Saturday, April 30, 2016

Event 1: A trip to LACMA

While LACMA is not a particular "event" that is recommended, the museum itself is quite worthy of a visit. As most student and LA residents would attest, the Urban Light exhibit is the most iconic feature at LACMA. Since the Urban Light exhibit is out in the open, no tickets or admission fees were needed to access this exhibit, making sure that the public could freely enjoying this artistic masterpiece.

When I first visited LACMA to experience the Urban Light, I attempted to see the lights during the evening. After all, the piece is titled "Urban Light", thus observing the light produced from this lighting array at night would seem like the most logical way to fully experience the vibe. However, the Urban Light array was undergoing maintenance at the time and thus the lights were off during the evening. On my consequent visit, I decided to grab a snapshot of the array anyways.

As seen above, the Urban Array does not seem incredibly special or noticeable since it is in broad daylight. However, as other photographers would show, the Urban Lights are truly magnificent in the evening.
The purpose of visting LACMA was to understand and grasp the concept of mathematics and art. Sure, in the lectures, Dr. Vesna mentioned points such as the golden ratio, but I felt like I had to see something more concrete. In this case, the Urban Lights showed an understanding of geometry, symmetry, and even concepts in physics to create such an artistic masterpiece. Not only were the poles perfectly aligned, but the wavelength of the light used and the different pole heights created an unique lighting effect that made the Urban Lights an iconic LA tourist attraction. 
The cascade of pole heights produces an unique "layered" effect in the evening
Thus, for those of you who haven't yet visited LACMA, I highly encourage you to check out the Urban Lights! Aside from amazing Instagram photos, students can also enjoy/appreciate the utilization of mathematics to create such a perfect artistic piece. 


Sunday, April 24, 2016

Week 4 "Medicine + Art"

In relation to the artist projects I have seen, it can said that medicine does have a correlation with art. Not just in the traditional sense of art, as in paintings, but for example, BodyWorlds, is art based on the human form. Surely, there are different methods of portraying the body's form as art- contemporary dancing, but the tie-in with medicine is undeniable.
The positioning of the body's form is incredibly artistic; not to mention the medical aspect of viewing all the muscles and fibers

However, in my own opinion, the first thing that comes to mind is plastic surgery when I think about medicine and art. By combining medical procedures with the "ideal of beauty", doctors are able to craft their own masterpieces. While I would agree that "plastic surgery" as an image of beauty and art is a highly controversial topic, I have heard many times that plastic surgeons view their patients as "works of art".
The face is the "canvas"

Before plastic surgery, medicine for me was always viewed as something that is "hard science". Even with a possible career as a plastic surgeon, I don't think of myself as an artist. However, after reading several sources online, I do feel like that it is highly possible to perhaps craft my own masterpiece. Like I mentioned earlier, I do think that this perspective is relatively controversial, thus I feel like it will take quite a while for the general public to come to a conclusion about this topic.
Redefining beauty, redefining art. Is that morally correct, though?

  • Choi, Jeongho. "Cosmetic Surgery: Is It Science or Art?" Archives of Plastic Surgery. The Korean Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.
  • Cotter, Holland. "Artist’s Life: Cut, Nip and Tuck." The New York Times. The New York Times, 2009. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.
  • "Mission of the Exhibitions." Exhibitions. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.
  • Jeffries, Stuart. "Orlan's Art of Sex and Surgery." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 2009. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.
  • "Making Faces: The Artists Who've Used Plastic Surgery in Their Work | VICE | United States." VICE. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.
  • "Artist's Plastic Surgeries Defy Beauty Standards." 2004. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Week 3 "Robotics + Art"

In this week's unit, the topic is based on Robotics and Art. With robotics in mind, it is important to understand that robotics will soon become industrialized for human consumers. In addition, as robotics technology grows, eventually the tech giants will also focus on "art" and how the presentation of their technology is.

