Friday, June 3, 2016

Event 5: UCLA Senior Discount - EXTRA CREDIT

I visited the UCLA Department of Art's Senior Exhibition: called Senior Discount. This is an end-of-the-year exhibition for UCLA undergraduate art students who are graduating seniors. It is displayed in the New Wight Gallery in the Broad Art Center on North Campus - there are many interesting pieces of art and I encourage those to attend who are interested! To the right is a picture of one of the rooms in the art gallery.

This particular exhibition reminded me of two concepts covered over the course in particular: the idea of CP Snow's Two Cultures and the ideas addressed in Ken Robinson's Changing Education Paradigms. For example, we can see how North Campus and South Campus are clearly divided in the studies that each building represents - the Broad Art Center is the location for this senior art exhibition, and it is just about as far North Campus as one can get! One exception to this division that I am aware of is the CNSI building. Although it is located on South Campus, it showcases many art events that I have been exposed to in this class, and it has been eye-opening to see the collaborations first hand.

Additionally, Ken Robinson's Changing Education Paradigms addresses the idea of Divergent Thinking. This is the idea that there are lots of possible ways to answer a question or think about a concept. There are many interpretations or solutions that one may come up with in order to figure out how to solve a problem. Similarly, divergent thinking can be applied to the artworks displayed at Senior Discount. Each person is entitled to his or her own interpretation of the art, and each person's experience will be different, just as each person's experience of life is different.

The image to the right reminds me of our discussion of Space + Art. It looks like a celestial image to me.


Changing Education Paradigms. Perf. Sir Ken Robinson. YouTube. Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, 14 Oct. 2010. Web. <>

"Fuel Creativity in the Classroom With Divergent Thinking." Edutopia. 2014. Web. 03 June 2016.

"Senior Discount." UCLA Department of Art. Web. 03 June 2016.

Snow, C. P. “Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution.” Reading. 1959. New York: Cambridge UP, 1961. Print.

Vesna, Victoria. “Toward a Third Culture: Being in Between.” Leonardo 34.2 (2001): 121-25. Web.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Event 4: Art + Brain Book Signing - EXTRA CREDIT

On Thursday evening, June 2nd, I attended an event at the CNSI building at the Art Science Center at UCLA. It was an event to commemorate the launch of two catalogs and a book signing based on the concept of collaboration between brain science and art. Professor Vesna had her catalogue on display (pictured below) of a her decade of collaborative works of art with James Gimzewski.

Dr. Gimzewski has pioneered many research projects on mechanical and electrical contacts with single atoms and molecules using scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). This goes back to our previous discussion of STM in week 8, when we learned about how STM can be used to "feel" the connections between atoms at a microscopic level and map out their structure and their location in space. This process is beyond anything we can see or feel as humans, so in some ways it can be seen as miraculous.

Additionally, professor Vesna introduced three other professors: a woman named Patricia who is also publishing a catalog based on her work with neuroscience and art, based on a grant she received at Washington University in 2014. Another professor named David spoke about his work with Bioart at UC Irvine - the energy of the "brainstorm" in which we create an energy around us when we mentally connect with people. Mark Cohen also spoke, saying that his collaborations with artists has completely opened his eyes to new innovations in science. This reminds me of our discussion of Two Cultures in the beginning of the quarter - there is an amazing bridge between the humanities and sciences that can be formed when artists and scientists work together on projects.

This event was particularly profound for me because Dr. Gimzewski gave a few words on the shooting at UCLA that happened the day before. The loss of Professor Klug has weighed heavily on me and I became emotional as Dr. Gimzewski stated that we should all look out for each other and care about one another's well being, because that is one main way to prevent these horrific things from happening. I believe that the bridges between art and science will absolutely continue to make a positive impact on the world, and we need to keep fostering these connections.


Gimzewski, James K. "Lecture: Nanotech for Artists Part 2." YouTube. YouTube, 2012. Web. 15 May 2016.

"Gimzewski, James K." UCLA Chemistry and Biochemistry. Web. 02 June 2016.

"Scanning Tunneling Microscope." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 02 June 2016.

Snow, C. P. “Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution.” Reading. 1959. New York: Cambridge UP, 1961. Print.

