Sunday, April 24, 2016

Week 4: MedTech + Art

This week’s discussion of technology and art opened my mind to the concept that art is a significant contributor to technology used in medicine.  I was intrigued to learn how x-rays began.  Concerning tools, Professor Vesna explained that at one time if a Doctor used tools or technology, they were not considered a Doctor.  That was very odd.  Wilhelm Rontgen who was a physicist discovered X-rays.  The name x-rays employs the mathematical designation “x” – the symbol for an unknown.  
Wilhelm's wife's hand under x-ray technology 
While researching art and x-rays, I came across an article, which discusses the use of x-ray technology to study artwork.  Types of materials used in paintings can be discerned when x-ray technology is applied.  We can also discover where and when a painting was created through x-ray technology because of the kinds of minerals found in the materials, the canvass and the paints.  An example is Vermeer’s “The Girl with a Pearl Earing”.  An x-ray of that painting revealed that lead was used in the piece, which was a primary component in white paint.  The discovery gives us clues, based on the details of the lead used in the painting, where and when the piece was created.  
Girl With a Pearl Earing

Girl With a Pearl Earing under x-ray technology
Artist Hugh Turvey creates artwork-employing x-rays of different objects.  One of his pieces is of his wife’s foot in a stiletto developed with x-ray technology.  He notes, “We all understand that your foot is going through quite a lot when it is in a stiletto, but to actually physically see it and to see the angle of the bones…” (Gambino).  Turvey has coined a term for his work: “xogram”.  It describes his work as a mash-up of an x-ray and a photogram.  He creates them by placing an object directly on light sensitive paper and exposing it to x-rays.  
Hugh Turvey's wives foot in a stiletto

Hugh Turvey's "xogram" artwork   art-deeper-look-everyday-objects-180949540/?no-ist

Art Experts. “X-ray Examination.” 24 April 2016. Web.
Gambino, Megan. “X-Ray Art: A Deeper Look at Everyday Objects.” 3 February 2014.            24 April 2016. Web.   art-deeper-look-everyday-objects-180949540/?no-ist
Bakalar, Nicholas. “X-Rays, 1986.” 15 June 2009. 24 April 2016. Web.
Vesna, Victoria. “Http://” Lecture. Medicine       pt3. Youtube, 22 Apr. 2012. Web. 24 April 2016.
Vesna, Victoria. “Http://” Lecture. Medicine pt2             .Youtube, 21 Apr. 2012. Web. 24 April 2016.


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Robotics + Art

Robotics + Art
As I watched the lectures this week, I considered what I know about Robots.  I realized that my knowledge, if you can call it that, has been gained through popular media, movies in particular.  Films came to mind such as Star-Wars, The Terminator, RoboCop and others.  A favorite of mine is WALL-E, the Pixar animated film.  Pixar movies tend to be geared towards children.  But in the case of WALL-E, Pixar creatively incorporates adult concepts and references regarding humanity’s future in regards to robots and technology.  
Wall-E examines a Rubix Cube

 Ev-a and other robots taking control
My focus here is on industrialization in regards to WALL-E.  The movie is set in the year 2805, and WALL-E is left alone on the Earth.  All humans have departed.  They live in a spaceship, completely relying on robots to direct and maintain the ship as well as run their lives.  Humans have become obese and unable to care for themselves.  Though Pixar uses plenty of humor, the film offers a disquieting look into a future in which humans lose their independence.  It offers a warning concerning over-dependence on technology, industrialization and mega-corporations.  The company that takes over life on the space ship in WALL-E is named “Buy ‘n’ Large.”
 The year 2805 taken over by Buy 'n' Large
Often in films, the representation of technology is influenced by art.  Not so in WALL-E.  Pixar started with humanity’s growing dependence on technology to create an exaggerated representation of where humans could be headed if we continue in the current direction.  In WALL-E, technology drives the art. 

Humans eating liquid food
Professor Vesna’s lectures this week caused me to consider industrialization in relation to robots.  I now see the increase of robots in society and our growing dependence on technology.  I can’t but help think about the future and how this reliance will affect our existence.  We must not let technology rule us and rob us of our humanity.   
Weebly. Existential Analysis of WALL-E. 15 April 2016. Web.
Stolyarov, Gennady. WALL-E: Economic Ignorance and the War on Modernity. 15 April            2016. Web. 4 July 2008.
“Wall-E: Science, Art and the Meaning of Life.” Web log post. The Science Bit.   WordPress,    15 April 2016. Web. 18 Oct. 2012.          meaning-of-life/
Spiegel, Josh. The Greatest Feat of WALL-E. 15 April 2016. Web. 20 May 2014.
Nguyen, Huy. WALL-E: For All Ages, For the Ages. 15 April 2016. Web.



