Stella Fors's blog

Group Progress Update and Updated Rough Draft of Final Paper

Our group project involves many different topics that at first we had trouble stringing together in a cohesive way. Our discussion with Dr. Vesna was useful in illuminating a nice structure to follow. Our piece will be split into two sections: how the environment can help us, and how we can help help the environment. We hope to lace these two ideas together through a journey of scale - discussing detailed examples of biomimicry and biophilia (how nature helps us) and then transitioning into larger topics of perception and climate change (how we must help nature). We may include a graphical introduction, similar to a Prezi, where the reader can click portions of the image and be taken to that section of the book. We will highlight the necessity of a reciprocal relationship with nature and use the novel coronavirus pandemic as a case study/platform to introduce artistic/architectural pieces to bolster this relationship.

Below is a rough draft of my paper thus far. I need about 1000 more words to hit the needed word count, but I am having trouble figuring out what to expand on. I would love for any feedback regarding where to go next, or what needs to be clarified. I'm thinking about including a section about traditions and customs of groups of people who do have a reciprocal relationship with nature and how others can learn from those customs.

Expanded Final Outline/Draft - Perception and Scale in Our Environment

Points I am considering:

How do we perceive our environment and what does this bode for corona virus

A big part of how we perceive the world is categorization

A large component of categorization is size

What if our brain is not accustomed to the size – ie not a real size

Example universe, infinity env and one other

Example bacteria agar art, butterfly kite, glass art? Find other

How can we apply this to corona virus

What do we see in corona virus art currently

Self Portrait

My self-portrait included several diagonal lines, with one horizontal line and vertical line. The vertical line in the center with little knobs to each side shows my constant pull from both the optimist and pessimist ideals. The horizontal line serves as baseline that either supports my mostly optimistic thoughts above or covers the pessimistic thoughts below. The branching downward lines from the center in the lower right quadrant highlight all the possible pessimist outcomes from the center point, which is neither optimist nor pessimist, bisecting the baseline.

Can You Imagine the Universe? Perception and Imagery in the Face of the Ever-Changing + Final Outline

Our guest this week, Siddharth Ramakrishnan, gave an engaging and fascinating talk on imagery and perception. Both ideas thread themselves through my current final project: the role of size perception in our ability to comprehend and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. These two concepts, imagery and perception, are also evident in my previous blog posts. In my reflection of some of my previous posts, I hope to highlight these themes and bring a few new ideas about perceiving our Universe to light.

Survival Crackers, the Golden Record, and Spaceship Earth: Innovation in the Face of Disaster

As I went for a drive today, I listened to a few podcasts from one of my favorite podcast groups, Radio Lab. Funded by the NSF and the Sloan Foundation, Radio Lab works to make scientific topics more accessible to a general audience. I listened to 2 episodes, their “Space” episode and “Atomic Artifacts” episode. Both episodes highlighted the novel frontier of space and how humans value their biosphere and civilization in the face of disaster. These topics also showed themselves in Spaceship Earth and I hope to draw some parallels and reflect on the film in my discussion.

How do we understand what we cannot see? An exploration into the human brain’s ability to understand size and how size perception leads to reaction in the face of COVID-19. (Midterm Proposal)

The human brain’s ability to categorize information is in part what makes us such complex creatures. Categorization allows us to respond to situations we have never experienced before, because the brain is able to extract generalized information from previous experiences that it recognizes are like the one at hand (Seger 2012). What if the brain encounters a situation it has never experienced before, and the situation does not fit into a predefined category? Well, it must create a new category to organize and to understand this information. One primary characteristic the brain uses to categorize objects is size (Julian 2017). For a novel situation like the COVID-19 pandemic, how does size play a role in the brain’s ability to comprehend and to respond to the experience?

A Dive into the Doshas and the Effect of Fear on Western Medicine during COVID-19

In my training to become a Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance, I learned about Ayurveda and its philosophy. Here, I draw upon this knowledge to provide some background about the Doshas, their connection to the Zodiac, and discuss Western medicine in the face of COVID-19. My intention is not to claim Eastern or Western medicine as superior, just provide some insight into an aspect of Eastern medicine and suggest that many assumptions we have about Eastern medicine can ring true in Western medicine as well. 

Memes Give Us Insight into the Role of Food During the COVID-19 Pandemic

At the intersection of art and technology, memes provide great insight into current cultural trends and shared experiences. Prompted by Barbara Bensoussan's thoughtful discussion into the role of food abundance in the obesity pandemic, I explore how memes reflect the role of food as a dichotomous source of security and insecurity during the uncertain COVID-19 times. 

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