Vesna, Victoria. “Conscious / Memory (Part 1).” Lecture. 16 Nov 2012. <>

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Event Blog 3: LASER

On Thursday, May 19th, I attended a LASER (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous) event at the CNSI building at UCLA. The theme of the discussion of the panelists was Fourth State of Matter. Additionally, a group of students from the UCLA Art Science Undergraduate Society showcased their artwork for Nonlinear Perspectives (pictured below).
I recognized two main ideas that we have discussed during DESMA 9 that were also discussed during the LASER panel. I recognized combinations of neuroscience and art, as well as space and art. For example, speaker Megan Lindeman presented her artwork that incorporates neurochemistry into each art piece. She explained that she wishes to combine neurochemistry with poetic dark matter and cause her audience to think about dark issues. Lindeman mixed a neurotransmitter present in the human brain, oxytocin, with paint. This idea blends neuroscience and art - scientists are not able to see dark matter, so they have to map everything around it in order to find where it hides. The use of oxytocin in artwork symbolizes the use of both emotion and reason in art, which creates feelings of ambiguity. In week 7, it was discussed how the rise of a "neuroculture" as a melding of neuroscience and art can reveal the underpinnings of our individuality, emotions, consciousness, and psychosocial interactions.

Additionally, Walter Gekelman discussed his scientific work with plasma. Although I'll admit I did not understand exactly how his scientific research works and what kinds of experiments he runs, I did find it fascinating. He explained that he needs to create temperatures of 300 million degrees or higher in order to induce fusion of molecules to create plasma. Through this process, he creates magnetic ropes which he can then display digitally. These digital images are beautiful, and display magnetic fields in ways that the human mind can process. Because plasma is directly linked to our solar system's Sun, Walter Gekelman's topic directly relates to our discussion of Space and Art. Perhaps through his research and experimentation, we can begin to understand processes in space and create new avenues of artwork.


"The Spiritual Problem of Modern Man." Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 10: Civilization in Transition. Web.
"LASER [Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous]." Home Page. Web. 23 Apr. 2016.
Vesna, Victoria. “Conscious / Memory (Part 1).” Lecture. 16 Nov 2012. <>
Vesna, Victoria. Lecture. “Conscious / Memory (Part 2).” 16 Nov 2012.
Vesna , Victoria, dir. Space Part 1. 2012. Film. 30 Nov 2012.

Week 9: Space + Art

Human exploration of space has been revolutionary for societies all over the world. It has opened people's imaginations, causing artists to expand their horizons and fueled more scientific innovations to push the boundaries of space exploration. In her lectures, Professor Vesna discusses Copernicus' initial mathematical calculation of our universe, in which the sun was the center. It is amazing to think that we used to believe we were the center of our own universe and everything revolved around our own planet, when in reality we are part of a space that is unfathomably vast. The video "Powers of 10" visually describes this concept very well - as the camera zooms out from the earth, we realize just how small we are. Then as the camera zooms in by powers of 10 on the man's hand, we realize just how complex we are through our makeup of billions of atoms.

In another lecture, Professor Vesna discussed how the Space Race between the USA and Russia during the Cold War fueled major innovations in space exploration. From the first Russian spaceship Sputnik, to sending the first animal into space, to the first American to set foot on the moon, these big steps in space exploration only fueled our entire species' interest in what lies beyond our Earth. Professor Vesna also discusses that space exploration is moving into the private domain. Big multi-billion dollar companies are taking on space projects of their own. It seems to me that space exploration does not excite society nearly as much as it did in the past - perhaps as a society, we expect all of our technological advancements and innovations to become realities, almost making them less exciting.

I believe that space exploration can be an incredible platform for artistic creativity - this is because space is so mysterious. Due to the fact that the majority of us have never traveled past our earth's atmosphere and never experienced outer space with our own senses, our understanding of it is left up to scientific images provided by telescopes and our own imaginations. Annick Bureaud, a member of the Leonardo Space Art Project Working Group, states that artists have been the fuel for space exploration, embodying in their art the dreams of humankind, and making these dreams desirable for engineers to achieve. This a beautiful example of collaboration between art and science, and I hope we can keep taking steps to explore outer space and the opportunities it holds.

