Monday, June 6, 2016

Extra Credit Event 1

Tar Pit Treasures
June 6, 2016: Tour of the La Brea Tar Pits & Museum
On June 6, 2016, I was able to check another museum off my Los Angeles bucket list in finally seeing one of Los Angeles's most unique museums, the La Brea Tar Pits. The La Brea Tar Pits centers around the fact that 11,000 years ago, Los Angeles was full of exotic wildlife. Fossils have been captured by the La Brea Tar Pits, giving way to the creation of this museum. Natural asphalt, also known as tar, has seeped up from the ground in this specific area, and many animals have gotten trapped over thousands of years beneath the tar. The tar almost perfectly preserves their bones, allowing the museum to feature these historic artifacts. 

Animated Timeline

The museum features an animated, 3D timeline that represents 2,000 years of history, from 38,000 years ago until the present day. The top part of the timeline showed the events and animals most popular in the La Brea area during that time, while the bottom portion shows the major developments in man's history during that time. The part that I found most interesting on the timeline that also related to our class was the innovations that occurred in Greece 4,000 years ago. I am referring to the creation of architecture. Architecture is something we focused on during Week 2 of class, while discussing the important of math with art. The Temple of Zeus was one of the first to use math in architecture in order to create large temples. 

Experience the Tar
There was also a very cool invention within the museum, which allowed for a more interactive experience. It allowed museum guests to pull up on a lever that was filled with tar in order to feel how hard it would be to escape a tar pit. This explains how so many animals became trapped in the tar, and thus have been preserved throughout the years. The use of technology to explain history is helpful in understanding how things occurred. Technology has been a dominant focus in our class. 


Finally, the La Brea Tar Pits also implemented great amounts of science into their museum, specifically with their built-in laboratory. This laboratory is used to reconstruct the fossils that get discovered. Reconstructing these fossils to form the structure of the animal that once existed is an art form. These pieces of art get put on display for all that visit the museum to see. The laboratory does experiments with these fossils to discover at what point this fossil was once alive. 
Proof of Attendance

This museum was fascinating in that it demonstrated a piece of Los Angeles history that you would never knew existed. It takes away from all the glitz and glamour of LA to feature a pit that is stinky, gooey and full of history. I would definitely recommend this museum, as it embodies art, science, math and technology. 

Friday, June 3, 2016

Event 3

How Do You Shine?
June 1, 2016: Culture Club at Zimmer Children's Museum

On June 1, 2016, I was able to experience a trip to a museum I never imagined I would go to. I just learned that this museum existed a couple weeks ago, when my boss at work said she attended a gala there. She explained to me the exclusive feeling of the museum and how it was the most interactive museum she had ever been to. I thought this would be perfect for our class, where we have been exploring how technology and science relate to art. 
Green Screen Technology
This museum was nothing like I had ever seen before. It's secrecy within the Jewish Confederation building hides it within the Beverly Hills community. You have to go through security to get into the museum, and the only reason I was allowed to get into the museum without an appointment was because of my boss's connections to the museum. I was able to attend the Culture Club and receive a private, interactive touring experience where I was able to explore and observe all of the technology and art pieces. 

My favorite exhibit was the "How Do You Shine," which is a play on empowering children to show off their creativity. It features neon lights, and allows you to interact with the lights while they change colors. It's essentially like walking into a photo booth full of light. This explores the use of science, specifically electricity, to create neon art. 

There was an exhibit that allows guests to experience green screen technology, an innovation that has changed the world, especially the entertainment industry in which I work in. This allows you to see yourself with any background of your choice, whether that be a forest, an ocean, a safari or space. This focuses on creativity; you get to use your imagination to create different art pieces or self portraits of yourself with different backgrounds each time. This use of technology is incredible in changing the legitimacy of images.

Ice Cream Shop
The museum features a small airplane, where children can sit inside and feel like they're flying. Aviation has forever changed transportation and has been one of the greatest inventions of all time. Aviation is popular in many museums, as I also saw it highlighted during my museum experience at the LA Natural History Museum. Aviation is an art form in itself because of the tedious work that goes into making aircrafts. Not only that, but the art of flying contains such grace. It fascinates me, and I loved seeing children getting into the airplane and feeling inspired.

