Saturday, July 23, 2016

Week 5: Space + Art

This week's topic was my favorite lesson of this course. Vesna pointed out that this lesson is where biotechnology, art, science, nanotechnology, mathematics, and robots meet. I think this week's lesson is my favorite because it hits pretty close to home. My father used to work at Hughes Aircraft and Vandenberg Air Force Base so it is really cool to see everything that I've learned during this course tie into my life.

Art and space together seems to be a very new concept. In an article by Arthur Woods, he claims that there is very little art addressing space activities in our mainstream art culture. If space and art advance together, there may very well be a better potential for global communication. The combination of the two is promising because space discoveries influence philosophies, religions, and social systems while illustrating on a platform like art.

Annick Bureaud from Leonardo Space Art Project spoke about what space art meant to her and points out more important things, knowledge connecting to other knowledge. She claims that space art is the only field that depend on strong relations, cooperation, and exchange between artists and scientists. Space art is able to connect to fields like visual arts, music, dance, and literature in which I will give a few examples of as I move forward.

The paintings on the left and below are paintings by Chesley Bonestell, an American pioneer space art. His vivid and elegant work popularized manned space travel. Through his artwork, he was able to influence an underrated field of work through another (art). Bonestell's paintings leave behind powerful messages for students like me to interpret the paintings. All his other artwork are beautiful in the same way, I believe his love for space art was because it was so beautiful yet not easily accessible in life.

Saturn as seen from Titan, 1944

Moving forward to a visual art emerging with space. There is an artist that challenge themselves with elements found in space like gravity and connecting it to art. In an article by Kathleen Forde, she introduced Xu Zhen, who used performers that are held upright by concealed braces so they appear like they are defying gravity and time. By doing this simple "performance", it looks like the performer is on the verge of falling and their stasis makes the relationship of time to space almost physically concrete. Forde connected this performance to a greater understanding, quoting "The performers seems to have broken free from the trajectory of life, with its continuous path of sequential goals, responsibilities, gains, and losses from birth to death". It is great to see that this work of art/performance carry out conceptual motivations to others to create an understanding that could benefit anyone.

1. "About Chesley Bonestell." Chesley Bonestell. Bonestell LLC, n.d. Web. 24 July 2016. <>.
2. Forde, Kathleen. "Dancing on the Ceiling: Art & Zero Gravity Curated by Kathleen Forde : EMPAC Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center : Troy, NY USA." Dancing on the Ceiling: Art & Zero Gravity Curated by Kathleen Forde : EMPAC Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center : Troy, NY USA. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, n.d. Web. 23 July 2016. <>.
3. "Leonardo Space Art Project Visioneers." Leonardo Space Art Project Visioneers. International Society for the Arts, Sciences, and Technology, n.d. Web. 23 July 2016. <>.
4. Vesna, Victoria. "Space Intro." YouTube. Uconlineprogram, 26 Mar. 2012. Web. 23 July 2016. <>.
5. Woods, Arthur. "Art in Space." Cosmic Dancer. Arthur Woods, n.d. Web. 23 July 2016. <>.
1. Bonestell, Chesley. Saturn as Seen from Titan, 1944. Digital image. Chesley Bonestell. Bonestell LLC, n.d. Web. 23 July 2016. <>.
2. Bonestell, Chesley. The Landing Craft Raised into Takeoff Position, 1956. Digital image. Chesley Bonestell. Bonestell LLC, n.d. Web. 23 July 2016. <[bonestell]/24/>.
3. Zhen, Xu. Performer Defying Gravity. Digital image. Dancing On The Ceiling. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, n.d. Web. 23 July 2016. <>.

Week 5: NanoTech + Art

Nanotechnology is so intricate and important to our world. It impacts science and technology to a massive extent. This all started with Richard Feynman who gave a lecture in 1959. He quoted “The principles of physics as far as I can see, do not speak against the possibility of maneuvering things atom by atom". In Dr. Gimzewski's lecture, he claimed that how could one even possible move an atom, let alone even touch one?
Richard Feynman
As I mentioned already that nanotechnology impacts science technology, we see an uprising in nano-robotics. As robots as reduced size to nano-robots or nanobots, this became a huge  advancement for not only science but medicine technology as well.  In a NOVA lecture, it explained that tiny devices like micro-robots may be able to save lives in the future. In the age of digital information, technology will depend on tiny gadgets that could probe the interior of the human body.

