Thursday, June 2, 2016

Event #3

            I attended Ms. Masa Jazbec’s presentation in the Fowler Museum on campus. Her lecture was extremely interesting, especially since I know very little about robots. I was surprised to hear about all of the progress that has been made in this field and how advanced robots are in today’s world. Masa Jazbec began her presentation by breaking robots into the categories of humanoids and androids. Humanoids are robots in the shape of a human body and androids are ­­­­synthetic organisms designed to look and act like a human. She then discussed the huge international new media cultural festival that she just attended and all the new inventions revealed there. It is fascinating to hear about the huge following that robotics has gained over the past few years. The shows at this festival are completely sold out as people come to witness the new technological advances. One robot she named specifically was robot Asimo who had five viewings at this festival and all of them were completely booked. He is the most famous robot in the world and is most known for being able to walk downstairs, which is a huge progression in the robot world. However, not only is this a big advancement in robotics but also in the human world. As we connect this to this course we can see that the science in robots can be applied to our everyday lives. The ability of a robot to walk downstairs means that we are only closer to discovering more ways to aid those with disabilities.
            Masa Jazbec’s presentation also related to this class because of all the connections she highlighted between robots and science fiction culture. During her lecture she pointed out multiple films that featured robots. The most notable one of these was Star Wars, which is filled with robots. From this we can see how robots are bringing together the two cultures of art and science and connecting them in a way that appears in our everyday lives. Of all the various relations we have observed between art and science, I think that the robots have the most power in fully merging these two paths. Not only do robots have a huge attraction but they also are slowly becoming directly integrated into our lives. 

Works Cited
Ackerman, Evan. "Latest Geminoid Is Incredibly Realistic." IEEE Spectrum: Technology,
Engineering, and Science News. N.p., 05 Mar. 2011. Web. 31 May 2016.

"Human or Machine? Life-Like Android Robots from Japan Show Glimpses of the Future."
International Business Times RSS. N.p., 24 June 2014. Web. 31 May 2016.

McCurry, Justin. "Erica, the 'most Beautiful and Intelligent' Android, Leads Japan's Robot
Revolution." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 31 Dec. 2015. Web. 31 May

Rogers, SA. "Almost Human: 15 Frighteningly Realistic Robots & Androids." WebUrbanist Almost
Human 15 Frighteningly Realistic Robots Androids Comments. N.p., 30 June 2014. Web.
31 May 2016.

Zolfagharifard, Ellie. "The 'world's Sexiest Robot' Revealed: Eerily Life-like Female Android Turns Heads in China." Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 27 Nov. 2015. Web. 31 May 2016.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Week 9
This week’s lesson on space was definitely my favorite one that we have learned about so far this quarter. I really enjoyed all of the lectures because they fully captured the content of this course, which are art and science, and illustrated how space brings the two together, thus developing a third culture. I think space in itself is a culture of its own. It has been studied for hundreds of years and only continues to grow and expand with each new development that arises. In the first lecture, Professor Vesna discussed the history to space exploration and the origin of its roots. Understanding this background is essential to understanding the topic of space as a whole because each new theory has been developed upon the last ones.
The main connection to art that I made during these lectures on space was between science and science-fiction. In Lecture One, Professor Vesna discusses how science fiction has offered ideas that scientists have followed. For example, the idea of a space station was first described in science books in the 1920’s. This was then shortly followed by the creation of an actual space station. It is so interesting to learn how the fields of art and science have come together and helped further the other field along. This is truly an example of a third culture being developed and it is all due to the overall study of space, which has brought these things together.
I also thought it was so interesting to hear how nanotechnology has aided scientists in studying space. The molecules being detected in space are helping add to the discoveries. Learning this made me realize just how interconnected all of these topics are that we have been studying. This is again why I loved this week’s lecture because it brought all of them together to show that a third culture is already beginning to exist between art and science.

Works Cited
"A Brief History of Space Exploration." The Aerospace Corporation. The Aerospace Corporation,
n.d. Web. 27 May 2016.

Dunbar, Brian. "Telescope History." NASA. NASA, 23 Dec. 2003. Web. 27 May 2016.

Hamilton, Calvin J. "Space History Introduction." Space History Introduction. Solar Views, n.d.
Web. 27 May 2016.

"Nanotechnology in Space." Nanotechnology in Space. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 May 2016.

"Nanotechnology in Space." Nanowerk. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 May 2016.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Week 8 Blog Post

            Professor Vesna introduces us to this week’s discussion about nanotechnology by describing it as one of the most important and groundbreaking forms of art we have yet to study. Professor Vesna explains that the rise of nanotechnology is “pushing us over the edge into the 21st century.” Being a collaborative science it is rapidly being connected to the arts as artists and scientists are coming together to further explore this field.
            I really enjoyed listening to Dr. Gimzewki’s lectures as he continued to elaborate on nanotechnology. Gimzewski broke down nanotechnology to the atom and explained how the sizing worked, as nanotechnology uses a scale of 10, illustrating just how tiny these atoms are. From this I came to realize that nanotechnology is all about precision. With every little atom that makes up this entire field being so small, you must be very precise and exact when examining the images. Dr. Gimzewki professed that nanotechnology is already starting to “change the world in social and economic ways.” This field of science is a huge breakthrough that is allowing us to see things in a whole different light.
            After explaining the scaling of the atoms, Dr. Gimzewki discussed the background to nanotechnology. While most of the huge discoveries have been made fairly recently, nanotechnology dates back to Richard Feynman and the lecture he gave at Caltech in 1959. Feynman was the first person who saw a future in this field. His ideas were then built upon by K. Eric Drexler who viewed nanotechnology from an engineer and mechanical point of view. Learning about these two men and their contributions to nanotechnology helped me understand that this topic is constantly being studied and developed by new scientists. Each idea leads to the next and it is beginning to pick up pace as more ideas and contributions are being produced by these scientists who have studied past scientists’ work with nanotechnology.
            In the second lecture we learned about the new form of carbon that was discovered due to nanotechnology. This example proved the positive affects that nanotechnology can produce. Dr. Gimzewki also explained how the invention of the new Scanning Tunneling Microscope helped advance nanotechnology greatly. From here, nanotechnology has been able to connect to the field of art. Due to the fact that this new microscope can produce more accurate images of the atoms, we are now able to see the art that exists behind the science. Artists are able to view these images and use their own creative minds to produce even more works of art.

Works Cited
"About Nanotechnology." About Nanotechnology. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 May 2016.

Curwen, Thomas. "Taking a Step toward a Machine That Can Think." Los Angeles Times. Los
Angeles Times, 25 Feb. 2014. Web. 22 May 2016.

Feder, Barnaby J. "The Art of Nanotech." Bits The Art of Nanotech Comments. The New York
Times, 25 Jan. 2008. Web. 22 May 2016.

"NanoArt 21." NanoArt 21. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 May 2016.

"What Is Nanotechnology?" Nano. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 May 2016.