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.


How to Get Virtually Fit

I was very interested in Anna’s presentation about integrating virtual reality into fitness. I don’t know much about virtual reality other than that machines like Oculus Rift are becoming more and more accessible and integrated into many different fields. I know from personal experience that I find it much more appealing to workout if I am attending some kind of class. That way I know that I am getting a well-balanced workout and it becomes much easier to push myself to work hard, compared to when I go to the gym alone and try to figure out what to do.

Photosynthetic Humans: Unbe-leaf-able?

This week we had the pleasure of seeing each other present our midterm projects. Mona’s project about making photosynthetic humans particularly fascinated me because it bridges the divide between plants and animals such as to promote our growth on this planet and beyond. One potential addition to this project is to create photosynthetic hybrids to not only produce food, but to also produce oxygen. We could also venture into genomic editing and artificial photosynthetic devices to improve efficiency and production.

Brainstorming Project

This week’s class was very intriguing. We got to experience Professor Victoria’s Brainstorming project in collaboration with Dr. Cohen. What interested me the most in this project was how it based on science but how it was aesthetically appealing as well. I really like the touch of the octopus crown and how it changes color based on electric waves from the brain. Even though we got to sit with the crown and imitated the scenario, I still cannot imagine how it would feel to be in sync literally with someone else.

Brainstorming - the project that will light up your brain

As a molecular biologist, I only have a rudimentary understanding of neuroscience and had to do a fair amount of research on brain waves before being prepared to write this blog. The Brainstorming project by Dr. Vesna and collaborators was fascinating enough to sustain me on the endeavor of reading many neuroscience papers to obtain a grasp on the human nervous system. To my understanding, emotions and behaviors arise through neuronal interactions in the brain. Synchronized electrical pulses that result from neuronal interactions produce brainwaves.

Brainstorm after the Octopus Brainstorm project

This week I had a chance to see and experience the Octopus Brain Storming project. This project is a series of collaborative works between our professor Victoria Vesna and a Neuroscientist Mark Cohen, and this project is talking about the brain to brain communication. The idea is to see the brainwave from the brain to brain communication, the volunteers are stimulated by sounds, images or videos. Participants wear octopus crown, receive wireless signals from the EEG computer, and the color of LEDS have measured the similarity between the participants.

Brainstorming the potential of "Brainstorming"

This week, our class got the opportunity to experience an artistic piece which melds performance art and science. In this collaboration by Dr. Vesna and Dr Cohen, "Brainstorming", Individuals are allowed to wear helmets containing electrodes which record brain activity. The brain activity is then analyzed to illuminate the helmet a specific colour. Two individuals wear helmets and sit opposite from each other.

Brainstorming Technology

With the expansion of the internet and the ability to connect and share with people behind a glowing screen, it is refreshing to be able to just sit and try to listen and connect with someone on a deeper level. This week we experienced this sensation by visiting the “Brainstorming” project (Vesna, 2015). This piece aims to have individuals try to sync up their electrical brain activity, corresponding color of their octopus crown, and color-specific jazz music.

Brainstorming about "Brainstorming"

I thought that our visit to Professor Mark Cohen and Professor Vesna’s art Project “Brainstorming” was incredibly interesting. The only thing that could have made it more exciting would have been if it was up and running and actually was connected to my brain. I think that this is an awesome idea for an art piece and love the way that it links the complex, little-understood science and anatomy of the brain with free “thinking,” colorful art.


This week in class, we discovered Brainstorming, a collaborative work between Professor Vesna and Mark Cohen. The goal was to look into brain-to-brain communication when bombarded with different media, from images to videos. 30032877520_762c130f10_o.jpgBrainstorming, Victoria Vesna. Source: (http://victoriavesna.com/brainstorming/).


This week Professor introduced us to her Brainstorming project in collaboration with Dr. Cohen. We experienced how electroencephalogram (EEG) waves transmitted from the brain control the colors of the lights within an octopus crown. The project examined the interaction between two individuals, both wearing the crown and how these EEG waves can change and become synced with one another’s.


Balance between Science and Art

This week in lecture we experienced an intersection between art and science with the Brainstorming project. In this project, EEG electrodes were attached to two participants. The participants actively tried to become in sync with each other in this project, sitting facing each other and wearing octopus crowns which turn a different color LED depending on the frequency of the alpha brain waves picked up by the EEG.

An Octopus Kind of Daze

In high school I took a class called "Science, Nature, Spirit, Soul" where I read a book called L'ecume des Jours by Boris Vian, a surrealist novel in which a young man invents a wondrous machine called the "Pianocktail" which is an olfactory musical contraption. The book smudges the laws of physics and leaves the reader wondering at the vivid sensations some of the nonsensical parts of the book inspired.


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