In Professor Vesna and Dr. Gimzewski's article, they mention that early nanobots were tested on their ability to scope and grab virus particles (pictured below). If scientists and doctors are able to create more gadgets and medical instruments like this, then there is not doubt that lives could be saved. Nanotechnology also expand to DNA folding. Paul Rothemund of TED gave a lecture about how tiny machines will be able to assemble themselves. Through his complex lecture, his example of DNA origami and how the square that were made are able to form a memory. By a formed memory, these tiny machines will be able to assemble themselves which would benefit DNA folding and origami. There will be mishaps and safety hazards for all medical nanotechnolgy but through precise testing, I believe this nano technology and robots could emerge to help the medical industry.

Another thing that I would like to tackle is when art and nanotechnology meet. In my opinion, it is difficult to do but amazing people always find away. The amazing people in this case happen to be my professors, Victoria Vesna and Dr. Gimzewski. They both created an incredible nano-mandala that is a 15min video, projected onto a disk of sand, 8 feet in diameter. Visitors are able to touch the sand as oscillating images of the molecular structure of a single grain of sand obtained via a scanning electron microscope (SEM). As you move the sand, inevitably the complete mandala will form again as the sand falls to the ground again. This type of project finds a way to connect art, technology, and science all together which is extremely hard to do.

1. Curtin, John. "Art in the Age of Nanotechnology." Art.Base. Art.base, n.d. Web. 23 July 2016. <>.
2.Gimzewski, Jim, and Victoria Vesna. "The Nanomeme Syndrome: Blurring of Fact & Fiction in the Construction of a New Science." The Nanomeme Syndrome: Blurring of Fact & Fiction in the Construction of a New Science. UCLA, n.d. Web. 23 July 2016. <>.
3. Gimzewski, Jim. "Nanotech Jim Pt1." YouTube. Uconlineprogram, 21 May 2012. Web. 23 July 2016. <>.
4.. NOVA. "Making Stuff." PBS. PBS, 21 Aug. 2013. Web. 23 July 2016. <>.
5. Rothemund, Paul. "DNA Folding, in Detail." TED. TED Conferences, Feb. 2008. Web. 23 July 2016. <>.
1. Johnson, Jeff. Floating in an aliquot of laboratory test fluid, these hypothetical early medical nanorobots are testing their ability to find and grasp passing virus particles. Courtesy of Jeff Johnson, 2001. Copyright 2003 Hybrid Medical Animation. Digital image. UCLA, n.d. Web. 23 July 2016. <>.
2. Riley, Christopher. Richard Feynman, whose diagrams provided the first intuitive way of drawing particle interactions. Digital image. The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group Limited 2016, 9 May 2013. Web. 23 July 2016. <>.
3. Vesna, Victoria, and Jim Gimzewski. Nanomandala. Digital image. Art.base. Art.base, n.d. Web. 23 July 2016. <>.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Event 2: Bower's Museum

On July 20th, I decided to go to Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, CA for my second event. I wanted to go to this one in particular because I have heard about it from my father and my aunt. My experience was really insightful and a very different experience from my first event at OCMA. Compared to OCMA, Bowers is much more cultural and historic rather than modern.

I focused on two main exhibitions with general admission, Spirits And Headhunters: Art of The Pacific Islands and Ancient Arts Of China: A 5000 Year Legacy. My first impression of this place was that it did not look like anything special. It was not very crowded on a Wednesday afternoon. In the the lobby, there was scattered art pieces all over the place. The art pieces consisted of photography of sculptures, a giant canoe, and wooden sculptures.

The very first exhibition I saw was the Spirit And Headhunters: Art of The Pacific Islands. This exhibit focused on the regions of the Pacific Islands known as Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. This region on the edge of the pacific ocean is consisted with ethnographically diverse cultures that are brought together by the mutual understanding and knowledge for the seas.

The first thing I saw was this whale teeth necklace. It is the teeth of the sperm whale. This necklace is both valuable and powerful. If this necklace is presented to each of two men, then they are supposedly spiritually bounded together. This necklace emerged between the 18th and 19th century in Fiji, Polynesia. The purpose of this necklace and how it was made is so mind-opening because art back then involved tedious labor work which is very different from today's art.

