HRS177|Spring2016

Interactive Virtual World

Last week we had this awesome opportunity to visit Toni Dove’s interactive virtual reality and it was definitely interesting. As Toni was explaining her version of the virtual reality I couldn’t wait until we got to actually experiment it out. To take the visual reality glasses off and make it into a full wide screen interactive design was unconceivable to me, so I had to see it for myself!

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!

Interactive Media

We had a chance to visit with the contemporary artist Toni Dove, and we were even invited to tinker around with her interactive media exhibit. She mainly deals with cinema manipulation, and emphasizes being well versed on the subject matter that the artist intends to work with.

Movement in BioArt

During week four we took a trip to the local Art and Science gallery on UCLA’s campus to view guest artist Toni Dove’s work. It was actually my first time at this building and I was pleasantly surprised by the work of art presented to us. Our guest artist explained her project of combining different videos with video motion sensors to control the video being played. The basis of her work was based upon virtual reality technology. I thought it was really cool how she wanted to create a type of control that didn’t require the use of gloves or headgear.

"What's Your Sign"

During lecture this week Professor Vesna introduced us to the topic of Chinese zodiac signs and related it to the homeobox gene. I found this gene quite interesting, as it is a selector gene that determines the fate of your cell. If you lose the HOX gene you have a transformation of segment identity. This transformation makes it possible for insects to have their antennas placed on their legs and vice versa. I thought this was really cool as it the manipulation of what you see can create a monster type version of a being.

 

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.

Ingested Identities

Last week’s discussion and exploration of the Hox Zodiac by Professor Vesna illuminated the aspect of the processual evolution characteristic of BioTech Art. Participating in the semiotics of animals within human folklore brought to my attention the way we have modified the lives of other living organisms through basic technology. 

Animals, the Zodiac, and Hox Genes, Oh my!

I really enjoyed this lecture and the concepts behind the Hox Zodiac exhibit/dinners, because of how they highlighted the importance of animals in human society.  I especially liked the TedTalk on Pig05049, for this reason. I personally had no idea about how many everyday products are made from some part of a pig. I knew there were quite a few, but never imagined the true scale.  So to see them all mapped out and listed was truly baffling, to say the least. Being a vegetarian, I wish it weren't true.

I'm a Rat AND I am Proud

This past class was absolutely amazing! I have to admit, I have never enjoyed or paid attention to a class as much as I did last week. The topic alone was enough to grab my attention, but the fact that we were able to actually eat the food we were talking about made me even more attentive. I am confident I left class with a full stomach, and a semi full understanding of the Chinese zodiac signs.

Who Do You Think You Are?

To be honest, I was very confused by Professor Vesna’s email instructions asking us to come with information about our Chinese zodiac animal. My view of the class so far had me believe that the class was going to focus on how art can be based on science. This assignment, however, seemed to highlight an art piece based more on mythology and superstition than actual science. I was surprised when I came into class and saw Professor Vesna talking about the hox gene, a critical component in the body organizing process.

Why Has No One Made a Dragon Yet?!

It's crazy how philosophies created thousands of years ago such as the Zodiac signs, Hindu folklore/traditions, and I-Ching philosophies are still applicable today. There seems to be a timeless nature to people, and a sort of balancing act with personalities and individualities. This same kind of balance is seem through different fields of study from art and science to math and humanities.

The Chinese Zodiac: Connection Between Animals and Humans

Let me begin by saying that I did not expect such an interesting bond between food and the Chinese zodiac signs. My initial curiosity for this unexpected relationship stemmed from the Chinese classic novel I Ching, which discusses the human body’s internal change in response to its environment. In particular, we mentioned the connection made between the sixty-four DNA codons and sixty-four Chinese character codes, or hexagrams. Interestingly, one version of manipulating our bodies’ external environments involves eating.

Zodiac Signs and HOX genes!

This past class was definitely very intriguing and not because we had really great food, but because learning about the HOX gene and our Chinese zodiac signs was something new to me. This class has a great way of putting everything into perspective, especially in the sense of mixing the worlds of BioTech and Art. I was fascinated to see how the Chinese zodiac signs could be related to a topic that I found to be very different in comparison. As we went through each animal, I couldn’t help but to want to learn more about the Dog, which is my animal.

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