Sunday, May 29, 2016

Week 9: Space and Art

Week 9: Space and Art

I have been fascinated with space since I started watching science documentaries with my dad at a young age. The universe is a massive, never-ending hole that tends to baffle all of us. The Earth we currently live on is large, beautiful, full of surprises, unknown, and bigger than our minds can imagine. But when we think about the universe as a whole, it’s five zillion times what we fathom about the Earth. It’s even difficult to measure the size of the universe because of how unknown it is and the fact that it cannot be compared to anything else is a head scratcher within itself. To me, space has also been art as I know it has been to many. The fact that we have only explored a tiny portion of our universe tells us that there is so much more out there to be discovered. Two years ago, I had the opportunity to take an astronomy class that was actually held at the planetarium in Santa Barbara. There, we had access to millions of dollars worth of advanced equipment where we learned to use a high tech and newly revolutionized telescope to see into space. Not only was it the most fascinating experience, but the beauty of space through the lens of a telescope had me in awe til this day. Below is a photo of the moon that I took through the telescope on a night of a full moon.
Many theories and beliefs arose over many years that developed an in depth research in which helps to understand the solar system and the universe at large. When we think about the phenomenal features that have developed over time to improve the studies within the space, we often think about Galileo Galleli. He had a telescope invention that played a monumental role in our understanding of the solar system and being able to hypothesize the possibility of other life forms in the universe (Space Pt1).  How did he do it? Galileo pointed his telescope towards the one thing that people thought was perfectly smooth and as polished as a gemstone – the Moon. Imagine his surprise to find it “”uneven, rough, full of cavities and prominences.” His telescope had its flaws, such as a narrow field of view that could only show about one quarter of the lunar disk without repositioning, but a revolution had begun.

When we think about all the research that has gone into space, we can draw up how movies played an important role in explaining that to the public, like you and I. Movies like Interstellar, Gravity, Armageddon (one of my favorites), and even Star Wars, have demonstrated a creative and artistic way to distribute information to all of us. They often explore the endless possibilities and creativity that space, art and technology have to offer. While some of these movies are based off of the future of technology, the still hold a lot of valid information that very much fascinates us in a way that blows our made how unknown space really is.

Just as said in the lecture videos, the propaganda, digital art in TVs, newspaper comics and so forth altered the viewers and audience to encourage scientific research - which happened to be the reason why we have advanced in the information of our universe - although there is still so much more to discover (Space; Part III). Art helped to develop a new way of looking into space and exploring all that it has to offer.

EamesOffice. "Powers of Ten™ (1977)." YouTube. YouTube, 26 Aug. 2010. Web. 28 May 2016
Plotner, Tammy. "Galileo's Telescope - Universe Today." Universe Today. N.p., 22 July 2008.
Web. 29 May 2016.
Vesna, Victoria. "Space + Art." Lecture Part 1. Online, Los Angeles. 25 May 2016. Lecture.
2016. <>.
Vesna, Victoria. "Space + Art." Lecture Part 2. Online, Los Angeles. 25 May 2016. Lecture.
Vesna, Victoria. "Space + Art." Lecture Part 3. Online, Los Angeles. 25 May 2016. Lecture.
2016. <>.
Vesna, Victoria. "Space + Art." Lecture Part 4. Online, Los Angeles. 25 May 2016. Lecture.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Nanotechnology + Art

