Sunday, April 24, 2016

Week 4 Blog

Week 4 Blog

               This week’s lectures on the human body and the influence of science technologies on medicine.  It was cool to see how throughout time human bodies have been an inspiration for many artists.  From the ancient Egyptians to Renaissance artists, the human body has been the center of many cultural traditions and art works.  Anatomy and dissection have been a key intersection point for art and science.  In ancient Egyptian culture the process of mummification a dead body was crucial in ensuring a prosperous afterlife for royal families.  During the time of the Renaissance scientists were starting to explore the human body in a different way than before.  They began to dissect dead bodies in order to discover the inner mechanisms of the human.  They wanted to document the images they were seeing so they would have an artist come in and sketch for the scientists.

In high school I was required to go to the Bodies exhibit for extra credit in my senior anatomy class.  This exhibit displays well preserved human corpses without their skin in different poses.  It was funny to me to see these bodies on display like great works of art in a gallery.  This was an experience like nothing I had ever seen before.  I was half amazed at all of the cool aspects that make up the human body and half horrified that I was in a room filled with dead corpses.         


The exhibit at the Bodies museum is the perfect example of how science and art intersect.  Each display was carefully thought out with the position, stance, and posture of each body.  The people who worked to create this exhibit obviously put a lot of time into the exhibit and care greatly about the importance of a body being viewed as a work of art.  I think that this is an important message for people to receive.  Artists spend lots of time on each work that they put out for display.  We are in our mother’s womb for nine months before entering into the world.  That is a pretty long time for anything to be created.  This in itself is proof to me that our bodies should be viewed as works of art just as any painting in a museum is.                                           


Works Cited:

"Arts." Christophe Luxereau : Arts / Ombre. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.

" - a Unique Online Source on Contemporary International Artists." Zoran Todorovic Artist Portrait. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.

"Kevin Warwick." Kevin Warwick. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.


"Virgil’s TED Talk: The Medical Avatar." Virgil Wong. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Week 3 Blog

Week 3 Blog

           This week’s lessons and lectures focused on industrialization and robotics.  What I found interesting when professor talked about robotics was how she said that artists were the first to envision the robot.  The idea of the robot first came out of the theatre during the second industrial revolution as a response to mechanism and labor.  When I think of a robot my first thought does not jump to the theatre.  I instead imagine a scientific lab or Star Wars.  It was interesting to see that the conception the robot has theatrical roots instead of mathematical ones.  The mechanisms of a robot itself may be linked to math and science but it would not have come into existence without theatre and the arts.

            Another key topic from this week was German Jewish philosopher and literary critic Walter Benjamin.  He wrote a widely renown essay titled “Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”.  This essay had such an influence on society because during the time of its release political issues were entering the world of art.  Benjamin argued that mechanical reproduction put an end to uniqueness and authenticity.  With this increase of mass production the idea of the original and tradition ceases.   

      Benjamin made some points that reminded me of the “Changing Education Paradigms” Youtube video from week 1 of this class.  This video explained how education nowadays is based on standardization and how children are put through the education   systems like batches of a product.  We live in a society of mass production which is in many ways great.   Products can be made quicker, more efficiently and cost less.  However we also see the repercussions of this.  Human culture has become one of instant gratification and unoriginality. We want what is quick and easy and we don’t want to put any thought into it.  We need mass production to support our economy and create goods that are vital to human survival but we also need to foster originality and tradition.  It is imperative that society finds a way to reap the benefits of mass production while enhancing the human’s natural creative abilities.  If a balance between these two aspects of life is not found humans would lack what made them human in the first place: creative thinking.


Works Cited:

"Electric Circus Dresseur Der Automaten." Electric Circus Dresseur Der Automaten. Web. 16 Apr. 2016.

"Gijs Van Bon." Gijs Van Bon. Web. 17 Apr. 2016.  

"My Seven Species of Robot -- and How We Created Them." Dennis Hong:. Web. 17 Apr. 2016.

"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. Web. 17 Apr. 2016.

