Archive for the ‘week5’ Category

Week 5/ Midterm Blog Entry/ Ariel Alter

Monday, February 9th, 2009

Don’t mistake this for complaining, but there always seems to be technological difficulties in regards to the lectures of Desma 9. Professor Vesna struggles to find a computer that is both compatible with her Power Point Presentation and the projector for the larger screen. While the discussion of global warming rages, the auditorium, up until fifth week, was a veritable Ice Age because of a difficult bureaucracy that disallows direct control over the decision to freeze to death. The situation (very mildly) reminds me of the movie clips Prof. Vesna showed us where advances in science and technology work counter to the notion of a utopian society. The movie clips also primarily demonstrate the modernist idea that art is the vehicle necessary for exploring the alienation of the human subjectivity in the face of a technological industrial society ruled by science and rationalism. The movie Brazil is about a man lost in a monstrous bureaucracy, where an innocent man is mistaken for a terrorist and killed because of a small glitch in the system. Modern Times is a parody of a factory withholding the tenets of Taylorism- Charlie Chaplin is devoured by a machine and comically slides through the cogs powering the assembly line. These movies deploy a tradtional dichotomy between art and science. Prof. Vesna exposes this dichotomy. Art has indeed departed from this traditional (modernist) role as an exploration of human subjectivity in opposition to the daunting hyper-rationalist monster that is science.

Prof. Vesna showed us that because of the permeation of an increasingly technocratic society, the boundaries between the purposes and definitions of art, science, and technology are being blurred. Oliver Kunkel, a German artist, presents an ambiguous art/science object- the Mosquito Box. Because of his knowledge of scientific concepts and deployment of advanced technological skill, it does not “feel” like art. It does not feel like art because you literally feel our hand reaching inside a box full of HIV positive mosquitos. Simultaneously, it illustrates a scientific concept and leaves an open-ended question about the extent of human knowledge about HIV. Is it art or is it science? Does it matter?

In science, a molecule is a specific, uncontested idea- a scientific fact. In the animation by the UCLA grad animation student, a black blob resembled a sperm and various other organisms traveling through an unfamiliar (yet familiar) environment, the forms semi-recognizable but obscured by the fact that they were black silhouettes. Though drawing a great deal from empirical observation inspired by science, the piece retains its art form by remaining ambiguous and open-ended. Thus the post-modern interplay between art and science.

My midterm relates to the breaking down of art/science boundaries because Instead of being overtly didactic, its message is ambiguous and begs the viewer/user to ask him/herself- what are the consequences of experiencing the emotions and environment of another human being that one does not identify with in regards to gender, nationality, physical composure, and so on? The user will be provoked to think about this but will not be told a definitive answer.

Week 5- Art expression through technology- Gindy Nagabayashi

Monday, February 9th, 2009

Throughout history from the drawings of cavemen to mathematically correct artworks of Leonardo Da Vinci to present day technology inspired art and vice versa, indicates that this expression through art is an innate part of people. With the advances of technology, new art forms emerge.

Seattle Public Library at night

Seattle Public Library at night

The Seattle Public library designed by Joshua Prince-Ramus is the perfect example of modern art and technology. “The building is divided into eight horizontal layers, each varying in size to fit its function.  A structural steel and glass skin unifies the multifaceted form and defines the public spaces in-between.” This abstract design challenges the idea of how a building should be. Not like the regular box shaped building, this design allows maximal sunlight indoors as well as a seemingly gravity defying design. It is due to the significant advances of building materials after the industrial age and innovative technologies that buildings like the Seattle Public Library are possible.

As described by a visitor, “From the outside, especially at night, the library is like something large and alien in the city. Climb up Madison Street, and the cantilevered top of the facade seems to float high above you. But move further up the hill and the library’s sloping wall comes slowly into view.” The multifaceted design and artistic beauty of the architecture that is visually awe-inspiring has helped increase both tourism and library checkouts.

One criticism I have for the building, although I have not visited, is the isolationism of the concrete ceilings. There seems to be a lack of color from the pictures I have observed of the library. The emphasis on sleek design gave way to a more artistic interior. This children’s area for example is lacking in whimsy and color. If I were to design the area I would create a design reflective of a child’s imagination gone wild, with a rainbow of color exploding from the area. From the angle of the photo the area is actually lacking.

