Sunday, July 31, 2016

Extra Event - LACMA

The collections in LACMA is majorly paintings and modern arts (which includes weird furniture, sculptures, a white board on the wall claiming to be a meaningful art piece, etc.) and it seemed not having much to do with the topic Art + Technology. However, there is a special exhibition, called The Hyundai Project: Art + Technology at LACMA which perfectly fits with our topic.

It contains several sub-projects: one is the famous rain room, which requires extra ticket and reservation so I didn't get in. But here is an online video for introduction

"Rain Room" is an elaborate art installation that allows visitors to walk through a simulated downpour, and visitors will not get wet. LACMA states that
Random International’s Rain Room (2012) is an immersive environment of perpetually falling water that pauses wherever a human body is detected. The installation offers visitors an opportunity to experience what is seemingly impossible: the ability to control rain. Rain Room presents a respite from everyday life and an opportunity for sensory reflection within a responsive relationship.
Another project is an art work by Robert Irwin, the Miracle Mile.  It is a linear configuration composed of 66 fluorescent tubes, a low pressure mercury-vapor gas-discharge lamp that uses fluorescence to produce visible light, which has many colors due to different gas in each tube. According to LACMA,
With Miracle Mile, Irwin reconsiders the properties of light, material, and color. The site-specific work subtly plays with the architecture in which it is housed and responds to both Wilshire Boulevard (the storied thoroughfare it faces) and Primal Palm Garden (an outdoor installation created by Irwin in 2008)

There are also other collections that uses florescence light 

 which is funny because the most famous and popular part of LACMA, the light poles in the front door, also use florescence light bulbs

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Week 6 - Space + Art

As nano-science, astronomy is one of the subject that is highly dependent on technology and funding; as many other fields in science, it is still full of mystery and waiting to be explored further. The large scale of celestial objects, the inhabitable environment of interstellar space, and the mystery of alien all together brings up human's crazy imagination and creativity, especially in Novel, Film, Photography and Performance Arts.

My favorite author, Cixin Liu is a award-wining Sci-Fan writer. His series contains three books that elaborates on communications with alien culture, the survival rules in universe as a not-so-developed culture, and the tricky battle between them and humanity.

Many movies have enlightened general population about space-technology and the universe. For example, Martian is a Sci-Fan movie which described how an accidentally left-alone astronaut managed to survive and return to earth on Mars. It gives many details about the current space technologies, such as space intermediate base, space craft, agriculture in space and lives as astronauts.

Gravity is another Sci-Fan movie, but more realistic. It talks about a female astronaut that accidentally lost in space without a spacecraft and how she manages to get back to Earth. It includes a long period, that simulates the reality in space - total silence, unstoppable spinning, darkness and counter-reacting forces. It fully explores the vulnerabilities of human in space and investigates further the psychological struggles of humanities.

In space, there is little gravity and everything will float - if nothing big draws you down. Performance artists and photographers have been trying to simulate this condition without help of scientific anti-gravity devices. (of course not those cheap version on street where you have to seat on a piece of metal and pretend to hold a metal stick).

Universe is full of mystery and many attentions in artist fields have been drawn to this topic. Black holes, speed of light and star-bursting dust cloud -- there are many things to be investigated and learned, leaving a great space of imagination to the rest of the world.


"Floating". Benedict Johnson. Courtesy the artist and Nahmad Projects London. London, 2014.

FoxMovies. "The Martian | Official Trailer [HD] | 20th Century FOX." YouTube. YouTube, 19 Feb. 2015. Web. 24 July 2016. 
WarnerBrosPictures. "Gravity - Official Main Trailer [2K HD]." YouTube. YouTube, 04 Nov. 2013. Web. 24 July 2016. 
Liu, Cixin, and Ken Liu. The Three-body Problem. London: Head of Zeus, 2016. Print. 
Liu, Cixin. Death's End. London: Doherty Associates, LLC, Tom, 2016. Print. 
Liu, Cixin, and Joel Martinsen. The Dark Forest. London: Head of Zeus, 2016. Print.
Wang, Ren. "Say Hello: Waterdrop Film." 「三体·黑暗森林」致敬作品. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 July 2016.
Lupkin, Chelsea. "Stryka by Emily Carmichael - Science Fiction." Short of the Week. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 July 2016.
Gallo, Irene. "Cover Reveal for Cixin Liu’s Death’s End." Torcom Cover Reveal for Cixin Lius Deaths End Comments. N.p., 28 Apr. 2015. Web. 24 July 2016.

