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.

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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.

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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.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Unit 7: Neuroscience + Art

Unit 7: Neuroscience + Art

The brain has always intrigued me because it is so complex and not fully understood. There are so many intricate structures and neural pathways that a cross section of the brain is a beautiful and detailed sight to see.

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This week, the topic of dreams in Lecture II stood out to me most. Since I have gotten to college, my sleep schedule has gone completely awry and is extremely inconsistent. The fact that there are so many experiments and so much data collected through sleep studies yet we still are not even close to understanding how dreams work is a frightening and interesting thought. Sigmund Freud’s career pursuing knowledge of the unconscious established the foundation for the last century of researchers to find out more about the process of human sleeping. Personally, I struggle to fall asleep every night and have tried an array of different techniques which all ultimately fail. My self-sleep studies have proven ineffective but I hope to one day read about a researcher who has found a universal key to falling asleep.

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Giovanni Frazzetto and Suzanne Anker describe in their article how the interaction between art and neuroscience is more commonly seen in the public forum. These artful depictions allow for the spread of knowledge around the scientific topic. Through more and more discussion, neuroscience can gain traction to create careers and opportunities for breakthroughs in the field, while also making us aware of the social and ethical implications that come along with advances in the neuroscience world. This is something that has impacted me directly as I have looked for sleep strategies to calm my brain and feel more rested.

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"Art, Mind, And Brain: A Cognitive Approach To Creativity." Google Books. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 May 2016.

Bargh, John A. "Our Unconscious Mind." Scientific American. 17 Dec. 2013. Web. 15 May 2016.

Frazzetto, Giovanni, and Suzanne Anker. "PERSPECTIVES." Arms Control Today 4.6 (1974): 3-4. Web.

"Greg Dunn Design | Visual Art | Neuroscience Art | Gold Leaf Painting." Greg Dunn Design. Web. 15 May 2016.

Meghnagi, D. "From the Dreams of a Generation to the Theory of Dreams: Freud's Roman Dreams."INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PSYCHOANALYSIS 92.3 (2011): 675-94. Web.

Vesna, Victoria. "Neuroscience + Art Lectures." Desma 9 Lecture. Los Angeles. 11 May 2015. Lecture. Online

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Unit 6: BioTech + Art

Unit 6: BioTech + Art

As both fields of art and biotechnology continue to grow and advance, we as humans begin to transcend what was once considered impossible. Parts 2 and 3 of this week's lecture, along with some of the work done by Joe Davis, reminded me of a movie I saw over 10 years ago called Gattaca.


This Sci-Fi film presents a futuristic society where children are made through genetic modification in a lab to ensure the most desirable genes will be inherited, instead of the traditional way of having sex and leaving the rest to chance. This film is an artistic expression is an example of selective breeding through the use of biotechnology.  

An example of genetic inheritance

We now live in such a modernist world where technology can mimic reality or even feel more real than reality, and this power is now tying into the arts and biotechnology. I think life itself is a valid expressive medium, but I think we are now able to control so many more aspects of life that people are using this control to take artistic expression to new forms. Some of these modern forms are artistic, entertaining and beneficial but others like animal testing seem to be radical, unhealthy and unethical. I think the line between biotechnology and art is becoming blurrier as they influence one another. Victorian Gentlemen’s article demonstrates how with the presence of the modern world’s accessible technologies, biologist outlaws are growing in popularity. When we are able to easily control things, especially genetics, I fear for the future of the human population.

A photo of a potential future that frightens me

Works Cited
Agar, Nicholas. “Designer Babies: Ethical Considerations.”ActionBioscience. N.p.. Web. 5 Nov 2012. <>.

Davis, Joe. "Genesthetics: Molecular Biology and Microbiology in the Arts." Genetics and Culture. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 May 2016.

Kelty, C. M. (2010). Outlaw, hackers, victorian amateurs: diagnosing public participation in the life sciences today. Jcom9(1), 1-8.

Outlaws Symposium, "Meanings of Participation:Outlaw Biology? Outlaws, Hackers, Victorian Gentlemen." 1-8. Print.
Vesna, Victoria. Lecture. DESMA 9. Web. 6 May 2012.

"Everyday Scientist." » RC Humans. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 May 2016.

"Gattaca: Humanizing Research and Evolving." Splice. N.p., 28 July 2015. Web. 09 May 2016.

"Musings of a Palaeolinguist." : Genetics and the Last Human Common Ancestor. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 May 2016.