Week 5

Midterm Recap - Challenging Mundanity

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.

My Mental Map - Making Connections

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.

Broadening the Connections

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.

Interconnectedness Of Our First Four Weeks

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.

Interwoven Connections

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.

Midterm season reflection

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. During the first four weeks of the quarter, we learned about a wide range of topics, from the pencil to mushroom and the process of breadmaking. 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.

Weeks 1-4: Full Circle

The main topics that we have discussed this quarter so far have been the idea of pencils and graphite, the quantum world, yeast and bread, and mycelium. Every single one of these concepts has a very unique intricate connection to art and personally I have never take a class that actually explores these connections. My drawing is meant to depict the simultaneous presence of each of these concepts. The world we live in is intensely connected and often times it difficult to illustrate these connections in a way that accurately shows how life progresses.

Connection of Week 1-4 Lectures

In the first week, we learned about pencil and graphite drawing. We were asked to turn off all the electronic devices and composed an art with simply pencil and paper. We learned about the composition of pencil and how the lead part is actually composed of graphite, which are layers of carbon sheets. Then I think about different carbon allotropes like diamond and amorphous carbon.

A visual mind "map"

I summarize this class, not by a mind map of words, but visually by starting with a tree. We started by discussing pencils which are formed from wood, which comes from trees. As I descend down the tree, I find a lump of charcoal in the earth, which will one day be processed into graphite for the pencil. This connection of the elements of a pencil is how I have always imagined the two critical components.

Weeks 1-5 Midterm Recap

We have now reached the middle of the quarter and have discussed many aspects of the intersection between art and biotechnology. Science and art are intimately linked in more ways than we could ever cover in this class but diving into a couple of these intersections has been very interesting. We began our quarter talking about the intricacies of the pencil. This first lecture set a theme that has been relevant to the rest of the course and that is looking deeper than the surface.

Art, Science, and Examining the Mundane

I took out a piece of blank paper and a pencil and began to write. I wanted to create a few main ideas that much of the course material would connect to, so naturally I chose art and science. As I was making connections and writing down ideas, I noticed that many of the activities that we have done over the quarter involve looking deeper into the mundane. We have taken many ordinary objects (bread, pencils, mushrooms) and revealed that there is much more to each of them than we thought before.


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