Week 6 - NanoTech + Art

As a physics major student, I have two aspects in terms of NanoTech + Art.

First of all, nanotechnology brings a revolutionary method of storing information. Right now, the size of a spot on a CD disk is on the order of 10 square micrometers. Nanotech has enabled people to make CD equivalents, which use pits on a spinning disk but the pits are now 50 nanometers in size. That been said, a storing device with a size of a wristwatch can store information equivalent of maybe 1,000 CDs. Imagine in the future, all the digital information, including books, journal, art works, newpapers or any digital works can be saved in a device as small as a necklace, just as a personal liberal.

Or on the other hand, nano technology can be used to build nanoelectronics.  Microabrication can make structures between several hundred nanometers and a couple of microns for electronic microprocessors and computer systems. Here I quote professor Whitesides Mallinckrodt of Chemistry at Harvard,
A phrase that I use is “micron-scale technology with the economics of newsprint.” For example, instead of buying a newspaper, you might buy a sheet of paper; the back side of it would be a battery, the front side of it would be a display. You read it, scroll to find reference works on it, see animated illustrations, and when you’re done, you throw it away. One of the things that we might be talking about in 10 years is how micron-scale electronics using new technologies has crept into all kinds of things. My belief is that almost everything-shoes, windows, children’s toys, grocery labels, shipping labels, credit cards-will have electronics in a few years.

Therefore, the method or means of production of art, such as music, painting, design or sculpture could also be revolutionized or effected by nanoelectronics.  We could expect that in the future, paintings and sculptures will have electronics in them, and the way audiences could interact with art will be changed.

The second aspect is majorly dependent on art design. A new form of art, called NanoArt, has be invented, as well as the concept of Atomism. It is a form of photography that is in a scale of nanometers. The targets are often organic cells, chemistry reactions or atomic structures. Below is two art works submitted to NanoArt 21 International Album.

Nyarlathotep(1) by Dr. Bjorn Dampfling.
Nano Medusas Dancing In The Sunset by Teja Krasek

For the special properties of those targets, artists often cooperate with scientists to consult or produce together to achieve specific effect of photographs. For example, the work Nano Medusas Dancing In The Sunset by Teja Krasek was cooperated with Dr. Janez Dolinsek from the Jozef Stefan Institute in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Last but not least, here is a video from a scientific institute that discovers the beauty of those nano-photographs during experiments of gold interacting with human cells.


Technology Review. "Nanotech: Art of the Possible." MIT Technology Review. N.p., 01 Nov. 1998. Web. 25 July 2016. 
Feder, Barnaby J. "The Art of Nanotech." Bits The Art of Nanotech Comments. N.p., 25 Jan. 2008. Web. 24 July 2016.
"Organic and Thin Film Nanoelectronics." Materials Research Institute. PennState University, n.d. Web. 24 July 2016.
"2007 Midas." Visiblespace. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 July 2016. 
Thomas, Paul. "Midas." YouTube. N.p., 03 Jan. 2012. Web. 24 July 2016. 
Wikipedia contributors. "Atomism." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 1 Jul. 2016. Web. 25 Jul. 2016.  

Dampfling, Bjorn, Dr. Nyarlathotep (1). 20 July 2015. NanoArt International 7, NanoArt 21, Germany. NanoArt 21 Exhibitions. Web. 24 July 2016. 
Krasek, Teja. Nanomedusas Party. 21 July 2015. NanoArt International 7, NanoArt 21, Solvenia. NanoArt 21 Exhibitions. Web. 24 July 2016.

