Jessica Mary Fallon's blog

Plasma and its natural phenomena as art

To me, one of the most interesting topics from Dr. Gekelman’s talk was about geomagnetic storms. Storms fascinate me in general: the way they form in nature, and the way that they are endlessly used as symbols in human art work. I think storms are one of the best examples of the inherent artistic quality of the natural and physical world. Physics is what explains general storms, so hearing about geomagnetic storms, and how utterly other they are, was fascinating.

Systems and Embroidery

During last week’s class, we got to hear about the fascinating ideas from the class about the ways that they can integrate art and biotechnology. The projects ranged from a communicative plant, to a breathing tracker, to applications involving the brain, DNA, and our responses to music. The wide range of projects was amazing to see, because I had never been able to fully grasp the range of possibilities in the world of the integration of biotechnology and art, even though we had many, many examples.

The Week of Field Trips

Since our last blog post, we have had two class field trips, the first, to see an exhibition of the work of New York-based artist Toni Dove, and to UC Irvine to see Wetware: art, agency, animation featuring a tour with curator David Familian. Both of these experiences were incredible because it brought the concept of the integration of biology, technology, and art to our minds in a very tangible way. Toni’s presentation of her virtual reality technology was incredibly fascinating on two levels.

Rat versus Dog, the Chinese Zodiac story

I have been fascinated for a long time with the legend and traditions of the Chinese zodiac, and over the years I have paid attention to the animal signs of my family members. I was born in the year of the Dog, my sister and father are both Rats, and my mother is a Dragon. My interest did not often proceed any farther than beyond surface level, other than my arrogant assertion to my mother that Dogs and Dragons were not meant to get along.

BioArt and its Implications on our view of Health

To me, Mick Lorusso’s most striking project was his work with the Museum of Endoluminosity. Diamonds are fascinating geologically, as the hardest substance on earth, and it was interesting to see them integrated into his BioArt work. Lorusso’s ability to find connections across life, our minds, art, health, and spirituality is incredible and his project focuses not just on the diamonds themselves, but their ability to reflect and refract light across surfaces.

The Interaction and Integration of Biology and Art

My area of study at UCLA is focused on examining scientific topics from a wide range of academic perspectives including anthropology, sociology, political science, and psychology. My exposure to art during my course of study, however, has been fairly limited in its scope, so learning about the various interactions of art and artists with biology and biotechnology was incredibly eye opening. To me, the greatest similarity of biologists and artists at the most basic level is that they are both in the business of creating.

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