“Robots Will Invade Our Lives." Rodney Brooks:. Web. 16 Apr. 2016.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Week 2

Week 2 Blog

The focus of this week’s materials was to demonstrate how math has influenced both art and science.  It was interesting to see during professor’s lectures how great works of art and architecture were heavily influenced by mathematics.  The golden ratio in particular has had a large influence on many different bodies of work throughout time.  In lecture professor broke down how many buildings in Ancient Greece were planned and constructed with the golden ratio.  The Parthenon is on specific example of Ancient Greek architecture that was created using the golden ratio.  Leonardo DaVinci’s Mona Lisa is another work that incorporated the golden ratio into its structure.  It is fascinating how two things as different as the Pantheon and the Mona Lisa are linked together by mathematics.  Both of these historic items have stood the test of time.  I wouldn’t have ever put the Parthenon and the Mona Lisa in the same category but they do have one common factor: mathematics.  One of the main goals of this class is to close the divide between art and science.  By learning how the golden ratio influenced the creation of these two works one can see that these two subjects do indeed belong together.

In this weeks’s lecture professor told us about Renaissance artist Piero della Francesca.  He is now known for his great works of art but he also studied geometry and arithmetic.  Francesca believed that there were three aspects to painting: drawing, proportion and coloring.  When thinking of painting drawing and color come to my mind first as a top priority, proportion does not.  After the breakdown of lecture this week I see now how important proportion is to painting in order to make a work as symmetric and real life as possible.  When someone sits down to paint something it is more than just simply putting a brush to a canvas.  Painting is also a mathematical process.  Piet Mondrian’s works are a great example of this.  When I first looked at his paintings with no background knowledge I thought they were just abstract pieces created with spontaneous inspiration.  I now know that this is not the case.  Mondrian believed in using simple geometric shapes and primary colors to express reality and nature.  Many great artists throughout history were more than just artists.  They also had a great love for math and science. Without mathematics all of the great works we were shown this week could not have been created.

Works Cited:

"Daina Taimina." Daina Taimina. Web. 11 Apr. 2016.

"Nathan Selikoff | Fine Artist Playing with Interactivity, Math, Code." Nathan Selikoff. Web. 11 Apr. 2016.

"Piero Della Francesca." Piero Della Francesca. Web. 11 Apr. 2016.

"Piet Mondrian Biography, Art, and Analysis of Works." The Art Story. Web. 11 Apr. 2016.

"The Institute For Figuring // Where the Wild Things Are." The Institute For Figuring // Where the Wild Things Are. Web. 11. Apr.2016.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

DESMA 9 Week 1

Week 1 Blog 

This week’s materials focused on C. P. Snow and his discussion of the separation of art and science.  In Snow’s lecture Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution the reader is told the importance of both science and the arts.  Snow makes a point of saying that a person should have extensive knowledge of these two subjects, not just one or the other.  There is a lack of understanding between these two worlds and it is often hard to find a middle ground.  In this lecture Snow talks about how he has asked scientists and writers about subjects that are in their opposite fields and how they dismiss the subject they are not an expert in as unimportant.  As a liberal arts major I understand the value literature and other forms of art.  Science on the other hand I have always had a hard time with.  I went through all the required high school science courses but never had a particular interest in nor intended to pursue them further than necessary.  Looking back after reading this article I realize now how I made a choice to prioritize literature and art over science.  Writers and artists are important to bettering society, but scientists and mathematicians are equally important.  In order for society to be whole we need a balance between both literary intellectuals and natural sciences.

We see art and science and their separation everyday at UCLA.  A great example of how they are thought to be independent of one another is how the UCLA campus is designed.  There is a north campus for liberal arts majors and a south campus for science majors.  North campus contains a sculpture garden identifying it as a place that is friendly to the arts.  South campus has an observatory that is one of many symbols for science.  Before reading the Snow lecture I never really thought about the significance of the way our campus was designed other than it made sense to put science with science and art with art.  Now I see that this separation has in a way harmed the student population.  This clear banishment of the sciences and the arts to separate sides of campus has only helped students disassociate these two subjects from one another.  Our campus's very blueprint tells students that science and art should not go together and subconsciously embeds that in our minds.  If we all learned to think of science and art as two things that could go together instead of two separate entities society as a whole would be much better off. 


"An Update on C. P. Snow's "Two Cultures"" Scientific American. Web. 04 Apr. 2016.

"Art and Science: How to Reach Your Audience." Web. 04. Apr. 2016

"Cartoon History of Cyberspace." Web. 04 Apr. 2016.

Silva, Jason. "At TED Active 2011 SCIENCE, ART = WONDER." The Huffington Post., Web. 04 Apr. 2016.

The Editors of Encyclop√¶dia Britannica. "C.P. Snow." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica,  Web. 04 Apr. 2016.