Trang Nguyen's blog

Making Strange

Last Wednesday, I went to “Making Strange” exhibition in Fowler Stranger of artist Vivan Sundaram. My first impression on the exhibition was a unique fashion that many mannequins were wearing. Most of garment designs were made from recycled materials and medical supplies such as hospital bandages, surgical masks or X-ray film. Some mannequins were dissembled in many broken parts and randomly painted with gray color, which actually gave me a sudden scare. The exhibition is a combination of two projects: Gagawaka and Postmortem.

Jane Mi-Installation

Last Thursday, I came to the MFA for Installation exhibition of Jane Mi. My first impression on Installation is the coldness and loneliness of Antarctica. Instead of using white or other artificial material to mimic snow, artist Jane Mi covered the ground with black soils. When I stepped on soils, it made a pleasant sound like raining sound. Lying on the ground was a volcanic rock on which a generative animation was projected. The moving white lines on the black rocks created various shapes, reminding me of the flow of melting glaciers.

The hard-working Ox

Ox is a castrated male adult cattle used commonly in agriculture for plowing, pulling cart or hauling wagons. Ox is also used for transporting and power supplying source. Cow (female) and bull (intact male) are also used in agriculture and food industry.

water

It was very interesting to watch the movie on tap and bottled water in last lecture. Which is safer- tap of bottled water? People become more biased on judging water. “Fancy” names or bottled designs can make us easily believe in the safety and purity of the water from those bottles. Water is always an important part in our lives. Water can be applied in many fields from science, art and music. Thus, I am wondering how water can affect to our architecture and vice versa. Water is one of essential landscape designing factors in architecture.

Leila Nadir and Cary Peppermint lecture

Last Monday, I could not attend the workshop “OS Fermentation”; however, I went to the lecture in the evening. I was a little late for the talk, and Leila Nadir and Cary Peppermint showed us a short video “Ecologies of inconvenient.” The video is a combination of short views from highway rest-stops, urban quick-marts, fast food restaurants along side with individuals fermenting food or digging out springs in the forest.

Honeybees

When I listened to Jason’s lecture on bees, I kept getting surprised on how importance of these little species to our nature. I have learned a lot about honey bees and beehive building. One of the parts in Jason’s lecture that captured my concerns is his talk about the movie “The Swarm.” While in the past, we had made such a sci-fiction movie about the invasion of bees, we nowadays have to worry about a rapid decline in honey bee colonies. This actually points out how much the environment have changed.

Honeybees

When I listened to Jason’s lecture on bees, I kept getting surprised on how importance of these little species to our nature. I have learned a lot about honey bees and beehive building. One of the parts in Jason’s lecture that captured my concerns is his talk about the movie “The Swarm.” While in the past, we had made such a sci-fiction movie about the invasion of bees, we nowadays have to worry about a rapid decline in honey bee colonies. This actually points out how much the environment have changed.

Amazing Midterm Presentations

Last Thursday midterm presentations were full of aspiration and creativity in many topics from ecology to medicine. However, in this post, I want to talk about the project “EcoFacts” and “Medicinal Cigarettes.”  In "EcoFats", I was really surprised at first when finding out how much water was used in our food.  Sarah presented that we usually paid attention to nutrient facts and health issues in our meals, but never cared about how our meals affect our environment. Her suggestion on environmental impact labels is such a great idea to raise public awareness about environment.

Do plants have feelings?

Last lecture, we were shown a lot of movies, many of which documented about the sleeping grass and its behavior when being touched. When I saw the sleeping grass, it reminded me of my childhood game. Whenever my cousin and I saw the sleeping grass, we would touch every stem and leaf to have all them close and told my grandmother that we were tickling the plants. Hence, do plants have feelings like pain or tickle? There was a movie filming about the experiment on how plants react to pain. At first, the researcher used a metal stick to touch the sleeping grass.

Kathy High-Fecal transplant and Blood Wars

When I first walked into the gallery at CNSI, I was impressed by photographs of Kathy High along with a letter to David Bowie. In the middle of the room, there were three glass pots of feces soaked in honey, which were a little stinky to me at first. Then, Kathy High introduced us to her newest project of fecal transplant and how microbiome can benefit human. In fecal transplant, stool collected from healthy donor will be placed in a patient by colonoscopy, endoscopy, or sigmoidoscopy.

DIYBio

After listening to Mick and Mary’s lectures, I was intrigued with the concepts of DIYBio and how DIYbio and ecology can be applied to gain public’s awareness of biotechnological impacts. DIYbio’s members call themselves biohackers, and they work together on different projects and create their own labs over the globe.

First Impression and the movie "Strange Culture"

When I enrolled into HNRS 177, I did not have a clear definition of how biotechnology and art can combine together. I originally imaged that biotech and art might be referred to biotechnological designing fields like modeling prosthetic arms or hands. On the first day of lecture, I was amazed at wide ranges of art in biotechnology, especially the ideas behind the organization “Critical Art Ensemble,” which combined art, technology with politics and civil rights.

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