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.
Hello everyone, I hope everyone’s week has been great so far. Now moving on to the topic of the hour, biotechnology and its relation to art. Being a second year pre-med who is majoring in a science, you do not really get to explore outside your necessary course subjects and explore a lot of new fields. I can say though I have tried to break this tight course schedule by taking classes in both topics: Biotechnology & Society and Art and Architecture separately as GEs. Thus, biotechnology in relation to art does not really come to mind first as I think of these as separate.
In my daily life, I find myself traversing a good chunk of UCLA and Beverly Hills. It never really occurred to me to consider what artifacts I leave behind, rather I spend my time concerned with what I could pick up, from the high traffic seats on the bus, to the average bathroom doorknob. This is why the work of Heather Dewey-Hagborg is troubling to me. The expansion of our knowledge bridging genotype and phenotype has advanced dramatically in the last 20 years alone.
A question that I often ponder for myself is, "What is the meaning of my Life", but a question I have rarely asked my self is 'What is the literal meaning of Life'. Stefan Helmreich uses three extreme examples of life in his essay What Was Life? to establish what life has been in the past, which is all that is really possible to assert in this present age. Life, like Art, is a word that has no strict definition, and is a constant source for debate.
The past two weeks have opened my eyes to a world I did not know existed. I had never realized biology and art could be so intertwined, producing an endless array of beautiful imagery.
Hello everyone, my name is Romina Gabai and I enrolled in this class as a third year Gender Studies major. When I first decided to enroll for this class, it was the interesting topic that mainly caught my attention. I had never heard of biotechnology and art before and was very interested to learn about it.
As I have come to realize over the past couple weeks, the intersection of biotechnology and art is a flourishing field that is capable of bringing attention to many important ethical and scientific issues, as well as philosophical questions of what life is exactly. One rapidly developing field is artificial life and artificial intelligence, which look to replicate biological systems and cognitive processes in machines.
Hello, my name is Brandon Trejo, and I am a second-year Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology major. When I first came to UCLA I had little to none exposure to the science field. I Knew I wanted to be in it, but I did not know what interests me. During my first year here I enrolled in a class in the cluster program called “Biotechnology and Society”, and I began to gain interest in the field of biotechnology.
Since I began researching this topic two weeks ago, I have been amazed to discover how truly diverse the array of bio-artworks can be. After the first week of lectures I had come to the conclusion that most of the pieces within this genre of art were political or sociological. They all seemed to be made by semi-absurdist, semi-comedian type artists as a way of creating satire commenting on the nature of science, art and the mind.
I think the use and abuse of genetic engineering technology and its relation to art heavily influenced the topics of discussion this week. Throughout the lessons, the idea of an inevitable human-computer synergy and the book “Virtual Reality” by Josh Creel came to mind in which there will come a time in the not too distant future where there were be extremely independent artificial intelligence and will not require human input to operate. Creation of such machine will no doubt spark ethical discussions like all of the major technological advances have so far.
This week I was very intrigued by the reading and videos about ways bioartists have manipulated life around them and the idea of life itself. From this week's lecture and research library collection, I was also fascinated by how art about life changed over time: from first drawing and printing flowers to directly manipulating the patterns on moth wings. From these sources, my impression is that biotechnology can be used as another media for artists to communicate their ideas, such as defining life.
Throughout the artists and artworks explored this week, what struck me was the idea that all of us are leaving behind traces of ourselves in everything that we do. Specifically, we are simultaneously teeming with living parts and leaving some of these living remnants behind as we interact with the world.
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.
Hi everyone, my name is Shuang (Claire) Deng. This is my last quarter in UCLA. I major in Business Economics and minor in Statistic. My friends around me always ask me why you choose this course which is not related to your major or minor. My answer is why I cannot. To be honest, I had taken the biology, technology, and art classes during my high school as my interest classes. Biotech and Art looks like a combo for these classes, the title of the class raised my interest.
I am a 3rd year art history major, but I'm also studying to be a physical therapist, so I am excited to study the merging of art and science. I hadn't heard of Bioart before enrolling, but its existence didn't surprise me. In studying art, my definition of what is art is constantly changing and evolving. Even so, this class is going to challenge my limits of art in new and I'm sure unexpected ways!