Since the beginning of time, food has been considered one of the most valued elements by mankind. Along with water and oxygen, it is considered one of the bare necessities of life. While enjoyment and satisfaction are the first thoughts that comes minds when most people see a plate of food, this is fortunate feeling is often not the case for those who are constantly watching what they eat. And no, I am not referring to those who want to lose a couple of pounds for a slimmer and more attractive figure.
What I love most about art is the way it can move people. Your expression through art creates a certain vibe simultaneously spreading a message about something you are feeling. After learning about our midterm project, I was inspired to use my art to bring awareness to a proliferating circumstance of homelessness in our society. I was inspired by a bio-artist introduced to our class during week 1. Kathy High is the artist who created her inventive art project called “Blood Wars” in 2010.
Last week’s visit to Toni Dove’s interactive virtual reality workshop was very rewarding. Virtual reality is also known as computer-simulated reality. These days, this technology has already been used in many video game settings or 4D rides in the theme parks.
Since our last blog post, we have had two class field trips, the first, to see an exhibition of the work of New York-based artist Toni Dove, and to UC Irvine to see Wetware: art, agency, animation featuring a tour with curator David Familian. Both of these experiences were incredible because it brought the concept of the integration of biology, technology, and art to our minds in a very tangible way. Toni’s presentation of her virtual reality technology was incredibly fascinating on two levels.
I think I saw more innovation and advances in science and technology in this class more than any other class. I went to a high school specialized in mathematics and science, and now I am a life science major in UCLA, but futuristic innovations are always discussed only at the end of the lectures, and they remain as “the future”.
Week four of our journey in BioTech Art class took a turn into the interactive realm. It was my first time visiting the California NanoSystems Institute, which is a beautiful building with M.C. Escher-esque architecture.
Photo taken by Lili Raygoza
This past week has been filled with so much adventure for our honors class! Again, our class went beyond the typical class setting and… actually left the class setting! Collectively, we walked on over to the UCLA ArtSci Gallery to dive head first into Toni Dove’s realm of interactive virtual reality. According to her website, Toni Dove live and works in New York. She began her work in the 1990s, producing “unique and highly imaginative embodied hybrids of film, installation art and experimental theater”. Her work is extraordinary.
Finally interacting with bioart in a hands-on way this week was an amazing experience! One thing that really stood out to me was the fact that bioart makes science accessible to those who do not necessarily come from that field. By interacting with each piece, I found that the scientific ideas incorporated into each piece were presented in a more creative and easy to understand manner. To understand many scientific ideas, some background in science is required.
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!
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.