Thursday, April 28, 2016

Event #1 Toni Dove

Last Thursday in the Broad Art Center I attended Toni Dove's art lecture in which she discussed her  technological and digital mixed media art projects. Much of Dove's work consists of virtual reality installations that focus on human interaction with film.
(Dove as a viewer, interacting with her film through motion sensing)
Two virtual reality installations that she  discussed in the lecture were "Artificial Changelings" and "Archaeology of a Mother Tongue". Both projects require for the audience or viewer to interact with the project through body movement. In "Archaeology of a Mother Tongue" Dove requires the viewer to use a mechanically modified glove that allows the participant to "touch" and move objects in the virtual reality. In "Artificial Changelings" Dove uses motion sensors to track the viewer's body movements, which are then relayed to the video film and move the story along. I found Toni's inclusion of viewer interaction in her installations particularly interesting because it seems to be a very straightforward and effective way to engage audiences. Consequently, this experience has inspired me to incorporate viewer interaction into my midterm project. Although I found the content of Dove's virtual reality films to be outlandish and confusing, I admired the graphic and technological ingenuity of her projects.
(A sample from Dove's current project,
 a dress that moves and lights up)
In particular, I enjoyed the mechanical dress design she shared with us. Like many of her other installations and the art projects taught in week three of lecture, the dress Dove is currently working on contains both aspects of art design and tech design. In order to make the dress Toni disclosed that she had fashion designers from Parsons working alongside electrical and mechanical engineers, I found this odd collaboration along with Toni's visionary use of both tech and art media in installation to be particularly interesting.
(Toni Dove and I at the Broad Art Center)
While Dove's work was clearly inspired by the juxtaposition of the future and past, it also contained psychological and societal commentary, which eerily related her dark and unsettling plot lines to the modern day. Consequently, I would recommend my classmates or others to attend her lecture or check out her work, as it strongly relates to the material learned in lecture and provides a current, real life example of the integration of technology, design, and the arts.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Week 4 Medical Technology and Art

(Henry Gray's book of anatomy includes a detailed look
 inside the human body, is still used by artists today
 and even the inspiration for the title of my favorite show, Grey's Anatomy,
 an artistic representation of the medical community)
 The symbiotic relationship between art and medicine can be seen clearly in the advancement of the study of art through the medical practices of anatomy dissection, a practice that allowed artists to better understand human proportions and draw the inner body for record. Further, an example of art improving and impeding on the study of science is seen in Diane Gromala's work with virtual reality simulators to heal sufferers of chronic pain. Gromala claims that her art- derived virtual reality simulations that involve the use of visual, auditory, and physical engagement, is just as effective in relieving short term pain as a chemical analgesic, such as tylenol or acetaminophen.
(A wave drawn in bacteria on agar)
As a pre- med student, I was somewhat familiar with Professor Vesna's mentioning of the Human Genome Project and the Human Microbiome Project and the major impacts the two projects have, and will continue to have, on understanding the intricacies of the human body. In particular, my familiarity with the human micro biome comes to mind when on the topic of the relationship between medicine and art. While in a biology lab class in high school I was given the opportunity to make bacteria culture art. Bacteria culture art is the use of living dyed or naturally colored bacteria and agar gel as a medium to create pictures and patterns. Although my art was simple and only consisted of multicolored polka dots made of different species of yeast, there are a group of artists in the scientific community who have created intricate pieces of work that are composed of a wide array of the different types of bacteria that can be found in the human micro biome. 

(NYC Biome Map, the city grid lines drawn with fluorescent bacteria)
Similar to my personal experience with the relationship between medicine and art through microbial art, I have also considered the specializations of radiology and plastic surgery after medical school. Conveniently, both specialties were mentioned by Professor Vesna, radiology was brought up in relation to the microscopic and x- ray technology used in the shared histories of art and medicine and plastic surgery was discussed in relation to the artist Orlan and her extreme art showcases that involved the artist being operated on by doctors in costume. Using her body as a medium, classical figures of beauty as inspiration, and social context as commentary, Orlan caused the procedure and final product to both be spectacles of art.
(Orland used Boticelli's Venus as inspiration for her plastic surgery
 reconstruction, a commentary on beauty
 and gender based societal oppression)

Works Cited

MailOnline, Victoria Woollaston for. "Microbial Masterpieces! Scientists 'paint' Detailed Works of Art by Growing Bacteria from Human Skin and Even Faeces in Petri Dishes." Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 15 Oct. 2015. Web. 24 Apr. 2016. <>. 