Proof of Attendance
I would highly recommend this museum to anyone that is interested specifically with art, science and technology combined. Out of all of the museums I have attended for this class, I would say that this one was surprisingly the most fitting. It is inspiring, and I love how it gets children thinking about science and art together at such a young age. This reminds me of our first week of class where we learned about the tendency for people to choose between the two cultures. However, this museum explores both art and science, allowing children to see how magical innovations are when they combine the two cultures. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Week 9: Space + Art
Richard Clar exemplifies how different subjects can be combined to create new art forms, as he is the liaison between the worlds of art and technology. He began experimenting with art in space in 1982, using NASA for approval with the U.S. Space Shuttle. His art has been featured in numerous known places, such as universities, museums and the MGM Grand hotel in Las Vegas. I love how he gives the definition of space art, as I had no idea this existed prior to this week's lesson. His main definition of space art is "fine art which exploits sensory experiences generated through space exploration." My favorite image of his is the dolphin photo to the right, as it shows a beautiful animal traveling through space. You would never imagine a dolphin in space, but it looks as if it is a constellation in the sky, which come in all shapes and sizes.[bonestell]/2/
Chelsey Bonestell is famed for having popularized manned space travel. He designs the cover art for space magazines, architectural paintings and scientific illustrations, showing the diversity of his work and how he combines multiple subjects in his art pieces. He is an artist who has a crater in Mars named after him. Essentially, he is both an astronomer and an artist, another example of how the two forms can create something amazing and innovative. The painting to the right is called "Saturn as Seen from Mimas." I love it because Saturn was always my favorite planet when I was little, and you don't realize how far away the planets are until you grow old enough to understand the universe. This painting makes it seem as though the planets are close to us, and one day technology might make that illusion a reality. Science, art, space and technology all together are very powerful elements to combine.
Overall, space and art is an interesting phenomenon. I wouldn't say that I love art pieces of space, but I think that is because space is still so unexplored that I don't fully appreciate it. There has been limited space exploration, but with technology increasing, the opportunities are endless. Space art allows us to see what we hope to one day actually experience. 

"Basic Plasma Science Facility at UCLA." BaPSF. UCLA Basic Plasma Science Facility, 2014. Web. 25 May 2016.
Bonestell, Chelsey. Chelsey Bonestell. Bonestell LLC, 2016. Web. 25 May 2016.
Clar, Richard. "Website of Richard Clar and Art Technologies, a Collaboration between Space Technology and the Arts." Website of Richard Clar and Art Technologies, a Collaboration between Space Technology and the Arts. Art Technologies, 2005. Web. 25 May 2016.
"Cultural Space Programme." KSEVT. KSEVT & Zavod, n.d. Web. 25 May 2016.
NASA. NASA, n.d. Web. 25 May 2016.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Event 2

May 20, 2016: Gallery Exploration Tour at the Los Angeles Natural History Museum
Becoming L.A.
Entryway into Becoming L.A.

On May 20, 2016, I went to the Los Angeles Natural History museum to attend the Gallery Exploration Tour of "Becoming L.A." This tour was quite fitting for our class, as it explained how technology and art innovate and improve throughout time, giving light to what we can now be so appreciative for. This tour also exemplified how the future is uncertain, as technology is continuing to expand and people are becoming more and more creative in how we can utilize science, art, math etc. to create new inventions. 
Oil Pump Jack (1920s)

The tour explained that Edward L. Doheny was responsible for the discovery of oil at Second Street and Glendale Boulevard in Downtown in 1892. This discovery set off the oil boom, which led to the drilling industry. This is responsible for how we run so many of our machines today. However, during this time there were many oil strikes because oil was polluting the environment. Today, we see that technology is becoming more eco-friendly with machines running on solar energy. This is just one example of how oil pumps became a use of technology to create something new, a form of art in itself. 

Tourist Automobile (1902)
The event then discussed the introduction of the wooden-body gasoline-powered tourist automobile. This was one of the earliest start-up businesses in Los Angeles in 1902. The inventor, Ralph B. Hain, combined his woodworking knowledge and his carpentry tools to make the cars. His company did not last long, but it influenced the automobile industry forever. Inventors began innovating new cars and making new companies, and this all started from his invention. His car was once a technological innovation and now stands as an art piece for people to appreciate the evolution of automobiles that he helped begin. 

Harp (Early 1840s)
Proof of Attendance
The last part of the event that I wanted to focus on was the music and dance exhibit that also relates to our class. Music and dance is one of the oldest art forms to exist. Women traditionally played guitar and men played the violin. This was surprising to me as I feel like it would have been the opposite with traditional gender roles. I view the violin as softer and more feminine, while the guitar is more hardcore and manly. Looking at this old instrument also showed how art and technology is continuing to innovate. I love that music continues to play an important role in our culture, as it brings people together and allows everyone to interpret and create their own musical numbers. Overall, my experience at this museum was amazing. I love learning about the technology startups in Los Angeles, and I saw how applicable this museum was to our class. I would definitely recommend it to anyone!

Week 8: Nanotech + Art
Before I started learning about this week's lesson on nanotechnology, I did my research on how the study got started. Physicist Richard Feynman gave a talk that coined the term 'nanotechnology.' In his talk, he described a process where scientists would be able to manupulate and control individual atoms and molecules, which is where the exploration into this science began. The reading about the John Curtin Gallery describes nanotechnology as the intersection between art, science and technology. The exhibition comprises a gallery of projects that gives light to a new form of art. This art allows us to see, sense and connect "with matter that's minuscule and abstract." I found Christa Sommerer and Laurent Mignonneau invention of the Nano-Scape to be very interesting. Users can touch invisible nano particles through their wireless magnetic force-feedback interface. It creates an invisible sculpture that changes as it is interacted with by users. This innovative technology is something i have never heard of before, and it gives light to another art form through the use of nanotechnology.
Paul Rothemund's TED talk started out discussing the definition of life. He explains how he doesn't know whether life involves reproduction, metabolism or evolution, but what he does know is that life involves computation. He believes in the power of molecular programs. His goal is to write molecular programs in order to build technology. Instead of strictly using cells like most scientists are doing, he is focusing on DNA, RNA and protein to build new languages for building things from the bottom up, using biomolecules. His invention could change technology forever by making things continue to grow. He gives the example of a cell phone continuously innovating through growth. I find his study to be fascinating because it exemplifies how scientists are finding new ways to be innovative and how their findings are influencing art forms such as technology.
Rothemund's determination to innovate is similar to that of Ray Kurzweil, who is bringing his research on information technology to Silicon Valley at the NASA Ames research center. He is creating different programs for graduate students that include nanotechnology. These programs will be applied to energy, ecology, policy law and ethics, showing the importance this technology holds for the bigger picture. Nanotechnology can influence all these different areas that incorporate their own forms of art. 

Anonymous. "Art in the Age of Nanotechnology." Art.Base. N.p., 11 Mar. 2010. Web. 21 May 2016.
Kurzweil, Ray. "A University for the Coming Singularity." A University for the Coming Singularity. TED Conferences, LLC, Feb. 2009. Web. 21 May 2016.
"Making Stuff: Smaller." NOVA. PBS, 26 Jan. 2011. Web. 21 May 2016. 
Rothemund, Paul. "DNA Folding, in Detail." DNA Folding, in Detail. TED Conferences, LLC, Feb. 2008. Web. 21 May 2016.
"What Is Nanotechnology?" Nano., n.d. Web. 21 May 2016.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Week 7: Neuroscience + Art

