During week 2 of this course we enjoyably had Mick Lorusso lecture as a guest speaker. He graciously spoke about some of the work he has done as an artist and introduced the class to many more artists who have done some great work. One of his projects that really touched me was the Museum of Endoluminosity. He spoke to us about the passing of his father to leukemia. He linked this transcendence of departure to the phenomena of diamonds. “Contemporary scientific writings, including publications by Dr. Dean Ho, Dr. James Gimzewski, and Alia Ghoneum, demonstrate how nanodiamonds can cut through even the toughest tumor cells, help heal wounds more effectively and improve the body’s immune response.” (Larusso, 2015) I thought it was beautiful how he could turn such an unfortunate event in his life and relate to the beauty of diamonds and how they can have a place in the healing of many peoples lives medically and spiritually.
In lecture, Larusso also introduced the author Rachel Carson whose book “Silent Spring” ignited a strong movement for global warming. Although must of the information she presented wasn’t new her book created a lot of buzz on the matter of the health of our environment. Her book “presents a view of nature compromised by synthetic pesticides, especially DDT. Once these pesticides entered the biosphere, Carson argued, they not only killed bugs but also made their way up the food chain to threaten bird and fish populations and could eventually sicken children”. (Griswold, 2012) Her findings shed a lot of light on the destructive ways we live toward our environment, which caused people to consider their damaging lifestyles.
Carson’s work most definitely inspired many bio-artists to create work based on the phenomena of global warming. Artist Catherine Young has a background in molecular biology, biotechnology and fine arts. She has been working on something called the “The Apocalypse Project”. This includes a sector called the Climate Change Couture: Haute Fashion for a Hotter Planet. It includes “a 2014 calendar featuring climate scientists in high fashion gear against backdrops illustrating their research interests. But Climate Change Couture is concerned with another kind of fashion: What we will wear when some of the scenarios of the current climate models (the computer kinds, not the flesh kinds) become reality.” (Bilodeau, 2014) I think this is really cool because it brings to life the reality of our future if we continue abusing our planet the way we currently are. These pieces of art will definitely make a statement and hopefully cause people to really think about what’s going on.
Additionally, in class we talked about artist Orkan Telhan who started the Biorealize studio. The studio essentially “created a desktop machine that automates genetic engineering—no hands required” (Chain, 2015). The machine was designed to look like a turntable for a dj, but instead of mixing songs, you are mixing genes. The system “spins a wheel of syringes containing genetically engineered microbes.” (Chain, 2015). I thought this was a really cool idea, and I especially liked how they combined the idea of a DJ turntable with the combining of genes.
Another piece of Orkan Telhan’s work that we learned about was “The Cloud”. It is actually an interactive piece of art that allows users to interact with it. It is very aware and is able to respond to humans by “using hundreds of sensors and over 15,000 individually addressable optical fibers.” (Ouilhet, 2008) Today, technology is increasingly using more and more devices that are able to be using sensors. Touch phones, touch screen laptops, even touch screen television, tablets, iPad, access to your car by touch and the list goes on. I feel that this artwork really makes a statement for the future of technology and how important sensors are for interaction.
Bilodeau, Chantal. "Climate Change Couture." Artists And Climate Change. Word Press, 31 Mar. 2014. Web. 10 Apr. 2016.
Chain, Lydia. "The Desktop Gene Machine." Popular Science. Bonner Corporation, 8 Dec. 2015. Web. 10 Apr. 2016.
Griswold, Eliza. "How ‘Silent Spring’ Ignited the Environmental Movement."The New York Times. The New York Times, 22 Sept. 2012. Web. 10 Apr. 2016.
Larusso, Mick. "Museum of Endoluminosity." Museum of Endoluminosity. N.p., 2015. Web. 10 Apr. 2016.
Ouilhet, Hector. "The Cloud." Royale. N.p., June 2008. Web. 10 Apr. 2016.