessen the gap and for each to use their resources wisely – thereby blurring the difference between the have and the have-nots.

week5/midterm/akhil rangaraj

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

The topics presented in this class thus far have had some common themes. One of them stems from the title of the class itself – art versus science. The first topic introduced dealt exactly with these two subjects, with the idea of “two cultures” as presented by CP Snow. In class, we went over many of the stereotypes, from the starving artist, to the mad power hungry scientist. We then also went over some of the internal stereotypes here at UCLA. For the second week, we viewed how art and science developed hand in hand during the renaissance, and how mathematics was present in our concepts of beauty. The third week covered the industrial age, and how science and art earned their separation. The third week, in my opinion, slightly deviated from this common “Science versus Art” theme, as most of the material presented focused on mechanical advances, and the societal changes that ensued. The fourth week also deviated from the straight “Science versus Art” theme, and instead focused on the ethics of using biological systems in different ways.
Another common theme in all of these topics is almost exactly the same as the first one, except instead of fighting each other, the two fields, namely art and science, work together – Art and Science, if you will. CP Snow’s third culture is an exact reflection of this ideal, of art working together with science to accomplish something greater. In class, we covered some examples of this “third culture” where the science would have failed had not art stepped in, and vice versa. The second week also had a melding of art and science. We saw the activities in the renaissance, where great painters did painstaking measurements to develop the idea of perspective. We also viewed the youtube video on the golden ratio, which was particularly interesting. The third week we covered the context of the invention of cybernetics, robots, and the industrial revolution. We watched a video clip of Metropolis, which combines the recent (at the time) leaps in automation, with an artistic, if dark view of the future. This was most interesting and fitting with the Art and Science theme. We also saw some current examples of how art is being revolutionized by the use of mechanical objects and robots. The art sometimes is no longer the final product, but only the process in which the product is created. The fourth week is somewhat harder to rationalize within this paradigm, as using a human body as art is somewhat grotesque. The video shown in class of the french woman undergoing plastic surgery was horrifying, to say the least.
My midterm project is related to the themes above, as well as the topics themselves. My project involves using various sensors to visualize the electromagnetic radiation that our modern-day society pumps out day out and day in. It also encourages the public to learn about their own brains and the electric impulses in them through an interactive electro-encephalogram device. This project uses newly developed electrical and biological devices to visualize the various technologies that, to most people, seem like magic.

Week 5: Midterm Blog by Joseph Racca

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

Over the last few weeks, I’ve begin to grasp a general understanding of how art and science work together to create scientific art or artistic science, depending on which perspective a person has.  We’ve seen science take the form of art, as in the virtual bubbles, as well as art taking the form of science, as with fractals and the golden ratio.

Every week as we progress from one topic to another, it all starts back at square one with two cultures, art and science.  For example, the fractals are art pieces that use algorithms that go on forever and ever.  And others also use algorithms as well in creating their art.  Math plays a huge role in Marquardt’s masks and the Golden ration that many artists base their subjects on.  And many celebrities seek the ideal face, and turn to surgeons who deal scientifically with the tissues of the face and body, but at the same time turn to art in order to create a work of art that in the end is the process of science.

Scientists are working on creating robots that could handle and mimic the mental processes of humans.  Through the process, the scientists work with artists as well as with other scientists to find designs that would be most appealing/attractive/efficient when dealing with building the actual robots.  movies have integrated the use of digital animation, and digital animation can only mean one thing, an artistic representation of a science.  We see the special effects on screen, but we don’t see the science behind it all.  Programmers must develop and interpret the digital inputs in order for the images to appear on screen for us to enjoy.

Much of this information was useful for my midterm.

From topics covered in class, my midterm presentation focuses on ways on improving and perfecting the human body after it has perished.  When looking at the Body exhibits, I see stationary objects. But instead of an inanimate exhibit, I feel that I could turn them, the dead bodies, into a living exhibit where the exhibit/exhibits are walking human beings.  But these human beings, will be different with respect to what they were before death.  This project will put the Vitruvian man, the golden ratio, as well as the Marquardt Masks to good use in rebuilding, reshaping, and reconstructing the perfect human being after death.

