Saturday, May 28, 2016

Week 9: Space + Art

The exploration of space has always been a curiosity to most people, myself included. As a young boy I had always dreamed of becoming an astronaut and wanted to see what the rest of the universe had to offer. One idea that has always caught my attention is black holes. Essentially black holes are regions in space that have such a strong gravitational force that nothing can ever escape from them. Because of this force, no one has been able to get close enough to truly examine where they lead to, which I think would be incredible if someone found a way to do this.

Black Hole

In her lecture this week, Professor Vesna discussed the importance of space and how it relates to the evolution of our society. From the discovery of the solar system, to the Space Race between the U.S.S.R. and United States, space has played and continues to play an active role in art and history. Artists often paint pictures of space and the sky, including Van Gogh's The Starry Night and a number of Lucien Rudaux's pieces.

Vincent Van Gogh, The Starry Night

In today's society, space is commonly depicted in movies such as Interstellar and The Martian. I personally enjoyed Interstellar, in which astronauts travel through a "wormhole" in order to search for a new home for their society. This film was controversial in that people argued against the methods in which the main character traveled through space. In addition the movie proved to be groundbreaking as well, because it opened up new ideas in which people thought about ways to travel through space.

"Black Holes." NASA Science. Web. 27 May 2015. <>.
"Interstellar (film)." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 31 May 2015.

Vensa, Victoria. "Space Exploration Plus Art." Youtube. Uconlineprogram, 29 Jul 2013. Web. 28 May 2016. <> 
Vensa, Victoria. "Space Exploration Plus Art Intro." Youtube. Uconlineprogram, 29 Jul 2013. Web. 28 May 2016. <>
Vincent Van Gogh Gallery. Vincent Van Gogh Gallery. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 May 2016.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Week 8: NanoTech + Art

This week Professor Vesna discussed the potential of nanotechnology and how it is making rapid progress in our constant boundary-pushing society. It also brings an economic and scientific value that could also have tremendous potential in the art world. This unique form of technology has influence everywhere in the fields of art and science.


Within nanotechnology, nanoparticles are one of the more popular areas. They are commonly found in commercial business and in the field of medicine. They are able to change physical properties of objects such as flammable to non-flammable, liquids to solids, and can create self-cleaning products. They can be found in a number of things these days. As for medicine, nanoparticles are able to accurately select what area of the body absorbs the medicine in order to treat the problem in the best way possible. It is possible that they can reduce the use of chemical treatments on skin and in cosmetics. With this preciseness of attacking, it may allow for them to reduce the use of chemotherapy in the future. Chemotherapy is know for causing damage to the entire body rather than just the small area needed.

Types of nanoparticles

As a form of art, nanotechnology is introducing possibilities that used to be unfathomable. In a project called "Transjuicer", artist Boo Chapple was able to study the make up of bones and transform them into an audio speaker. He learned that by using a specialized voltage, the piezoelectric material(bones) were able to oscillate and make an audible sound. This is a perfect example of how nanotechnology is opening up a whole new world to art that used to not be possible. 


1. Gimzewski, Jim, and Victoria Vesna. The Nanomeme Syndrome: Blurring of Fact & Fiction in the Construction of a New Science. N.p., n.d. Web.

2. “Introduction to Nanotechnology.” Introduction to Nanotechnology RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 

3. Ostman, Charles. “Aesthetic Exploration in the ‘Virtual Nature’ of Synthetic Environments and Artificial Ecologies”. Nanotechnology Now. n.p., n.d. Web

4. “Visceral: Interview with Boo Chapple.” N.p., n.d. Web.

5. “When Nanotechnology Meets Art”. Science and n.p., 20 Apr 2011. Web

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Week 7: Neuroscience + Art

In this week's lecture Professor Vesna discussed how neuroscience and art have worked together to play an important role in peoples' lives. One topic that I found to be interesting was the idea of the boundaries between the conscious and unconscious mind when we are dreaming. Vesna stated that we only remember about 5% of our dreams, so it would interesting to find out where the other 95% goes.

