Monday, June 6, 2016

Event #4

For my fourth event I attended an on campus lecture “Replica Praesens: A Lecture on Synthetic Life by Sam Wolk." Wolk’s project was a computer system he created that looked into genetics of plants/nutrients and creatures, how they interact, depend on each other, and daily lifestyles. He started by introducing the nutrients to the audience with a red, blue and green scale which represent different nutrients and the darker they were this meant that they were more beneficial to the creatures. He showed how each was selected by arranging the DNA into different combinations. Through simulations after this that would represent a timeframe that the plants would grow over was interesting to see how the pieces before factored into the location, lifespan, nutrient denseness, and size of the plants.
Next we moved onto see how the DNA process worked for the creatures. I thought it would be similar, but there were many characteristics that were different because of the creatures complexity. One example is how the sex of the creature is determined which I found interesting, multiple creatures could be involved and it seemed that the gender of the offspring was much more random than it would be. 

Then he brought the two together into a world and we watched as they interacted with each other. As this was going on I was comparing it to video games in my heads, but this project was so much more and you could tell by listening to all of the details while Sam Wolk spoke. The amount of time he spent connecting assets of life into a computer programming system to visually represent life was very cool. It interested me in how he was able to create these connections just from writing out codes and making them represent something much bigger and influential. 

Friday, June 3, 2016

Event #3

For my third event, I ventured outside of Los Angeles and went to the Discovery Science center in Santa Ana, CA. When I walked in I was surrounded by many kids everywhere interacting with each exhibit. My friends, brother, and I started to do the same. This was a cool experience many of the events I have been to in the past were very observant and did not have a physical aspect related to them, so this was a fun change from what we had been doing. 

There were many cool exhibits in display, but one theme that was going on while I was here was exploration of Mars. There were many interactive things you could do to learn new things about mars that involved people especially children in an interesting way. One example was you could design your own mars rover after viewing a replica of one. Then it would appear on a large screen and you had to direct it to different spots that would then show different things that have been found on Mars. I thought this was a cool interaction that helped teach people about space and art. Space is such a vast and large area and I think this exhibit was beneficial in helping give people a better idea of what is out there.

Amongst this exhibit there were many other things that helped teach kids about Mars like a large replica of the planet, the mars rover, some exhibits about the difference in gravity on Mars in comparison to Earth and many other things. I found it to be a fun and interesting way to explore more about space and art.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Event #2
There were many interesting pieces in the Hammer museum in Westwood, Los Angeles, California on May 6th, 2016. This was my first trip to the museum even though its right down the street, and with lots of cultural diversity throughout the museum, there were many pieces that I found interesting in regards to the theme of our class, art and science.
Now a days when we are on planes traveling we spend our time watching movies and television shows, but in a piece by Ilene Segalove she depicted something different. In place of where a typical movie screen would be on a plane it was replaced with a piece of art by Jackson Pollock, "Lavender Mist." I found this intriguing because of its modern twist on arts influence on people. Now we are so absorbed in the hustle and bustle of modern technology of movies, television shows, and video games that we have forgotten some of the great pieces that lead to where we are now in art. Jackson Pollocks piece was known by many, but now a days many people probably wouldn't be able to speak of the piece.

I thought of the piece by Segalove as showing what the culture was at that moment in time. Traveling by plane was still a fairly new process at this time and combining it with a an iconic piece of art showed how this was a privilege, a piece of art. In contrast with current times however flying is a common thing in most peoples lives and we have changed the previous outlook on it. This contrast was eye opening and I enjoyed getting this perspective. 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Week 9: Space and Art

In this weeks lectures we learned about space and art, but this topic embodies many science related themes that we have learned about throughout this quarter. Space is a terrific piece to use for art because of its endlessness. We have only explored a small portion of the solar system since Neil Armstrong landed on the moon in 1969 yet there is still so much more left to discover. The video "Powers of Ten" that we viewed in lecture is very eye opening about how much there is out there we don't know about.
Many movies have ventured into the realm of what is possible in outer space; for example the Star Wars movies are an example of movies that artistically captures all the possibilities that space and technology have to offer. In a very possible future, there is travel between galaxies and planets in a matter of moments on their starships. In comparison to a spaceship which currently takes three days to travel 240,000 km, they are very fast.
Another technological advancement seen in Star Wars that is currently being worked on is droids/robots. In the movies they are many machines that are referred to as droids. Many know them as "R2-D2" or "C3P0" and these bots help the protagonists as well as the antagonist pursue daily tasks, specifically in doing jobs that were either to menial or dangerous for humans. This is similar to our lesson on robotics where we learned about what the possibilities in the future are like. Star Wars looked into these possibilities and found a way to incorporate them long before we have made the current progress.

"Ask an Astronomer." Cool Cosmos. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 May 2016. <>.

"Droid." Wookieepedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 May 2016. <>.

EamesOffice. "Powers of Ten™ (1977)." YouTube. YouTube, 26 Aug. 2010. Web. 25 May 2016. <>.

Vesna, Victoria. "Space + Art." Lecture Part 4. Online, Los Angeles. 25 May 2016. Lecture.