In class we went over the Body exhibits as well as the golden ratio.  This section of class really intrigued me because I was interested in taking beyond just preservation, such as that of the body exhibits to an even more advanced level, which as I speak of in my project, creating/altering the dead bodies into perfect bodies that can be revived.  And when looking at two cultures, my project took both art and science and used them together.  For example, to create the perfect face, math is used, as well as art as the reshaping must look good.  But as we saw in class, there are a multitude of possibilities that come from plastic surgery, even as I proposed, postmortem cosmetic surgery, the results and consequences could be just as good or just as bad.

week 5 \ week 1-5 \ amy chen

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

The idea of art and science at first was an entirely new concept to me before arriving to UCLA.  Being an art major, we have fundamental classes we all need to take, Ceramics, Painting, Drawing, Sculpture, Photography and New Genres.  I had no idea what New Genres was about but once I took the class for FineArts it was like the world’s materials were at my fingertips.  Art was no longer contained traditionally, no longer constrained to paper or clay but now, everything and anything can be used.  I enjoyed taking Desma9 so much because it explored this concept further, taking it farther than I would have took it myself.  I loved one of the quotes we heard in lecture, that as Science progresses it is more and more like Art, and as Art progresses it becomes more and more like Science.  C.P Snow mentions that the reason why subjects are so separate is because of their dislike towards other subjects for their lack of mutual understanding.  It’s fascinating to see Art and Science breaching their walls to show that when combined, they create something altogether new and unheard of.  It is a separate subject that cannot be solely confined to idea of Art or Science, but to both.  The subjects of week 1-5 all bring to the mind, creativity.  Creativity applied to any study incites a world of discussion, be it about the future to self-reflection to sociology…it can even educate and bring forth ideas not even currently conceivable.  One such idea at the time was Virgil Wong’s Male Pregnancy.  At the time it was inconceivable for a man to be pregnant and his forum incited discussion dealing with morality and how “God didn’t create humans this way.”  It was all hypothetical but yet it still brings forth questions to consider.  When the closest “male pregnancy” did happen, real similar results and responses were seen when compared to Virgil Wong’s “Male Pregnancy.”  Creativity in all subjects is a connection to other studies and links each group together to progress, grow and develop.  It breaks them of their constricting walls of definition, claiming science, math, or any other other subject can only be a certain way and presents a growth of a new culture.    

My midterm project was using the Miller-Urey Experiment as a self-reflection into our actions.  On a screen behind the experiment is a slide presentation describing how the Miller-Urey Experiment works and how after some time amino acids are made from inorganic compounds.  Although amino acids arn’t quite living beings, they are a crucial part to evolution as they come to form the building blocks of life - proteins.  Participants are allowed to fiddle around with the control pad in which the user can turn off any of the three devices - the heat source, electricity, or water condenser.  Each device is supposed to mimic the weather conditions on the primordial earth - the sun, electricity and rain.  There is also an option to completely eradicate all life forms by “flushing” the water down.  I tried to make this project an analogy to our education of our own environment.  Although we are educated and know of future predicaments, we sometimes still choose to make decisions that indirectly affect our environment.  Although we cannot see our action’s results (much like how eradicating the amino acids probably won’t elicit too much of a response or impact) it is still indirectly affecting our environment.  Basically this project was an attempt to have participants self-reflect on their actions in everyday life.

week 5/ midterm blog

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

Every thing or every process in the world can be artistically interpreted.  In otherwords, an artist job is to manage in divergent ways to explain whatever the phenomenon is. For instance, in the case of my piece of work I sought to elaborate about the myth of morbity, a disease that comes from another disease. It is a little enigmatic to conceive or picture the reality of a morbid just because of  the fact that it is a disease that comes from another one.  As an artist, one should seek to reason out a kind of  a universal way to express morbidity. For example, looking at a morbid as a living thing that multplies itself , I believe can be an option that will lead to a better view or understanding of morbidity.

Another way to look at the concept of morbidity can be making a connection between life and death. This will allow the artist to make the idea of death more familiar, thus less scary to people. One can trace a liason about living species and dead ones. One can say that when a creature comes to existence, he or she is expected to either be in a good health condition or in a medical condition, which is an abnormal condition of state. This can also be explained or elucidated to people by reminding them that a human body is created of groups of organs that are faillible sometimes. This is really important for people to bear in mind all the time because humans tend to completely forget about that because most people expect body organs to overcome all sorts of intemperances. For example, just the fact that people walk outside with the air molecules collide with them an medical condition can occur. This is to make people realize and always carry in their minds that there are two conditions that people can be in. And that is either in sick condition or medical condition or in good health.

Week5/Midterm/Lam Tran

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

The class started off with two diverse topics: Science and Art.

It started with two cultures.  Stereotypes of both are shown. The division between the two sides  are clearly shown. Each side has their pro’s and con’s. However, its clear that the point of this week is to show that one cannot exist without the other. You need creativity to make advances and you need knowledge in science to create your art. Paints and ceramics and other traditional forms of artistic work all require chemicals that you need knowledge in. Frontiers in science require ideas and creativity that is unprecedented.

Then we went back in time. We saw the history of art and mathematics and how they use to be intertwined. Vanishing point is an example of an artistic technique that requires mathematical concepts to master. This gave 3d depth to paintings. Golden ratio was also developed and implemented into paintings, giving them more proportionate images. I still remember the youtube video on the 10 different dimensions that was also very interesting.

