Sunday, April 24, 2016

Week 4: Medicine + Art

I did not know that medical advances had such an influence on artists and the art that they create. Using body scans like MRI’s and x-ray’s help to show how the human body looks and works, to create art from something that is already seen as an art form, the human body. The modern version of the Hippocratic Oath refers to anything done to the physical body as art, “there is an art to medicine” (Tyson NOVA). This Oath dates back to the earth fifth century, showing that the body was always seen as a work of art. Technology has helped to further the art that is created from the anatomical body structure. Not just art based on the body but also architecture reflects structures of DNA and genetics. Architecture has been influenced by body structures since “the emergence of DNA [,] and genes gave rise to a new mechanism for generating structural diversity” (Ingber 57). Art tries to express emotions through whatever the art work is, so the emergence of technology that is able to look into the brain, the origin of all human activities, created a new way of “a technique of self-portrait” (Casini 75). I however agree with the author when he says “yet what these images really show remains a debated issue, because they are far from being transparent windows into the inner self,” a brain scan cannot show what a human is really thinking (Casini 75). An art piece conveys emotion through the brush strokes, colors and shadows. So perhaps if an artist drew the brain scan with different colors, highlighting certain parts of the brain the art artistic aspect would be more apparent. This image is one that is trying to highlight the argument that “artists have more grey matter in the parietal lobe;” the use of this image is to show that the article is about an artistic topic not purely scientific (Brooks). 

I like the interpretation Travis Bedal takes to anatomy, he creates art by “joining anatomy figures to different fauna and flora” (Acebedo Naldz Graphics). He is going past just the use of human body anatomy, and introduces animal anatomy as well as those of plants and flower; but he combines the two using the same structures, of each anatomical being, to complement each other.


Works Cited 

Acebedo, Ebrian. "An Art That Shows What Happens When Anatomy Meets Flora And Fauna | Naldz Graphics." Naldz Graphics An Art That Shows What Happens When Anatomy Meets Flora And Fauna Comments. N.p., 07 Apr. 2014. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.

Brooks, Katherine. "Artists' Brains Have More 'Grey Matter' Than The Rest Of Ours, Study Finds." The Huffington Post., 22 Apr. 2014. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.

Casini, Silvia. "Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) as Mirror and Portrait: MRI Configurations between Science and the Arts." Configurations 19.1 (2011): 73-99. Web.

Ingber, Donald E. "The Architecture of Life." Sci Am Scientific American 278.1 (1998): 48-57. Web.

Tyson, Peter. "The Hippocratic Oath Today." PBS. PBS, 27 Mar. 2001. Web. 24 Apr. 2016. 


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Week 3: Art and Robotics

Industrialization has led to the mechanization of almost nearly all of human life, it has practically invaded. A lot of aspects of production have been mechanized; there is either no human production or a very minimal amount. The movie Modern Times (1936) is a great example of this, Charlie Chaplin’s performance shows just how humans have to become a part of the machine just to move along smoothly with them. He has to keep up with the assembly line or else the whole mechanical process will need to be shut down. Charlie Chaplin cannot do normal human activates like itch his nose or else the whole assembly line will have to slow down  

The movie even shows the mechanization of eating, where a machine is feeding the individual. He does not have any control over what he eats first or for how long. The corn on the cob is fed to Chaplin way to fast, he cannot eat it successfully.  

In a more recent movie Reel Steel (2011), is about a boxing robot that is able to compute real human emotion. In the last big fight the one of the main character played by Hugh Jackman, tries to level with the robot and get in back into the fight to win. Without using any remote control he goes up to the robots face and talks to it, using gestures to help it to understand. Here once again it shows that robots are taking over aspects of human life, in the movie there are no longer any human boxers, the greats now use robots to fight in the matches.

Real Steel (2011)
Walter Benjamin writes about how this mechanization is taking away a unique aspect that humans bring to the table whereas machines are just producing the same thing over and over again. Benjamin says “the technique of reproduction detaches the reproduced object from the domain of tradition” (Benjamin 1936). This may be true in the case of Charlie Chaplin; however the movie Real Steel shows that a robot is still unique to the human that has created it. There are many forms of art that had steamed from the emergence of mechanization, and they are very unique. For example in Fred Ables Electric Circus, the artist uses both “animatronics with masterful puppetry” to create what almost looks like real animals and human (Ables). Douglas Davis agrees that the introduction of industrialization has “enhanced, not betrayed” the uniqueness of human created art (Davis 381). The art that Ables was able to create was only because robots were being introduced into the art realm, his are is definitely unique and not a copy. 

Works Cited 
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. 

 "Electric Circus Dresseur Der Automaten." Electric Circus Dresseur Der Automaten. Web. 17 Apr. 2016. <>. 

 HDTVADDICT. "Charlie Chaplin - Eating Machine." YouTube. YouTube, 2012. Web. 17 Apr. 2016. <>.

Modern times. RBC Films, 1936.

Real Steel. Dream Works, 2011.

"Sugar Ray Leonard Talks Hugh Jackman & ‘Real Steel’." Screen Rant. 2011. Web. 17 Apr. 2016. <>.