Seattle Library Living Room

Seattle Library "Living Room"

On the other hand, the library’s “living room” contains jungle-like carpet and a small botanical area for visitors to enjoy. Although somewhat out of place, there seems to be an attempt to add flare to the area.

Overall, the building represents the infusion of modern art and technology.

On another topic, I find it fascinating that much of the art that we have come across in class relate to the replication of nature, such as the artwork of Philip Beesely and his modules that respond to human contact. It seems that a theme that I have noticed in current art is the attempt to mimic nature. An example is the beauty of fractals. Fractals occur in nature— patterns of repetition in the structure of a leaf or the design of a cell. The art of Jackson Pollock was also recently studied for the nature of the fractal patterns. The studied showed that his best selling art contained the most complex patterns of fractals. The body world’s exhibits are also another example of art inspired by nature. The human body is artistically captured through plastination. In this sense, even though technology may seem to take us away from nature, much of the art using technology attempts to capture nature.

-Gindy Nagabayashi

Week 5 / Dissecting Qualia / Stephany Howard

Monday, February 9th, 2009

The topics we’ve approached over the last four weeks share two major qualities: (1) they represent ways that humans seek to understand the external world, and (2) they reflect our undying interest in our subjective experience of the external world. Simply by taking on a subject like “art, science, and technology” the class promises to represent these two uniquely human investments.

Science seeks to understand the world, art arises out of our subjective experience of that world, and technology functions both as the result of scientific and artistic thinking and facilitates true innovation in those fields. Technology often bridges the gap between human intellect and the rest of the material world; that is, technology ideally makes better and more relevant our inborn faculties of reason, deduction, observation, and imagination—it ultimately helps us make effective changes and impacts upon the rest of the world, which loops back again to reshaping human perspective.

Ultimately no matter what we think about—whether we produce scientific or artistic meaning, whether we think more about the objective world or the subjective one—we never step out of our subjective experience of information. Because our wisdom ultimately enters us via the brain and senses, we process it through deduction, and maybe we reformulate it with our imagination, the data we receive via science / art / technology comes mediated through the limits of our cognitive functions.

I think that my project proposes a way to truly unify the cultures of art and science. My proposal hopes to do away with our oversimplified dichotomy between the emotional / rational sides of human nature. By making evident the physical basis for our emotional experiences, the interactive piece I’ve designed hopes to show people how truly complex and yet ordered and mathematical our bodies are.

Modern neuroscience understands that a patient whose left and right brain hemispheres are disconnected (split-brain patients), ceases to understand and explain the world as a unified self. The two sides of the brain exhibit strikingly different behavior—the right side may claim to want to become a racecar driver, while the patient’s left brain says he wants to be a draftsman While holding an apple in the left hand, that same patient may recognize the apple but won’t be able to express with words that he recognizes the apple—language often comes from the left brain. This observation may show us that the corpus callosum (what connects the two hemispheres) allows us to talk about our emotions, explain our intentions, to produce effective art or reflect about the ethical implications of our scientific research. Without this bit of white matter, we cease to act as unified selves, as the holistic personalities we take ourselves to be.

Thus as magnificent as human subjectivity is, it comes from our physical bodies, which are subject to the same elegant laws of nature as the rest of the physical world. And I don’t think that confronting our physical nature makes subjectivity any less remarkable than when we explain it with metaphysical terms—in fact, it seems just the opposite to me. I therefore want to argue that artists and poets and musicians have an obligation—as supposed experts on the subjective—to have the most current understanding of how consciousness emerges. Likewise, scientists must recognize that though their findings may prove logically consistent—not matter how logical, the data comes through consciousness. I believe that only upon fully understanding the lens through which we interact with the world (consciousness / qualia / the self) can scientists ever have a sense for the ultimate relevance of their findings.

week 5/making connections/alice nakata

Monday, February 9th, 2009

To be honest, I thought that this class went everywhere in regards to the topics each week. Ranging from math to the human body, it was difficult to make any type of connection. But when I really thought about it, I was able to make out a very vague common ground for all topics we discussed… Progression of time.

