Hello all! My name is David Franco (they/them). I am a third year Sociology major with a potential minor in film. I am from Bellflower, CA, and my zodiac sign is the Rabbit.
When I first enrolled in this course, I really was unsure of what to expect, so I ended up spending a good deal of time exploring biotechnology and its relationship to art on the internet. What I mainly came across were the more controversial things, like growing extra ears on rats and human forearms, engineering glowing bunnies, and the artist suspending himself with an array of hooks and wires attached to his body.
I’ve always been taught that there’s a meaning behind everything. There was always some sort of message or lesson to learn in every book, movie, piece of art, and even every day experiences. I remember looking back on my day and trying to come up with a way to wrap everything that had happened to me into one neat little catch phrase that I could write into my journal. The goal in life seemed to be to collect as many of these phrases as I could and learn as many lessons at possible.
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.
The class title “Biotechnology and Art” was enough to make me jump up and down in my seat. I have spent four years of my life taking a million different classes across campus – from north campus to south campus. Despite this, I have never been able to study anything I have been passionate about one hundred and ten percent.
When I first heard of a topic attempting to bridge the gap between art and science, I couldn't imagine what such a field could bring forth. However, after watching several intro videos and attending Pinar Yoldas's guest lecture, I have a whole new respect for this expansive and creative field of study.
The majority of the classes I have enrolled in to date have been fairly predictable. That is to say that I typically have a good sense of what the class has in store for me just by glancing at the title. Needless to say that this was not the case for this course. My preconceived notions had me thinking that biotechnology and art were two completely separate subjects and therefore could not effectively be meshed together. If such an action were possible, however, I wondered what its significance would be.
Coming into this class I didn’t really know what to expect on the topic of biotechnology and art for this course. After watching many videos posted on the course website, along with reading articles online, I now have a better understanding of this course. I find it very interesting how intertwined biology is in our everyday life. From the food we eat to the clothes we wear everything is constructed from cells.
Hope you had a good break (so short!), and -- welcome to Honor 177: Biotechnology & Art class!
Please note: We will not meet this Thursday and instead, I would like you to login into the class website, view the assigned introductory lectures and readings and write your first blog. If your schedule permits, I encourage you to go and hear Art Sci center alumni Pinar Yoldas talk about her work that involved collaborations between art & biological sciences. Do include your response to her lecture in your blog if you plan to attend!
Hello Professor Vesna, Mary, Mick, and honors students,
My initial thoughts about material of this class are definitely those colorful and detailed microscopic images that I browsed on Scientific American or some science blogs, or maybe some caricature on scientists doing bizarre arts.
Advancement of microscopic technique that allows visualization of fluorescent neuronal labeling. Is this a form of artistic representation of biotechnology?
Before I came to this Biotech + Art class, my understanding of biotech was that it is art about science, or using science materials such as petri dishes to make aesthetically appealing art. Then, I remember coming across it also in my Society and Genetics 105A class, in which art-science was briefly mentioned, and how it is a field that is leading to new innovation more so than just either field are capable of alone.