Monday, June 6, 2016

Extra Credit 1: The Getty

Extra Credit Event: The Getty
For my extra credit event, I decided to spend an afternoon up at the Getty Center with my older sister. I had seen it up on the hill countless times as I drive around LA, but had never had the opportunity to stop by to actually see what was up there.

Upon arrival, I was amazed at the sheer size of The Getty Center! I never realized how massive the plot of land was and how many beautiful works of art it contained. At first, my sister and I were overwhelmed by how many buildings and exhibits there were, so we started by just enjoying the beautiful, panoramic views of the west side of LA.

Next we started randomly walking around to look at all of the different exhibits that were currently on display. It felt like you could get lost for hours up there, walking around each building soaking up centuries of artistic works. My sister’s favorite exhibit was the Italian Renaissance paintings and sculptures.

My favorite part of The Getty was actually the Central Garden. It is a vast garden that looked like a maze from a distance. I found it to be an living artistic creation that incorporated sights, sounds and scents from flowers, trees and bush fixtures. I later researched that the garden was created by Robert Irwin and is 134,000 square feet, an incredible amount of work to be maintained throughout the year. I just loved the feeling of being able to walk through the different foliage routes covered by such green trees. Then the pools with the floating maze were so large and intricate I was truly captivated.

I would definitely recommend spending a day up at The Getty because there is so many artistic features to enjoy. For me, I enjoyed the architecture of the buildings as well as the Central Garden the most.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Event 3: Art + Brain and MORPHO Nano Catalogue Launch

EVENT 3: Art + Brain and MORPHO Nano Catalogue Launch

For my third and final DESMA event, I attended the Art + Brain and MORPHO Nano Catalogue Launch on campus at the CNSI building. I feel like this event was the perfect representation of the last 10 weeks of this class, which made it the perfect last event. As a bonus, I also got to finally meet Professor Vesna!

This launch party was an amazing gathering of some extremely influential scientists and artists who realized the power of working together. The product of the evening was a book that represents a retrospective look at years of hard work on nanotechnology and art. This was made possible through a relationship formed between Washington St. Louis and UCLA. In its essence this book, put together by hand, is an intersection of art and science.  

Patricia gave a nice speech about her perspective on the brain. One line that stood out to me was how she described the brain as a structure of stories, narratives and neuroscience. Prior to this class, that sentence would have been extremely conflicting, but now I agree that they are all interconnected.

Jim and Professor Vesna described how this new catalogue is not just a surface level analysis of the brain but goes much deeper by using an artistic emphasis. When working alongside artists, science can become eye opening and easily interpreted by those who once were unable to see the true power of scientific structures like the human brain. Artists can communicate differently and in so many different forms that we are now able to present and understand the brain in ways scientists never had thought of before, pushing the boundaries of scientific understanding. The speakers of the evening also promoted collaboration; especially among artists and scientists. Science, and other fields, has gotten to the point where traditional methods no longer suffice in advancement so by using different ideologies from artists they are able to continue their advancement. I think this is exactly what DESMA 9 is all about and really enjoyed this presentation.  

Event 2: DESMA Senior Final Projects

Event 2: DESMA Senior Final Projects

For my second event of the quarter, I attended the DESMA Senior Final Project Presentation. This took place on campus at the Broad Art Center. The official title for the presentation was “S.A.D.: BUT NOT AFRAID.”

The event consisted of all the final projects done by seniors within the DESMA major that had been working on their final projects for their last quarter. Walking around the venue was quite a sight to see as it was filled with crowds of people and an array of art projects. I was amazed at the talent, beauty, craft and variety that were present in this gallery.

The one final project that was my favorite was actually one that I was part of. One of my good friends, Ari Govan, is a senior DESMA major and has always had a deep love and interest in television shows. Her current favorite shows are Masters of Sex and Desperate Housewives. She spent her last quarter recreating posters for each show that could be made into billboard advertisements. After re-branding the two popular shows with her own photos and models (one of whom was me), she combined the advertisement posters with a conceptual visual. Below the posters was an old television set that was projecting footage she had obtained from 1950’s sitcom television shows combined with footage she had taken of her own that resembled Masters of Sex and Desperate Housewives.