Event 2 - Getty Center

On Saturday night I went to Night Getty Museum, where surprisingly I found an event called 'Saturdays Off the 405', produced by SPACELAND Presents. On July 23rd, Burger Records, an independent record label and store based out of Orange County, presented The Muffs, The Garden, Jessie Jones, Gap Dream, and VAJJ (some bands I guess) in a festival format across two stages. There were young people dancing, drinking and even smoking along the death-punk music and singers screaming on the top of their lungs, made an extreme contrast to the classical museum of art (I don't like it).

Running across all the crowd, I went inside the Getty Museum. I guess there must be some rules, the staffs kindly reject my request to take a picture together. So I secretly took a shot with me and a staff's back.

Among all the exhibitions I have seen in Getty, the one I could relate most with technology is photography and furniture. Unfortunately they were closed. However, I found something interesting out of expectation. Below is an Italian post-medieval painting. It fascinating how artists could combine gold and colour together. especially when those gold leaves have a special texture and gloss, sometimes even beautiful decorative pattern.

It is worth knowing that the mixing of gold and colour is extremely difficult, which sometimes can lead to disastrous outcome. Steps includes 1) Seperation of gold and paint 2) Tooling the gold and 3) Sgraffito. Sgraffito is a technique used when burnished gold is covered with tempera paint, the paint could be removed in a pattern exactly as the smoked ground is removed from an etching plate, and a design in gold and colour is resulted. Specific steps could be found in the book The Materials and Techniques of Medieval Painting.

I also find an interesting website that has tutorial of how to make an egg tempera panel with gold leaves:

The glass vase and utensils are my favorite in every museum. In Getty this time, a glass bottle in the shape of a soldier really drew my attention. The extreme details of the clothing, the delicate shaping of the arms and legs, and especially the little metal sword attached to the side make this piece a great combination of technique and artistic design.

Below is a regular, normal golden jar that to me, is extremely decorative (with bad taste though) and nothing functional (maybe for storing nuts, water and etc.) However, I was shocked when I read its description because it is actually used in medicinal preparations. Now I kind of hope that modern laboratory measuring cups could have this kind of artistic taste too.

In summary, Getty is always an amazing place in every visit, and each time, (if I read the collection descriptions carefully), something new can always be found. Who would've thought that I could find technology tightly combined with arts in glass section, medieval art section and decorative vases? But I guess that's the magic of this topic :)


"Saturdays Off the 405 (Getty Museum Programs)." Saturdays Off the 405 (Getty Museum Programs). The Getty Museum, n.d. Web. 24 July 2016. 
Lorenzetti, Pietro. The Crucifixion. 1320. Lower Church, San Francesco, Assisi, Siena.
Thompson, Daniel V. The Materials and Techniques of Medieval Painting. New York: Dover Publications, 1956. Print. 

"Medieval Egg Tempera Painting :: Step-by-step Technique." Medieval Egg Tempera Painting :: Step-by-step Technique. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 July 2016.
"Italian Painting of the Later Middle Ages | Essay | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Italian Painting of the Later Middle Ages. The Met, n.d. Web. 24 July 2016.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Event 1: Museum of Jurassic Technology

UPDATE: Due to problems or bugs in this website, the displayed font and size of characters in this blog cannot be adjusted. The font size of the last paragraph will be changed to small once it is published, sorry for your inconvenience. 

The Museum of Jurassic Technology, a small museum hiding among local houses, was founded by David Hildebrand Wilson (husband) and Diana Drake Wilson (wife) in 1988. It exhibits a mixture of scientific, artistic, robotic and personal collections in its unique architectural design. The museum is mentioned in the novel The Museum of Innocence, by Turkish Nobel-laureate Orhan Pamuk.

Because taking photograph and using cellphones are prohibited inside the museum, and their staffs wear neither name tag, badges, or uniforms, I only took a picture with the hostess in Tula Tea Room on the second floor of the museum.