We did see a lot of youtube and movie clips. This helped made the class more interesting because we were able to see this art and technology mesh in real life. This is a lot different than seeing SteelArc examples because those, in my opinion, are weird and gross. Why would you want a third ear on your arm? The movie clips helped bring examples to the following week’s topics. Metropolis showed robotics in art. The Modern Age showed us industrialism. We saw sci fi movie clips (The Island, The Matrix2, etc) that helped portray the human body science element in today’s art. All these are a lot less abstract, when compared to other fine artists’ works, and easier to connect to us students, who are not art majors. The only bad thing about this is that the clip starts getting good and we want to finish the movie but we can’t. Sometimes Prof. Vesna or someone else gives out an ending to a movie I have not seen and it ruins it if I decide to watch it later.

My midterm project has to do a lot with the biotechnology and human body element. Viruses are being used to help alter DNA in human cells. Retroviruses are developed to change cancerous cells back to health normal ones. Also, doctors are using coloring agents to help mark cancerous tissue so they are easy to identify when in surgery. So i was thinking of using viruses as a carrier to bring these coloring agents and injecting them into the cells. So its basically like a tattoo without the needle or ink. It can also be made temporary if the coloring agent breaks down naturally or permenate with a retrovirus. It really doesn’t have a deeper message behind it or a purpose like that example shown in class with the greenhouse that shows the effects of pollution. Its more like a artform that might be used to portray a message or theme. Using the body as a medium is basically it.

Lam Tran

Week 5\Art and Aging\Marian Portugal

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

The majority of what I learned in this class so far, in these past five weeks, consisted of topics that I have heard of, but was not knowledgeable of.  Week one’s topic, two cultures, was an extremely broad topic that simply related art and science together, just how Bruin Walk connects North Campus to South Campus.  That week’s lecture set the momentum for the rest of my learning in this class.  Because our first assigned blog asked us to discuss how art and science are related, I found myself trying to relate the other blogs after that to past topics.  Some were more difficult than others.  What I believe is important, however, is that I helped develop my thinking skills to connect ideas with one another.  Overall, I discovered that all of the topics we have covered in class are interrelated in some way or another, whether it is through robotic paintings, plasticized human bodies, geometric architecture, or ritualistic body art.  All of the examples that I just gave contain at least one of the four issues we went over in class.  One idea that I believe contains all four of these topics is the use of robots assistance in plastic surgery.  Plastic surgery is an art in itself.  Doctors have to know how to sculpt and modify a patient to make him/her more visually appealing, while knowing what is safe and unsafe to do to the human body at the same time.  Using robots also have the ability to use smaller incisions into the skin.  This may lead to less obvious scars, and a quicker healing time, because the chances of infection decrease.

The title of my midterm presentation is “Art and Aging.”  I wanted to explore if engaging in artistic activities for the elderly will help them maintain, or slow the deterioration of their cognitive and physical health.  I learned in one of my classes, a GE Cluster on Human Aging, that art exercises the brain’s mental functioning.  This can help mental and emotional health, which in turn will affect physical conditions.  My proposal was to measure the older people’s physical, mental, and emotional conditions through a series of memory tests, blood pressure measurements, stress tests, and assessment of physical/mental disabilities.  This will be done at the end of each week, while the elderly are engaging themselves in artistic activities.  These activities are unlimited and can include clay art (which I focused on), drawing, and painting.  At the end of the assigned weeks, the weekly assessments are compared with one another so conclusions about the effectiveness of these activities. 

There clearly is a relation in my midterm with week one and week four’s lectures.  First of all, the elderly are being involved in clay art, drawing, and painting, which are all some of the main aspects of art.  Secondly, I am trying to relate how this will affect their overall well-being.  This relates to the science aspect of our class.  Although my midterm does not overview all four topics, it still relates some of them together, which proves the inevitability of interconnectedness amongst all aspects of our world.;year=2006;volume=39;issue=1;spage=57;epage=61;aulast=Saraf

week 5 \ midterm blog-a-thon \ ben marafino

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

Artists should not be content with simply assuaging their creative drives – they should also aim for their art to also educate or inform about some greater societal issue. In  some cases, they may even be the canary in the coal mine – art, in all its forms, has an unique ability to inspire, to draw, and also to hold, one’s attention, and above all, to challenge. In an era dominated by rapidly changes in technology, culture, and society, as we have seen these past few weeks, it can become rather easy to become lost in it all, and to lose sight of the major issues facing humanity today. Most of what we’ve got to discuss over the last few weeks have been very similar – from the soullessness and depersonalization of urban-industrial society to the ethical issues posed by advances in medicine and biotechnology.

