Sunday, May 29, 2016

Extra Credit Event 1

This past week I attended a presentation by Dr. María Antonia González Valerio regarding her work at the National Autonomous University of Mexico of educating the world about important issues by intercrossing humanities, arts, and sciences (UCLA Art Sci). Dr. Valerio embodies the creation of a third culture—discussed in Unit 1: Two Cultures—in both her presentation and her work as a director of her organization.

She utilizes her ability of joining three qualities together—philosophy, art, and science—in order to reach people about her platform on the use of biotechnology in agriculture. Her organization is very much against the use of GMOs in Mexico’s corn agriculture. GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, are a main component in artistic biotechnology taking place in agriculture production. However, GMOs threaten danger to the maize crop and are highly opposed by the Mexican community.

The organization encourages counter action of the use of GMOs through artistic, scientific, and humanitarian means. Although it is against the law to plant GMO seeds, they can be fed to livestock and “planted” through animal defecation. Thus the threat to Mexico’s maize agriculture continues.

The community makes many efforts to fight the threat to maize produce, including the artistry of embroidered propaganda. The opposition of biotechnology brings together people representing all different cultures and even helps people utilize “techno science” to link nature and art.

This lecture was very eye opening regarding how compatible the arts and sciences are. Dr. Valerio did a great job of presenting how well the two cultures come together with power much stronger than if the two cultures were standing alone. The lecture was very informative and I would recommend it to those more interested in learning about art, science, and philosophy.


"PHILOSOPHY ART SCIENCE." Home Page. 2016. Web. 29 May 2016.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Event 3: Replica Praesens

For my third event, I chose to attend “Replica Praesens: A Lecture on Synthetic Life by Sam Wolk”.  In this lecture, Sam discussed a project he had been working on regarding organisms and how they interact with their surroundings and resources.

I was completely fascinated by his intelligence and how he was capable of manipulating a computer through coding to create digital artwork that serves a scientific purpose. His studies incorporated coding, biology, ecology, digital art, and mathematics. Sam is an example of how art and science live in a mutually beneficial relationship.
Simulation: Animal Ecology
I was excited to witness a perfect example of how a person can embody so many cultures of various subjects yet bring them altogether to represent one amazing program.  Sam Wolk created a biological simulation based on interaction habits of digital “animals”.  This kind of program involves tedious pages of coding, the understanding of animal ecology, and the knowledge of digital art and how to combine all three to create the artistic and informative presentation.

Sam Wolk’s Synthetic Life simulation shows how the combination of several cultures allows scientists to predict behavioral patterns of animals when studying ecology. Not only does he predict animal behavior but also he is able to analyze different organisms in a species displaying various genotypes and which genes show conversion to a particular majority overtime based on external conditions.

Simulation: Genotype Occurrences Overtime
This type technology can be beneficial in many different fields of study. Not only did this program’s art present information on ecology, but it also created an appealing, artistic atmosphere. I enjoyed this lecture and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in digital art and it’s capability of advancing the knowledge of science.

Unit 9: Space + Art
All throughout my life, I’ve had difficulty understanding how large the universe is in comparison to not only Earth but also the Milky Way. The Powers of Ten video helps to explain all knowledge we have of the size of the enormous universe in comparison to the smallest cell in a human’s body (Powers of Ten), even with the video it’s hard to imagine how much larger the universe is than things like Mount Everest, whose massive size pales in comparison.
The struggle of understanding the idea of life beyond our own world has spurred a yearning to know more through research and space exploration—a concept that once seemed like only a sci-fi TV show plot.  However, as the awareness of extraterrestrials surrounding Earth began to grow from beliefs and theories, space research has developed immensely and still continues to be studied.  Galileo Galleli’s telescope invention 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).

The studies and knowledge of space have shown a gradual increase since Copernicus and his proposal of the solar system organization (Space Pt1). However, it wasn’t until the middle of the Cold War, when the USSR launched Sputnik in 1957, that the world was sent into frenzy to understand outer space. The topic of what lies beyond could not avoid the front pages of newspapers. With the demand for scientific advancement in America, the entire education system changed—placing science and math courses with precedent over artistry courses (Space Pt2). As the Space Race continued, the focus on art began to decline not only in America, but in countries across the world as they attempted to become involved in space exploration.
Although art’s popularity declined, it still played an important role in propaganda during the Cold War. The propaganda—digital art in TVs, newspaper comics, etc.—swayed the audience from the enemy and encouraged the growth of scientific research (Space Pt3). This art not only helped advance support of the Cold War but also was so powerful that it inspired private exploration after NASA was ended in 2010 by President Obama (Space Pt4). Art helped to begin a whole new era of space exploration.