"An Eames Office Website." Powers of Ten Blog. Web. 25 May 2016."Leonardo Space Art Project Visioneers." Leonardo Space Art Project Visioneers. Web. 25 May 2016.
Vesna , Victoria, dir. Space Part 1. 2012. Film. 30 Nov 2012. 
Vesna , Victoria, dir. Space Part 2. 2012. Film. 30 Nov 2012. 
Vesna , Victoria, dir. Space Part 3. 2012. Film. 30 Nov 2012. 
Vesna , Victoria, dir. Space Part 4. 2012. Film. 30 Nov 2012. 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Week 8: Nanotechnology and Art

Nanotechnology is a very prevalent subject because it is the blending of many disciplines. Nanotechnology is a combination of chemistry, biology, mechanical and electrical engineering, and physics… the blending of all these disciplines in and of itself is an art. In her introduction to this week’s lectures, Professor Vesna mentioned that nanotechnology is a reinvention of how science works, because it is an amazing combination of so many different subsections of science! She says nanotechnology is what’s going to “push us to the edge into the 21st century.” I believe that we have many technological advancements and discoveries to look forward to due to nanotechnology. 

Dr. Gimzewski gave me new insight into just how different the realm of nanotechnology is than the realms of other sciences that I have been exposed to. For example, it works on an infinitely smaller scale than we can imagine. The scale is not linear, but based on powers of 10 to describe the microscopic nature of nanotechnology that allows it to manipulate things on an atomic scale. Nanotechnology goes beyond the powers of human perception - 25,000 pages of the Encyclopedia Britannica was written on a pinhead! This would not be possible with simply the work of human hands, let alone perceptible to the human eye. If nanotechnology allows us to complete feats like this, it seems that there are almost no boundaries to what this expertise could accomplish, both scientifically and artistically. 

I believe that nanotechnology will become part of our everyday lives, and enhance our artistic experiences. In this week’s reading, it was discussed that the blue coloring on a Blue Morpho butterfly is not a pigment, but rather a protein structure that manipulates the light reflected off of it so that we see blue instead of black. Upon learning this, I now wonder if manipulations of proteins through nanotechnology will allow us to see different colors or combine them in new artistic ways that we have not yet experienced. As far as everyday life goes, nanotechnology has already made its way into food preservatives, athletic wear, and even self-cleaning glass. I hope that these technological advancements will continue to be used for the betterment of society and enhance our overall health rather than cause further problems. I’m sure it will be an ongoing process for us as a species by trial and error to explore this amazing technology and ensure its positive use. 

Gimzewski, James K. "Lecture: Nanotech for Artists Part 1." YouTube. YouTube, 2012. Web. 15 May 2016.
Gimzewski, James K. "Lecture: Nanotech for Artists Part 2." YouTube. YouTube, 2012. Web. 15 May 2016.

Gimzewski, James K. "Lecture: Nanotech for Artists Part 3." YouTube. YouTube, 2012. Web. 15 May 2016.

Gimzewski, James K. "Lecture: Nanotech for Artists Part 4." YouTube. YouTube, 2012. Web. 15 May 2016.

Gimzewski, James K. "Lecture: Nanotech for Artists Part 6." YouTube. YouTube, 2012. Web. 15 May 2016.

Vesna, Victoria. "Nanotech Intro." YouTube. YouTube, 2012. Web. 15 May 2016.

Image links:

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Week 7: Neuroscience and Art

The human brain is a truly fascinating topic. It is a part of our bodies that is somewhat elusive and misunderstood, and a society we are constantly learning and discovering new ways in which the brain works. For example, we have come a long way from Ramon y Cajal’s view of the compartmentalized brain - Professor Vesna discussed how Ramon y Cajal thought the brain had 19 separate “organs” that served a specific function, but we now know that many parts of the brain communicate and collaborate in order to function properly. I have a feeling that as long as humans are in existence, we will be constantly discovering new layers of how our brains function and we will never truly know the depth of its capabilities.  

Because of our limited understanding of the brain, it is a perfect medium for the subject of art, as many people interpret functions and capacities of the brain in their own ways. I love Suzanne Anker’s artistic Brain Butterflies - this is a perfect example of how science and art have collaborated. Science allows us to take a picture of the brain and view it in a way that we would not be able to see otherwise, and the artwork of combining butterfly images with brain images allows our imagination to run wild about the symbolism of the butterfly within the brain. This seems to coincide with the idea of “neuroaesthetics” - how the conception, execution, and appreciation of visual arts influences our understanding of the brain.