Art, however, can do much more than simply inform. In conjunction with the right kind of information, it can also educate. However, this proves contingent on its tone of presentation; art should not pontificate on how we ought to live and how to think about things. But it certainly should help to fulfill humanity’s obligation to itself – to harness the fullest potential of its collective intellect and to focus our attention on critical issues that truly merit it.  In this regard, my project addresses what I view as large deficits in public awareness of various issues where there really should be none to begin with, particularly about evolution.  To think that a significant majority of the population may not accept or even entertain evolution as a credible explanation of common human origins is, at best, alarming. For certain, it is entirely unacceptable in a world where scientific literacy is growing more important by the day, and that trend has shown no signs of letting up.

Many of the arguments against evolution are borne out of a common ignorance that presupposes that metaphysical, spiritual, and theological arguments hold the high ground – whatever it may be – over human reason. Humans have been able to construct systems that begin from simple initial conditions and gradually evolve into more complex and stable states. The whole process resembles evolution throughout – but the building blocks are even simpler than what nature has got to work with, and depending upon your interpretation of it, there’s no natural selection to worry about. In my project, I hope to have achieved some method of presenting this sort of semi-evolution in a manner that makes it more accessible to the public at large. It certainly is more aesthetically pleasing, and if you will, “grander,” than viewing the same thing on a dim computer screen. Therein lies the role of art – to make what might not have been previously, more palatable, digestible (insert your choice of word here) to the hoi polloi, as it were. This is not to suggest that people are in some way intellectually vapid, only that they have got a limited amount of time to educate themselves about issues – so why not make these sorts of presentations as eye-catching as possible?



Week 5/ There is no technology without science and art/ Kelly Tseng

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

I have never truly taken a class that covers topics as diverse as this class. Accustomed to learning about very focused and detailed topics in, for example, my physics class where the whole 10 weeks of study will consist of learning about the physics of electricity and magnetism only—DESMA9 proves to be very broad and encompasses three very different, yet very similar mediums. Art, science, and technology, as we have covered throughout the first four weeks, can be spoken as one all-encompassing culture. When I say this, I mean that these three topics can be interwoven together. For example, during the first week we learned about the two cultures, art and science, and how they are complete polar opposites. But when really considered, you cannot really have one without the other. This notion is demonstrated throughout the following weeks. The invention of various biorobotic technologies could never be possible without the knowledge of both fields, art and science. To design and sketch out a blueprint of, for instance, an artificial leg requires the skills of an artist whereas to devise the method of constructing such a device requires the skills of a scientist.

The various movie clips that we saw in class during week 3 showed such technological advancements that rely on art and science. Blade Runner, for example, is a movie that depicts a dystopian Los Angeles in the year 2019, in which genetically manufactured beings, Nexus 6, are used for dangerous work on Earth. How could these exact replicas of the human race be produced? The sculpture of these human bodies, in which every detail resembled that of a real human person, would require the brains of an artist. On the other hand, the ingenuity of creating a living being that could mimic the behaviors of an actual human being as well as perform all bodily processes except for the display of human emotion, would definitely require the skill of a scientist. Therefore, I believe that technology is, in a way, the product of art and science; it is the creative means of expression for both the artist and the scientist and it is what unites the distinction of the two.

My midterm project encompasses a lot of the various topics discussed in class. My idea was to expand on the current dining trayless movement that has just started this quarter in Hedrick Dining Hall. I wanted to imagine and approximate how much water (energy) would be conserved if all the dining halls on campus went trayless. Then taking these hypothetical numbers, I would construct a new found city that would subsist purely on the water conserved in our dining halls. I imagined that there would be some sort of underground water canal system that would run through contemporary hydroelectric machines to generate electric power that would fuel the city. The remarkable design of the city would entail the energy source at the center of the city. There would be underground electrical fixtures that would transmit electricity to each household as well as all the businesses and city regulated buildings. My idea would require the skills of very talented engineers in order to construct the complex underground water-to-energy conversion system. Artists, on the other hand, would also be needed to make my city aesthetically pleasing. This idea, which will hopefully deliver the message of how beneficial and profound the effects of conserving water would have on our environment, would definitely not be possible without the inseparable cultures of art and science.