EamesOffice. "Powers of Ten™ (1977)." YouTube. YouTube, 26 Aug. 2010. Web. 28 May 2016 

Uconlineprogram. "8 Space Pt1 1280x720." YouTube. YouTube, 29 July 2013. Web. 28 May 2016. <>.

Uconlineprogram. "8 Space Pt2 1280x720." YouTube. YouTube, 29 July 2013. Web. 28 May 2016. <>.

Uconlineprogram. "8 Space Pt3 1280x720." YouTube. YouTube, 29 July 2013. Web. 28 May 2016. <>.

Uconlineprogram. "Space Pt4." YouTube. YouTube, 30 May 2012. Web. 28 May 2016. <>.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Event 2: The Hammer Museum

Me (right) with the front
desk employee.
On May 8th I visited the Hammer Museum as the Scent Fair event was on display. It was very interesting to see, and smell, the wide array of scents created uniquely by each artist. I made the connection with the perfume to the lectures about Neuroscience. The creators of each perfume work laboriously to understand the science of creating a smell that will remind a person of a memory, or make them feel a specific emotion. They understand how the brain works and thinks in the presence of familiar smells and utilize science to re-create these scents. The creation of the various scents can be seen as an art form because each is unique to its artist and the scents have the capability to bring out emotion in a way that a piece of artwork can.
Armand Hammer Collection

In regards to understanding how the brain responds to stimuli, the Hammer Museum is also an example of neuroscience in art. Each room is designed a different way as to categorize each gallery with a unique aura. The creators of the rooms carefully choose to design the room in a way that will captivate the audience but also make them feel as though they are being transformed to a different location with each room they step into. The artists behind the designs of the museum exhibits truly understand how influential art and the senses can be in withdrawing certain feelings or emotions within the observer.
Leap Before You Look
The Hammer was a great experience and the exhibits are always changing so you’re never going back to see the same things! I enjoyed this event and would highly recommend the museum to my peers.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Unit 8: Nanotechnology + Art
Nanotechnology has recently become a useful scientific tool in order to manufacture material at one of the smallest possible levels in order to take advantage of “higher strength, lighter weight, increased control of light spectrum, and greater chemical reactivity” that nano scale material provides (What is Nanotechnology?). With the new development of production technology, science has the ability to alter molecular makeup of products at the atomic level.
Nanotechnology can play a large role in electronics responsible for bringing to the populace the most-viewed collaboration of art and technology—television. The display screens of televisions are composed of quantum dots and silicon chips responsible for bringing color and illumination to the screen (Nanotech Jim Pt4).  If you’ve ever looked at a TV very closely, you can see the dots that make up the screen—each is a separate, singular color but when combined with various other dots representing the primary colors they create a clear image made from millions of tiny colors. However, if a circuit in the screen is malfunctioning on the molecular level, the entire screen can be skewed, potentially ruining the artistry and technology brought forth by TV (Clare Edwards).

With the construction of electronic screens at the nano scale, the circuits of the television have the potential to decrease in price and be so accurately constructed the technology would evade the issue of circuit crashes. Similarly, in some cases if one light bulb goes out on a string of lights, the whole light circuit has the potential to falter (Ralph Fehr) and with the construction of the lights at the nano level this issue, and issues of other subjects can be mitigated.
Although many people fear the idea of nanotechnology in manufacturing food (Nanotech Jim Pt6), no obvious long term costs have been proven to link to the use of nanotechnology. Nanotechnology also has the ability to create more malleability in objects when constructed by smaller particles as opposed to be rigid and construct day larger particles. If it has the ability to further science in aspects such as medicine, food, and electronic development, I feel that it is a risk worth taking.


Edwards, Clare. "Advantages & Disadvantages of Nanotechnology." Small Business. Demand Media. Web. 23 May 2016. <>.

Fehr, Ralph, P.E. "The Basics of Series Circuits." The Basics of Series Circuits. Electrical Construction and Maintenance, 1 May 2003. Web. 23 May 2016. <>.

Uconlineprogram. "Nanotech Jim Pt4." YouTube. YouTube, 21 May 2012. Web. 19 May 2016. <>.

Uconlineprogram. "Nanotech Jim Pt6." YouTube. YouTube, 21 May 2012. Web. 19 May 2016. <>.