Sunday, April 10, 2016

Week 2: Math + Art

Professor Vesna explored in lecture this week the relationship between art and mathematics.  I learned that Piero della Francesca, a medieval mathematician and painter, studied how math plays a role in art, in particular the geometry of vision.  There are many factors which contribute to how we see an object, including distance, boundaries, and intersection.  Francesca also proposed that painting involves three principle elements - drawing, proportion, and coloring.  

The Resurrection [detail] by Piero della Francesca
C1460? Museo Civico Sansepolocro
Professor Vesna next discussed the Golden Ratio in relation to art and architecture.  When artists use the Golden Ratio in designing their works, it imposes proportionality [1 to 1.618] which makes the production appear more aesthetically pleasing.  Studies show the presence of the Golden Ratio in the design of the Parthenon.  You can see Golden Rectangles, which are an application of the Golden Ratio, in the spaces between the columns.  Also, the Parthenon’s floor plan [?] is a Golden Rectangle.  Modern designers and artists use the Golden Ratio in their works.  One example is the Apple logo. 

The Golden Ratio in the Apple Logo

The Golden Ratio in the Parthenon

Nathan Selikoff’s video about his art caught my attention.  He is an artist and computer programmer who provides a microphone for people to speak into or to make noises.  Selikoff developed a computer program which interprets sounds which are projected onto a wall.  You can “see” the sound being heard by the microphone.  It involves a fascinating combination of art and technology.  Selikoff took the uniqueness of sound and created a way to visualize audio patterns.  As the result, we get visual art where no art existed before. 

The mingling of art, science and math present an interesting and unexpected expansion of my understanding concerning how things work.  I know the physical world can be described with mathematics.  Water boils and freezes at specific temperatures [numbers], for instance.  I had an “ahah” moment when I witnessed math applied to paintings and architecture for aesthetic analysis.  The idea that beauty can be described with math is not intuitive for me.  Aesthetics is subjective.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right?  So, how can we use math, an objective tool of science, in a subjective context to identify beauty?

Vesna, Victoria. “” Cole UC             online. Youtube, 9 April 2016. Web. 11 Oct. 2012.            edded
Selikoff, Nathan. Processing Orlando Art + Tech Showcase – Nathan Selifoff, Audio          Imprint Clock. Youtube, 9 April 2016. Web. 23 December 2013.
Stratford, Clive. Piero della Francesca: A Byzantine Gaze. 9 April 2016. Web. 17 March 2015.
Brownlee, John. The Golden Ratio: Design’s Biggest Myth. 9 April 2016. Web. 13 April   2015.     biggest-myth
Selikoff, Nathan. Fine artist playing at the intersection of interactivity, math, and code.       9 April 2016. Web.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Week 1: "Two Cultures"

            The Two Cultures topic is very relevant to my personal and academic history.  I have been a dancer my entire life, and my focus in school, beginning in the seventh grade, has been on performing arts.  My mental strengths are greater in the arts compared to math and science. 

            As a World Arts and Cultures Major, I have been secluded in Kaufman Hall, rarely venturing into South campus where the sciences are taught.  When I walk into Kaufman Hall pictured here, I feel as if I’m not on the UCLA campus.  The astrology department building represents a clear distinction between my artistic studies in North campus and the hard sciences in South campus.  The differences are plainly seen in the architectural differences between the North and South campus sections.  
Mathematical Science Building 

Kaufman Hall

Murphy Sculpture Garden

I envy those who can bridge the gap between art and science, combining both in order to understand each better.  Dance is an artistic presentation involving a precise use of the body, which is analyzed scientifically in detail in South campus.  The body connection leads many dancers into physical therapy, physiology, kinesiology and other sciences to more fully understand the body’s functions in dance.  

While researching for this piece, I came across a program called Dance Science at Trinity Laban.  It is a school where students study the physical demands and effects of dance on the body.  They use masks to capture breathing patterns, studying one dancer over a period of time to acquire data based on the effects of movement.  
Dance Science
Similarly, Elon University offers a Dance Science degree, where the “focus is on the practical applications of scientific principles to enhance dance and movement.”
Baswa Acoustics. UCLA Kaufman Hall. Web. 3 April 2016.
Cathy Roe Dance. Anatomy and Kinesiology for Dancers.  YouTube. 3 April 2016. 
Elon University. Dance Science Admissions. Web. 3 April 2016.
 Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Web. 3 April 2016. 
UCLA Division of Astronomy and Astrophysics. Planetarium and Telescope Shows.  Web. 3 April 2016.