Sunday, April 24, 2016

Event Blog #3

In Focus: Electric!

Today I went to the Getty to look at an exhibition relating to this desma course called "In Focus: Electric!" It was my first time visiting the Getty and I was so impressed. It is such a beautiful and well kept museum with a lot of fascinating art. Up in the hills, it also has great view points where you can see the whole city of LA!

The exhibition that I visited was called "In Focus: Electric!" The event focused on electrical innovations including lightbulbs, and how they influenced photographers. Lightbulbs often symbolize new inventions or ideas, like the phrase "a light bulb going off in someones head." Nowadays it is difficult to imagine a time without electricity. It is especially difficult for photographers to imagine art without electricity.

Photographers in the twentieth century documented light that they unexpectedly encountered. They have always been observant of the effects of electricity. Nowadays, many artists and photographers use images of light in their works to represent the electricity that plays such a crucial role in their professions.


The concept of electrical innovations in relation to art reminds me of what we learned about in Vesna's lectures about technology and art. We learned about how technological innovations in that time period influenced artists and our perception of the human body. This gives me the impression that as things are evolving culturally, or in the scientific field, the art world changes and adapts as well. 


When I think of electricity and art, I think of my experience in Nanjing, China two years ago. I went to China to play in the 2014 Youth Olympic Games for Beach Volleyball. China is a country that always seems to be up to date technologically. They went above and beyond to decorate the entire city in colourful lights that illuminated to create beautiful images. The closing ceremonies was the most amazing show with countless sculptures and routines put on with colourful lights. Without those electrical innovations so many years ago, they would have been unable to create these images and make my experience there so unique.  




I would definitely recommend this exhibition to my classmates. The Getty is beautiful and close to UCLA. The exhibition was interesting and had many great images to look at. I was able to tie a lot of the concepts there to materials that we have learned so far in this course. 


"In Focus: Electric!" The J Paul Getty Museum. J Paul Getty Trust, n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2016. 

Vesna, Victoria. "Medicine pt1." Youtube. Uconlineprogram. 21 Apr. 2012. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.


Friday, April 22, 2016

Event #2

Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous

Last night I attended an event at the CNSI building on Campus at the Art Sci Centre. Professor Vesna was there, and introduced the artists and scientists who were speaking including Toni Dove, Taylor Aubry, Clarisse Bardiot, Laura Cechanowicz, Erkki Huhtamo, Marco Pinter and Shannon Willis. Each person spoke for around 5-7 minutes about what they are working on, or what they have learned through research.

(The podium where the artists and scientists spoke)

(My sister and I at the Art Sci Centre)

(Inside the Art Sci Gallery)

I had never been to an event like this before so I found it very fascinating. One of the speakers was Shannon Willis, an art student at USCB had to leave her daughter for her studies. She focuses on the exchange between philosophy, quantum physics, art and emotion. Her pieces of art are interactive videos and sculptures that incorporate depth, illusion, and touch to spark emotions. In her works, art, science and technology work together to create sculptures that entice human emotion. This reminds me of Professor Vesna's lecture from week one, talking about the intersection of the two cultures to create art. In these sculptures, without science or technology, the interactive aspects of the art would be impossible. 

(Shannon Willis - Clusterf#ck)

The speaker that stuck out to me the most was Marco Pinter, an artist with a PhD in Media Arts and Technology from UCSB. He spoke about the mechanisms of visual perception and object permanence. We learned about this a little bit in Vesna's lecture on Math & Art. We talked about perspective, and artists attempts of creating perception of depth in their paintings dating back to the 1300's. Marco Pinter's project, 'Object Permanence' explores our perception of objects and their existence over time.


(Marco Pinter - The Object Permanence)

He also talked about the use of robotics in art. He creates sculptures using robotic choreography so that they can be manipulated with your hands. We learned about robotics and art in Vesna's lectures from Week 3. Robotics has influenced artists over time, and is a way for them to create unique, interactive sculptures. Below is an image of Marco Pinter and Shannon Willis and a robotic responsive sculpture that they created. 

(Marco Pinter and Shannon Willis)

I would definitely recommend this event to my classmates. It was convenient as it was on campus and it was very interesting to hear from Professor Vesna, not only through video's but in person. Hearing from the artists and scientists really tied together a lot of the materials that we have learned about so far this quarter. 


"Object Permanence." Marco Pinter., n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2016.

Vesna, Victoria. “Mathematics.” Lecture. YouTube. Uconlineprogram, 8 Apr. 2015. Web. 22 Apr. 2016. 

Vesna, Victoria. “Mathematics.” Lecture. YouTube. Uconlineprogram, 8 Apr. 2015. Web. 22 Apr. 2016. 

Vesna, Victoria. "TwoCultures part1." Youtube. Uconlineprogram, 30 Mar. 2012. Web. 22 Apr. 2016. 