In two of her lectures, Professor Vesna also discusses the powerful influences of the brain with regards to dreams and psychedelic drugs. Both dreams and hallucinogens are powerful mediums for artwork because each person has a separate experience. With both, people seem to be able to escape from reality, or enter an alternate reality. It seems that this escape to an alternate reality is something that people crave and seek out, so people project their ideal alternate realities through their artwork. Additionally, Carl Jung discusses that in order for modern man to fully experience life, he must be fully present and fully conscious. He claims we should direct our attention to the life that we currently experience instead of seeking out an alternate reality. In some ways, our brain allows us to do both. We may experience both the present as well as create our own worlds through our imaginations and express it through artwork.


Frazzetto, Giovanni, and Suzanne Anker. "Neuroculture." Nature Reviews Neuroscience Nat Rev Neurosci 10.11 (2009): 815-21. Web.
"The Spiritual Problem of Modern Man." Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 10: Civilization in Transition. Web.
Vesna, Victoria. “Conscious / Memory (Part 1).” Lecture. 16 Nov 2012. <>
Vesna, Victoria. Lecture. “Conscious / Memory (Part 2).” 16 Nov 2012. <>
Vesna, Victoria. Lecture. “Conscious / Memory (Part 3).” 16 Nov 2012. <>


Sunday, May 8, 2016

Week 6: Biotechnology and Art

This week, I learned how art and science can come together through biotechnology in some very beautiful, yet also very scary ways. Professor Vesna discusses the topic of ways we harness the processes of life itself: reproduction and metabolism (even on a cellular scale), when manipulated by humans through biotechnology, is a very controversial topic that causes ethical concerns. For example, professor Vesna discusses the process of micro-injection. Using biotechnology, scientists and artists were able to genetically engineer a green fluorescent protein and combine it with the genetics of animals, so that the pets would glow on certain parts of their bodies. 
This topic is also discussed in Defining LIfe: Artists Challenge Conventional Classifications. While a glowing pet would certainly be entertaining, exciting, and seemingly innovative, many ethical concerns arise. For example, if released into the wild, this pet could disrupt the natural gene pool and possibly cause unforeseen damage to a species. This process of changing genetics also imposes our human culture on natural processes. Do we as humans have the right to disrupt natural evolutionary processes through bioengineering? I think that we as humans are part of natural evolution, but we should not tamper with genetics as if it were something to be taken lightly.
There is another way to look at biotechnology and art, however. In Meanings of Participation: Outlaw Biology? It was discussed that Professor Vesna represents an appropriation of Big Bio when it comes to biotechnology and art. There has been an impressive growth of bio-art over the last decade, and those scientists who want to express themselves through biology are eager to collaborate with scientists and learn as much as they can about biology. This could be positive for our society and bridge the Two Cultures gap between the art and science divide. Moreover, these artists wish to use biological art to provoke, transgress, or re-design our understandings of life. Through these art forms, we may come to new revelations about how our world works, and we may come to new understandings about the wonder of how living organisms operate. By bridging the gap between math and science, we may even come to greater understandings of each other, person to person. 

Sources: Levy, Ellen K.. “Defining Life: Artists Challenge Conventional Classifications.” DESMA 9. Web. 8 May 2016 Kelty, Chris. “Meanings of Participation: Outlaw Biology?”. Web. 8 May 2016 "Primary Menu." Chris Combs. Web. 09 May 2016. "On the Fast Track: Do the Evolution! - The Isha Blog." The Isha Blog. 2016. Web. 09 May 2016. The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Web. 09 May 2016. Vesna, Victoria, narr. “BioTech Art Lectures I.” N.p., . web. 8 May 2016 Vesna, Victoria, narr. “BioTech Art Lectures II.” N.p., . web. 8 May 2016 Vesna, Victoria, narr. “BioTech Art Lectures IV.” N.p., . web. 8 May 2016

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Event Blog 2: LASER

Last Thursday Night I attended an event at the UCLA Art-Science center. It was called LASER (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous), and it was co-sponsored by the California NanoSystems Institute and Leonardo/ISAST, the International Society for the Arts, Sciences, and Technology. This event covered the idea of the "third culture" as the intersection between art and science, and what it means in our culture today. All the panelists had their own unique interpretations of how they experienced the "third culture."

