Sunday, April 24, 2016

Week 4: Medicine, Technology, and Art

In this week's lecture, we learned how the human body, art, medicine, and technology are all connected. Professor Vesna brought up an interesting idea about how anatomy and art have been used together for hundreds of years and the state and at times, the church even shunned the idea of bringing the two together. Whether we are looking at anatomy and dissection, the Body Worlds show, or X-rays, we know that medicine, technology, and art have a bright future ahead.

In part 3 of the lecture, the idea of plastic surgery was discussed in detail and made me realize how it has changed our society in a major way. People are now able to make themselves look however they want because of the art and technology of plastic surgery. Some surgeries are much more drastic than others. For example in the case of Katella Dash, a transgender woman who became addicted to plastic surgery, has continued to get surgeries without fear of complications. It is sad to me that people feel the need to change their bodies because they are so unhappy with the way they look. In contrast, plastic surgery is obviously not just a negative procedure that humans abuse. In the case of war veterans who were the victims of explosions, plastic surgery has allowed them to feel normal again and regain confidence in their appearances.  Finally, Orlan has used plastic surgery as an art form and not just a medical procedure. I found her work to be interesting and different compared to the other artwork that I am familiar with.
Navy vet before and after plastic surgery

Human body pictured as chiseled stone

"Biography." Orlan. Orlan, n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2016. <>.

Dash, Katella. "Transgender Surgery Addict On A Quest For Plastic Perfection." Youtube, 21 Mar. 2014. Web. 24 Apr. 2016. 

Vesna, Victoria. "Medicine Pt1." YouTube. YouTube, 22 Apr. 2012. Web. 20 Apr. 2016. <>.

Vesna, Victoria. "Medicine Pt3." YouTube. YouTube, 22 Apr. 2012. Web. 20 Apr. 2016. <>.

"War Veterans Benefit from Plastic Surgery." War Veterans Benefit from Plastic Surgery. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2016. 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Week 3: Robotics and Art

Robots replacing human jobs

This week's focus is on robotics and art. Robotics are becoming more and more useful and popular as people are figuring out how to use them to speed up certain processes. For example, robotics are now being used on assembly lines because they are more efficient than humans. Walter Benjamin explains how this mechanization is taking away from the human aspect of products that robotics are unable to achieve. This may be true however, Douglas Davis refutes this argument in terms of how mechanization has affected art by saying that industrialization has, "enhanced, not betrayed" art created by humans.

 In the movie Wall-E Disney creates a robotic character that seems to have human emotion. The time frame is 700 hundred years in the future and the idea of the movie is that robots have taken over the world because they have become better workers than all humans. The humans all become obese and lazy because the robots are able to do everything for them.

I feel that society as a whole does not fully understand how many jobs robotics can take away from us. Robotics have created great products however they have also helped take away tons of jobs from the automobile assembly line business. Overall, robotics and industrialization have had both negative and positive effects on our society. 

Mercedes Benz Assembly Line
Wall-E (2008)



Benjamin, Walter. "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction." 1936. Print. 

Davis, Douglas. "The Work of Art in the Age of Digital Reproduction (An Evolving Thesis 1991-1995)." MIT Press, 1995. Print.

Wall-E, Dream Works, 2008.

Vesna, Victoria. "Robotics Pt1." YouTube. UCOnline, 15 Apr. 2012. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.

Vesna, Victoria. "Robotics Pt2." YouTube. UCOnline, 15 Apr. 2012. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Week 2: Math + Art

This week we learned about the connection between mathematics and the works of artists. In addition, I learned that science math, and art work cohesively to create broader categories that combine the creations and discoveries in each field, leading to innovation in all three. In this weeks lecture, Professor Vesna spoke about a few mathematical ideas that have played a major role in the art world. These ideas included optic, geometry, symmetry, and the golden ratio; all of which have helped created more realistic pieces of art.  In the article, “The Fourth Dimension and Non-Euclidean Geometry in Modern Art: Conclusion” by Linda Henderson, she discusses how mathematical and scientific theories also relate to art. One theory in particular that contributed to the advancement of abstract arts was Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity.
Marcello Barenghi's Realistic Drawing

Geometric Art

One artist who is a prime example of the idea of implementing art, science, and math together is Leonardo da Vinci. He was able to take ideas from each field and build off each one in order to create masterful pieces of art. One major example of this was his creation of the Vitruvian Man. This image used geometry and human anatomy to create one of the most famous pieces of art in history.

Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci

Overall, this week's unit helped me better understand how mathematics and science are used to create and add to the complexity of artwork.

Works Cited

Barenghi, Marcello. Photorealistic Color Drawings of Everyday Objects by Marcello Barenghi. Digital image. Colossal. N.p., 11 Sept. 2013. Web. 10 Apr. 2016.

Henderson, Linda Dalrymple. “The Fourth Dimension and Non-Euclidean Geometry in Modern Art: Conclusion.” Leonardo. 17.3 (1984): 205-210. Print.

V. Vesna. DESMA 9 Lectures on Math + Art. 2016. Video. Accessed 04/09/2016
"Vitruvian Man." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 23 Mar. 2016. Web. 10 Apr. 2016. <>. Digital Image.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Week 1: Two Cultures

The concept of "Two Cultures" is the idea that scientists and artists think differently but there are aspects of their creations that collide. C.P. Snow describes the two cultures as, " those of literary intellectuals and natural scientists, and he pointed to the curricula of schools and universities as the source of the problem." An example of the two cultures colliding is in baseball. Baseball is a sport that I have played for over fifteen years and one thing that I have realized to be true is that it is an artistic game that is based on scientific findings. Analysts of baseball tend to be separated between those who have played the game (artists) and those who have never played but study the game closely (scientists).  Those who have not played baseball tend to study the stats of players and focus more on the scientific evidence that leads to why they were able to make the play that the player made.

Example of scientists breaking down every little aspect of a swing:


Analysts who have played baseball understand the game as an art form and appreciate the way a player can make an incredible play because of his athleticism. John Brockman makes the claim that the two studies of art and science are meant to stay separate, however I disagree when it comes to baseball. It is very interesting to see the two types of analysis on the same play. Both views are equally as important for helping a player develop his game.
Example of baseball players commentating on the beauty of each play:



Brockman, John. The Third Culture. N.p.: n.p., 1995. Print.

Tgbama. "Top 10 MLB Web Gems of 2012." YouTube. YouTube, 08 Jan. 2013. Web. 03 Apr. 2016

Vesna, Victoria. Third Culture: Being in Between. N.p.: n.p., 2001. Print

Http:// "Sport Science - Donaldson's Swing." YouTube. YouTube, 14 Oct. 2015. Web. 03 Apr. 2016. 
"The Physics of Baseball Alan M. Nathan University of Illinois." The Physics of Baseball. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Apr. 2016.


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