The most amazing exhibition is the the Delani/Sonnabend Hall. Madelena Delani is a singer of art songs and operatic material. The exhibition includes collections of her operatic costume, gloves, fancy antique jewelry and hair accessories. I include pictures that are similar to the exhibited collection.
On the other hand, Geoffery Sonnabend is a neurophysiologies and memory researcher. The exhibition includes his notes on cognition and memorization. In his notes he draws this cone, sometimes also known as the Cone of True Memory or the Characteristic Cone. The Atmonic Disc is described as "the field of immediate consciousness of an individual". The Spelean Axis, an imaginary line which passes through the tip of the cone and the center of the Atmonic Disc, is perceived as the individual's line of sight or perspective. He concludes that every encounter of events have three states of memory, just like the cone encounters with the tilted plane:  

                                           - being involved in an experience
                                           - remembering an experience
                                           - having forgotten an experience.

It is hard to imagine, that two people with distinct interests and profession actually effected each other without actually meeting each other. However, I personally find it very easy to relate operatic work with the memory research. The topic this week: NeuroTech + Art has explained well that our understanding of cognition and the human brain can revolutionize the way art conducted and performed, because overall human is the audience.  I believe by combing Geoffrey's theory with operatic writing, the story line and stage effect can be maximized and very much memorable.


Hsieh, Ifang. The Museum of Jurassic Technology. Digital image. Tula Tea Room at the Museum of Jurassic Technology. T Ching, 23 Sept. 2009. Web. 17 July 2016.
Wikipedia contributors. "Museum of Jurassic Technology." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 4 Jul. 2016. Web. 18 Jul. 2016.  

Madelena Delani and Geoffrey Sonnabend. Digital image. Collections and Exhibitions: The Delani/Sonnabend Halls. The Museum Of Jurassic Technology, n.d. Web. 17 July 2016.

Fenton, Lauren. "Archive: 2011 January / L a U R E N | F E N T O N." Lauren Fenton RSS. N.p., 26 Jan. 2011. Web. 18 July 2016.
"Vintage Celluloid Cut-out Hand Painted Folding Hand Fan." Terapeak. N.p., n.d. Digital image. Web. 17 July 2016.
An Encapsulation by Valentine Worth. Digital image. Obliscence, Theories of Forgetting and the Problem of Matter by Geoffrey Sonnabend. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 July 2016. 

"Obliscence, Theories of Forgetting and the Problem of Matter." Obliscence, Theories of Forgetting and the Problem of Matter. The Museum Of Jurassic Technology, n.d. Web. 17 July 2016.

Sonnabend, Geoffrey. Obliscence, Theories of Forgetting and the Problem of Matter. Digital image. Bliscence, Theories of Forgetting and the Problem of Matter by Geoffrey Sonnabend, An Encapsulation by Valentine Worth. The Museum Of Jurassic Technology, n.d. Web. 17 July 2016.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

BioTech + Art

Bio-technology overlaps with many aspects: it includes partially medical technology, animal studies, botany and robotics. The studies of biology have enabled human to understand the how animals and plants reproduce, growth, mate and maintain lives, and therefore we might be able to duplicate or reproduce lives in certain circumstances.

In garden designing, there is a new kind of design that fully utilized scientists' understanding of plants - vivarium. It is a little  garden with dirt, bugs and plants inside a closed bottle that can self-maintain without much care. The living condition must be set accurately so that the oxygen & carbon dioxide producing - consuming cycle and water cycle are in equilibrium.

By investigating the ability and functionality of animal structures, we have been able to mimic the nature's best choice of designs. For example, planes were initially invented inspired by the structure of birds. Nature already gave the best solution to balancing bodies and also enhancing floating forces, because when wind flows above the upper arc of the wings, it creates a floating force that is big enough to lift the main body of birds.

Moreover, it seems like bio-scientists could not withdraw their artistic creativity and hand it over to botanic designer and engineers. Recently there is a new kind of painting that is drew by biologist with animal organs, living tissues, bacteria and organisms. 


