Rahul Iyengar's blog

Hidden Behind Clear Plastic: Our Distancing From the Meat Industry

This weekend when I went to the grocery store I started in the fruits and vegetables area and then meandered over to the meats section. Normally I don’t pay much attention to the various assorted meats because I go straight for the packaged chicken breasts and then continue with my shopping. This time, though, I took my time examining all of the different meat selections that were offered. They were what you typically expected in terms of meat selections ranging from beef, to lamb, to poultry, to seafood.

Is Reality Beyond Our Perception?

What struck me the most during Dr. Gekelman’s talk was the time in which his reactions took place.  A billionth of second is such an abstract concept to us that is it quite unfathomable. Yet, I find it interesting that the concept of time itself is almost unfathomable. Time as we know it is so inorganically constructed with an arbitrary 24 hours in a day, 60 minutes in an hour, and 60 seconds in a minute. Yet it is so ingrained in our society and in our biological clocks.

Surveillance Society and the Future of Robots

Fear is one of our most innate human drives. It’s a natural feeling meant to protect us from potential danger. But is fear controlling our lives? While the article “Bioparanoia and the Culture of Control” focuses on our excess fear of germs, diseases, and biowarfare as central to our culture of control, I find the main of idea of fear relevant to our discussion of drones, robots, humanoids, and Gemini’s as a part of our shift towards a surveillance society.

The Music Box

Music has existed since before the advent of language and it is an integral part of our experienced humanity. Though experienced every day, our musical perceptions are confined and limited.

The circuitry of our brains allows for easy sensory manipulation of our incoming auditory and visual information. While sensory distortions are largely the byproducts of drug use, they can naturally occur in people who have synesthesia, or “the blending of senses.”

Is Our Reality A Virtual Simulation? (and more)

Viewing and participating in Toni Dove’s interactive virtual reality pieces in class last week reignited my interest in virtual reality technologies. As opposed to traditional virtual reality headpieces, I was captivated by the concept of her device-free immersion. In fact, I’m surprised that current virtual reality technologies don’t focus on creating device-free applications to fully immerse participants in virtual systems!

Animals, Humans, Biotechnology, and Society

In lecture we spoke about many interesting connections and parallels between animals and humans. More so than my connection to a Zodiac animal, I was especially enthralled by the scientific and artistic uses of animal capabilities in applications for humans. In lecture we briefly mentioned the creation of a prosthetic limb that can sense pressure changes and when I was looking it up I found a related creation that uses chameleon skin technology to create pressure-sensitive elastic ‘skin’ that changes color with touch and surrounding conditions.

Pinar Yoldas Event

I’d like to start by thanking you for recommending this event! Pinar Yoldas was an amazing speaker and her work is both ingenious and inspiring. It was remarkable to see the range and depth of her pieces. While I was captivated by all of the pieces she presented, there were two pieces in particular that especially sparked my interest.

Biotechnology and Art

It was a pleasure having Mick Lorusso come give a guest lecture! Much of his work overlaps with my own BioArt interests including using biotechnology in conjunction with art to 1) develop new approaches to help the environment, and 2) to develop resourceful pieces that have practical, meaningful, and relevant applications in society.  

Introduction to Biotechnology and Art

When I first enrolled in this class I had no idea what to expect. Before watching the lectures, the intersection of biotechnology and art conjured up images of microscopic bacteria or plants and I thought this class would be limited to analyzing works such as the picture below, which shows a GaN nano-flower that was recorded using a field emission scanning electron microscope.

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