In the lectures of week 1, Professor Vesna discussed the idea of a "third culture" - she mentioned how CP Snow first coined the term "Two Cultures" in reference to the gap between humanities and the sciences, and how this exacerbates a divide between the rich and the poor. CP Snow argues, however, that a third culture will emerge in the form of technological advancements. These new technologies will enable art and science to work together, and this idea was very evident in the LASER event.

For example, one of the speakers at the panel presented his dissertation, in which he focused on object permanence (the ability to now that an object exists even when it is occluded from our sight). His research was conducted using artistic techniques and videos, even though the subject he was presenting is highly scientific. This is a perfect demonstration of how technology serves as a bridge between science and art. Additionally, another panelist discussed how technology has allowed her to express art forms that mirror the emotions she feels. Because she is physically distant from her daughter and they live in different parts of the country, she feels emotionally torn and expresses this through video and sound montages that reflect her feelings in the passage of time. With so many new technologies and softwares, we are able to express our emotional experiences in new ways and perhaps understand the experiences of others on a deeper level. LASER forced me to look at art through a different perspective. I realized that as mediums of art and science continue to evolve, through technological advancements, so will the expressions of artists evolve.


"LASER [Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous]." Home Page. Web. 23 Apr. 2016.

LASER Event, UCLA. Personal photograph by author. 2016.

LASER Event Selfie, UCLA. Personal photograph by author. 2016.

Snow, C. P. “Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution.” Reading. 1959. New York: Cambridge UP, 1961. Print.

Vesna, Victoria. “Toward a Third Culture: Being in Between.” Leonardo 34.2 (2001): 121-25. Web.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Week 4: Medicine, Technology and Art

This week’s topic was very eye-opening to me in that helped me understand just how much of a strong influence artwork has had on the medical world. Professor Vesna discussed how artwork was used for medical uses from the very beginning. It all began with diagrams of the human body - even though I have been familiarized with these diagrams from a young age, studying anatomy in school, I never thought of it as art; however, it takes a very talented artist to represent the human body correctly!

Additionally, I have attended Body World, and experienced the artwork there with my own eyes. I distinctly remember one of the exhibits where the only part of the body that was displayed were blood vessels. It was amazing to have a real visual of just how many blood vessels our body has! The ability to deconstruct our human tissues and display them gives us a completely new understanding of our bodies’ functions and just how complex they are.

I also never thought of plastic surgery as an art form. I had always thought of it as a medical procedure for people to want to alter their appearance, but I never thought that someone would want to reconstruct their image at multiple times in their life. Orlan takes this idea of plastic surgery as art to an extreme level, and it makes me wonder if her body suffers or doesn’t function as well as it normally would. I can imagine her work would stir up controversy about how we are each created uniquely and beautifully in our own way, and that we should not be altered based on societal conceptions of aesthetic “beauty.”

My favorite reading from this week regarded the Hippocratic Oath. This is something I was previously unfamiliar with, but I love the idea that those in the medical field should have this oath in order to uphold ethical standards while they treat their patients, for they are in a profession of service and have the opportunity to contribute to a healthier society, by aiding one person at a time. This is something that appeals to me, I would love to be in a profession of service, knowing that I am helping to improve the quality of another’s life.


"Doctors Aren't Bound by the Hippocratic Oath." Today I Found Out. 2013. Web. Photograph. 20 Apr. 2016.

"Spider in the Bathtub." : Body Worlds. Web. Photograph. 20 Apr. 2016.

"Squeeze Page – Figure — My Drawing Tutorials - Art Made Simple!" My Drawing Tutorials Art Made Simple. Web. 20 Apr. 2016.

Tyson, Peter. "The Hippocratic Oath Today." PBS. PBS, 2001. Web. 20 Apr. 2016.

Vesna, Victoria. “Medicine and Art: Part 2.” YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 20 April, 2016.

Vesna, Victoria. “Medicine and Art: Part 1.” YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 20 April, 2016.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Event Blog 1: Black Mountain College

On Thursday, April 14th, I attended a poetry reading at the Hammer Museum. It was called “The Kinetics” and was part of a series of events that the Hammer has been putting on called Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College.

Black Mountain College was a liberal arts college founded in 1933 in Black Mountain, North Carolina. The school was unique in that it placed its main educational emphasis on the study of art itself as part of a liberal arts education - students were required to study the arts upon attending this college. It ended up closing due to a lack of funding in 1957. The writers and artists that made up its faculty had great influences on the arts, and many of them are America’s leading visual artists, composers, poets, and designers. 