This week’s lecture is a fascinating one involving the great topic of Nanotechnology and Art. As Professor Vesna talks about in her lecture video, she has been a part of nanotech for a long time. She expresses how nanotechnology goes beyond everything we’ve ever known and is something much greater than us and everything else surrounding us. This includes sciences in the sense the old methodology does not work in nanoscience. Professor Vesna explains it as a collaborative science that is essentially shifting paradigm. Nanotechnology really pushes us over the edge. Dr. Gimzewski says the term was originally coined by Norio Taniguchi and then explains how almost every aspect of science is affected by nanotechnology. One fascinating aspect about nanotechnology is that it has an immense capability to alter the world of science. However, most people do not know anything about how influential and effective nanotechnology is.
Nanotechnology is explained as “the realm where materials have dimensions of 100 nanometers or less”. NanoArt is a complex artistic-scientific. The fact of the matter is that art makes science so much clearer for us to understand and enhances science and technology. As stated in lecture by Jim Gimzewski and Victoria Vesna, “In both the philosophical and visual sense, ‘seeing is believing’ does not apply to nanotechnology, for there is nothing even remotely visible to create proof of existence” (Gimzewski and Vesna).
An example that I found interesting to me is the work of glass blowers during renaissance. Stained Glass windows are a large part of the beauty of churches. I remember I used to go to Catholic church every Sunday and sit in awe of each unique glass window. It’s like they individually told a story full of color and shapes. The integration of metallic nanoparticles within the hot glass completely showcases how immensely beautiful and articulate nanotech art is or can be. “Some example could be cited as the ruby-red colour coming from gold nanoparticles, the purple of Cassius made of a colloid of elemental gold supported on tin dioxide.”
I came across this article titled 10 Unconventional Uses Of Nanotechnology, that showcased all the diversity and complexity of nanotechnology. Isaac talks about a nanotech art by John Hart who is a mechanical engineer from the University of Michigan. He actually created a portrait of Barack Obama in which they coined Nanobama. It’s measurements are “just half a millimeter across and is entirely sculpted from 150 nanotube”. It is known as the world's tiniest Presidential portrait.

Works Cited
"Can Art Make Nanotechnology Easier to Understand?" National Geographic. National
Geographic Society, n.d. Web. 23 May 2016.
Gimzewski, Jim, and Victoria Vespa. "The Nanomeme Syndrome: Blurring of Fact & Fiction in
the Construction of a New Science." N.p., n.d. Web. 17 May 2016.
Hamza Isaac. "10 Unconventional Uses Of Nanotechnology - Listverse." Listverse. N.p., 01
Dec. 2014. Web. 23 May 2016.
K. A. Duncan, C. Johnson, K. McElhinny, S. Ng, K. D. Cadwell, G. M. Z. Petersen, A.
Johnson, D. Horoszewski, K. Gentry, G. Lisensky, W. C. Crone, Art as an avenue to
science literacy: teaching nanotechnology through stained glass, J. Chem. Edu.
2010, 87 (10), 1031-1038.
Lilley, Maiken. “The Art of Nanotech”. NOVA. WGBH, 18 Nov 2010. Web. 22 NOv 2012.
Madrigal, Alexis. "Nanobama: World’s Tiniest Candidate Portrait." Conde Nast
Digital, n.d. Web. 23 May 2016.
“When Nanotechnology Meets Art”. Science and n.p., 20 Apr 2011. Web. 22
Nov 2012.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Neuroscience and Art : Week 7

Neuroscience and Art
This week we learned about neuroscience and art, something that I find completely fascinating. Neuroscience is one of the most complex concepts to many, including myself.  “The interaction between art and science offers an opportunity to make the scientific community and the public aware of the social and ethical implications of the scientific advances in neuroscience” (Anker and Frazzetto). One thing I very much appreciate is the ability for artists to translate what neuroscience is to people like me. They do this in a subtle yet beautiful way where they help us to understand the perplexity of our brain.

When we take a more in depth looks at Jeff Lichtman’s Brainbow and Suzanne Anker’s fMRI butterfly we become a little more familiar with a relatable concept. This system is a “transgenic technique provided extraordinary pictures of neuronal circuitry, rivalling artistic representations” (Anker and Frazzetto). To explain in better terms, each neuron in the brain was set apart from other neurons by fluorescent proteins - thus in which show the neurons in different colors in order to locate and keep track of the many neurons to study easier and better. This entire system of art demonstrates how beautiful and fascinating our brain really is. According to The Embodied Mind, one can associate biologically based properties with cognition only through behavior.
As neuroscience penetrates the public sphere, it walks into a dense network of cultural meanings and worldviews and is understood through the prism they provide. Artists provide that prism for the public sphere and for scientists through the systems they use to better explain and advance their studies. Neuroculture is on a climb and comes with it’s perks. If you really think about it, our brains are so complicated and do things that we just can't explain nor can science explain. For instance, explaining how our brain works in autism, or how people have aneurysms, or even how emotions work. When I think about neuroscience, I am beyond fascinated with neurologists deal with and accomplish on a daily basis. According to Christiaan Vermeleun ,” All people have a unique genetic coding that influences a genetic predisposition toward which lobes, hemispheres, and senses will dominate when processing information.”