Colborn, Nigel. Garden in a Glass Bottle. Digital image. Glass Act: Bottled Gardens Make Pretty Projects When It's Cold outside. Mail Online, 23 Nov. 2013. Web. 17 July 2016. 
Biotech Stocks with Elliott Wave. Digital image. Biotech Stocks: The Power of Context. Elliott Wave International, n.d. Web. 17 July 2016. 
Delgado, Rick. "How Artists Are Blending Biotechnology And Art." MakeUseOf. N.p., 08 May 2015. Web. 17 July 2016.
Wikipedia contributors. "BioArt." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 11 Jul. 2016. Web. 17 Jul. 2016.

"School of Visual Arts | SVA | New York City Special Programs Summer Residency Programs Studio Residencies." School of Visual Arts | SVA | New York City Special Programs Summer Residency Programs Studio Residencies. N.p., 07 May 2016. Web. 17 July 2016. 
Pitzburg, Wien. "How Birds Fly." YouTube. N.p., 15 Mar. 2013. Web. 17 July 2016.
CJ Kazilek. "Feather Biology." ASU - Ask A Biologist. 17 Dec 2009. ASU - Ask A Biologist, Web. 17 Jul 2016.
CJ Kazilek. Wings of Plane. Digital image. How do birds fly. ASU School of Life Science. Web. 17 Jul 2016. 

NeuroTech + Art

Neuroscience is not only a subject that studies the composition and properties of brain, but also a subject that investigate the reception and analysis of information of nerve system. How brain receives and analysis color, sounds, shape of images, and the motion of objects has been widely studies and utilizes in visual art, film industry, theater and education.

For example, the way eyes receive information and analyze image is used to create many visual arts that represent delusion or contradiction. It is known that human needs 2 eyes to create 3-dimensional image in brain, and many elements, such as shades, comparable sizes of objects and movements are all used unconsciously to determine 3D shapes.

Color has been determined to be able to affect specific nerves in brain, and by using or being surrounded by such color, people are able to change their mood, enhance concentration and effect decision-making process. Since researchers know that certain colors provoke strong feelings in people, for example blues and purples are more pleasant than yellows, while greens tend to be the most arousing, they might then work backwards to solve the basic mechanisms for these feelings.

Moreover, designers and artists could use these emotional connections to help them match color schemes to the mood of a room or a brand or a website, or even the setting of a theater scene. For example, in the theater play Cat, the light effect is manly purple because purple creates a sense of mystery and it at the same time calm down and excites the process of thinking.

The most amazing thing is, the more we know about neurosciences, the more we understand emotions and state of minds, and the more we can use the way of conception of element in artistic creation.


Barda, Clive. Il Cappello Di Paglia Di Firenze by Rota. N.d. Wexford Festival Opera 2013 Production, n.p.

"Chroma-Q Color Force LEDs Deliver For Wexford Festival Opera." Live Design. Pendon, 14 Nov. 2013. Web. 17 July 2016. 

Margin-Chagnolleau, Ivan. The Use of Colour in Theater and Film. Working paper. Head of the Aesthetics of Performing and Spectacular Arts Department, Sorbonne Paris 1 & C.N.R.S. Paris: n.p., 2013. Print.

"10 Most Awe-Inspiring Neuroscience Studies." PsyBlog RSS. Spring, 10 Jan. 2014. Web. 17 July 2016.

Jaffe, Eric. "The Fascinating Neuroscience Of Color." Co.Design. Fast Company & Inc, 20 Mar. 2014. Web. 17 July 2016.

Faruque, Saad. Lights of Ideas. Digital image. The Future of Computer Human Interface, BrainGate. Tektab, 24 Apr. 2011. Web. 17 July 2016.

Belanger, Genesis, and Nick Doyle. Happniss and Other Forms of Self Delusion. Digital image. Pioneer Works. Pioneer Works, 12 June 2016. Web. 17 July 2016.