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.

Event 1

April 6, 2016: Lunchtime Art Talks at the Hammer Museum
Featuring Tom Burr's Slumbering Object of My Sleepless Attention (2009)

Slumbering Object of My Sleepless Attention, 2009
The Lunchtime Art Talks at the Hammer Museum allow guests to learn about a specific art piece, as well as learn about others that they are interested in. It also contains an open discussion for anyone to give their thoughts or opinions on the artwork. Tom Burr's artwork is actually more of a sculpture or setting, where a white, 12 foot long hinged panel is reclined. On the wooden panel, there lies a pair of Dior pajama pants thumbtacked to it. The pajama pants are ironed flat, and they are positioned perfectly. They are almost staring at you, enticing someone to want to put them on. However, they are also very nice pajama pants, so they give off the vibe that they are too nice to be worn. The person whose pants those are supposed to be is probably someone of an elite class. Although they are pajama pants, they do not give off a comfy, or welcoming vibe. Instead, many people in the discussion believed the scene represented a tease.

The Problem Child, 1995
While exploring the rest of the Hammer Museum, I found a painting that I immediately thought of as relating to concepts we have been learning about in our class. The painting is by Amy Adler, and is called The Problem Child. To create these art pieces, Adler played with modes of representation and replication because the original photographs that these pictures are based on were destroyed. This goes back to our reading by Benjamin who stresses the implications of replicating art. However, in this case, Adler recreated her own work of art, giving the painting more authenticity. These drawings also show how a young boy is already experimenting with both art and science. The science is shown through his playfulness with the trains and the physics behind balancing cups on his nose, and the art is shown through his playing of the flute. The photos are illustrating the two cultures of science and art and how they are often times combined. 

King David, 1878
Another painting at the Hammer that I thought brought out so much emotion was Gustave Moreau's King David. It highlights King David looking pensively downward as an angel sits on his feet. When I look at this painting, I see dissatisfaction. Perhaps he does not know which way to go in life, and he is looking to the angel for guidance. This is similar to all the cultures we have learned about in class, and how often times, it does not need to be this or that, but instead, one can utilize all cultures at once. 

Proof of Attendance 

Overall, my experience at the Hammer was quite enjoyable. I was able to relate a lot of what I saw to concepts we were learning in class. I loved the open discussion event that the Hammer offers because it is so interested to hear other people's opinions on an art piece. I would recommend going to the lunchtime talks at the Hammer because it lets you truly appreciate and understand art.