I really enjoyed this project because I was able to be part of it but more importantly because it combined aspects of art with modern technology. Ari was able to filter through archival footage and splice it with her own cinematography using modern technology. She then was able to project this film onto an extremely old television set to make it look like it was really playing on the screen. I felt like I would maybe be able to do this, but not as beautifully as she did. I was extremely proud of her work because the final product presented so well down and also amazed at how she combined art and technology.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Unit 9: Space + Art

Unit 9: Space + Art

I think having a topic on Space was the best way to end this course! The lectures this week demonstrated how all of the different topics discussed throughout this quarter could be tied together. In order to explore space, scientists have worked alongside artists using nanotechnology, biotechnology and much more. The American astronomer, Carl Sagan, describes our Earth as the “Pale Blue Dot” and how everything we know occurs here. The videos presented this week show how tiny and lucky we are to live on this perfect pale blue dot in relation to the rest of the space universe. When looking at our Earth from a distance, I think it looks like one small perfect little artistic dot.

Image courtesy of:

My favorite aspect of this week’s lecture was Part 3, which described the role of animals in space discovery. It was sad to see the first dog in space died after 6 days due to technological failures, but amazing to find out that we were able to use animals to pioneer space exploration. This was used to introduce the chronological order of how space studies have evolved. We have grown from using animals to humans and now robots to be used to better explore and understand space.

Image courtesy of:

The entire concept of space exploration is fascinating to me because I do not know much of how it is possible, regarding the engineering. It is also a little frightening to think there are millions of unidentified planets and universes out there that could have life of their own but I hope that we are able to use modern technology and art to find the in other galaxies.

Image courtesy of:

“A Pale Blue Dot.” A Pale Blue Dot. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2012. <>.

"Animals Provide Ideas to further Space Exploration: FUTURE'S BUILDING BLOCKS." The Times of India (1861-current): 31. 2005. Web


"CODED UTOPIA." Continental Drift. N.p., 27 Mar. 2007. Web. 27 May 2016.

Vesna , Victoria. Space + Art Lectures. 2016. Film. 25 May 2016.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Unit 8: Nanotech + Art

Unit 8: Nanotech + Art

This week’s lecture raised a lot of internal debates for me that I had previously never thought of. As professor Vesna stated, nanotechnology is pushing the scientific paradigm shift into the 21st century because it requires unlocking a new era of science where old scientific traditions and staples are not enough to understand the true nature of nanotechnology.


I really enjoyed the way Dr. Gimzewski introduced nanotechnology: first by giving historical and biographical definitions of the root words then by delving deeper into how nanotechnology plays a role in our society today. By presenting nanotechnology like this, I was able to better understand the topic and make better connections with the reading. Part 2 of the lecture had visual representations of molecule structures because to us they are invisible. This presence of nanotechnology but inability to see it mirrors pop culture, social networks and gives us discussion topics about the future possibilities of nanotechnology. The reading gave more insight to this by demonstrating how we are unable to see certain social connections and trends; we still know they are present, just like molecules.

Courtesy of:

Part 6 of the lecture stated some risks and benefits of nanotechnology and nanotechnology products. Sunscreen is something I use every day but never think twice about. I’m more comfortable with nanotechnology particles in my sunscreen than I am with in my food. The thought of vitamins or chemicals being released with or without taste in the foods I eat is a scary thought. I think we should raise money and support to continue testing on nanotechnology in food to truly understand immediate and long-term risks. I also think our food should be labeled.

Courtesy of:

"Art in the Age of Nanotechnology." Art.Base. N.p., 11 Mar. 2010. 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. <>.

Vesna, Victoria. "Nanotech + Art Lectures." Desma 9 Lecture. Los Angeles. 22 May 2015. Lecture. Online

“What Is Nanotechnology?” What Is Nanotechnology? N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Nov. 2012. <>.

When Nanotechnology Meets Art”. Science and n.p., 20 Apr 2011. Web. 22 Nov 2012.