Friday, June 10, 2016

Extra Credit event 1: Fowler Museum

The Fowler museum is located right next to Janss steps on the campus of UCLA. To be honest I had no idea that Fowler was an actual museum even though I have had a class in the same building. The first exhibit we saw was "Art of the Austronesians". This exhibit was an exploration of the Austronesian speaking people that originated in Taiwan and was a tribute to their sea voyages to the Philippines, Indonesia and more. There were many pieces of visual artwork, small characters and statures that were created by these people. Most of the artwork dates back about 200 years.
Guardian Figure, Stand for a Rebab (instrument)
The next exhibit was probably my favorite one in the Museum was "Reflecting Culture: the Francis E. Fowler Jr. Collection of Silver". There were many exciting pieces of silver that included a large ship, goblets for drinking and many other high class dining room objects but the pieces that caught my eye the most were these 12 dinner plates that belonged to Queen Elizabeth I. Each plate had a different scene from a Greek Mythology story on it. It is easy to tell the type of culture these monarchs lived in in the 16th Century. This era was the time of drama and English was of great importance. It is easy to see the artist expression even on these dinner plates. 

The last exhibit we visited was the "Pantheon de diablito rojo" which was a reflection of on the identity of Mexican culture following the Mexican Revolution. The art was expressed in the form of large prop skeletons that were made from collections of news paper. The Fowler museum is such an easy place to go visit, I will be returning.

Platters with Greek Mythology scenes on them

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Event 3: Sam Wolk: Sound and Visual Artist

Each line is DNA of a single organism

Nutrient number 1 field
Same Wolk is an upcoming sound and visual artist whose passions include nonfiction film making and animation. He is a prime example of someone who take many aspect and combines them all to make his artwork. Modern technologies and ecology studies have lead to the work that he presented during his lecture which is his "Artificial Life Project". The basis was thousands and thousands lines of code, the guy knows how to use computers, this code lead too pieces of artificial DNA. The DNA strands that he created were screen long bars that had segments of differently shaded bars. Each bar corresponded to a certain trait (ex: quick growth, large smell radius, etc). Each full strand of DNA and traits manifested themselves as organisms on a different screen, each organism took the form of a different shape and that had a circle around it. The same technique was used for plant species and animal species (different traits corresponded to different segments). Even if these species had desired traits their survival depended on their location, for this he created fields of nutrients- with 3 different nutrients. The organisms that survive were able to pass on their genes, these organisms also provide food for the animal organisms. With this technology and his approach (strategy) he was able to create an entire artificial ecosystem that runs on its own. Sam was able to create this because of all the advances in technology, genetics, ecology and psychology. Towards the end the lecture he was able to show us a slide that had the brain and neurological network of one of his organisms: How the options it has and emotions it feels lead to a decision. He was able to pose a question that if this is possible for us, it may also be possible that our entire universe is the product of an extra dimensional being. That being a very large stretch is also something that is interesting to think about.
Awkward pic: feat. hover hand

Event 2: The Getty Museum

Main entrance 
Visiting the Getty Museum was a great experience. The Museum itself is incredibly beautiful and the view are amazing, (not a bad place for a date). There are many things about the Getty that I loved but the sculpture garden was one of the areas where I most obviously saw the mixture of art and mathematics. Most often these sculptures are usually filled with roses and the geometry and of these perfectly balanced structures are very fun to observe. I wish I knew more about architecture but I am still able to enjoy it, immediately when you walk into the Getty the steps of Marble you see are breathtaking. The sculptures on these steps are also very pretty.

During my trip to the Getty there was an exhibit called the Cave Temples of DunHuang. In this exhibit there were many old pieces of parchment including the oldest written parchment in the world. The Getty is the first location in the United States that have hosted this piece. It is very interesting to be able to see how far back humans were able to record events. Before this there are no first hand account of any events in the history of the Earth, everything we know about time before this parchment is theory. The trip to the Getty was more than anything an entertaining experience, being that is is so close to UCLA I will definitely be going back there at some point.
They wouldn't let us take a picture

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Week 9: Space and Art

Space has always been something that I thought I would never be able to intellectually grasp. After listening to the lectures I don't feel any different. The simple volume of space is something that is so enormous I can't imagine the scale. The power of ten video compare the size of the universe a cell on the human body which I felt was difficult to understand.
Space in Art is most obviously connected in popular culture in science-fiction. The amount of space movies and comics that have been printed have very high numbers. Besides Star Wars one of the most recent works of Art that I have seen was Christopher Nolan's "Interstellar". Most of the science fiction movies have a lot of elements that could be brushed off as just fiction. Interstellar uses laws and physics that are very real. The theory that time moves faster in certain gravity fields was illustrated very clearly in the movie.

During the space race during the Cold War the United states showed their how impressive we could be. The space race spurred a curiosity about new technologies and showed how capable the United States is. Winning the Race to the moon was an event that kept the American People faithful and excited in the United States.