At the event, four of the college’s literary descendants spoke of their experience at the college and then shared some of their colleagues’ poetry. The speakers included Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Duncan McNaughton, Michael Davidson, and Michael Palmer. The discussions of these four literary descendants touched on many of the ideas we are learning in class. For example, Black Mountain College itself exemplifies the idea of Two Cultures: the school was shut down simply because the study of arts is not as emphasized in our culture that is more and more dependent on science. Additionally, one of them mentioned that the poetry read at the reading is “poetry of place” - how you are in relation to those around you - this is poetics of the body. This relates to how our bodies are used to create art. Upon speaking about one of his colleagues, another speaker mentioned that their relationship was “of another dimension” - this reminded me of the “fourth dimension” discussed in our unit of mathematics and art.

Overall, I am glad I went to this event and listened to some poetry that I otherwise would not have been exposed to. I would recommend this event to anyone who wants to take a break from their busy schedule, slow down a bit, and contemplate the different meanings of words as others share their personal experiences. 


Black Mountain College. 2008. North Carolina. Wikipedia. Photograph. 18 Apr. 2016.

"Black Mountain College." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 19 Apr. 2016.

Tan, Kamila. Hammer Pamphlets. Photograph, 2016. Hammer Museum, Los Angeles.

Tan, Kamila. Thumbs Up with the Hammer Guy. Photograph, 2016. Hammer Museum, Los Angeles.

Vesna,Victoria. “Lecture Part 2.” Math + Art. 12 Oct. 2012. Lecture.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Week 3 - Mechanization and Art

In this week’s discussion of mechanization and art, Professor Vesna discussed the idea that mechanization and the constant process of reproduction puts an end to the idea of uniqueness and authenticity. For example, photographs are no longer unique because millions of the same copies can be produced. Walter Benjamin discusses this issue in his essay. He claims that reproducibility of art creates a dependence on ritual, and art is reproduced or altered in order to reach a level of aesthetic perfection.

This idea reminds me of the movie Gattaca. This film is set in a futuristic world in which humans are no longer conceived by natural means - the optimal genes from both the mother and the father are combined to form the “best” child possible, with the longest life span and the most desirable physical traits. Those humans who are conceived naturally, without genetic alterations, are forced to the lowest echelons of society and take up jobs that require physical labor (such as a janitorial position) even though they may be just as smart or capable as those who have received genetic enhancements. Gattaca ties into the idea that mechanization kills uniqueness and originality. By constantly altering or “enhancing” our artwork in order to make it perfect, we lose its original depth and meaning. In Gattaca, through the process of each child receiving genetic treatment to be the best possible combination of its parents, the spontaneity of that person’s unique combination of genetics is lost.

One could say, as humans, that each one of us is a work of art. We are all genetically unique - no two people (unless they are identical twins) are made up of the exact same genetic material. Our combination of both physical and mental traits, what we look like and who we are, is original. We should embrace this part of our human nature, and allow ourselves to continue creating novel artworks, embracing each person’s unique impact to society and the world.


Benjamin, Walter. “The Work of Art in Age of Mechanical Reproduction.” Marxists. N.p.. Web. 18 Oct 2012. "Campbell's Soup Cans." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Photograph. 15 Apr. 2016. "Gattaca: Humanizing Research and Evolving." Splice. 2015. Photograph. 15 Apr. 2016. "Gattaca Synopsis." IMDb. Web. 15 Apr. 2016. "Healthy Children" United Way Nashua. Photograph. 2015. Web. 15 Apr. 2016. Vesna,Victoria. “Lecutre Part 2.” Math + Art. 12 Oct. 2012. Lecture.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Week 2 - Mathematics, Art and Science

In this week’s “Math + Art” lecture by professor Vesna, I gained several insights into how mathematics has influenced art and science. For example, I have taken art classes when I was younger in which I learned how to use Brunelleschi’s “vanishing point” technique as a so-called “trick” to draw pictures with accurate depth. Professor Vesna explains that the vanishing point is actually geometrical, and an artist can control the length of the object and picture to create a certain image and experience for the viewer. I was also very interested in Da Vinci’s use of the Golden Ratio, used to create proportions in art using mathematical relationships that make the art aesthetically appealing. It is probably Da Vinci’s expert use of the Golden Ratio that makes his depictions of people seem so realistic. Additionally, under the resource entitled “Music and Computers,” I realized the process of music composition is entirely mathematical because composers take into account rhythms and intervals that all have to do with numbers. Using the resource “Mathematical Origami,” I realized that this art form is created entirely by geometrical shapes caused by the folding of a paper over and over again!