Francisco Varela, Evan Thompson and Eleanor Rosch explore the field of cognitive science in The Embodied Mind. They explain that the two stages of cognitivism and emergence do not take into account the role of bodily experience in the process of perception. They believe that this experience is a necessary precondition for all cognitive functions. The first stage of cognitive science is cognitivism, which is simply symbol processing in the brain. The source of this is the mind's creation of the outside world that they see through their eyes. This exemplifies how everyone sees the world differently and how people view things in the way in which they are perceived by them. This study can explain how people interpret art in so many different ways.
I found the Global Consciousness Project to be very interesting. The project was designed to explore whether the construct of interconnected consciousness can be scientifically validated through objective measurement. There are researchers from many institutions and countries involved in this project, showing the importance it is to the world at large. The research shows that human consciousness interacts with random event generators, causing them to produce non-random patterns. Their findings showed that this phenomenon needs to be explored further, which shows us how little we know about the human conscious.
Gregory Bateson's Mind and Nature was a very peculiar read. Some of his points were at times a bit confusing, such as when he was explaining his belief that there can be no new life and no new order without information. I think he is alluding to the idea that research is endless, and we can never stop exploring. The discontinuation of science would end the creativity and innovativeness that comes from this field. When discussing evolution, he says that people prove that evolution occurred by people citing cases of homology, and then he does the reverse. He assumes that evolution occurred and then discusses the nature of homology. He gives the example of "what is an elephants trunk?" What did genetics tell it to be? This is a very interesting discussion, as it exemplifies how it is the context that fixes the meaning of something. The context can completely change the way in which something is interpreted. This goes back to how exploring neuroscience can explain art forms and why people see things in a certain way. 

Gardner, Howard. Art, Mind, and Brain: A Cognitive Approach to Creativity. New York: Basic, 1982. Print.
"Introduction to GCP." The Global Consciousness Project. Roger Nelson, 1998. Web. 15 May 2016.
"MIND AND NATURE by Gregory Bateson." MIND AND NATURE by Gregory Bateson. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 May 2016.
NASA. NASA, n.d. Web. 15 May 2016.
Varela, Francisco J., Evan Thompson, and Eleanor Rosch. The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 1991. Print.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Week 6: BioTech + Art
The reading titled Meanings of Participation focuses on explaining what's happening to public participation in the life sciences today by exploring outlaws, hackers and Victorian gentleman scientists. Outlaws are known to fall outside of the system, by smuggling resources and distributing them to people who are normally not able to have them. Hackers rearrange the system from within. The difference between a hacker and an outlaw is that outlaws live alone unlike hackers who live together. The Victorian gentleman scientist is neither outside nor within the system. He has learned wisdom of the well-born, and he reminds me of someone you would admire or strive to be like. It is important to take away that artists are more likely to be Victorian Gentleman, which shows how intellectually complex artists truly are.
Levy's article focuses on how some artists are challenging the classifications of life that scientists have accepted for so long. It is getting harder to classify organisms when biotechnology is allowing scientists to create new hybrids of species. A hybrid in itself can be looked at as a work of art, using creativity to mold something together. This class has continued to express how science and art can be combined, or specifically in this week's lesson, focusing on the combination of biotechnology and art. Chimeras and cyborgs are also species that are in between being considered natural and artificial. These practices of mutation are considered inhumane by some people, but it is considered an art by scientists. 

Essentially, this brings up the constant discussion of whether there should be limits to human creativity. With scientists increasingly experimenting with creating new forms of life, it makes the public question if this is even necessary. Everything was originally put on earth for a reason, and I am not sure if we need to mess with what we were given from the start. However, that is more of a biblical standpoint. Scientists will often times validate their experimenting with the theory of evolution.
The Super Weed is a species that is expanding and invading people's gardens. Due to climate change, the plant has stronger toxins. Some people believe that climate change is solely the fault of humans, and if this is true, then that would give another reason as to why scientists should stop their creativity. With science and technology continuing to innovate, there will continue to be implications that humans will have to face. Through those implications, we will continue to invent new things to deal with this, thus continuing the cycle of potential destruction. 

Levy, Ellen K. "Defining Life: Artists Challenge Conventional Classifications." (n.d.): 1-22. Web. 2 May 2016.
"Meanings of Participation: Outlaw Biology?" Outlaws, Hackers, Victorian Gentlemen (n.d.): 1-8. Web. 2 May 2016.
Munger, Dave. "Seed Magazine." Agriculture in the Wild. N.p., 10 Nov. 2010. Web. 02 May 2016.
Yeates, Ed. "'Super Weed' Taking Strong Hold in Utah |" N.p., 8 June 2009. Web. 02 May 2016.
Wenk, Gary. "Seed Magazine." This Is Your Brain on Food. N.p., 13 Sept. 2013. Web. 02 May 2016.