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. <>.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Week 8: Nanotech and art
Nanotechnology has never been something I regularly thought about, it seemed to me to always be something in science fiction movies and comic books. Through the lectures and readings I realized that nanotechnology not only is an emerging area of science but it is not too far off of what I have seen in old cartoons (conceptually). Nanotechnology takes place on such an small scale that we can seldom seem to understand it. Unlike the nanotechnology that brainiac used to take control of Batman's mind in Superman the animated series which was a much exaggerated use of the technology, the technology happens on a very similar scale. Some of the applications discussed by Gimzewski was wearable nanotechnology that could monitor someones bodily functions and be able to accurately detect any problems or changes.
There are many applications of nanotechnology in our modern society that we do not realize. Personally I spend many of my younger year plopped in front of a television. This is a prime example of where art and nanotechnology can work together harmoniously. Pictures on a television are composed of thousands of tiny dots that each show a singular color, these colors together compose a picture in which people can see the shows and movies they want from anywhere. These little dots of color are called quantum dots.

The same technology is applied on our phone screens which have become such an integral part of our lives. The screen technology combined with the sensitivity to touch is another example of using art and nanotechnology together harmoniously. People use this technology to make easily accessible apps and information.


Gimzewski, Jim, and Victoria Vesna. "The Nanomeme Syndrome: Blurring of fact & fiction in the construction of a new science." N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.

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. <>.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Neuroscience and Art

Neuroscience has recently been a very large interest of mine. As a psychobiology major we briefly have touched on it in one of my social psychology classes where we explored what it actually meant to have consciousness. We learned that there are two types of consciousness that know brains have until know. Stream of consciousness, which means there is input to the brain. This is what animals have, where they can take in information with their senses and react to them but they cannot however consciously reflect on that information. The second type is the type that human brains have evolved the capacity to achieve: Reflexive consciousness. Our ability to take in information with our senses and think about, organize and understand that information. This ability is what has set mankind so far apart from every other species on the planet.
Image result for stream of consciousness
Neuroscience and the way that we understand the brain now has many applications. Some are great others aren't so great. The use of drugs to influence the brain is something that has become very prevalent in our modern society and also used for more sinister reason in other places of the world. Albert Hoffman experimented with LSD and its effects on the human brain. We also know that use of drugs can be used to change a persons mind and mess with their reflexive consciousness. In the movie "Blood Diamond" we see a man's son be taken and forced to be a child solider, the people who take him force him to use heroine regularly which damages his brain. The next time he sees his father he does not even recognize him.
Image result for blood diamond rebel training
Rebel training scene in blood diamond


Melissa. "One of the Most Shocking CIA Programs of All Time: Project MKUltra." Today I Found Out. N.p., 22 Sept. 2013. Web. 12 May 2016. <>.

Penrose, Roger. "The Third Culture - Chapter 14." The Third Culture - Chapter 14. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 May 2016. <>.

Uconlineprogram. "" YouTube. YouTube, 17 May 2012. Web. 12 May 2016. <>.

Uconlineprogram. "" YouTube. YouTube, 17 May 2012. Web. 12 May 2016. <>.

Uconlineprogram. "Neuroscience Pt3." YouTube. YouTube, 16 May 2012. Web. 12 May 2016. <>.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Week 6: Biotech and Art

Biotechnology especially in genetics, the human genome project and the greater understanding of how DNA and genes effect living organisms can be considered the greatest advancement of human knowledge in centuries. The relatively recent in depth knowledge of genetics has so many applications medically but some of them are controversial. Genes aren't simply physical characteristics passed down from generation to generation, they are literally certain parts of one's DNA (made up of base pairs) that is a recipe for a certain protein that serves a function in ones body. Many diseases can be caused or prevented by the function and expression of certain proteins.
One example is the HIV virus, HIV is an epidemic and a pandemic that has effected basically the entire world and is has an almost 45% death rate. We know from genetic population analysis that some people are resistant to HIV most commonly in Scandinavian countries. It has been found that the HIV virus depends on a receptor on cells called CCR5delta32, and in the case of HIV resistant individuals they have a genetic or random mutation (any sort of change in DNA) that causes the absence, disfunction or blockage of this receptor. Genetic analysis allowed us to develop a cure for this disease by taking drugs that block the receptors so the HIV virus cannot enter into cells. This cure has been unsuccessful because of rapid mutation of HIV strains but cures are just one application of the new knowledge of genetics.
The applications of this technology allows us to insert and removes genes via transposable elements, example would be the fluorescent green gene in jelly fish. It can be said that in the near future adding desired genes and being able to know all of the diseases or conditions that one is genetically predisposed to. However is this ethical? A world where these things are possible is not far away and was visited in the 1997 film "Gattaca" the video is a trailer for Gattaca. We also see controversy surrounding genetically engineered food.

Allers, Kristina, et al. "Evidence for the cure of HIV infection by CCR5Δ32/Δ32 stem cell transplantation." Blood 117.10 (2011): 2791-2799.

Feschotte, Cédric, Ning Jiang, and Susan R. Wessler. "Plant transposable elements: where genetics meets genomics." Nature Reviews Genetics 3.5 (2002): 329-341.

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. <>.