In this picture of an origami blackbird, one can see how the shapes of its head, beak, body, and feet are all put together by geometrical shapes. The smaller the shapes, the more "rounded" the edges seem, and the larger the shapes, the straighter the edges.

This week's readings have an overarching theme that both artists and scientists apply mathematics through use of computers. Henderson mentions that artists Banchoff and Strauss manipulated four-dimensional figures on computer screens - this corroborates the idea that computers are the "bridge" between art and science. Additionally, I noticed that the idea of a fourth dimension has been especially relevant in recent movies. For example, the movie "Interstellar" plays on the idea that people could be sent to another world by traveling through a wormhole, calculated using a mathematical equation. Even though it is a fictional story, the producers maintained that it's based on scientific findings - I find this to be a perfect example of how mathematics is used as both an art form (the movie-making process) and science.


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

Interstellar Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 06 Apr. 2016.

Red-Winged Blackbird, Opus 668. Photograph, 2004-2016. Web. 6 Apr. 2016.

"Robert J. Lang Origami." Robert J. Lang Origami. Web. 06 Apr. 2016.

Time Signatures. Photograph, 2011. Web. 6 Apr. 2016.

Vesna, Victoria. “” Cole UC online. Youtube, 9 April 2012. Web. 11 Oct. 2012. <>

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Week 1 - Two Cultures

The idea of “Two Cultures” is not new to me, but until now I hadn’t read anything that so eloquently articulated the concept. C.P. Snow maintained that his colleagues from each of the two cultures were comparable in intelligence, race, and social origin, but continuously misunderstood each other. Additionally, professor Vesna
mentions how the two cultures have been generalized into stereotypes – each has an over-simplified view of the other. I have seen the effects of these misunderstandings and stereotypes in my own family life. On my mother’s side of the family, art is highly valued – my grandfather was an architect and regularly painted beautiful watercolor pieces. On my father’s side of the family, science is highly valued - my grandfather has contributed a significant amount of research to autoimmune diseases and my father works in the realm of biological sciences. Both sides of my family are equally smart and talented, yet their emphasis on what is important is opposite, sometimes causing misunderstandings, division, and stereotypical commentary. Growing up, I have often felt like the two sides of my family are different worlds, and have struggled to find balance between two equally valuable aspects of my life and heritage. (Pictured above: my grandfather painting as I watch at a young age).

As discussed in the video “Changing Education Paradigms,” two cultures are deeply engrained in our educational system. The humanities and sciences are separate and specialized, which causes a division among students who choose to go one route or the other. This is plainly visible at UCLA, where there is a culture of scientific and technological “elite” among south-campus majors and an emphasis on aesthetic experience among north-campus majors. I wish there was a major that encompassed both!

One stereotype that I have personal experience with is the “athlete” stereotype. At UCLA, I see the idea of Two Cultures in the division between intercollegiate athletes and the regular student body. Among the athletic population, we have discussed feeling judged as lazy or nonchalant in our academics, even though many of us have well above a 3.0 GPA on top of having to spend 3-5 hours a day (often more) for our athletic obligations. Conversely, I have heard accusations that regular students would never be able to “do what athletes do,” but I would disagree that the regular student body puts their time and energy into other activities, and may have equally busy schedules. The misunderstandings between these two cultures are apparent, but as I have grown in friendships with fellow athletes and non-athletes alike, I see and appreciate both sides.

Changing Education Paradigms. Perf. Sir Ken Robinson. YouTube. Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, 14 Oct. 2010. Web. <>.

Dong, Han Q. Kamila Tan Beach Volleyball. 2016. Los Angeles. Facebook. Web. 3 Apr. 2016. Photograph.
Kamila and Grandfather, Pine Valley, CA. Personal photograph by author. 1998.

North vs. South Campus. 2011. Deviant Art. Web. 3 Apr. 2016. Photograph.

Snow, C. P. “Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution.” Reading. 1959. New York: Cambridge UP, 1961. Print.