For this specific topic, I would like to touch on a movie from quite a while back, i, Robot. This specifically refers to the industrialization of robotics and art. The premise of the movie is based on how a "new" model of robot is replacing previously outdated ones. The new ones not only are shown to be more "efficient" at completing tasks, but present a much more "artistic" aesthetic. While this covers the "art" aspect of the movie's premise, there is also another much more important aspect: society's reaction to the industrialization of robotics.

At first, the main character is against the industrialization of robotics as he thinks they lack the true "moral" judgment of humans and despises how robotics are present in humans' everyday lives. Meanwhile, a majority of the other characters show appreciation and gladly welcome these new robots as personal servants. However, as the plot goes, the robotics eventually revolt and turn on their human owners. While I'm not about to spoil the details of the movie, it is important to note that humans will most likely "accept" the industrialization of a massive "servant force" of robots. Not only do these robots have no right nor are considered living, people will nevertheless gladly welcome that prospect. However, it is important to know that, with the development of robotics and artificial intelligence, it would seem that the robots are likely to act out on their own: looking for their own right or turning on their owners.
Would this be alright if the robot was a real person? No wages, no rights?
With robots being presented as potential "slaves", society will also have people who will stand firm against the use of robots and their industrialization for consumers. As movies such as Blade Runner would suggest, it also seems very possible that robots will turn on humanity as well. Just like the character that Harrison Ford portrays, there will also be eventual supporters of robots.

Think about pollution...

Other than possible ethical concerns, society also has to consider the environmental responsibilities of robotics industrialization. With robots being produced en-mass, it would seem very possible that there would be an enormous amount of pollution emitted in order to power these robots. With the environment as a concern, it could very well elicit a response from society towards robotics and its industrialization. However, if this effect is revered, it could call for an even higher increase of robotics industrialization.

  • "Crimes of the Hot." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 17 Apr. 2016.
  • Ulanoff, Lance. "Big Study Predicts the Winners and Losers of the Robot Revolution." Mashable. 2016. Web. 17 Apr. 2016.
  • "Morals and the Machine." The Economist. The Economist Newspaper, 2012. Web. 17 Apr. 2016.
  • Nield, David. "This New Robot Eats Water Pollution and Produces Electricity as It Swims." ScienceAlert. Web. 16 Apr. 2016.
  • "I, Robot (film)." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 17 Apr. 2016.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Week 2 "Math + Art"

In this week's lesson, the focus of the class was how math and art are correlated. Aspects such as computer graphics or ratios in paintings were explored. Before joining this class, I was well aware that mathematics, as Prof. Vesna has stated in the lecture, was intertwined with the fabric of our reality. With that in mind, it was clear that art, or what we deem to be art, consists of hidden mathematics proportions that creates a "perfect image". Monuments such as the Parthenon and priceless artworks such as the Mona Lisa are all examples of how mathematics were used to create something we consider to be "perfect". Links for these insights are included in the citations.
Parthenon's "perfect rectangles"

To talk about the marriage of mathematics and art, the first "artist" that comes to mind is the great Leonaro Da Vinci. Before this week's lecture, I had no idea about how the Mona Lisa was an painting that was not only famous for being Da Vinci's masterpiece, but also a work of perfect mathematical proportions. Previously, Da Vinci's artwork on the Vitruvian Man was one of the few that I could think of that had to do with mathematics and art. However, after reading a few articles and watching a few videos, I was convinced that there was more than just rudimentary math. In fact, the the Vitruvian Man's precise angles replicated the human anatomy and the orientation of the Man's limbs were based on basic geometry. These principles alone are completely mind-boggling as I thought the mathematics behind the art would not be so complex and have more than just simple mathematical implications.
Vitruvian Man

After this week's lesson, I felt like I learned that there was more to "art" than I had previously thought. I always viewed art as something that people thought was just "pretty" or simply "good to look at". After understanding how much planning goes into the art, I have gained a new respect and understanding of how artists use mathematics in their work. For scientists; however, I feel like as opposed to using "science" to advance technology, scientists now also care about the form they present their inventions. This correlates with last week's lesson as how there is a merging between the two culture of science and art. A perfect example of that would be in my last week's post featuring the BMW 100 Vision concept model. 

