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. <>

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