Works Cited

"Neuroscience Symposium." Roche -. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 May 2016.

O'connor, Cliodhna, Geraint Rees, and Helene Joffe. "Neuroscience in the Public Sphere." Neuron 74.2

(2012): 220-26. Web.

Penny, Simon, Francisco J. Varela, Evan Thompson, and Eleanor Rosch. "Embodied Mind: Cognitive

Science and Human Experience." Leonardo28.4 (1995): 337. Web.

Seeley, William P. "Art, Meaning, and Aesthetics: The Case for a Cognitive Neuroscience of Art." Art,

Aesthetics, and the Brain (2015): 19-39. Web.

Vesna, Victoria. "Neuroscience." UCLA. 2016. Web.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Biotechnology and Art

Biotechnology and Art

More recently, more and more artists have giving up the studio to bring their work into the laboratories. This week we learned about the relation between biotechnology and art in the sense that biotechnology is the use of living organisms to develop and produce technologies that can improve human life. These past few weeks we have also been learning about the way that technology, science and art intertwine into the work of an artist. Both biology and technology have been a disputable concept to many. However, I believe it’s the turning point to a new innovative time, making our society more advanced, accessible, and at it’s highest advantage. Biotechnology is boistering where artists are teaming up with the world of science and biologists and bringing their work into laboratories to take a closer look on a cellular tissue level. More particularly, biotech and art are what this is actually known as, where art is directly connected to the biological science using technological tools. We actually relate this back to when we learned about a third culture. Here, we think about how the world of science and art intertwine to create this third culture of biotech and art.
Professor Vesna talks about a pioneer of biotech and art, Joe Davis, who set the bar for other artists. Others believed his ideas and thoughts were ludicrous and bizarre, and also coined an  “eccentric artist”, but some were also fascinated. He in fact had the idea that genes and genomes can be a new art and vision for artists. From this, he moved forward to invent an info gene. All in all, he was an inspiration for other artists to follow in his footsteps in biotech and art. Ultimately, I don’t believe there should be any limits to human creativity. Unless it brings any physical harm, creativity should have no restriction, constraints, or limits. According to Joe Davis, when come to biotechnology it brings "changes on the horizon that are so dramatic and sweeping that all of the revolutions of the so-called digital age will shrink by comparison."
Ruth West asks the question “How do we define and value artistic media and technologies?”. Christopher Muscato says that in art, a medium is the material that artists use to create their art. It's that simple. Whatever a piece of art is made out of is its medium. The plural of medium is media. So, one piece of art can be made of one medium or several media.
Is this inherently different from how other technologies are evaluated? I would say that biotechnology is in fact evaluated differently than other technologies because technological innovations were revolutionary and turning points that in fact changed the world of art, science, and society. Here, we think of the invention of digital media or even the printing press. As Carolina A. Miranda says in her article, “ it’s natural that some artists spend as much time in the lab as they do in the studio. Over the last three decades, in fact, artists have cultivated human tissue, bred frogs, assembled DNA profiles, and used modified bacteria as electrical transmitters. Bio-art—as this type of work is called—has also begun to surface in museums and avant-garde art festivals, from MoMA in New York to the Biennale of Electronic Arts Perth in Australia.”
Nesi, Paolo, and Rafaella Santucci. "Information Technologies for Performing Arts, Media Access, and
Entertainment." Google Books. Scientific Publishing Services, 6 May 2016. Web. 08 May 2016.
Miranda, Carolina A. "Weird Science: Biotechnology as Art Form." ARTnews. ARTNEWS, 6 May 2016. Web.

08 May 2016.

Vesna, Victoria. “5 bioart pt1" Lecture. YouTube. Uconlineprogram, 18 Sept. 2013. Web. 3 May. 2016.

Vesna, Victoria. “5 BioArt pt4” Lecture. YouTube. Uconlineprogram, 17 May. 2015. Web. 3 May. 2016.