Week 5/ Midterm Blog/ Tammy Le

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

As we learned in the first lecture, despite the popular misconsception that art and science are two different entitites, both areas are interrelated and can be used to give rise to the other.  C.P. Snow’s “The Two Cultures” conveys how the schism between art and science does not necessarily exist, but is a blurred line as they interconnect with eachother. The first week of lecture introduced us to the focus of the class which is to teach students, many of which may label themselves more of an art person or more of a science person, that one person can possess skill and knowledge from both realms.  As we continue to be presented with more examples of how art, science and technology are combined to create artwork, we progressively learn how both trades utilize elements from the other to create one masterpiece that blurs the line society puts between art andd science.  Week two revealed the connection between math and art, emphasizing the importance of a scientific, mathematical element to creating paintings and sculptures.  Although the creative, free flowing imagination of an artist is expressed through their pieces, they must also have a structure and sometimes strategic calculation using math and science, much like Julian Beever does in his pavement drawings.  Beever’s art showcases his skill and knowledge in both drawing and calculations in order to create anaphoric illusions that give observers a 3D view of an impression seen from one particular point.  In order achieve his amazing drawings that confuses observers between reality and a mere chalk drawing, Beever incorporates perception and math in his work, much like many other great artists possess the skill to do.  The lecture on the relationship between the structure and logic of math, perception, and the creative freedom of art flowed into the next week’s emphasis on the Industrial Age, kinetic art, and robotics.  As society began to become more dependent on science and technology to advance into the future, so did artists in order to take art to the next level.  Science gave artists an array of mediums to work with ranging from robotics to new cinematic effects.  As technology began to developed new ways of living, the perceptions of artists also began to evolve and change as they conveyed their views of the future in masterpieces such as “Metropolis.”  Week five’s lecture on the human body and medicine further showcase how technological and scientific advances give rise to art.  As time progresses, new findings in science gives rise to new mediums of art.  In turn, art can be a driving force behind developing new methods of thinking, leading to technological advances in medicine.  Science has allowed the human body to become another canvas for artists.  The past five weeks of class have helped shift my paradigm from seeing art and science as two seperate realms and has helped me recognize the relationship between both and aknowledge how both are used and found in the other, giving rise to great masterpieces.

My project, Facing Your Feelings: A Visual Representation of Emotions Drawn From Facial Expressions incorporates all the subjects we have reviewed in lecture to construct an idea that showcases how art, science, and technology can be joined together into one entity.  My project uses facial recognitin software to create an ambience in a room that reflects the facial expressions scanned by a scanner, creating an encompassing environment driven by the observers emotions.  Math and perception are utlized to create the virtual world projected in the room as well as to develop the software that scans and recognizes a facial expression and correlates it to an emotion.  Kinetic art and robots are displayed through the scanner in the middle of the room as swell as the 4D visuals and sounds that arise with each facial expression.  The human body is a prominent component of my project, as the expressions of the human face is the driving force behind how the room changes and what it displays.  The face, which in itself is a work of art, and the emotions that correlate with its expressions turns observers into the artists as their facial behavior and feelings create the art that surrounds them in the room.

Week 5/Midterm Blog/Patrick Morales

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

What do Two Cultures, Mathematics, Perspective, Time and Space, the Industrial Age, Kinetic Art, Robotics, the Human Body and Medicine have in common?  My answer is going to take some time to explain but if you want “it” in one word, then that word would have to be: Escapism.  Let me start by saying that I don’t have in mind any negative connotations in regards to escapism.  All the aforementioned topics are realms of romantic ideals based in the laws of our universe.  These topics are ways in which we explain the world to ourselves, how we utilize the knowledge that we have acquired and how the human escapes his biological being to connect with data, cultures, and practices that take us to unknown and mysterious worlds.
Fashion designer, Isaac Mizrahi poignantly iterates my argument, “Style makes you feel great because it takes your mind off the fact that you’re going to die.”  I believe that the argument presented in The Two Cultures began the class by offering two worlds that humans could attribute their actions and life to.  In this case, humans became the ideals of their particular group and “escaped” the boredom of “just” being human.  Humans assign themselves groups, they take on perspectives and quite possibly they step on others “shoes”.  Mathematicians lose themselves in algorithms and equations, Artists in an obsession with mathematically correct perspective, Scientist in the creation of artificial life.  In line with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, humans have to “escape” from their primary physiological needs to unravel the greater mysteries of the universe.  So instead of escapism I might instead say that the evolution of the human consciousness is the thread that ties this entire class together.
I believe that my proposed project not only uses many of the subjects we have explored in class as a foundation, it also is a great example of how easily the topics can be woven together to create remarkable inventions.  My project requires mathematics in order to handle the computations to solve the complex series of difficulties that might present themselves as a result of using the incalculable amount of lights and colors.  Being a 40-foot installation, the human perspective is a vital calculation in the construction of the installation.  The human experience when interacting with such an installation is pivotal to the entire experience and message.   Besides from using technology I think that my project has the possibility to be a beautiful structure that is a reflection of the health of a community.  A physical representation of ones contribution to the community is a powerful image that I hope will empower people to engage their local and global communities.
My idea of the human extending his consciousness beyond the biological basic needs also holds true for my installation.  My artistic project is representational of that personal fire that inspires people to do what ever they choose.  My project is based on the euphoric emotions that humans experience at times in history when anything seems possible.  This “tipping point” fascinates me because it is the frontier of the next stage of a civilizations evolution.   It is this emotion created by endorphins, serotonin, and specific events throughout history that I wished to capture so that no community ever forgets that they can achieve anything.  Like music, I want my installation to be like a drug that one never has to take but instead only has to feel.  In conclusion, the thread of romanticized ideals and reality that underlines the class leaves no exception in regards to my silly installation.