I think that all the topics we went over shows the change in views, technologies, and scientific advancements over time. Starting off with the Two Cultures, we went over how the views on Art and Science have changed from 2 completely separate ideologies, to people believing that it is actually 1 big ideology that goes hand in hand. In week 2, we discussed math, time and space. I remember we discussed architecture in this lecture. Architecture, which is based a lot on math, has not changed in the ways of calculating how a building will stay up. But the design of buildings have changed greatly with time. For example, ancient buildings, such as Athenian buildings, all look alike. But if we look around today, we see so many different designs of buildings, from tall to short and square to round. Week 3 was about robotics. This is pretty self-explanatory. Of course the technology to build robots will advance with time. But unlike the other weeks, I thought that maybe time progress and advancement might be a negative thing for robotics. If we try to make robots as much like humans as possible, we will have a great deal of ethical issues to have to go through. For example, will we treat them as we treat humans? What if one malfunctions, do we fix it? or rebuild a new one? If we “break” a robot, is it the same as “killing?” Although many see the advancement of technology concerning robot-making to be a good thing, I see it as a potentially serious problem. Lastly, in week 4, we discussed the human body. Of course time allowed many medical research to advance, beginning with the slicing of human body to MRI images. But another negative factor I see with this is the development of biological weapons. With the advancement in research in the medical field, people will be able to create biological weapons that can wipe out the human race with no sight, odor, or noise; airborne disease. This is probably one of the scariest thoughts and makes me want to stop time from allowing us to research farther.

My midterm project relates most to Week 4, as it has to do with the vital organ: the heart. I did not propose a new idea for any devices. I just simply produced an audiovisual file that will hopefully raise awareness that animals have hearts just as we do, and we are all trying to survive on this big blue planet. The killing of animals for greed needs to stop. They may seem “abundant” at first, but as we kill for fashion, decoration and money, these species become endangered, or even extinct. Once that happens, it is too late. So by presenting a project that shows the way both animals and humans are living is through the blood pumping through the body, I want people to realize that we need the same things to live, importantly the vital organ called the heart.

Week 5 / Midterm / Erum Farooque

Monday, February 9th, 2009

Throughout these last four weeks we have tried to integrate science, technology, and art together, but this week we brought it all together. Art really is related to science and vice versa. I usually find that art occurs in science or science occurs in art through the use of the technology behind the art or science. From the last four weeks, the thing that stood out the most in my mind was the one of the first things we saw. It is professor Vesna’s project that we worked on where light projections on a wall were able to be modified by the shadows of people. It was such an interesting exhibit and definitely unique. I have not really heard of anything like it so when i heard of it i was completely intrigued by thisidea and would really love to visit the site of the project. That was art and science combined at its greatest. An outstanding quote discussed in this class was by Albert Einstein which said that imagination was far more important than knowledge. It is a completely ironic statement based upon who it is coming from, but to me, the quote makes perfect sense and I completely agree. being creative is more important than being smart. You need to be creative to make a living. Science requires creativity to come up with the idea for the next new advancement in the world of science and technology. You have to be able to think of the project before you canput your brain and knowledge to constructing it and calculating everything that is needed. The same goes for art, you have to be creative before you can put your skill to creating your next masterpiece. The statement is ironic coming from Einstein since his name is synonymous with scientificgenius, yet he is proclaiming the object field of study, art, to be of far greater importance than his own field. Math and art being combined was an interesting topic because at first it made no sense, but when Professor Vesna explained it, I saw how math appeared in art and in high school my art teacher told me how art appeared in math.

For my midterm project, I came up with the idea of an art program similar to Microsoft Paint or Adobe Photoshop on a touch screen monitor being placed in art museum or wherever. Whatever would be done in the art program would be projected through lasers as a hologram in the middle of the room. Then as the art program’s work would be modified, the hologram would be modified as well. Then at the end, the user could physically make little changes to the hologram and the program would also educate the user about the project, art and science.  This ties into the first week’s topic of two cultures combining into one. It clearly integrates art into the project by providing a means of self expression to the user and it clearly integrates technology as well through the advanced computer system, program, and hologram. It combines science by the science  used to make the system and the science of the hologram.

I don’t know if this applies but I including a link to a scene from a kid’s movie where someone creates holographic girl and in this clip she is on a date with a boy who does not know she is a hologram. The other boy tries to maintain her image without anyone finding out what she really is and she can not touch anyone or her image will be distorted. Which is one of the trials of holograms that my midterm project has to triumph over.

