/imˈpreSHən/

My first impression was that biotechnology in relation to art is captivating and full of so many possibilities. It is really neat that something as minuscule as bubbles of ascorbic acid can be so beautiful. It makes you wonder the potential the intersection of other disciplines have. 

When I saw Diana Gromala’s work on VR goggles relieving feelings of pain I was immediately reminded of Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror San Junipero episode. In this particular episode, terminally ill patients escape a lonely and dull reality by technology that transports the patient’s mind/body/soul to a beach get away “party” town where time is reversed and they are back in their prime ages, free of ailment and responsibilities. I am fascinated with the idea of technology (virtual reality or augmented reality) being used to alleviate psychological ailment. Not only is this technology intriguing, it also holds great promise.  

San Junipero.png

Two scenes in the San Junipero episode. On the left is the technology that allows the patient to be transported to the vivid scene on the right. 

 
I was also very pleased to see All is Full of Love featured on part 4 of the ArtSci videos. Björk is one of my favorite artists and has introduced me to a lot of biotechnology and art relations. For example, she recently launched Björk Digital, a compilation of her music videos shot in virtual reality, set to be displayed in the Walt Disney Concert Hall here in Los Angeles. With this technology and 3D scope, viewers will be transported to the sightings of where the actual music video took place, be it on the cliffs of Reykjavík or in a cyborg factory. I am very impressed with her use of this technology and love that she is one of the first artists to actively incorporate growing technology in her music. 
 
bjork 360 VR.png
A screenshot from Björk's 360 VR music video for stonemilker which will be displayed in Björk Digital 

 

One of my first encounters of biotechnology and art outside of this class was actually reading about Björk’s Reddit Ask-Me-Anything (AMA). She had mentioned how in the song "Atom Dance" she was trying to “tap into the atoms rotating and the celebrational element of Sufi or Icelandic or northern equivalent of it: vikivaki” by using a 5/4 petagonic meter in the song. I was completely baffled how meters that mimic human bipedal movement (4/4 or 5/4 meters) can be used in something as artistic as songs. 

I am very impressed and look forward to seeing how biotechnology and art will grow together in the future. There are so many applications of biotechnology/biology from songs to virtual reality cures. I cannot find any other word than fascinating to express my attraction. 

 

References 

BjorkOfficial. “[AMA] I’m singer and songwriter Bjork, and I’m here to answer all your questions!” Reddit. https://www.reddit.com/r/Music/comments/518ws9/ama_im_singer_and_songwriter_bjork_and_im_here_to/

Björk Digital | LA Phil. http://www.laphil.com/tickets/bjork-digital-overview. 16 April 2017.

Gromala, D., Shaw, C., Song, M. “Chronic Pain and the Modulation of Self in Immersive Virtual Reality” Papers from the AAAI Fall Symposium (FS-09-01). http://www.aaai.org/ocs/index.php/FSS/FSS09/paper/viewFile/953/1287

“San Junipero.” Black Mirror. Writ. Charlie Brooker. Dir. Owen Harris. Netflix. 21 October. 2016. Online.