Week 4

First Blog Post: My Zodiac and the Rat, Ox, and Tiger

Hello everyone! I’m Iris, and I am a first-year psychology student at UCLA. I am interested in food studies because I care a lot about the issues surrounding body image and weight loss and diet culture. Maintaining a healthy relationship with your food and body is important for a good lifestyle, and I am trying to learn more about this field by taking this class.

The Chinese Zodiac—Dragon, Rat, Ox, and Tiger

Hello! My name is Edwin and I’m a third-year Art History major. I was born in 2000 and my Chinese zodiac sign is the Dragon. Reading through the personality traits associated with my zodiac sign was quite amusing since some of them were spot-on while others completely missed the mark. I definitely agree with the notion that dragons are idealists and perfectionists as I generally hold myself to a very high standard regardless of what I’m doing; however, I also do wonder how much of the latter is tied to genetics and/or to the environment in which I was brought up.

The Horse, Rat, Ox, and Tiger

Hello there! My name is Abbie Burrus, and I was born in 2002, the year of the horse. I’ve always found the Chinese zodiac to be fascinating, and the patterns you see among people born in certain years is a very interesting thing to note. Even if a lot of it is just acting on coincidences, the collections of people and personalities are fun to investigate nevertheless.

I Am In Control

I really appreciated the chance to not only view Toni Dove’s work, but to experience it. Granted, we weren’t able to see the entire show, but we were still able to get a taste of Dove’s interactive movies. What I found really interesting in Dove’s works was a running theme of possession and control. The three projects that Dove showed to us involved a motion detector interface that allowed the user to control the speed and direction of particular movie elements such as the soundtrack and the visual scenes.

The Artist Within

This week, we had the pleasure of attending two very different BioArt exhibits, each inspiring and thought provoking in its own way. The first presentation was made by artist Toni Dove, well known for her work with interactive media. Speaking honestly, I was somewhat confused when I first entered the room and saw a recorded video playing on the screen. The first words I said to myself were, “how can I appreciate this piece of art?” Unfortunately, Dove’s demonstration only perpetuated my unsettling feelings.

The Art of Control

As Toni Dove began Spectropia, the uncanny, eerie feeling reminded me of my first encounter with videography as art. It was over the summer at MOCA on Grand. As I walked through the exhibit, I already felt nervous. Modern art museums tend to have this effect on me. Then I stumbled upon Sturtevant’s Elastic Tango. The nerves amplified with a wave of confusion. Images of cartoon bears on hillside, Betty Boop in bed, a blank-stared Chihuahua, and waving American flag flashed along 9 television screens. What did any of this mean?

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!

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.

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.

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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