By Erum Farooque

Paige Marton/midterm blog/week 5

Monday, February 9th, 2009

Having to choose a concept that related back to the two cultures and art science and technology seemed so broad that I was sure I could find something to do. However, it took countless hours to develop my initial idea into the concept/invention I presented in my midterm. My device uses sensors to detect brain activity in specific regions where most dreams are created. With this information it creates a video stream that illustrates the dream you had according to the brain waves it receives. It then archives the dreams in its memory card and you have the ability to watch your dreams. When I came up with this idea I was writing a paper on surrealism, the subconscious, psychoanalysis, and Freud. These topics inspired me to think of a modern way to interpret dreams using science and technology. There is already technology present that can map brain waves and manipulate them and I concluded that my invention would work in a similar manner. My concept relates back to the human body, robotics and possibly a new age way of diagnosing psychiatric patients. 

I was expecting to create an art project because thats my background and its honestly what I’m most interested in. But I was pleasantly surprised by my concept and the amount of science and modern technology I had to research to understand the possible ways it could work. I believe this invention truly embodies the two cultures. It explores such an abstract human experience through tangible science and technology. It really connects the two ideas of art and science to create a machine that can explore what artists have expressed through their work for ages. 

At first glance, all the topics covered in our first four weeks seem disjointed. However, I am finally starting to see the connection and my project is the embodiment of my understanding.

-paige marton

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: Midterm: Putting it all together from art to science and technology By Claudia Zapien

Monday, February 9th, 2009

When it came to the midterm anything was fair game for a project. Because I’m very interested in the medical field I thought it would be exciting to come up with a very technologically advanced way to help people deal with addictions as a sort of with addiction therapy. I know that if I was faced with an addiction that would deteriorate my health I would be a lot more motivated to quit the habit if I was faced with the consequences on my body due to the substances that I am putting into my body. I feel that once people see the destruction for themselves with their own eyes they will be a lot more careful putting toxic substances in their body.

Due to previous psychology classes I know that virtual reality is now used to help people deal with their phobias and I thought it would be perfect if there was something cool like a virtual video game that a person could use to go into their own body and see first hand the effect that substance abuse causes in their body. Because this program would be interactive, the patient would be the one controlling where to go in the body. It wouldn’t be like a lecture where a voice just lectures you about the effects of drug, alcohol, or tobacco consumption, but the patient would be ask where he/she would like to go and they would be able to feel and smell the effects that certain chemicals have in the body.

While doing research and trying to look to find something similar to what I had in mind, I came across this very interesting project called CAVEman. It is a combination of computer technology, CT scan, x-ray, hologram, and virtual reality technology coming together to bring us the first virtual human body. At this stage of the project the 4D human body is a virtual image of a human body. We are able to see the muscles, organs, and different body tissue, etcetera.

I believe that CAVEman is a great way of bringing together the “two culture” of art and science. The project that I would like to bring to life would be something very similar to CAVEman, but it would be a lot more high tech and interactive. We need the science and math to develop powerful enough computers that can process those types of images, but it is just as important to have the technology to sustain these programs as the actual artistic ability of the program to make the images realistic and almost life like.

The deeper I got into the project I realized that the four topics that were covered in lecture of “Two Culture”, “Mathematics” Industrialization and Robotics” and “The Human Body” are all incorporated in the CAVEman and in the project that I have in mind. The production of computes began because of industrialization. If it wasn’t for the industrial revolution and the urge to make computers be more than just data collector we are able to design these types of programs. These great programs do not just create art, but they help the development of medicine, military training, and so much more. The whole virtual reality concept might first seems as if it’s a video game and not something that can be life saving but virtual reality technology is very used full even now when it comes to surgical training, phobia therapy, and helping scientist study microscopic subjects.  It is thanks to development in art, science and technology that we are able to come up with all of these life saving techniques.

-Claudia Zapien


Sunday, February 8th, 2009

 Throughout the first 5 weeks of class, we have been exposed to a wide variety of combinations of art and science. The first week focused on the division between the two cultures that revolve around both art and science. in my first blog, I emphasized the differences in these cultures that I personally feel in my everyday life. However, as the weeks progressed I have come to realize that the line between these two cultures is a very fine one indeed.

Week 2 was pretty exciting because we were able to focus on math in art and science. I loved researching the fourth dimension and trying to apply it to both areas of study. It is so interesting how different people interpret the fourth dimension and how it is used in both the artistic and scientifice worlds. Even though I use the fourth dimension in calculations, I would never have imagined the impact it had on the artistic world.