Orlan – Carnal Art (2001) Documentary. Dir. St├ęphan Oriach. Perf. Orlan. N.d. Film. YouTube. Web. 26 Oct. 2012. <>

TEDxTalks. "TEDxAmericanRiviera - Diane Gromala - Curative Powers of Wet, Raw Beauty." YouTube. YouTube, 07 Dec. 2011. Web. 24 Apr. 2016. <>.

Vesna, Victoria. “Http://” Lecture. Medicine pt1 . Youtube, 21 Apr. 2016. Web. 25 Oct. 2016. <>.

Vesna, Victoria. “Http://” Lecture. Medicine pt3. Youtube, 22 Apr. 2016. Web. 25 Oct. 2016. <>.


Friday, April 15, 2016

Week 3 Robotics/ Industrialism/ Knowledge Production and Art

(One of the many electrical inventions of Nikola Tesla, the Tesla Coil,
 an induction coil that can produce alternating currents)
"The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence." -Nikola Tesla
( The movie poster for The Social Network, a film that tells the story of the rise of social networking
 and the impacts it has had on society and the human individual)  
With man's heavy reliance on machinery and the major influence of technology in every aspect of modern day life, it is evident that the "day" Tesla refers to in which science and, more specifically, technology works to enrich and improve not only the physical world around us, but our spiritual and metaphysical realities, as well, has come. This connection between the sciences and the arts has been made through the effects of technology on the human experience, specifically by way of the utilization of digital or mechanical mediums in the representation of art and emotion. Marshall McLuhan's perspective, "the medium is the message" reflects on the importance of not only the emotional content of the art itself, but also the way it is created. The value of technology in art can be evaluated by the changing mediums throughout history and time. If the invention of the mechanical Gutenberg Press created the revolutionary medium of printed type, then the invention of the computer can be considered the creator of a new revolutionary medium, the internet. 

(Scene from The Social Network: Zuckerburg creates website that allows Harvard
 students to rank their female peers on level of attractiveness, exemplifying the use of technology
 to affect the human social and emotional experience)
McLuhan's description on how the world has been contracted into a "global village" in which there is an instantaneous flow of information is conveniently showcased by another technological medium, film, in one of my favorite movies, The Social Network. Based on the true story of the creation of Facebook, The Social Network uses the medium of film to portray how the medium of the internet and social networks can influence the metaphysical aspects of the human experience. In the film, the creator of Facebook Mark Zuckerburg makes a website with the purpose to connect people. Ironically as the site becomes more successful,  Zuckerburg loses the real life connections he has with  his friends and makes some powerful enemies along the way. The New York Times describes the movie as, "a narrative of ambition, except instead of discovering his authentic self, Mark builds a database, turning his life — and ours — into zeroes and ones, which is what makes it also a story about the human soul." 

Works Cited

Dargis, Manohla. "A Facebook Creation Story With Mark Zuckerb." The New York Times. N.p., 23 Sept. 2010. Web. 15 Apr. 2016. <>. 

McLuhan, Marshall. "The Medium Is the Message." Nature 253.5494 (1975): 689-90. Web. <>. 

Norman, Jeremy. "Relating the Rapidly Changing Present to the Distant Past as Far as Book History Is Concerned." Relating the Rapidly Changing Present to the Distant Past as Far as Book History Is Concerned. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2016. <>. 

Vesna, Victoria. “CoLE.” CoLE. N.p.. Web. 18 Oct 2012. <

Whipps, By Heather. "Nikola Tesla: Biography, Inventions & Quotes." LiveScience. TechMedia Network, 29 May 2014. Web. 16 Apr. 2016. <>.


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Week 2 Mathematics and Art

(Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man, a representation of the perfect
 human proportions, used for sculpture and painting)

Often thought of as two different and, even, opposing disciplines, the subjects of science and art, in fact, have influenced each other's development since the discovery of zero. The two disciplines also find commonality in their shared history of key innovators that doubled as mathematicians and artists. The mathematical contributions by Alhazen, Piero della Francesca, and Leonardo di Vinci have forever influenced the art forms of painting and drawing by allowing the artist to represent their artwork, optically, in a way more readily received by the viewer. The groundbreaking scientific discoveries of The Golden Ratio (a mathematical ratio used in art and architecture for aesthetically pleasing purposes), the vanishing point ( a method developed through the study of optics that is used to convey depth and dimension in painting and drawing), fractals, the physical analysis of turbulence, and many other mathematical contributions continue to be used by artists in their work.

