Sunday, April 24, 2016

Event 2: Laser


I really enjoyed Taylor Aubry’s lecture on the future of our energy landscape. I am very interested in the use of solar cells meeting our energy needs for the future. I think it’s a magnificent alternative energy source that could eventually save us a lot of money. 
(solar cells)
Some of the other future technologies that she mentioned really caught my attention as well. She brought up glasses that will be able to show your mood. This will help kids with autism be able to identify how someone is feeling because they lack certain social skills needed to do so. Taylor also mentioned gloves that will be able to speak the words that a deaf person is signing. 
(Analysis of the sign language glove)
I think these are incredible inventions that can bring the disabled community closer to the non-disabled community. I am currently in a disability studies class and I am learning a ton about how under represented the disabled community is. I love that new technological advances are bringing them into consideration in their endeavors and attempting to make the world a more maneuverable place for disabled people. It is too commonplace to forget to accommodate disabled people. They are just as capable as everyone else if we give them the correct tools. These inventions are great steps towards a brighter future with a hopefully fading discrimination of disabled people as well as an energy resourceful earth. Though I only focused on Taylor’s lecture, I loved the entire presentation and was amazed by all of the incredible ideas!
(Professor Vesna and I)

MedTech + Art

A patient wounded from war
I have never really considered medical technologies to be an art form before. It is interesting to look at it from this point of view. It definitely makes more sense to me when looking at plastic surgery, because the surgeon is molding a person’s face or body usually to appear more aesthetically pleasing. It is pretty crazy that plastic surgery has been around for 4,000 years and was being done as early as 800 BC. This was due to WWI because of all the new technology that allowed for people to be blown up and have chemical deterioration affect their bodies. Technology and science continued to advance with war and the necessary healing procedures that followed. 

However, beginning in 1990, French artist Orlan began performing constructive surgeries on herself, simply to imitate western art pieces.
Orlan with her art
This is such a strange concept to me. Designers would prepare costumes for Orlan to wear during her surgeries and music and poetry would play in the background. Orlan is also fully conscious during these surgeries. She intends to defy norms and argue against cosmetic surgery and Christianity. This form of art came to be known as carnal art. I was very disturbed during many parts of the documentary. The movie was very eye opening because I had no idea this form of art existed. Orlan exposes many parts of the body and surgical procedures allowing for a deeper insight into the artwork. However, this exposition was a little too extreme in my opinion. I find carnal art to be disturbing and over the top. Here is a video example of carnal art .

Works Cited
Jeffries, Stuart. "Orlan's Art of Sex and Surgery." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 01 July 2009. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.
MutleeIsTheAntiGod. "Orlan - Carnal Art (2001) Documentary." YouTube. YouTube, 13 Mar. 2011. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.
Vesna, Victoria. "Medicine Pt1." YouTube. YouTube, 21 Apr. 2012. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.
Vesna, Victoria. "Medicine Pt2." YouTube. YouTube, 21 Apr. 2012. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.

Vesna, Victoria. "Medicine Pt3." YouTube. YouTube, 21 Apr. 2012. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Event 1: Toni Dove Lecture

(Toni Dove conducting the avatar(s))
I was truly dazzled throughout Toni Dove’s entire lecture. The human interaction showing up on screen and transforming into the movement of the on-screen avatar is remarkable to watch. The technological advances that have made this project possible are immense. However, the technology is expected to become even more highly advanced over the years and I cannot wait to see what they come up with next!
(on-screen avatar)

The emotion expressed from the on-screen avatars made it easy to feel a connection to them and relate to how they were feeling. The emotions did seem a bit dark for most of the performances though. The overarching theme felt dramatic, mystical, and somber. It would have been nice to see some more upbeat themes. But I understand that they are working on specific projects right now that focus on a specific mood, set, and costume design that would be difficult to switch up.
Toni Dove also showed us the Artificial Changelings project where the cinema is interactive and allows the viewer to travel through multiple different centuries. This works because the motion censor detects the human navigating from one section on the floor to the next, each section having a different function. By stepping from the third to last section to the last section and back to the third, we see the picture on screen vanish and an alternate century appears.
(example of an interactive costume)

It was also amazing to see the work put into the costumes. The way they light up and blend with the interactive cinema is beautiful to watch. I cannot imagine how many hours go into creating those extravagant skirts. But the results are definitely worthwhile!
(Toni Dove and I!)

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Robotics + Art

(depiction of Benjamin Walter's theory)
Over time, mechanization lead to the loss of what Benjamin Walter referred to as the “’aura’ of a work of art.” What he meant by this was that as we continue to make technological advances that allow us to make copies of great art pieces, we lose the initial “awe” when in the presence of art. When the aura disappears we lose some of the art’s authenticity and significance.

I think this idea is well-represented in the movie Wall-E. 
(humans featured in the movie Wall-E)
The movie shows us a future where humans are completely brain washed by technology and do not care to see or do anything outside of their television screens. It is a depressing vision of a possible future if we become too consumed by our technologies. Too often today I see people walking to a destination and failing to look up from their phone screens even once. I am definitely guilty of this too. But what we don’t realize is we are missing out on the now and what is actually in front of our eyes. 
(photo of the Grand Canyon)
I really hope we can come to the realization that exploring and actually seeing beautiful things in real life rather than on our computer screens is worth the extra effort. Benjamin Walter’s prediction was correct; we are losing something important. If we take some time to go outside or to a museum and look around, the initial “awe” moment will pay off.

Works Cited
Benjamin, Walter, and J. A. Underwood. The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. London: Penguin, 2008. Print.
Brooks, Rodney. "Robots Will Invade Our Lives." Rodney Brooks:. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2016.
Mirenfred. "Dirk the Homeless Robot/" YouTube. YouTube, 07 Sept. 2008. Web. 16 Apr. 2016.
"Relating the Rapidly Changing Present to the Distant Past as Far as Book History Is Concerned." Relating the Rapidly Changing Present to the Distant Past as Far as Book History Is Concerned. Jeremy Norman & Co., Inc, n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2016.
" The Work of Art in the Age of Digital Reproduction." RabateFinal. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2016.