week 5// Midterm Summary //Yu Hsiao

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

We’ve gone over a lot of materials and learned a lot the past five weeks. The main theme of the class revolves around the idea of science vs. art. As weeks went by, the theme for me personally, changed into science and art together.  I’ve always thought that science can do without art and art can do without science. To me, Science was just the pursuit of knowledge and applying it, while art was the pursuit of creativity and imagination. But after learning what Einstein said about imagination—“Imagination is more important than knowledge”, I began to understand what Einstein meant by that. For science, to pursue knowledge, hypothesis and theories have to be formed before the actual facts can be proved. Hypothesis come from the imagination of a scientist, deducted from his own knowledge and observations. That said, knowledge cannot be acquired just by acquiring more knowledge. Knowledge is acquired by imaging what the possible outcome might be, and proving it with experimentation. The act of imagining is the scientist’s creativity at work. I often experience this idea first hand. When I come across a complicated calculus equation, I often have no idea how to solve it or how to approach it. But I always use my imagination, using patterns and identities I’ve learned before, to imagine the possible answer. Sometimes I have to be really open-minded and creative, to try many different ways to solve an equation. The same idea occurs in art as well. Many works of art that are considered as beautiful have scientific findings and pattern in them. For example, the Parthenon had the golden ratio embedded in its structure, such as the ratios between height and width, etc.  The Parthenon’s columns were also slightly bigger near its end to create visual beauty. Also, many pieces of art that create three dimensional space, are almost exact in measurement, in terms of perspective. So art and science aren’t really two completely different things. They might be two different fields, but they both use the same principle, both knowledge and creativity, to achieve what they’re after.
If we accept this idea that art and science as one, we can almost view many things from science as part of art. We talked about robotics, and advance in medicine, and how they could be used as expressions of art. Orlan used plastic surgery to express what she thinks is beautiful. Advance in preserving human bodies also led to a new form of art, as we saw with the Body World.
It seems like art could be expressed in many forms. It’s almost free for the artist to choose. I sometimes consider doing endurance sports is my way of expressing a form of art. In my project proposal, I was applying what I learned from the class to my art. The project focuses on collecting data from training, and then using it to create pieces of art, such as graphs. It is using knowledge, and scientific numbers from our own body, to make a visual display that is meaningful.  With more knowledge, I can make my training better, in metaphoric sense, making my art more beautiful.

Week 5: Bringing It All Together/Jasmine Huynh

Saturday, February 7th, 2009

Upon first starting this class, I did not know what to expect. I honestly thought that it would be an art class where we would possibly have to analyze the different techniques of various artists, or that we would have to be construcuting digital imaging projects in Photoshop. Instead, we would be discussing the links between various mediums: art, science and technology.

Over the last four weeks, we have been exposed to many different topics. These topics are like a paradox: seemingly unrelated, but at the same time, very related. The first week we discussed the different cultures of art and science. The most memorable article from that week was C.P. Snow’s argument that these cultures have a mutual dislike due to a mutual lack of understanding. In reality, neither group could exist on their own. This was demonstrated over the next three weeks. For example, we talked about the fourth dimension during week two. It is really hard to distinguish whether the fourth dimension belongs to art or science. How can such a distinction be made? Examples of work from the fourth dimension show a fusion of both math and science, so maybe no distinction can be made at all. This concept was taken a step further during weeks three and four. During these two weeks, the topic of technology came into the mix. Advancements in technology depend on science. However, some of these technological advancements depend on art as well. For example, Apple Computers are innovative for both their great technology (fast processer speed, etc.) and their sleek and thin appeareance. I think the best way to summarize the last four weeks of class is that we were first presented with the idea that art and science were completely separate entities capable of forming their own cultures, but projects and lectures over the following three week dispelled this idea. Art and science can, in fact, be combined into one culture.