TheCharlesChaplin. "Charlie Chaplin - Factory Work." YouTube. YouTube, 2010. Web. 17 Apr. 2016. <>. 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Week 2: Math + Art
Vanishing points exist to help bring perspectives into an artist’s work. This vanishing point is useful when the artist is trying to get the observer to see a certain view of the art. An observer needs to look from one point of the painting in order to experience exactly what the artist intends, “if we view art from the wrong viewpoint, it can appear distorted” (Frantz 3-7). Here is where mathematics comes in, measurements are done to make sure that all aspects of the painting are proportional to where the vanishing point is. 

In Flatland, Abbott talks about dimensions, this can be very important in how something is perceived. There is an example in the reading about a penny; if you were to look directly over the penny you would see a circle, but as you shift your perspective on the penny it will start to change shape in your eyes, perhaps it will look like an oval instead of a circle. Using this example, the artist will create a drawing from the perspective he wants his audience to see the penny by drawing it with
men drawn as circles, women as lines
dimensions. Abbot uses this in his book, instead of a drawing he uses literature to express dimensions of the world in a certain view, a bunch of shapes on a plane, but each shape and figure is described with proportions that need to be exact to each respective figure because that is how a person can tell a boy from a girl or a carpenter from a businessman

M.C. Escher uses mathematics in his art to create tessellations. These are “arrangements of closed shapes that completely cover the plain without overlapping and without leaving gaps” (Escher). I found this use of math in art very interesting, the shapes are always touching as if the pen or paintbrush was never lifted from the canvas. In his work, geometry is used in the rotations, translations, and reflections of the one polygon (regular or irregular). In the picture with birds, he uses triangles as the polygon and finds a shape of a bird fitting to fill that space. In other example variations of shapes are used like this example from the Alhambra that inspired Escher to create art that included mathematics.
Tiles in the Alhambra; Drawing, 1936
Regular Division of the Plane with Birds; Wood engraving 1949
Some artists are using math for a reason by using a vanishing point or to help their readers in the case of Abbot to understand dimensions of characters. Escher uses math to make sure that his plane is proportional and even with the shapes he chooses to use in his art. He believes math has opened up more variety to his art. Math, Art, and Science all play a roll in each respective field. I learnd that math has a greater influence on Art than i had expected it to, but as I dug deeper into the material it seems that Math is used to help the art become more real to the observer; this is essential for artists. 

Works Cited: 
Abbott, Edwin. Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions. 1884. Print.

"Edwin Abbott Abbott." Edwin Abbott Abbott. Web. 10 Apr. 2016   <>.

Franz, Marc. “Lesson 3: Vanishing Point and Looking at Art.” Web. 10 April 2016.

"Perspective: The Role of Perspective: Page 3." Perspective: The Role of Perspective: Page 3. Web. 10 Apr. 2016. <>.

Smith, B. Sidney. "The Mathematical Art of M.C. Escher." Platonic Realms Minitexts. Platonic Realms, 13 Mar 2014. Web. 13 Mar 2014.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Week 1: Two Cultures

Hello, my name is Angela Soderquist and I am a fourth year Sociology major at UCLA. Studying social interactions between individuals and groups also interests me in what neurological factors exist in those interactions, and maybe even cause some as well. I have also been dancing since a very young age and have had to learn about the body and its relation to movement in dance. Proper placement of the body is essential in ballet, and this required me to learn about the different muscles and bones and how I should be aligning them correctly.
 (correct body alignment for improved balance)                      
The two cultures of dance and anatomy came together for me because I needed to make sure I knew proper placement to prevent as many injuries as possible. This creates a new niche of education in dance, “the clashing point of two subjects, two disciplines, two cultures – of two galaxies, as far as that goes – ought to produce creative chances,” creating a third culture of science, merging science education and dance (C.P. Snow 17). 
(X-Ray of foot En Pointe) 
 A science education is not typically taught in ballet companies, therefore “the enduring gap between humanities and sciences…clearly shows that the bridges being constructed are still very fragile,” making the connection between the two cultures a little shaky (Vesna 122).  Another example of two cultures is in social media, in college a lot of people meet online either through online classes, job websites like LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. This is bridging the gap of creating relationships face to face, using technology to create connection and networks instead. 

 (meeting on social media) 
Perhaps it is becoming inconvenient for people to meet in person, possibly takes too much time out of an already busy day, in this case “reaching limits in science or any other discipline for that matter really means being on the threshold of the inevitable something else,” a new culture is being created to help progress where in a busy society people just do not have the time to spend going out and creating relationships, this is even happening in the dating world (Vesna 123).   Reading these articles put the idea of the third culture into perspective. I have always wondered why certain areas of discipline were black and white when I wanted to see how they connected. There are connections in science and art; others just have to be open to bridging the gap and making those connections.

Justasmalltowngirl. Meeting on Social Media. Digital image. Just A Small Town Girl. 16 Dec. 2010.                  Web. 1 Apr. 2016. <                      you-create-relationships/>.

Nichelle. Allignment. Digital image. Dance Advantage. 19 Jan. 2011. Web. 1 Apr. 2016.

Snow, C. P. The Two Cultures and The Scientific Revolution. New York: Cambridge UP, 1961. Print.

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

X-Ray. Digital image. Are You Ready For Pointe Shoes? Web. 1 Apr. 2016.