Based on what I have learned this week (in addition to what I have learned last week), the juxtaposition between mathematics, art, and science is simple. Science is based off of mathematics, so there really is no difference in that aspect. However, mathematics/science was never not associated with art. From Renaissance times' paintings or ancient Greek monuments to modern day inventions, art has always been hand-in-hand with mathematics. Despite people may view mathematics and art as two distinct principles, it is clear that, with so many examples, that mathematics and art coexist together.

The paramount of art and mathematics in one painting

Citations / Links:

  • Earle, James. "Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man of Math - James Earle." TED-Ed. Web. 11 Apr. 2016.
  • "TITLE." Golden Section in Art and Architecture. Web. 11 Apr. 2016.
  • Meisner, Gary. "Divine Proportion/Golden Ratio in the Art of Da Vinci." The Golden Ratio Phi 1618. 2014. Web. 11 Apr. 2016.
  • Parveen, Nikhat. "MATHEMATICS AND ART." MATHEMATICS AND ART. Web. 11 Apr. 2016.
  • "Proportion: DaVinci's 'Vitruvian Man'" Proportion: DaVinci's 'Vitruvian Man'Web. 11 Apr. 2016.
  • "Does the 'Earlier Version' Display Leonardo's Mathematical Principles? - The Mona Lisa Foundation." The Mona Lisa Foundation. 2012. Web. 11 Apr. 2016

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Week 1 "Two Cultures"

In this week's unit, we covered the concept of "two cultures" introduced by C.P Snow. The perspective behind Snow's reasoning of the two cultures is the gradual separation of humanities (arts) and natural science (technology). Aside from just explicitly pointing out the separation, Snow suggest that a unity of the two, especially in university curricula, can help unite these "two cultures" and provide growth in many fields.

BMW's Vision Next 100 - a marriage of art and technology
Likewise in Victoria Vesna's paper regarding a third culture, Vesna supports Snow's designation that there are two distinct cultures. However, unlike Snow, Vesna believes in a "third culture" that coexists with the current two cultures; the middle ground between the two cultures. The difference between Vesna and Snow is that the latter believes the two cultures should be together as one, while Vesna agrees with the two culture concept, but thinks that there should be a third culture that is the amalgamation of the two cultures (coexisting).

A schism between North and South Campus
At UCLA, there are 2 cultures that can be immediately observed. The apparent difference between North and South campus (humanities and sciences, respectively) implies different meanings for each other. While South campus majors think North campus students have an easy time at school or study "pseudo-science", conversely, North campus majors think South campus students are pompous or "nerds".

Not only is there an apparent difference between North and South Campus students, but there is also a difference in fraternities. At UCLA, there are both social and professional fraternities, While fraternities are just known to be a group of like-minded individuals, the differences between the connotations of a social frat being "party-based" and a professional frat as being "nerdy" makes a clear distinction as two cultures.

Art can be also be a product of science
The current meta of the two cultures being still somewhat separate deviates from perhaps the marriage it once had during the Renaissance. My thinking has not particularly changed despite becoming more aware of this situation. However, I do feel that I may have already been well aware of the "two culture" phenomenon even when I was back in high school; hence this seems almost as a certainty.

These ideas can possibly benefit me by increasing my perspective of how others perceive each other. While I feel as though I am already completely immersed in the "two culture" ideal, I believe that a deeper understanding will allow me to better understand my peers and respect others. This applies as a lifelong benefit, and not just as a student.


  • Gluckman, David. "BMW's Vision Next 100 Concept Celebrates Past, Predicts Future." Autoblog. Web. 03 Apr. 2016.
  • "Arts and Science." AllAboutRenaissanceFaires. Web. 03 Apr. 2016.
  • Eason, Ryan. "Why North And South Campus Majors Need To Shut Up." Odyssey. 2014. Web. 03 Apr. 2016.
  • Meyer, Madeline. "Social versus Professional Fraternities." The TimesDelphic. Web. 03 Apr. 2016.
  • Sandler, Rachel. "Teen's Take: High School Stereotypes Explained." Lorton, VA Patch. 2011. Web. 03 Apr. 2016.