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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Reflecting on my previous blogs from Weeks 1-4, I couldn't help but notice a recurrent theme of finding truth from everyday things. Hence, I decided to sketch a study desk with open books illustrating the simple yet profound lessons I have learned through contemplating these everyday objects that we have focused on in this class.
At first when I was told to make a piece of art that recapped the first four weeks of the course I was confused. I knew that all of the concepts we have discussed are connected but I struggled to imagine how I would connect them through art. I got a blank piece of paper out of the bottom of my printer and I stared at it. I thought about failing this class. I thought about my lack of artistic skills.
My favorite thing about this course thus far has been the emphasis on connectivity of all things. Nothing exists in a vacuum, everything is interconnected, and this class has truly made me appreciate this. I tried to reflect this in my image, using images from the course as symbols to display the ideas addressed in the lectures and reflections, and adding some key words. The words and symbols, while they may connect more heavily to certain lectures or subjects that we covered, do apply to all the material covered thus far in one form or another.
This past week, we have been focusing on the fascinating characteristics of yeast and fungi.
I wanted to make a spore print if I found a mushroom on my walk, but because I did not, I replicated an image of what my spore print would have looked like if I had been able to find a mushroom.
With my drawing, I wanted to visually map out the ideas present in the four weeks past, writing down words and phrases that summarized my thoughts in boxes as I went along. Naturally, I began with the pencil in my hand. I thought about how the ideas and memories would flow from my mind, through the pencil, and into my paper.
It was refreshing to take a pause in the middle of the quarter to reflect upon the topics we had discussed in class. Although the topics (pencil, serendipity, bread, and fungi) seem entirely distinct, taking the time to draw out the facets of each of these concepts made me realize how interwoven they are.
This week as we have now reached the midpoint of the quarter I wanted to create a diagram that could recap the last four weeks with connections that I have made. I decided to draw out four sections for each of the week's main topics and began thinking of things that stood out to me most from each of the weeks. What were the main takeaways that I had been most impacted by?
Drawing out the roadmap of this course came out more chaotic than I thought. I wanted to represent the many assignments and content we have covered in the past five weeks. Starting out from the pencil, I wanted to connect it to trees, which link back to the mycomythology expedition we did last week. Pencils come from trees, which are supported by the mycelial network in the soil. Fungi are also responsible for bread, which we discussed in Week 3, proving to me that everything around us is truly alive.
I am so surprised at how fast this quarter went. Five weeks have passed, and I have five more weeks in undergrad. Then again, I'm surprised at how it has only been five weeks. This class has taught me so much and opened up my mind in ways I can't explain. I would've never thought that I could be capable of making bread and thinking about how connected everything in the world is. This class took simple things in life and put it into such deep perspective. Even a pencil, something I don't use much anymore, has so much meaning behind it and the science on how it functions.
Throughout these 4 weeks, we have covered and learned a wide variety of materials from carbon to bread to mycelium. To visualize everything we have learned, I drew out a diagram of all the things that came into my head while connecting the dots between all the subjects covered in class.
My entire diagram is connected by hexagons representing graphene, which signifies a carbon skeleton that connects everything from living to non-living beings. I started by thinking of our very first lesson on hexagons and the pencil. First, I thought about how a pencil is called a "lead" pencil even though it's made of carbon, not the lead material, and how this misconception carries out through other languages as well.
For this week's in-class activity, I drew a map representing the major ideas that we had learned this quarter so far. We started off with learning about the unique social and cultural makeup of pencils and even exploring its molecular composition and how this molecular identity could be interpreted and applied to various different things. This led us to our section on Quantum Space, which talked about the uncertainty and serendipity of various aspects of life and experiences, which stressed the idea of interpretation as well as broadening our horizons with free exploration.