Sunday, April 24, 2016

Unit 4: Medicine + Technology + Art

Medicine + Technology + Art

This week’s lecture videos made me think myself. As a member of the UCLA men’s volleyball team, I am extremely prone to injury and often am injured. In the last 4 months, I have had 3 X-rays and 1 MRI on both of my ankles and my right hand. Just like Professor Vesna stated in lecture, I view these operations as normal and take them for granted but the materials presented this week made me realize how much work has been put into this field and how lucky I am today to have access to these technologies so my athletic trainers can work to properly heal my injuries.

A photo of what a typical ankle X-Ray looks like

Silvia Casini’s article on the MRI truly resonated with me because it delves into such depth about the process and meaning behind the imaging technology. I know many people are often frightened of the machine because it is loud, large and intimidating, but I think its medical contribution is unparalleled and completely necessary to further understand one’s human anatomy to ensure the body can function properly. The fact that this machine allows us to create a visual and acoustic portrait allow us to reify our identity construction.

An MRI of an ankle, even more detailed than an X-ray

I also connected with Diane Gromala in the sense that every day I live with chronic pain. This is mainly due to the impact from my sport, but after watching her TedTalk, I can see how the inner sensations within my body possess the power to influence my overall well-being and state of happiness. Her research influenced my understanding of this week’s topic by forming an abstract connection between art, technology and medicine that goes beyond just physical, complex machinery. I think her perspective allows people to question their own inner sensations and work towards living healthier and happier lives through different means of healing processes involving bio-med feedback.

Meditation is one method used to confront one's inner sensations

Works Cited (TedTalk)

Casini, Silvia. "Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) as Mirror and Portrait: MRI Configurations between Science and the Arts." (n.d.): n. pag. Web.

Fontcuberta, Joan. "Genome Research." Genome Research RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2016.

Tyson, Peter. "The Hippocratic Oath Today." PBS. PBS, 27 Mar. 2001. Web. 25 Apr. 2016.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Week 3: Robotics + Art

Robotics + Art

The topic I found most interesting in this week’s lecture was robotics within art. It made me think of the movie Ex Machina, which really made me question the role of technology in the advancing world we live in.

A photo that I think symbolizes how close robotics is coming to seeing and feeling real.

The lectures brought to my attention how technology is in everything we do via manufacturing. Robotics allowed for mass production to change the structure of the global economy and the way we live daily life. Although the idea of the robot came out of theatre, it is now commonly associated with mechanization and has allowed for globalization and instant gratification to become easy.

The movie Ex Machina gives a glimpse to the future world where artificially intelligent robots seem as real as we humans are. The movie serves as a medium of art to raise questions and issues that are close than we think. As Rodney Brooks states in his TedTalk, we are just on the cusp of this world. I was almost frightened by Hod Lipson’s TedTalk where he suggested to get to this point of robotic independence, we should let the robots evolve and learn autonomously like animals. It made me rethink the movie and discern how real the effects of robotics could be.

A scene from Ex Machina that demonstrates the realism of robotics.

I think robots are at a place in society right now where they are functional and efficient, yet I fear a society where they have their own intelligence and obscure the line between reality and robotic technology. Walter Benjamin writes, “that technology has not been sufficiently developed to cope with the elemental forces of society” because we have only allowed it to be used for war due to our lack of maturity. I believe when robotic machines become intellectually independent, we will only end up going to war with them and losing.

A funny photo that could be a harsh reality.

Brooks, Rodney. (2003, February). Robots will invade our lives [Video file]. Retrieved from
Lipson, Hod. (2007, March). Building “self-aware” robots [Video file]. Retrieved from
Myers, Maddy. "Explore the Inside of Nathan’s Mind via This Ex Machina Analysis." The Mary Sue Explore the Inside of Nathans Mind via This Ex Machina Analysis Comments. N.p., 28 Jan. 2016. Web. 17 Apr. 2016.
"San Francisco Robotics Society of America (SFRSA)." San Francisco Robotics Society of America (SFRSA). N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2016.
Walter, Benjamin. “The work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction.” 1936.

"Evolution to Death by Robots | Shirtigo." Shirtigo. N.p., 19 June 2013. Web. 17 Apr. 2016.
Farkas, Holland. "Ex Machina: A Feminist Sci-Fi Thriller | Geek and Sundry." Geek and Sundry. N.p., 21 May 2015. Web. 17 Apr. 2016.
"Implementation." SPARC Robotics. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2016.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Math + Art

Math + Art

Prior to this week’s lecture, I knew that mathematics, art and science all influence each other to a small degree. I did not know how strong of an influence mathematics has on art. Mathematics is obviously incorporated within nature and often used to in the formation of art. Some aspects of art, like perception and realism, use mathematics more than others, like abstract. Even when it isn’t obvious, mathematics can still be seen influencing art and science. For example, in this flower I could identify certain repeating patterns and fractals.

I found the article in Discover Magazine on James Pollock’s work to be the most interesting. As Professor Vesna stated in lecture, math is the language of nature, nature can be represented and understood through numbers, a graphical representation of numbers always forms a pattern and there are patterns everywhere in nature. Pollock’s drip paintings can be viewed as repeated patterns. I originally thought his paintings were just paint spatters that I could do and now I realize how mathematical his art truly is. He used his art to express himself in an abstract way while still mimicking nature, a true form of artistic talent. 

Based on the knowledge I have gained from this week’s lecture and readings, I now have a new perspective on the roles of influence art, science and mathematics has on one another. Although these fields may seem completely independent when juxtaposed on a superficial level, but in reality they are all intertwined.

A data visualization of social media. Incorporating science, art and mathematics.

Works Cited
"Data Visualization." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2016.

Frantz, Marc. "Lesson 3: Vanishing Points and Looking at Art." Lesson 3: Vanishing Points and Looking at Art (n.d.): n. pag. 2000. Web.

"Jackson Pollock." A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2016.

Ouellette, Jennifer. "May 2016." Discover Magazine. Kalmbach Publishing, 1 Nov. 2001. Web. 11 Apr. 2016.

"The Fibonacci Sequence As Seen in Flowers gallery by Environmental Graffiti Is a Math and History Lesson Wrapped in a Pretty Package of Flowers." • Photography Art Photo Design Flower Flowers Nature History Education Science Math Biology Mathematics Gallery Educational Botany Fibonacci Staceythinx •. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2016.

Vesna, Victoria. “” Cole UC online. Youtube, 9 April 2012. Web. 11 Oct. 2012. <>