("Starry Night" as a poster on the walls of my dorm, 
Van Gogh's swirls reveal the use of turbulence calculation)
For instance, my favorite painting, The Starry Night, a piece of work that appears devoid of any mathematical influence, was recently analyzed to reveal  that the artist, Van Gogh, may have intuitively used Kolmogrov Scaling, a mathematical model for turbulent flow in fluid motion, to create the eddies, or swirls, that dominate the painting, sixty years before Kolmogrov developed the scaling formula. Interestingly, paintings from Van Gogh's manic or "turbulent" state all revealed the presence of these mathematically modeled eddies whereas the paintings created during his "recovered" or sane state do not include any mathematically significant influences.
Similarly, Jackson Pollock's chaotic splatter paintings have also been analyzed from a mathematical perspective to reveal the presence of fractals. Like Van Gogh's, supposed, mimicry of the natural world through mathematical tools, Pollock's fractal patterns reveal that the artist's work, at one point, had the same fractal dimension rankings as those of an ocean shore.
(One of Jackson Pollock's splatter painting that contains fractals)

The juxtaposition of art and math exists primarily due to the social connotation that divides the two disciplines, despite the ingenious productions of their intersections and collaboration. Although there are clear similarities between the two studies, the emphasis placed on the objectivity of mathematics versus the natural subjectivity of art has further added to the mental division of the disciplines. As Professor Vesna noted in lecture, the process of "degeniusing", carried out by modern society, has potentially led to the loss of many great inventions and discoveries in both the realms of art and science.

Works Cited

Frantz, Marc. "Lesson 3: Vanishing points and art." Web. <>.

Gleicer, Marcelo."Van Gogh's Turbulent Mind Captured Turbulence." NPR. NPR, 01 Apr. 2015. Web. 09 Apr. 2016.

Oulette, Jennifer. "May 2016." Discover Magazine. 01 Nov. 2001. Web. 09 Apr. 2016.

"Van Gogh's Turbulent Mind Captured Turbulence." NPR. NPR, 01 Apr. 2015. Web. 09 Apr. 2016.

Vesna, Victoria. “Mathematics.” Lecture. CoLE DESMA 9. Web. <>.

Photo Sources

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Week 1 Two Cultures

Contrary to John Brockman's refutation of  the existence of C.P Snow's "Third Culture", an alternative culture defined as the manifestation of the integration of science and the arts through open communication between scientists and artists, I believe that in our modern day society there exist many examples of scientist and artist collaboration. In fact, as we enter the digital age and as advances in technology continue to occur, I more often see examples of an oncoming breakdown between the man-made division of the disciplines of science and art. Thus, looking toward the future, it is reasonable to predict that in order to keep up with the changing direction of research, innovation, and business that favors the possession of an intellectually diversified background, there exists a need for reformation in educational institutions, solutions brought up by both Snow and Professor Vesna. The geographical divide of the arts-centered, North Campus and the science-based, South Campus  physically represents the figurative division of the different studies in traditional intellectual thought. Coming to college I initially had a very difficult time picking a major, another tool used by academics to divide the disciplines, because I could not consciously pick either a scientific or art based study without feeling as if I was missing out on obtaining a well- diversified intellectual background. To compensate, I decided on the "North Campus major" Economics, while staying rooted in the physical sciences by taking pre- med courses.
(UCLA campus divide: to the right (not pictured) South Campus, to the left (not pictured) North Campus)

(Poker, one of the many and far-ranging applications of Game Theory)
 By doing this, not only did I benefit from having both a humanities and science based curriculum, I also found through my biology classes and economics classes that the creative perspective needed to understand both majors was very similar, an observation also found in Professor Vesna's paper. For example, in Economics we learn about Game Theory, a theory that sets a scientific model to human behavior in order to predict outcomes. Although I learned
about Game Theory in economics class, it surprisingly has manyother applications. For instance, it is also used in the studies of evolutionary biology, psychology, political science, philosophy, and even the game of poker!

 Similarly, coming from a family of journalists and reporters, an art that not only works with developments in the science, art, business, and athletics, but is also affected by the integration of the humanities and technology with the evolution of medium from print paper to television to online representation, I strongly understand
the connection and advancement that technology brings to bridging the gap between the "Two Cultures" of science and art.

(Older sister interviewing basketball player Blake Griffin at the start of her career as a reporter)


Brockman, John. The Third Culture. N.p.: n.p., 1995. Print.

Snow, C. P. “Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution.” Reading. 1959. New York: Cambridge UP, 1961. Print.

Vesna, Victoria. "Toward a Third Culture: Being In Between." Leonardo. 34 (2001): 121-125. Print.

Unknown. Photograph. <>

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