Monday, May 30, 2016

Event 5: lecture by Maria Antonia Gonzalez

This past Thursday, May 26th, I attended the lecture by Maria Antonia Gonzalez, director of the interdisciplinary collective Art + Science at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. The goal of the collective is to produce art and knowledge in the intersection of art, science, and humanities. It provided a foundation in Mexico for the creation of various interdisciplinary works. Much of the lecture covered the intertwining of natural and artificial art. 
"Artistic investigations into Robots and Plants” (2015)
For example, the collective organized a workshop titled “Artistic investigations into Robots and Plants” (2015). Gonzalez further explained how the collective also pioneers this art as activism. They do this through exhibitions/festivals, performances, labs, and workshops. Gonzalez illuminated how workshops have the unique capability to build a community of knowledge. 
GM Corn
The collective has done research regarding transgenic corn and its abilities to cause cancer and other illnesses. They worked towards the abolishment of genetically modified corn in Mexico, specifically with corn roundup ready. This is a specific type of genetic modification done to increase the preferred characteristics of corn. However, the herbicide has been proven to have serious impacts on human health. This discovery is just one of the many ways that the collective has done its part to improve lives while combining the art and knowledge of the arts, sciences, and humanities.
Me at the Lecture

Event 4: Hammer Museum

Catherine Opie's Exhibit: Portraits

Just as all of the different pairings with art that we have studied throughout the quarter have historical points where they first began to flourish, Catherine Opie’s portraits help illustrate important events throughout history. Opie specifically focuses on contemporary America over the past 30 years. 
Portrait by Opie
She gives us an insight into American’s emotions and reactions to these moving events. She is able to capture emotions remarkably, almost transporting the viewer to the time that the portrait was taken.
Opie’s work draws from a mix of influences from Renaissance painting and street photography traditions.
Portrait by Opie
Often times she will select sitters from her close circle of friends, including other artists, designers and even writers. The most unique part of Opie’s work is how she illuminates her sitters while they are surrounded by darkness, “as if lit from within by their intellectual potency”. Opie’s work can also be attributed to the lecture on Two Cultures because she juxtaposes mainstream and abnormal society. Many people attest to being within one of these two cultures. However, I would argue that in Los Angeles the two cultures are often intermixed. The fast-paced life style of many people in Los Angeles can make it difficult to deter your self from any one category. It becomes easier to go with the flow and find the best path for each individual, whether that be mainstream, abnormal, or a mixture of both.
Proof of me at the Hammer Museum

Event 3: exhibition on May 19th held by a group of UCLA Art Science Undergraduate Society students

I visited the exhibition on May 19th held by a group of UCLA Art Science Undergraduate Society students. The exhibition demonstrated different examples of Nonlinear Perspectives and explored “nonlinear instability” from the varying views of the students within the Art Science Undergraduate Society at UCLA. The exhibit reminded me of Unit 2: Math and Art and the topic of perspective. 
"Two Forms"
The “Two Forms” piece talks about having multiple forms to interpret within its structure. It uses lightning as an example of entropy, which means “a gradual decline in disorder”. The lightning exemplifies this through its power and danger expressed through the art illustrations of flashes of light and thunder. Another form used to express entropy was “Waiting for Godot”. This is a play consisting of two men having spur-of-the-moment conversations and actions. This is considered narrative entropy. The artist points out that while this is only a story in a book and may seem harmless compared to lightning, the spontaneous conversation of two men may appear as an example of entropy when considered in a calm environment. It elicits the idea of “chaos in human context”.
plasma and flux art piece and I
These next images illustrate different perspectives of plasma and flux ropes juxtaposed with a human character’s reaction to the concept of entropy within the images.
This last video shows yet another perspective of entropy presented in the exhibit.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Space + Art

Space + Art

Many scientists become too focused on the technical aspects of space and forget to open up their eyes to the spectrum where space and art intersect. By looking into this category, scientists can realize new forms of technology and become further connected to their projects. For example, Khlebnikov’s invention of the living laboratory, “the Makrolab”, inspires creativity intertwined with the technological aspects of the project. 
("That is where the choreographer Johannes Birringer discovered the mobile laboratory, and wrote the first significant text about it")
While the Makrolab is very functional and easily disassembled and transported, it is also aesthetically pleasing. It has a futuristic theme with shining exterior and wooden floorboards lining the interior. The Makrolab is divided into four separate zones for working and living. The Makrolab is also environmentally friendly because it is powered by solar panels and a windmill and uses a waste-treatment system for the least possible water consumption. 
(workspace inside the Makrolab)
The overall look of the Makrolab will remind a spectator of a space station that has been dropped in the middle of nowhere. But aside from being stranded, it sounds like a pretty ideal workspace. This wondrous art piece would not have existed had scientists refused to explore the infinite realms of the arts. This exploration allows scientists to broaden their horizons and creates more possibilities for space endeavors in the future.

(Makrolab, Rottnest Island Australia, 2000)

Works Cited
"CODED UTOPIA." Continental Drift. N.p., 27 Mar. 2007. Web. 29 May 2016.
Foust, Jeff. "When Space and Art Intersect." The Space Review:. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 May 2016.
Vesna, Victoria. " Lecture Part 1-Intro.” YouTube. YouTube, 21 Apr. 2012. Web. 29 May.
Vesna, Victoria. " Lecture Part 1.” YouTube. YouTube, 21 Apr. 2012. Web. 29 May.
Vesna, Victoria. " Lecture Part 2.” YouTube. YouTube, 21 Apr. 2012. Web. 29 May.