The project I have proposed relates to what we have covered over the last few week for several reasons. I proposed to create a cruise line that would visit areas in the most danger due to global warming. This cruiseline would involve a very new and innovative type of cruise ship. The cruise ship will not be a humoungous, polluting ship that we are accustomed to seeing roam the seas. Instead, the cruise line will use ships that are more sleek and aesthetically pleasing, as well as fuel efficient. The interior of the ship I have designed will not only be beautiful, but it will be extremely functional in raising awareness about global warming. The science part of my project involves special detectors located on the outside of the ship, and environmental simulators located on the inside. Very skilled engineers will be required to participate in the production of this project. The detectors on the outside of the ship will tell the exact location of the ship, and link it back to a global warming information database. This will then travel to a control center inside the ship to activate the indoor simulators. The walls of the ship will be large television screens that span the length of the walls. These screens will require an artistic flair in order to attract passengers inside the ship. Also, because there will be many rampant wires, the artists will need to devise a way to either conceal those wires, or to turn them into artwork themselves. Clearly, there will need to be a smooth connection between art and science in order for this cruise ship to run smoothly and effectively deliver its message. This comes full circle to the ideas presented in our Desma 9 class.

Week 5/Art and Technology overview/Mark Signaigo

Saturday, February 7th, 2009

As a musician, for me the blending of art and technology has never been a question. I understand and respect the classical aspect of musicianship and performance ability, but also fully understand the technological aspect as well. Technology has made music very much broader than what may first come to mind in the form of Mozart or Beethoven, and the instruments themselves are a science all on their own. Beyond the musicianship itself, the ‘technical’ side has become just as important, if not more so in many popular cases today, in the creation of any musical art. Hip Hop is the most obvious example, though truthfully, no genre of music escapes the need of some level of technology. In regards to the first week’s readings, the idea of two cultures is easily apparent, while the idea of blending the two maybe be harder for many to conceptualize. Music seems to me to be the easiest realm to demonstrate the crossover. It is not possible to understand music today without seeing the equal importance of both sides. There are equal measures of art and science in creating instruments, playing them, and finally recording and polishing a track before completion. In Week 2 we discussed Mathematics, which again is interwoven all throughout music and in all aspects. Understanding Sound Science and Acoustics is absolutely crucial in the production of instruments, Music Theory is essentially math and geometry, and musical production requires knowledge of computer science, waves and sound science. Industrial, mechanical and digital reproduction, from Week 3, also have obvious applications to the world of music. When a painter paints an original painting, it can be kept in a mansion for all to see. A musical performance, on the other hand, is gone once it’s done. The only possible way to preserve it is by reproducing it mechanically or digitally. The idea that such reproduction loses the aura of a work of art cannot apply to music the same way that it would to other forms of art, it is actually almost necessary to keep the art alive. Finally, last week we discussed medicine. While not so tied to music, we have seen the obvious cross-overs between art and science within the medical world, from tattoos to elective surgeries, from body piercings to cutting. Science drives art, it allows the artist new forms, new methods, new possibilities of creation. Many new art forms are often a reaction to technological advancement; partially as a social commentary on the status and direction of the society, but also partly, I feel, because when there is a new medium it is exciting to explore it and test one’s own imagination to see what can be created.
My project follows the thoughts of Weeks 1 through 3 in its intent. As far as bridging the “Two Cultures” is concerned, there is no separating them when it comes to music. I believe it to be the most widely accessible art to be so deeply invested in the science and technology that come with it. Allowing someone the opportunity to express themselves in a creative artistic manner, while at the same time exposing them to the technological possibilities attached is perhaps the single best and easiest way to introduce people to the hybrid that is art and technology. Not to mention interesting a virgin mind in one or both. Again, as stated before, time signatures, beats, and music theory in general are heavily math laden. While not visible, rhythms, harmonics and progressions are all math based. Finally, in regards to digital production and reproduction, the implications of programming music on a website are obvious. Browsers using the site actively would have no way to escape the cross over of art and technology which is perhaps uniquely presented in music.

week 4/height extending surgery/alice nakata

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

Although it is now banned, there was a period of time when many Chinese people were adding inches to their height through a surgical procedure. When I first heard of this procedure, I didn’t have a clue on how people would be able to become taller. But then again, there were times when people had no idea that we can get skinnier, have thicker lips, or become wrinkle-less, so I guess anything is possible with the advancement of medical technology these days, right?

So the procedure. It is done by first breaking your tibula and fibula, sticking a rod through them (horizontally), which is connected to braces that the patient extends everyday. The goal is to extend the space in between the broken bones, so when the new bone is forming, it will fill that space, extending the length of the bone. This is a very very painful procedure and is also risky. The reason why this procedure got banned is because it became so popular, that doctors without the proper surgical equipments began to carry out the procedure, thus leaving patients crippled, disfigured, and still short.

Surgical procedures such as these are the prime examples of medical technology turning into luxurious pastimes, rather than to help the ones really in need. I am all for medical advancements, such as the cleft pallet surgery, but that is because it helps people who are born disfigured and complicates their daily lives. When plastic surgery became more for the normal people to “enhance” their looks, that’s when I started thinking that medical advancement is moving towards the wrong way.

