Thursday, June 2, 2016

Extra Event #2 S.A.D



S.A.D - Jun. 2nd

The second extra event I attended took place on Jun. 2nd. It is about the theme - Staring in the Age of Destruction. (S.A.D) This name takes another meaning after the sad incident happened on Wednesday.
In the exhibition, I chose this art work and talked with the designer - Rofix.  His idea about this piece of work transmitted the increasing similarity of cities. He believed that as most of large cities developed, the buildings were becoming more and more alike. All of them were rectangular, high-stood, boring and no innovative designs.  By setting up the projector lightning, he exhibited the change of one day of a city - morning, afternoon, and evening. As the sun just rose, the city is lightly blue. In the afternoon, the city is of gold red and a little purple. In the evening, lights in buildings were lit.
 


 Rofix said that he had travelled to many cities, but found that he sometimes could not even recognize a city by its buildings. He thought that this was a form of destruction of the current era. He hoped that each city could  have its unique signature and be special to both itself and travelers.








The picture below is the photo I took with Rofix. He was very proud and careful for his work. He stood by his work during the whole exhibition and watched out on the projector and lightning.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Extra Event #1 Nanoscience

Extra Event #1
Art + Brain & Morpho Nano launch of two catalogs and book signing


          I attended an event about Art and Brain&Nanotechnology. In the session, there were several guest from Irvine and east coast talking about their understandings over art and nanotechnology. They briefly introduced their experience over nanotechnology and art in brain and then also talked about their opinions over nanoart projects. One of the idea impressed me was that art was actually promoting the technology development.  In addition, the second chapter Nanoscience in the signed book drew my attention. 

















          On  the cover page of the chapter 2, there is a quote from Michelangelo saying: "A man paints with his brains not with his hands." The nanoscience deals closely with neurons and human brain structure. Through analyzing the function and the structure of human brain, artists apply the theorem of "Reductionism" in art creations. However, this theorem has sometimes be considered as a mistake since details may be emitted and therefore make the original idea distorted. 

          People often draw an analogy between human brains and computers. In nanoscience, this analogy works, too. Generally, human brains are considered as more mysterious and a more powerful thinking tool. It is self-organized and has innumerable variations and possibilities. Comparably, the utilities of computers are limited and in progress. The intrinsic characteristics of human brains thus provide innumerable inspirations for artistic creation. In addition, people mimic animals' physical structures and then create similarly structured products. For example, the network of neurons in brain can be another analogy to the internet networking.




Sources:

"The Definition of Reductionism." Dictionary.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 June 2016.

Event #3 Blog

      I attended the event lecture by Maria Antonia Gonz├íles on Thursday of Week 9. She mainly discussed on art producing and knowledge intersecting with humanities, arts and science. 
      In the beginning, she aimed at art and science. She proposed to narrow down what we understand about art since the idea of art is too broad. It would be more practical to talk about art if we choose specific fields and perspectives of art. Then Maria focused on scientific art. 
 
-- 3D Printer technology
      She asked questions such that in order to manipulate machines, how much do we have to know science? By reading papers? Going to seminars? And How deep should we know science? She gave an example of DIY movement, which aroused my thinking over art production and humanities. Whether should I study more about technologies before I use them? To create better artistic works, do I just need to understand how to use the machines or should I also know the principles behind how those machines function? Besides, Maria led us to think about the natures and artifacts in art production. She presented many questions like how much natures are in art and how should we deal with nature and artifacts in order to let us think over the philosophical side of art production. 

     Later on, Maria showed us the project of Arabidopsis thaliana AG. GUS is a plant, an organism. This project works on flowers and tends to produce the mutant of flowers - superflower. The project plays with the idea of beauty. 

     Meanwhile, there are another biotech art using maize as bio artifact. They has a community to work on transgenetic corns, put the corns in glass and observe behaviors under different circumstances. 
Maris is talking about a meat game.



Sources:
Mearian, Lucas. "Review: LulzBot Mini 3D Printer Delivers Outstanding Details."Computerworld. 2015. Web. 31 May 2016.
"Transgenic Multivitamin Corn through Biofortification of Endosperm with Three Vitamins Representing Three Distinct Metabolic Pathways." Transgenic Multivitamin Corn through Biofortification of Endosperm with Three Vitamins Representing Three Distinct Metabolic Pathways. Web. 31 May 2016.
"Hydroponic Method." Hydroponic Method. Web. 31 May 2016.



Sunday, May 29, 2016

Week 9 Blog

Space and Art

      The Power of Ten presents both an insight into microscopic world and a macroscopic view of the cosmos; from a couple on grass ground, to the blue earth planet, to the solar system, to constellations and the Milky Way, to nebula; also to cell, to DNA, to molecules, to atoms, to electrons... It is amazing how the power of ten shows the beauty of vastness and of minutiae. 
      From the video of Earth to the Heavens, there are many similarities between terrestrial scenes and universal images taken by NASA. The video delivers an idea that "There are patterns of beauty across our Earth and throughout the Universe."
      The left image is the forest of Santa Hycinthe; the right one shows a glowing debris of an exploded star.
      The left picture depicts flamingos on Lake Nakuru in Kenya; the right one shows the hot gas seen in the collision of two galaxy clusters.
      The left one is the Great Barrier Reef and the right picture is the Cassiopeia A Supernova Remnant. 
      From the pictures above, we see that there is a distant similarity between the universe and the planet we live. Meanwhile, we believe that there must be more examples to show patterns of beauty between a microscopic world and the magnitude of the environment we live in. 
      In the film Interstellar, a famous scene is that the main character floats across different dimensions, sees the past and future, and tries to make a little difference to the past. Multi-dimensional space has always been an unimaginable and mysterious topic. Nolan made this complex notion visible and intriguing. 

Sources:
"Space and Art." - NASA Watch. Web. 30 May 2016.
Vesna , Victoria, dir. Space Part 1~6. 2012. Film. 30 Nov 2012.
"Leonardo Space Art Project Visioneers." Leonardo Space Art Project Visioneers. Web. 30 May 2016.
"Interstellar Almost Had This Dark, Tragic Ending." - CINEMABLEND. 2015. Web. 30 May 2016.
"Happy Powers of Ten Day!" Powers of Ten Blog. Web. 30 May 2016.




Sunday, May 22, 2016

Week 8 Blog

Nanotechnology and Art

      Nanotechnology is the natural product of the new era, since we are always interested in the smaller world and now we have abilities to see it to some extent. How does it function? How does it look like? How much are we still unknown about? The nanotechnology enables people to visualize and manipulate objects which are small and were invisible for people in the past. According to Jim's video lecture, some people have not realized that they are using nanotechnology, and some others are rejecting nanotechnology in certain fields such as in food industry.

      Nanoscale is about 1-100nm. The nanotechnology works on atomic scale and make new things. According to NanoArt: Nanotechnology and Art, based on the artistic scientific process, the NanoArt creates new nanosculpture and visualizes nanosculpture. Meanwhile, nanoart has prompted new ideas of artistic interpretation of images using different artistic techniques. 

                       

      From the perspective of molecule assembly, the two pictures above represent NE-1 and POV ray and NE-1 and Qutemol respectively (from left to right). This means that different formation process of molecules can produce different products even though they have same and equal elements.

      In addition, the application of nanotechnology in food industry is quite interesting, especially when referred to people's reactions. Some people are against the nanotechnology used in food. Their rejection to this technique is not unfounded. As Jim has implied in the lecture video, a particle on the microscopic scale may differ radically when turned into a nanoparticle or a nanoparadigm. In my opinion, the scientific road to a healthy food market with nanotechnology is going to require scientists deeply understanding the rule and carefully use nanotechnology in food after tons of safety experiments.  


Sources:
Thomas, Paul. Nanoart: The Immateriality of Art. Print.
"Food Nanotechnology." Nanowerk. Web. 22 May 2016.
Gimzewski, Jim, and Victoria Vesna. The Nanomeme Syndrome: Blurring of Fact & Fiction in the Construction of a New Science. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Nov. 2012. <http://vv.arts.ucla.edu/publications/publications/02-03/JV_nano/JV_nano_artF5VG.htm>.
"Can Art Make Nanotechnology Easier to Understand?" National Geographic. National Geographic Society. Web. 23 May 2016.
"Recent Appearances, Hessen-Nanotech and Institute of Physics." Welcome to Somewherevillecom. 2007. Web. 23 May 2016.
"The Art of Nanotech." Bits The Art of Nanotech Comments. Web. 23 May 2016.

