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.


Hopeful Spells

This week’s lecture was probably the most unique class experience that I have ever had. If I had known that there was a course where you got to learn about modern spellcasting and covens as mediums for social change, I would have enrolled a long time ago. I found it very beautiful how the coven cast spells to will peace and equality.

Event #1 - Ted Victoria

     I had the opportunity to attend the virtual presentation conducted by artist Ted Victoria, and I am eager to share my thoughts and takeaways from his work. Ted Victoria is an incredible artist based in the New York area who has worked with diverse mediums throughout his carrier. However, he greatly focused this presentation on his use of mirrors and projections as tools for creating living images. Furthermore, Ted emphasized how his work utilizes diverse technological mediums in an attempt to explore the limits of his creativity (Argueta).

Event #1: This Moral Plastic

I really appreciate Jess Irish for taking the time to speak with us and for sharing her lyrical nonfiction film, This Moral Plastic. This film explores the “world’s most impersonal substance; plastics.” I particularly loved watching this film after last week’s discussion on plastics. It entered the conversation with more knowledge than I had prior to our discussion, which ultimately allowed me to better understand Jess’s work.

Plastic Visualization (Event #1)

The conversation and documentary shown with Jess Irish was incredibly powerful and changed my view on the plastic issue. Being able to visualize how much plastic we go through every day and how it continues to increase is unbelievable and takes me by surprise why these sorts of topics are not emphasized as much. I greatly admire Jess and the piece she was able to create and was interested in exploring other explanations of her film that were covered in an interview of her.

Event Blog 1 - Jess Irish: THIS MORTAL PLASTIK

In some sense, plastics are indeed the “God’s hand”. This is because plastics can be melted and molded into almost any shape. Injection molding machines can swallow plastic pellets and spit out a plastic cup or a Lego piece within seconds or even milliseconds. This significantly reduces the manufacturing costs of these plastic products and makes plastics widespread in our day-to-day life. The following video by Professor Bill Hammack from the University of Illinois explains the important details injection molding process.

Event 3: Jessica Irish Talk

            This Thursday I attended the talk from Jessica Irish. Her presentation paired very well with the lecture this week from Dr. Gimzewski. I was really interested in her discussion of the history and rise in popularity of plastics. The first synthetic plastic was developed in 1869 as an alternative to ivory (“History and Future of Plastics”).


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