Vesna, Victoria. “Biotech intro NEW” Lecture. YouTube. Uconlineprogram, 26 Mar. 2012. Web. 3 May. 2016.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

A Trip to the Beautiful Getty Center

A Trip to the Beautiful Getty Center
Today, I visited the Getty Center for the first time. I’ve always seen pictures from fellow classmates or friends of the phenomenal views, especially the sunsets. However, I never actually had the chance to make it up there to experience it for myself. It was a beautiful, warm Wednesday morning and the beauty of the architecture struck me the second I pulled onto the lot. A short tram took us up the hill with beautiful scenery of green trees, and then dropped us off at the Getty Center location. The Getty is much more than a museum. It's also a research institute, conservation center and grant-making foundation. It's a must see! Scroll through to see some awesome pictures.

Architect Richard Meier incorporated such beautiful modern designs-but the views of the Getty Center are what’s most phenomenal. At least for me it is. Pictured below are the photos I took of what I got to see on the architecture tour. (A circular building houses the Getty Research Institute, used by Getty scholars, staff, and visiting researchers.)
The Getty Conservation Institute is one of the buildings we mainly focused on during this tour. Here, our tour instructor told us how this building revolves around conserving art. But they in fact go a step beyond that. They have the highest technology in conservation, its up an coming technology where University Professors come here to learn the technology then go to teach their classes. It’s conserving any antiquities, architectural finds, and structures.
One of the buildings pictured below is named after J. Paul Getty Trust administration offices. Now, James Cuno is the CEO of Getty Center. They have 1,000 to 1,200 employees working here and all of their offices are in the James Cuno building. Prior to taking the helm at the Getty in 2011, James Cuno was director of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Courtauld Institute, and the Harvard Art Museums. He received his Ph.D. in Art History from Harvard. Cuno is author of Museums Matter: In Praise of the Encyclopedic Museum and Who Owns Antiquity: Museums and the Battle over Our Ancient Heritage.

Picture Credit: Los Angeles Times
The beautiful vista at the end of a point was my favorite part of the tour consisting of a view that overlooked Los Angeles towards the 405 and UCLA. As much as I admired the view, one thing I really appreciated about the art and design of Richard Meier’s architecture for the Getty Center are the extraordinary tall walls and large windows, allowing for an array of natural light through the inside of the building. It’s incredibly angelic, probably the reason why I didn't capture a photo is because I was soaking it all in. It's a must see!

As for the land, about 750 acres was bought, but only 110 acres of it is are the views of the Getty and 26 acres is just the site itself. Our tour instructor said that the ridge up the mountain is part of the Getty. The land was originally meant to be built on that ridge where the brick fire stops at the bottom patch. Richard Meier (architect) stood at that location and said that the ridge was too hard for him to build on. He looked across the way and saw a “V” form where he can built and envisioned a tram. He flattened them and built the Getty Center across. The walk we took to the end for the beautiful vista view is the gap, which in other words means he didn’t go out far when he built.

Throughout our lectures for this class, we learn about the different changes in our world, art, technology, and society that have evolved over time. The Getty Center is a fresh, modernized, and breath-taking experience where you in fact realize what is meant by the different types of architect that is unique to each place or design. Just as mentioned in lecture, th connection of science and art is through mathematics. We continue making math and art, art and science. When I thought about taking this tour, I thought about Brunelleschi in the sense how he trained in the principal of geometry and was credited with the first correct formulation of linear perspective and made the discovering a single vanishing point rule in 1314. All though we can't necessarily compare The Getty Center's architecture to that of Brunelleschi, but we can understand that there's a formula to everything and each artist, scientist, or architecture has a unique touch to all of their projects and designs. The Getty Center is full proof of that.

According to the book “The Getty Center: Design Process”, members of the planning committee visited buildings and sites they felt might teach them something to spark their imaginations. Truthfully, The Getty Center has a powerful effect that in fact wow’d me with not just their architecture but even the ambience. It had a sense of peacefulness yet intelligence that squandered the site. The entire Getty Center has a sense of unity where, as a spectator, you feel that everything is connected somehow. So with that said, yes I would recommend visiting this site on many accounts. I hope my descriptions above as well as my pictures were as convincing as they seem.


Meier, Richard. "The Getty Center Los Angeles, California 1984 - 1997." Richard Meier
& Partners Architects LLP. Richard Meier & Partners Architects LLP, 3 May 2016.
"Relating the Rapidly Changing Present to the Distant Past as Far as Book History Is
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Smith, Terry. Making the Modern: Industry, Art, and Design in America. Chicago: U of
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"Untitled Document." Untitled Document. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2016.
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Trust, 1991. Print.