Week 3, I chose to discuss the issue of reproducing art and its relation to keeping the original “aura” after it had been technologically reproduced. The essay presented in the class readings shed a new light on the concept of the originality and meaning of art. I would have passed off reproductions as not being as good before this essay convinced me that the importance of art is how it makes you feel in that moment.

Week 4 resulted in probably the most disturbing video I have seen in a long time. While I discussed the idea that medicine is an art within itself, other people chose to discuss using the human body as a form of artwork. The video of the tribe shown in class was a drastically different way of viewing medicine and art and the human body. It definitely opened my eyes to something that I would never have even imagined before this week. The idea of plastic surgery as medicine and art was also a popular topic on the blogs. Again, I would not have thought of this as art because I tend to see the human body as a work of art in itself.

Overall, I have been exposed to topics and discussions in the first five weeks that I never would have sought out on my own.

I chose to incorporate some of these topics into my midterm project-The Art Airliner. The Art Airliner relates to week 1 because it helps bridge the gap not only between the two cultures, but also between different people across the world. By combining art and the newest technology, the Art Airliner attracts many people who may consider themselves to be a part of only one of the cultures.

My project also focused heavily on week 3, the industrial side of art and the technological reproduction of artwork. The Art Airliner uses new technology to reproduce famous works of art and bring them to areas of the world that typically would not be exposed to the artwork. I would not have though of using technology to reproduce art before the discussions in week 3. After reading the assigned reading, I realized that many people will appreciate even a reproduced work of art because of the way it makes them feel. This is the premise for bringing the holograms onto the airborne museum.

Although my project doesn’t focus on medicine, the idea for it is rooted in an airborne hospital-the ORBIS Flying Eye. Currently, there is a teaching hospital that circles the globe in hopes of curing blindness. I thought that if they could make a hospital airborne, an airborne museum would also be possible and very beneficial.

Therefore, my project attempted to incorporate the majority of our lecture topics. I definitely could not have come up with the Art Airliner before taking this class.

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.

Week5: Midterm Blog - It all comes together, by Joon Jang

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

The first two weeks talk about two apparent opposites, the art and the sciences.  The material in the second week discusses the art’s need for science and the science’s need for art for their development.  For example, as mentioned in the second and the fourth weeks of class, artists have studied anatomy to improve their realism in drawing human figures.  This implies that art and science are interrelated, if not, as Leonardo Da Vinci said, one and the same in their essence.  The third and fourth weeks are related to each other by the fact that the improvements in the industrial equipments also improve the medical aspect of our lives.  The artworks arising from the fruits of industrial and medical technology indicate that the link between art and science is as strong as ever.  But this time, unlike in the second week, where art increased the need for science, the third and fourth week focuses on the motivation that art receives from contemporary sciences.  The reasons for this may include controversial technologies, and/or the downside of current technology that asks certain activist artists to speak out and express their opinions through art.  Also, a more direct effect that science has on art as covered in the third and fourth weeks is the increase in freedom and the scope at which an artist can explore; thanks to technology, there are now digital arts, nano arts, bio arts, 3D printing, laser art, robotic art, statistical art using the internet for its data, and so much more.  What allows the first two weeks and the next weeks of class to be linked to each other is the mathematical aspect that continues from ancient times to this day.
It is important to note that art and science has the same fundamental goal, which is to improve the quality of life of human beings.  This is the aspect that links the first two weeks of class with the next two weeks, which focused more on materialistic improvements.  Since the goal is the same from both sides, even if they are supposed to be completely opposite to each other, their paths must cross.
My presentation has very much to do with the Two Cultures; it deals with the mystical/artistic with the scientific.  It is an attempt to join together the two aspects for its universal purposes of educating of the scientific as well as the mystic (although considering where science is going, it may no longer be considered mystical in the future).  The presentation also relies on the industry that produces the materials necessary to build the project, with identical tubings, for example, as well as the computing power that operates the project.  That brings me to the medical and mathematical aspect of my presentation, which relies on the GDV sensors which are medical tools, and calculations necessary to make the fountains react to the signals on the sensors.  And again, the presentation combines all four aspects for a single purpose of improving our lives.
In the first week of class, I did not see much potential in the joining of art and science.  However, as I worked on my presentation, I realize the potential of their combination.  Art can be a way to deliver messages to people and inspire them; science can be a way to achieve it.  Science can be a way to create a world of freedom where people can explore anything they want; art can be a way to achieve it.

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.