"What Is Nanotechnology?" Nano. Web. 23 May 2016. <>.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Unit 7: Neurosci + Art

As art has gained a larger impact over the world, researchers have grown curious as to how art affects various people in different ways which has lead to studying neuroscience and how brain development affects perception of artworks. In my opinion, all people see the exact same artwork in countless different ways. This inference of mine can be supported with the Rorschach picture tests.
The Rorschach test incorporates psychology, neuroscience, and art to truly understand the various ways artistic images can be seen (Framingham). A further study of the human brain by Suzanne Anker proved how the brain’s photoreceptor neurons play a major role in determining what the person is looking at. The “Rorschach-type” study used the concept of optical illusion to re-create the same butterfly 15 times but make the viewer think no butterfly picture was the same (Lecture 1).
The psychological aspect also plays a role in determining how we interpret particular artistry. Freud believed that creativity is driven from the thoughts created unconsciously (Lecture 2). In other words, how instinct reaction to things drives an individuals perception of creativity. Therefore, the brain works with the nervous system to release neurochemicals—such as endorphins or serotonin—to establish a specific feeling or emotion in reaction to what the viewer is seeing (Lecture 3). It’s rather fascinating how the three can interlink and co-depend on each other to develop thee full cycle of receipt and response.
Technology to understand the connection between neuroscience and art has grown significantly. Originating with Gall’s Phrenology and transitioning into electronic analysis of brain and neuron activity (Cohen), the technology developed to further understand a human’s psychology and creativity has truly progressed.

Framingham, Jane. "Rorschach Inkblot Test." Psych Central. 2015. Web. 14 May 2016. <>.

Ucdesma. "Neuroscience-Mark" YouTube. YouTube, 12 May 2012. Web. 14 May 2016. <>.

Uconlineprogram. "" YouTube. YouTube, 17 May 2012. Web. 13 May 2016. <>.

Uconlineprogram. "" YouTube. YouTube, 17 May 2012. Web. 13 May 2016. <>.

Uconlineprogram. "Neuroscience Pt3." YouTube. YouTube, 16 May 2012. Web. 13 May 2016. <>.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Unit 6: BioTech + Art

This week’s lecture brought a rather controversial subject to the surface—animal experimentation. I learned that not only are animals confined to a life of manipulation in the name of science but also in the name of art. Scientists and artists both experiment with animals to further knowledge of how DNA and other biological concepts operate and affect organisms and as a way to express personal perspective of what human creativity is.
Both Joe Davis and Eduaro Katz used advanced scientific knowledge to experiment on animals with claims of artistry. While Joe Davis’s experiments seemed to have a tinge of desire to further human knowledge, Katz’s experiment was seen as “interesting but silly” (Lecture 1). Artists are continuing to have a growing interest in scientific matters that can somehow portray a piece of art, as seen in the growing Symbiotica group of 2000 (Lecture 2). However, because artists are strictly using these methods to bring them to fame in the art community is unethical.
If you're more interested about this topic, I recommend reading this article.
I feel that although scientists have reasons for subjecting animals to horrific environments—to further the world’s knowledge about humans and other living organisms, and potentially save human lives— both scientists and artists should be heavily limited to the treatments they are able to subject animals to. Although this may be seen as human creativity, I think there should be more restrictions for how humans can treat other animals. I feel that human creativity should be reduced to testing only those who are willing to participate in the potentially dangerous experiments.
Two perfect examples of ethical science and artistry can be seen through Kathy High (Lecture 3) and Orlan (Lecture 4). Kathy High studies the human immune system using white blood cells implanted in a petri dish. Rather that subjecting animal cells, she uses actual human cells to study the behavior of the human immune system (Kathy High Website). Orlan uses her own body as her medium of art and to further interest in the art of the human body. She does not subject animals to life-altering surgeries or experimentation for her own artwork. She is the only medium involved in her self-expression of art, and she clearly is willing to go through with these surgical experiments. It is selfish and unethical to abuse animals for one’s personal desire to express artwork or human knowledge. If a scientist or artist wants to embrace human creativity, it should be done using willing participants rather than those with no voice.

"Kathy High: Visual/media Artist, Independent Curator, Educator." Kathy High: Projects. Web. 04 May 2016. <>.

Uconlineprogram. "5 Bioart Pt1 1280x720." YouTube. YouTube, 18 Sept. 2013. Web. 04 May 2016. <>.

Uconlineprogram. "5 BioArt Pt2." YouTube. YouTube, 17 May 2012. Web. 04 May 2016. <>.

Uconlineprogram. "5 BioArt Pt3." YouTube. YouTube, 17 May 2012. Web. 04 May 2016. <>.

Uconlineprogram. "5 BioArt Pt4." YouTube. YouTube, 17 May 2012. Web. 04 May 2016. <>.