Vesna, Victoria. "Robotics pt.3." Youtube. Uconlineprogram. 15 Apr. 2012. Web. 22 Apr. 2016.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Medicine, Technology & Art

        This week, in Vesna's lectures, we learned about the human body, how science and technology have influenced medicine, and how our bodies are being manipulated and the way we see ourselves is shifting. Anatomy and dissection are at the intersection of art and science. Artists have always been fascinated with the medical field. As technology advanced, as did our knowledge of the human body, which increased artists abilities to portray the human body correctly. 


This advancing technology includes X-Rays, Magnetic Resonance Imaging and CAT Scans. These are all scanning machines that give a more clear, accurate representation of muscles, tendons and organs etc. Not only does advancing technology give a better understanding of the human body, but a way to treat it. Diane Gromala explains in her TEDTalk how she has struggled with chronic pain, and how medical advancements have allowed her to manage this chronic pain for over 25 years.



Something that people often perceive as a new technological advancement is plastic surgery, when in fact it is quite the opposite. It has been around for around 4000 years, actually coming from the East in Ancient India. As technology in wars became more advanced, the injuries became more destructive. Doctors had to deal with many facial injuries, therefore they started performing plastic surgery. 


Nowadays, when people think of plastic surgery, they don't think about men in the war needing facial reconstruction. They picture the housewives of Beverly Hills. Today plastic surgery is viewed as more cosmetic and superficial. Women are getting lip injections, face lifts, nose jobs and more, putting them in control of what they look like. 


        While technological advancements are beneficial for medicine, science and art, they also create a shift in the way we view ourselves. I don't' believe that getting plastic surgery and controlling what you look like is healthy. Orlan was a French woman who started a series of surgical performances that were live and videotaped. Everyone who attended these performances were in costume. I believe that this is freakish and unhealthy and this skews the idea of beauty and what it means to age. 



Gromala, Diana. "TEDxAmericanRiviera - Diane, Gromala - Curative Powers of Wet, Raw Beauty". Youtube. TEDx Talks. Youtube, 15 Apr. 2012. Web. 12 Apr. 2016.

Satava, Richard M. "Advanced Technologies and the Future of Medicine and Surgery." PMC. Public Medical Central, 31 Dec. 2008. Web. 18 Apr. 2016. 

Vesna, Victoria. "Medicine pt1." Youtube. Uconlineprogram. 21 Apr. 2012. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.

Vesna, Victoria. "Medicine pt2." Youtube. Uconlineprogram. 21 Apr. 2012. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.

Vesna, Victoria. "Medicine pt3." Youtube. Uconlineprogram. 21 Apr. 2012. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.

Event Blog #1

Black Mountain College

Last week I went to the Hammer Museum in Westwood to go to one of the listed desma events. This was the first time that I had ever been to the Hammer Museum. It was so pretty and modern. A colourful tree and the word Hammer were illuminated on white walls. I also got to spin around on the chairs that spin like a top!


(Inside the room of the poetry reading)


(An illuminated tree on the wall at the Hammer)

(Spinny chairs in the lobby of the museum)

The event that I attended was called "Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933-1957". Prior to this I had never heard of Black Mountain College. I learned that it was a liberal arts college in North Carolina with a rich history. It started as a protest, it had a work program where students could work on the farm and do dishes, and it was investigated by the FBI during Cold War America. The fact that the school survived was remarkable. The start up of black mountain college was simultaneous with the rise of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany.


(Some of my teammates and I and the guy who checked our tickets)

(My ticket for the event)

At this time, science was a dominant force, therefore a school focused solely on the arts was a bizarre concept. The founders of the college believed that the arts are central to the experience of learning. This idea reminds me of the first blog post that we did, focusing on two cultures. At this point in time I am sure that the divide between science and art was even more profound.


Black Mountain College operated in a more progressive educational way. Free inquiry was encouraged, and there were no required courses. This independence with ones education is something that I believe is very beneficial for overall learning experience. This reminds me of Richard Buckmeister Fuller's idea of de-geniusing that Vesna mentioned in the Mathematics Lecture. This was the idea that we are all born geniuses but the education system works to de-genius us. Black Mountain College seemed to be working for the opposite; to use the education system to enrich its students.

I would definitely recommend this event to my classmates. It was an interesting topic that I personally was unaware of prior to the event, it was convenient and close to campus, and had a great atmosphere. It enriched my knowledge on the how influential the education system can be in regards to the divide between science and art. The conflict between science and art in education systems that is present in todays schools, was also present back then, and dates back decades. Further knowledge on these subjects will help me for my midterm and final projects.


"Black Mountain College: A Brief Introduction." Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Centre. Black Mountain College, n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.

Blumberg, Naomi. "Black Mountain College." Encyclopaedia Britannica. Encyclopaedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.

"Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College: 1933-1957." The Hammer Museum. Hammer Museum, n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.

Oman, Erika. "Black Mountain College." The Art Story. The Art Story Foundation, n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.

Vesna, Victoria. “Mathematics.” Lecture. YouTube. Uconlineprogram. Web. 8 April. 2015.