"Starship." Wookieepedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 May 2016. <>.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Nanotechnology and art
Nanotechnology is in everything around us, but most of the time we had no idea because the atoms are so small that most of the time we aren't even told they are there. Personally speaking I had no knowledge of what nanotechnology was and how it affected our lives.
The first revolutionary idea that involved nanotechnology, was from Eric Drexler who had the idea of "The Assembler," which takes Fords creation of the assembly line that we learned about in our robotics section of this class from week 3 and applies it on the molecular level. It would take the atoms and molecules that make up objects and rearrange them to make new things. This didn't work however because Drexlers process was incredibly slow in comparison to the real Assembly line that Ford created that takes two and a half hours.
Nanotechnology is now in a majority of products that we use in our daily lives, but we don't always know it is there. Its small size has enabled nanoparticles to inconspicuously appear in things like our food, one product for example is the "SlimShake" and is a meal replacer advertising weight loss. This replacement is made of silica nanoparticles and is coated in chocolate flavoring. These particles could be harmful because nobody exactly knows the effects they have on the body and digestive system. Products like this show why we need to monitor these items because of possible risks they have in effecting our lives.

"Ford’s Assembly Line Starts Rolling." N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2016. <>.

Gimzewski. "Nanotech for Artists Part 1 - Dr. Gimzewski." Nanotech + Art. Online, Los Angeles. 19 May 2016.

Gimzewski. "Nanotech for Artists Part 6 - Dr. Gimzewski." Nanotech + Art. Online, Los Angeles. 19 May 2016.

"Molecular Assembler." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 18 May 2016. Web. 20 May 2016. <>.

Vesna, Victoria. "Lectures Part 1." Robotics + Art. Online, Los Angeles. 19 May 2016. Lecture.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Neuroscience and Art
The evolution of use of cocaine and LSD is interesting. With doctors and writers using both as medication in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, it is interesting to see how its use has changed. 

As we learned in lecture cocaine was used in almost everything as medicine because people believed it was beneficial. Sigmund freud is one doctor who not only used cocaine for medicine but recommended it and had patients use it. It wasn't until one of his patients passed during a procedure due to an overdose where he began to question the abilities of this drug. It wasn't until 1914 that the drug was viewed as dangerous by the FDA in the US.
Another popular drug that was widely used in medicine before its effects were known to the public was LSD. LSD stands for Lysergic acid diethylamide, this is a powerful hallucinogen but before this was known it was used for medical use as well. It wasn't until Albert Hofman took a second look at his medicine and self medicated where he entered a psychedelic high, which is modernly called a "trip." It wasn't until 1962 when the government first recognized this drug as harmful.

Since these times there has been a lot of research as to how these drug are harmful to our health; cocaine use can cause irritability, restlessness, paranoia, and many other things and LSD brings long term hallucinations that last with the user years after their last trip. Even though these drugs are harmful to our health, they allow people to see life through a new perspective. Its uniqueness is very valuable in a sense that it is a one of a kind experience that no body else gets to experience but you.

"Cocaine Timeline Info." RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 May 2016. <>.

Erowid. "Erowid LSD Vault : Timeline." Erowid LSD Vault : Timeline. N.p., 10 Feb. 2015. Web. 12 May 2016. <>.

"Lysergic Acid Diethylamide." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 12 May 2016. <>.

"Sigmund Freud." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 11 May 2016. Web. 11 May 2016. <>

Vesna, Victoria. "Lecture 3." Neuroscience and Art. Online, Los Angeles. 11 May 2016. Lecture.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Week 6: Biotechnology and Art
This week we learned about the use of biotechnology in art; this controversial topic brings up many ethical questions. With advancing technology, artists have the ability to genetically create and modify things into unique pieces of art, but are they crossing the line and taking on a role that does not belong to them?

From the perspective of an artist using this medium I can understand their excitement and the purpose of many of their creations. Kathy High is one artist who used human  white blood cells in "Blood Wars" in a competition of survival of the fittest. Like dog fighting, "Blood Wars" takes white blood cells and have them fight for superiority until only one type of blood cell is left. This shows how different blood cells are more developed than others and just what their abilities are.
Another artist that uses biotechnology in art pieces is Orlan, her piece the "Harlequin Coat", which is a coat of colored pieces of skin. She achieves these color by modifying the genetic makeup of many different races of people. This causes controversy because her use of human skin for something other than it should ever be intended for, but her ability to manipulate human skin cells and change the color of different races is incredible.
Since artists are working with live cells however, many uncontrollable errors or occurrences can arise. Two artist who experienced issues with their piece was Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr with their piece "Victimless Leather." While on exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, their piece which was composed of mouse tissue had to be killed because of its rapid growth. The piece was deemed uncontrollable and had to be stopped from growing which is something many people fear when people take over the role of creator. 

It’s issues like this make people question how far is too far when it comes to our developments in biotechnology. We may have control over what we do with biotechnology, but we don’t always have control over the growth of these living cells. There needs to be limitations to our abilities or else one mistake may be disastrous. 


"Dog Fighting." ASPCA. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 May 2016. <>.

Miranda, Carolina A. "WEIRD SCIENCE: BIOTECHNOLOGY AS ART FORM." N.p., 18 Mar. 2013. Web. 5 May 2016. <>.

"ORLAN - Harlequin Coat." - FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology). N.p., n.d. Web. 05 May 2016. <>.

Vesna, Victoria. "Part 3." BioTech+Art. Online, Los Angeles. 5 May 2016. Lecture.

Vesna, Victoria. "Part 4." BioTech+Art. Online, Los Angeles. 5 May 2016. Lecture.