Week 4 / Medicine and Art / By Erum Farooque

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

This week, we learned about how medicine and art are related which sounds kinda funny. Medicine and art are related but that becomes a controversial topic. When people use the findings and knowledge we have about medicine and its practice as art instead of using it for its intended purpose of healing others and saving lives, a big debate ensues over whether this is right or wrong. The first thing that comes to mind is plastic surgery. People use it to beautify themselves instead of appreciating what they have already. Usually, it is much more than another has. You can always find someone less fortunate or “uglier” than you, ALWAYS. Personally, I believe that plastic surgery should only be used for medical purposes, to heal or to cure one’s defects, not a quality that one is not too fond of, but it is everyone’s own decision. Comparing this to traditional and cultural practices by various tribes or peoples, such as extending necks, or cutting the backs with blades to a create art on one’s body, I think they are very much similar but they seem more okay and socially cceptable because it is part of their culture. The videos that were shown in class yesterday of the boys getting cut to make their skin resemble that of a reptile was familiar to me because my dad watches programs like that on national geographic channel, but i still couldn’t watch the gruesomeness since you could tell how much pain the poor boys were in.

I read the Hippocratic Oath for people to take before becoming doctors, read the modern version and then it made sense. Doctors have to take a oath that they will be honest and not do any wrong-doing. That is comforting especially since doctors are given so much power. They can do as they please with our bodies and a knife while we are unconscious. I liked that the original version had the line “But should I trespass and violate this Oath, may the reverse be my lot!” but the modern version removed this line. It stressed how wrong it was for a doctor to violate this law. I also found it especially interesting that the oath contained this line: “I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.” Doctors actually pledge that medicine involves art. It is an art what doctors and nurses do; healing is beautiful.

So in terms with the idea of working with your body as an artwork and a convas for one’s own artistic expression, I attached this site of people piercing and tattooing their body in odd ways to produce art out of  themselves:

The following two websites describe how important it is for artistic performers to pay attention to their bodies and health. They connect art and medicine together.

Artists build representations of the human body in the form of sculptures and statues that show all about the body. These artistic pieces combine medicine and art together. They can teach us about the body and doctoral practices. Doctors’ offices actually almost always contain these plastics body representations. Medicine and art go together, apparently.

By Erum Farooque

week 4 \ the (a)morality of looking inside ourselves \ ben marafino

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

Art’s purpose is not simply aesthetic: it may also provoke controversy, but only - as I argue - from an incredibly shortsighted minority that concerns itself with tenuous matters of ethics. In this regard, art should enable us to examine our common humanity:  the human condition is experienced by all, uniquely inescapable, and thus all the more conducive to this sort of examination. Perhaps those two previous qualities may be disconcerting to some, as they raise difficult metaphysical questions: this may explain in part the existence of ‘bioconservatives,’ a curious turn of phrase which existence I wasn’t even aware of until now. The BodyWorlds exhibition certainly has and still continues to stoke these sorts of furors; for instance, religious figures have decried it for not showing ‘proper reverence’ for the human body. Just what does ‘proper reverence’ entail? For as long as we have been able to observe, a human body is simply a collection of tissue – ordered, yet nightmarishly complex, yes! – but not much more. One of the most beautiful things about the body is that it is extraordinarily amenable to the reductionist methods of science, as with all else that exists in nature. Spiritual and metaphysical matters, on the other hand, are not. To claim that we should be reverent of a body beyond matters of basic decency – which really apply only when the body itself is ‘alive’ and thus endowed with a ‘personhood,’ however you like to define it – is irrelevant and unnecessary.

To require the consent of the previous ‘owners’ of the bodies is a certainly reasonable compromise, but saying that a body has got an ‘owner’ certainly does sound a bit daft. A body is its owner, and vice versa – a distinction cannot generally be made except to satisfy some sort of ambiguous dualistic hope, a wish that the mind is somehow distinct from what is physical. Must we prostate ourselves to these issues of cosmic irrelevance, and in the process, lose sight of the beauty, the marvelousness of what we have got inside ourselves? The human body is indeed a rare thing in nature, but it is by no means the most complex or even the most numerous example of such a system. There exist things that we have discovered and deconstructed, as well as those the complexities of which we have not even imagined, and may not even come close to realising in our lifetimes. Is there really a better or more natural place to begin than with the investigation of the wondrous systems of the human body, including (but fortunately not limited to) the immune system, protein and signal transduction networks, and eventually, the brain – with all the attendant implications of such knowledge? Perhaps not, and this body art is just the beginning – a motivation, if you will. Artists, no matter their domain, should take it upon themselves to push the limits of inquiry, and in the process, to raise the questions which we mere mortals may have been afraid to raise. The more provocative their work, so the better.

(By the way, Bill Gates apparently released an angry pack of mosquitoes at his TED talk. Video nowhere to be found.)