Another interesting topic is the idea of how drugs and herbs have been created to alter our neurochemicals in order to affect our moods and actions. One of these drugs, Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD), is widely used among teenagers and young adults as a drug that alters their brain in a way that allows them to see the world in a different light. This hallucinogenic was created by Albert Hofmann in his laboratory and was used to see the unimaginable. LSD targets parts of the brain that regulate arousal and used to be used as a way to cure alcoholism. Hofmann took a very large dose for his first time using LSD and believed to see demons and witches. LSD has also been used as mechanism to

Overall, neuroscience and art are very interesting when put together into one lecture. The brain is very powerful and this lecture proved that even more.
Brain Scan: Normal (left), On LSD (right)

LSD Artwork

Carey, Benedict. "LSD, Reconsidered for Therapy." The New York Times. The New York Times, 2014. Web. 16 May 2016. 
Devlin, Hannah. "Psychedelic Drugs like LSD Could Be Used to Treat Depression, Study Suggests." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 2015. Web. 16 May 2016.

Vesna, Victoria. "" YouTube. YouTube, 21 Apr. 2012. Web. 15 May.
Vesna, Victoria. "" YouTube. YouTube, 21 Apr. 2012. Web. 15 May. 2

Vesna, Victoria. " Neuroscience pt3." YouTube. YouTube, 21 Apr. 2012. Web. 15 May.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Week 6: BioTech + Art

In this week's lecture, we learned about the interconnection between biotechnology and art, specifically through Eduardo Kac's bunny he created, which glows in the dark. The creation of new animals like this one with peculiar and uncommon traits is a direct result of the use of biotechnology for art. As the technology has evolved to allow scientists to modify genes, scientists have created unique creatures (and plants) that defy their natural characteristics.
GFP Bunny,  Eduardo Kac

A second example of this is the use of biotechnology to modify the colors of flowers. The rose shown below, like Eduardo Kac's bunny, has been modified to glow in the dark. This art form is continuing to grow at a rapid pace, but there has been some criticism directed towards the use of biotechnology. Most of the negative criticism lies within GFP and transgenic art. People are becoming upset with artists like Kac because they are using this technology and observing its reactions on animals, which originally began with jelly fish. Because of this, people believe that this art form is abusive towards animals.
Genetically modified rose

Even though biotechnological art is controversial, it is hard to argue the fascination it creates among most people. Overall, I am in full support of this type of art and I found this topic to be very interesting.

Holland, A. and Johnson, A. Animal Biotechnology and Ethics. Springer, 1998. Print.
Kac, Eduardo. "GFP BUNNY." GFP BUNNY. Kac Web, 2000. Web. 08 May 2016. <>.

Vesna, Victoria. “5 bioart pt1" Lecture. YouTube. Uconlineprogram, 18 Sept. 2013. Web. 3 May. 2016.

Vesna, Victoria. “5 BioArt pt4” Lecture. YouTube. Uconlineprogram, 17 May. 2015. Web. 3 May. 2016.

Vesna, Victoria. “Biotech intro NEW” Lecture. YouTube. Uconlineprogram, 26 Mar. 2012. Web. 3 May. 2016.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Event 1: Hammer Museum

I have been a student at UCLA for three years now and have always been curious as to what was inside the Hammer Museum that sits on the corner of Wilshire and Westwood. I was happy that I was finally able to find out because it was an intriguing sight to see. I walked through and looked at each exhibit, however I focused mainly on the Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933-1957 room. 
Proof that I was there

In this exhibit, they show artwork from the liberal arts college that was created in 1933, in Asheville, North Carolina. According to the museum's website, this is, "the first comprehensive museum exhibition in the United States to examine the history of Black Mountain College." Interestingly enough, the college was run by and for the students, as set up by John Dewey, who was a philosopher in the progressive education movement. This school set the precedent, post war, for art schools across the country.
Josef Albers, Tenayuca, 1943

 One piece that I found quite interesting was Tenayuca by Josef Albers. The piece shows the details of geometry and art, in that he uses multiple shapes and straight lines to create an extraordinary piece of art. Albers uses this oil painting to illustrate perception. When looking at he painting straight on, the image appears to be three-dimensional, but when you look at it from the side, it is two-dimensional. The way he was able to create this illusion made this my favorite piece in the exhibit. Additionally, Anni Albers's, Knot 2, was another geometrical piece that caught my eye. Although the lines were not straight, the tangled lines created an illusion to the eye that had me following each color to untangle the knots.

Anni Albers, Knot 2, 1947

Overall, my visit to the Hammer Museum was very interesting and I would definitely recommend that my classmates visit the Black Mountain College exhibit. 

 is the first comprehensive museum exhibition in the United States to examine the history of Black Mountain College (BMC) - See more at:

Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933-1957

- See more at:

Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933-1957

- See more at: