This course studies how bioart blurs distinctions between science and art through the combination of artistic and scientific processes, creating wide public debate. It explores the history of biotechnology as well as social implications of this science.
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Please contact Prof. Victoria Vesna if you are interested in joining this class.
From the past several weeks, one of the main messages I have taken from this course was how much the world around us is interconnected to us and influences us in more ways than we may be conscious of. I decided to look into ways art or beauty around us is connected to psychology or neuroscience. Since psychology/neuroscience is quite similar to my major, cognitive science, and it is already something I am interested in, I wanted to head in that direction in terms of connecting art to biotechnology.
These past few weeks in art and biotechnology class we have talked extensively about the biochemical and physical connectivity that can be reflected through art. Mycelial networks connect us to the natural universe on a fundamental level, carbon structures in graphene connect us to the organic affinities we share with pencil drawing as a reflection of our present experience, and Chinese zodiacs connect us with the Hox gene and distinct genetic developmental trajectories.
Yeast: A Double-Edged Sword
In Week 1, Dr. Thomas gave us the gift of educating us about quantum physics and carbon/graphite. He assigned us to draw an object. Like most of my classmates, I drew a chair. I drew it while keeping my mind and body, the direction of my eyes, the angle, space around me, and space around the chair in mind. I had never used this new thought process to draw before. Even though it was just a chair, looking at my drawing, Dr.
One of the most interesting topics to me this year has been our week of investigating bread. So many things about bread and its history were unknown to me before, so for my final investigation I'd like to dive deeper into the history of bread, the biochemistry of bread, and look into the materials in a more complete nature that were assigned to us as well as finding my own sources. The fact that bread is so widespread in different cultures and such a basic staple to many makes me want to understand it in a deeper way.
For the past two months, we have explored extensively upon the relationship between arts and various aspects of science. The most memorable one was the zodiac animals in science. Last week, after hearing about how different types of model organisms are vital for scientific and medical advancements, I was inspired to further explore art specifically within the field of medicine.
My parents have always been an “art couple”; they went to Europe on their honeymoon and spent their dates walking through old museums, admiring sculptures and architecture, and fostering an appreciation of art within me from a young age (even when I would have rather gone to a playground than a stuffy art museum when I was a little kid). My mother and grandmother were also painters in their youth, and my house is full of original paintings and portraits completed by them.
During our zodiac animal discussion during week 7, we were prompted to research bioengineering in animals. Personally, I saw all the benefits in genetically modifying animals, including environmental, ethical, and economical reasons. However, that is still quite a controversy today despite the advances in biotechnology. In fact, we have the capability to genetically modify the human genome.
For the final project for this class, I plan on writing about the crossroads between art and medicine. So much of my life has revolved around learning some form of art. As a child, I grew up with a strong appreciation for music, a form of “sound art” as well as a penchant for building various gadgets and toys, which I consider a form of visual/3D art.