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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After having embarked on a rather remarkable journey through this past half-quarter, some of the most prominent themes that I took note of was the interrelatedness and interconnectedness of many of the topics that we covered so far. Although the topics themselves were very diverse and unique, there were several, key aspects that seemed to be shared amongst them.
For my sketch I decided to draw a path of concepts that we learned in the first five weeks. Each circle represents a step on the path, with a concept that we learned. Stemming from these circles are smaller circles with words that are related to these concepts. The related words in the smaller circles relate information that I learned in my other classes. It is so meaningful to be able to see connections from other classes related to the discussions we have in this one.
Throughout the course of Honors 177, I have always pondered about the vast difference between the topics chosen by the professor. From pencils, bread, connections, to mycology, these are topics that appear distant at first glance. However, upon careful examination, a common theme emerges: Connections and Balance. To further analyze these connections and the overarching them, it was necessary to examine the individual aspects that make the topic whole. My drawing focuses upon drawing both direct and indirect connections between each of these aspects.
The focus of my drawing for this mid-quarter blog post was an eye because in my opinion, throughout the first five weeks of this class, perhaps the most prevalent theme has been contemplating unseen connections between ourselves, society, and the natural world.
At the risk of painting with too broad of strokes, much of the course up to this point has been dedicated to examining things which prima facie seem mundane, yet which upon further inspection host a wealth of complexity. In order to reflect this, the center of my diagram is a typical depiction of a house and a yard - its unremarkable and easily overlooked.
This is the map that I drew to represent what we have learned this quarter. I started in the center with the word “pencil”, since that was the first topic we covered in class. Around “pencil”, I drew some of the first things I remembered from the lesson such as the picture of the graphite pencil, a tree, and the structure of graphite. From there I added words that I remembered from lectures such as deforestation, carbon, hexagons, etc.
In making this map of connections, I started with the basics: pencils, serendipity, bread, and fungi. It was easy at first remembering all of the essential components from each class assignment (i.e. wooden pencil manufacturing leads to major deforestation consequences). However, to then connect the weekly assignments together is a tad bit more daunting.
As I drew my diagram, I went back to Week 2—when we had to think of ONE word to describe our exploration or serendipitous place. I wanted to find ONE word to describe this class and came up with interconnected. Isn’t it odd that two polar opposite subjects are so intertwined, who would’ve thought after seeing the deep division between North and South Campus? Everything is interconnected on this earth regardless of if we see it or not. I may see a connection but for someone else, it may seem like a stretch.
During the past five weeks, we have explored various areas of art and science. Instead of viewing each topic as a separate entity, I wanted to focus on their similarities and connections in my drawing. Each little cloud provides a glimpse into what we learned during a particular week. In the middle we see a nucleus with an electron cloud surrounding the protons and neutrons in the middle.
It's been halfway through the quarter, and I didn't expect to have this much fun while learning interesting topics in our biotechnology and art class. The class began with learning about the pencil. A pencil is a tool we have used throughout our educational life, and we see the components that make up the pencil all around us when we step outside. The components that made up the pencil are so crucial, and yet we take it for granted.