The next thing that caught my eye was a collection of spears and arrows. This part of the exhibition showcased the artistic features that Pacific Islands used even during war. Bowers museum called this the Art of Warfare. I looked closely at the spears and arrows and they were so carefully sculpted. It is hard to believe how beautiful these are even though they did not have the amount of resources we have now.

The second exhibition I visited was the Ancient Arts Of China: A 5000 Year Legacy. This exhibit was like set up in the order of a timeline. I enjoyed this one too because of their elegant pottery and ceramics. It really reminds me of all of my grandmother's flower pots at her house. 

The piece below in particular, is a silver core vase with gold coating. There is a flower design on the exterior of the vase. It is very elegant and is dated back in the Tang dynasty (618 - 906). There is not description of how this was made but I'm still curious of how they would have made this vase with so much precision.

An very interesting piece caught my eye in this exhibit, a carved elephant tusk. It is so vivid and carved so beautifully to the extent that I was speechless when I saw it. Apparently, the figures on the tusk represented the Eight Immortals of Chinese mythology and folk religion. This was during the Qing Dynasty to Early Republic of China. It was used as a keepsake/ valuable decoration. Knowing how sturdy and strong an elephant tusk is, the carvings must have been tedious to do. 

Bowers museum had many galleries rooms for various artists. The gallery that had more meaning than others to me was the Art in Laguna Beach. Laguna Beach is very close to home for me so I was impressed to see a gallery of dedicated paintings. Laguna Beach was not fully developed until mid-1920s. I came across this piece called A Foggy Morning, Laguna Beach and it looks exactly the same as now. What I took away from this is that other things may change, but there are things that are able to stay the same. In our rapid industrial society, it keeps us grounded to see that some things don't change.

I recommend my classmates to go here because it is a very cultural museum. You do not really see that often. I saw things that open my eyes to other cultures and how they incorporated art into their everyday lives dating all the way back to year 609. I believe that Bowers museum aims to be very traditional, there weren't any modern art technology that I saw. Although this museum is historic, it is very insightful to different cultures

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Week 4: Neuroscience + Art

Neuroscience and art depend on each other. Without the mind, we cannot design or even identify what is art. They both benefit each other in different way. As insane as it sounds, the brain creates art, while art enthralls the brain. Through neuroscience, the brain is broken down and we see how it enable humans to do are meant to.

Beginning of Brains

Carl Jung, for example while trying to investigate the brain, thought that religion was important because it is a place of safety for an individual as he or she begins to process their individuality. I utmost agree with Jung but this seemed like a pivotal point because as he slowly progresses from religion, he is able to stem off to other material/subjects. Another interesting thing is that as Jung started to dissect psychology of "modern man" vs "medieval man" and while he is at it, he degrades all actions of the modern man even though, he, himself is guilty of being a modern man. It is weird to explain a sort of phenomenon of yourself while exploring neuroscience.

In TED conference, Christopher deCharms talks about MRI that shows brain activity during thoughts, emotions, and pain. I think this is important relating to art because those three are what creates art while art conveys these three by stimulating the brain.

Brain Activity
The last unusual thing I picked up is that the effects of cocaine and LSD may lead to creativity and perhaps even art. Vesna described in lecture that cocaine was to relieve depression and fatigue but the effects made the person go into a whole different world. She also went on to talk about LSD and how Hoffman experiment made him relieved went he slowly returned to reality. Hoffman referred to the effects of LSD as altered perceptions which is normal to see in art today.
Dr. Hofmann, Date Unknown, with a chemical model of LSD

David Deutsch of Ted Conferences, talk about another way to explain explanation. His lecture really reminded me of my philosophy class. He identifies with Karl Popper's theory of knowledgable. He asserts "The truth consists of hard-to-vary assertions about reality is the most important fact about the physical world. It is a fact that is unseen, yet impossible to vary". This does really remind me of the idea of induction and that not everything can be guaranteed and that what we call real life, reality but what happens when reality is not entirely true?