Orfescu, Cris. NanoArt: Nanotechnology and Art,Biologically-Inspired Computing for the Arts:  Scientific Data through Graphics. Print.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Week 7 Blog










In recent periods, scientists invent new technologies such as MRI in order to observe the brain activities. Through analysis process, people can actually see how themselves feel and react to different activities. As professor Vesna introduced, we may see mysterious butterfly shape in MRI. This shape implies that there may exist a symmetrical structure inside human brains. Meanwhile, there are different forms of butterfly in MRI and thus also reflect identical mind activities. 






Delving into neuroscientific field, since each tiny neuron or each small part of brain may control an organ's function, it requires large amounts of work to mark each points in brain or each neuron. A method is called Brainbow technology. In the picture below, this technology was used to map human brain in different colors. This new technology inspired art works of mimicking human body or human mind with colors. As well, through the mapping technology, scientists and artists found many special patterns, one of them is fish larvae.


In the beginning of the lecture, Professor Vesna proposed a question, which I found really interesting, is, "Is mind control inevitable." She said yes. To some extent, I agree with her. With alcohol, people can barely control their mind. Some even try poisonous mushrooms and drugs. These chemically effective mind-blower takes control of human minds, translates humans' potential desire into dizzy or even crazy behaviors, fosters magic and unimagined world in minds. Because of the "fantastic" results that drugs can bring, many poets, musicians, artists depend on drugs to look for new inspirations for works. In the end, many of them become addicted. When chemicals may make human minds out of control, they present both good and bad outcomes. 

Sources:
Vesna, Victoria. “Conscious / Memory (Part 1).” Lecture. 16 Nov 2012.  <http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=DLVQIwOn7o8>
Vesna, Victoria. Lecture. “Conscious / Memory (Part 2).” 16 Nov 2012.  <http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Xlg5wXHWZNI>
        Vesna, Victoria. Lecture. “Conscious / Memory (Part 3).” 16 Nov 2012.  <http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=E5EX75xoBJ0>
Cohan, Mark. Lecture. 16 Nov 2012.  <http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=eDq8uTROeXU>
"Natural Affinities." Mapping the Marvellous. 2009. Web. 16 May 2016.
"Dangerously Beautiful Poisonous Mushrooms." Imgur. Web. 16 May 2016.
Person, and John Hewitt. "Mapping the Entire Brain with New and Improved Brainbow II Technology." Mapping the Entire Brain with New and Improved Brainbow II Technology. Web. 16 May 2016.



Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Event #2 Blog

Event #2

I attended the event about robotic technology and art design.
During this event, from the perspective of science and fictions in movies, the lecturer list many films like Metropolis, Frankenstein, Star War and so on. Then she mainly concentrated on the part of reality.

She introduced briefly Hanson Robotics, which are from US and move to China. As well, she discussed about the Android robot, which is just a head of Android. It is very human-like and almost indistinguishable from humans. This robot can do daily works. For example, it can help us to put the groceries away; it can be humor and tell cute jokes, like when she said that she would destroy the earth. The lecturer presented an important idea that Android's robots are not only about science and technology, but also about philosophy. This idea gives me some thoughts about the relationship between robots and human consciousness.


These are Professor Hiroshi and robot Geminoid: they look similar. The robot has skins which are really like human skin, with detailed face, on which shows pores, wrinkles and so on. The robot looks almost real. The thought this robot bring to us is that the function of the robot is doing things reversely since the professor is going to be older, but the robot will stay young forever. Hiroshi created this robot to preserve his younger time.
This is the robot Geminoid F with a real girl. There is a story about them: the girl is dying. This robot is created with some of her own organs to mimic herself. Therefore, she might still exist in the world and would not be alone after her leaving the world.

In my opinion, I think that the robot technology may eventually mistake humans selves. Recently, there is a robot answering students' email for months in George Tech University, but no student has realized its existence before acknowledged so. The new technology foster the world to seem like fictionally real, in which we human can even not distinguish the reality and the fiction. Finally, we may live in a fictional world that we create.


Sources:

"Geminoid News, Videos, Reviews and Gossip - Io9." Io9. Web. 12 May 2016.
"Android (robot)." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 12 May 2016.
"Pro. Ishiguro Has Received "the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Award" in the Presence of Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum." HIL. Web. 12 May 2016.