1. Christopher, DeCharms. "A Look inside the Brain in Real Time." TED. TED Conferences, Feb. 2008. Web. 17 July 2016. <>
2. Deutsch, David. "A New Way to Explain Explanation." Ted. TED Conferences, July 2009. Web. 17 July 2016. <>.
4. Vesna, Victoria. "" YouTube. Uconlineprogram, 17 May 2012. Web. 17 July 2016. <>.5. Vesna, Victoria. "Neuroscience Pt3." YouTube. Uconlineprogram, 16 May 2012. Web. 17 July 2016. <>.

3. Jung, Carl. "The Spiritual Problem of Modern Man." UCLA, n.d. Web. 17 July 2016. <file:///Users/Lilia/Downloads/50653831-C-G-Jung-The-Spiritual-Problem-of-Modern-Man-1928.pdf>.

1. Bruno, Marie-Aurelie, and Steven Laureys. Brain Activation. Digital image.DANA Foundation. The Dana Foundation, 14 June 2010. Web. 17 July 2016. <>.
2. Gall, Franz. Gall's view of Human Brain. Digital image. History of Neuroscience., n.d. Web. 17 July 2016. <>.
3. Smith, Craig S. Dr. Hofmann, Date Unknown, with a Chemical Model of LSD. Digital image. New York Times. The New York Times, 30 Apr. 2008. Web. 17 July 2016. <>.

Week 4: BioTech + Art

This week's topic is confirmed to be controversial but the most thought-provoking concept  that we have covered so far. I am impressed that biology and art found each other to create this sophistication that disturbs ethical beliefs but is also an advancement in both subjects.

As art becomes fused with biology, animals are experiencing an altercation in their natural genes. It is unknown to me when and how rats became a test subject for human medical studies. "Test" rats are inserted foreign DNA into their genome and called transgenic rats. Any animal thatThe differences in the transgenic rats will be passed down onto their children and grandchildren. The alteration of an entire natural species and brings up serious ethical questions. this sophistication becomes controversy in today's society. This altercation does not allow for natural selection because of artists and scientists's quest for knowledge which could actually lead to a world dilemma.
    Further showcasing biology and art together, Vesna described in lecture that Eduardo Kac inserted a fluorescent gene from a jellyfish into a bunny to create a glowing bunny for art purposes. Personally, this alteration of nature is against my ethical beliefs because it was done for an artistic purpose. Kac described this mutation as a new form of art, transgenic art. I think it is unethical for a living organism to be altered for visual enjoyment. This is where the line between biology and art stand apart. There are other ways to fuse biology and art together without manipulating living organisms.

S Stemming off bio+art with animals, more controversial issues we have is genetically modified and cloning. As genetically modified food and animals are on the rise, consumers are worried about the effect of eating gmo food. I watched this a while back in my freshman high school biology class but the video shows McDonald's burgers french fries and burgers over a period of time compared to other restaurants. You are able to see that other restaurant's food start are all moldy but McDonald's are just starting to mold. It's scary to know what you might eat be artificial and if it is not regulated it could lead to our own demise.

Moving on to cloning, cloning is starting to save so many lives. Cloning also brings up ethical issues that the movie, The Island points outs. It could be benefit our world but what would become of it? A world without death, who would live to the fullest anymore if they know death is not near. The human lifespan would be vastly extended.
Screenshot from The Island
BioArt is a very fast pace combination that could change our world bigger than any other subject combined. Our quality of life changes, time span of life, and human genuineness would invitablely disappear.

     1. "How Did Matilda, Tara and Star Barbie Become Transgenic Rats?"Embracing Animal. Web. 3 July 2016. <>.
3  2. Javahippo. "McDonald's Food Expirament." YouTube. YouTube, 12 June 2007. Web. 17 July 2016. <>.
·   3. Kac, Eduardo. "GFP BUNNY." GFP BUNNY. Web. 03 July 2016. <>.
·   4Levy, Ellen K.. “Defining Life: Artists Challenge Conventional Classifications.” DESMA 9. Web. 17 July 2016. 
·    5. Vesna, Victoria. "5 BioArt Pt1." YouTube. Uconlineprogram, 17 May 2012. Web. 03 July 2016. <>.
·      Images
·      1. All About Transgenic Rats. Digital image. Embracing Animal. Web. 3 July 2016. <>.
·      2. Kac, Eduardo. GFB Bunny. Digital image. EKAC. Web. 3 July 2016. <>.
·      3. Stokes, Natasha. The Island. Digital image., 27 Apr. 2016. Web. 17 July 2016. <>.