Sunday, June 5, 2016

Event 3: Philosophy + Art + Science, Maria Antonia Gonzalez Valerio [May 26th]

For this event, Maria Antonia Gonzalez Valerio was the guest lecturer and she is from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Her main points of her lecture dealt with asking questions of how art and science work together currently. What was very different about this presentation was the lack of answers as she stated from the get-go that she likes to pose questions but never answer them.

Professor Vesna introducing Maria Valerio
She began by lecturing how neither art nor science are subject to a definition and she shows this by saying art back in ancient Greece is no longer art today, She poses an interesting question of how can art be of importance to science if it cannot contribute to science. I began wondering the same thing, and have been wondering the same thing for quite some time... She gave a hint as to what artists may lack and that is knowledge of the sciences.

Maria Valerio giving her lecture
Like I said, her lecture posed a lot of questions but not a lot of answers, and I'm glad she did that because it really gets the audience thinking on topics that deal with the relevance of art in science.
Hand-stitched art piece used to protest GMOs.
She continued to talk about art and how it can contribute to activism through exhibitions and festivals, performances, labs, and workshops. One of the activism artworks she presented was a hand-stitched fabric used to show that corn was being contaminated and not to eat it. The picture shown above shows a scientist in a lab coat contaminating the corn or "maize" as it is called in Spanish. This art piece is used as a political statement against science in hopes of reforming scientific methods and research in creating genetically modified organisms or GMOs for short.
Myself and Maria Valerio
This event was very interesting as it showed a very political side to the arts and sciences that I have not been exposed to first-hand. I do think that the combination of the two can really help each other not only spread knowledge but also create ethical limitations on what is acceptable behavior in today's society.

Event 2: LASER (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous) [April 21st]

I attended LASER April  21st as my second event because I thought it would be cool to get a variety of perspectives on the combination of science and art. I do have to say it was quite an enlightening experience. There were 8 speakers and all of them were amazing, but I want to highlight my favorites.

Marco Pinter's Lecture on Appropriation of Choreographic Strategies
Marco Pinter talked about his integration of robotics and dance and it was quite fascinating. A lot of his videos consisted of using robotics in unique ways to show different types of movement. The specific one I enjoyed was Object Permanence in which he used  robotic like sculptures with digital movement to capture a new type of Rube Goldberg machine, if you will, with digital movement being used as the forces that drive the sculptures to move. Together, it brought a new way of seeing digital and physical interact.

Shannon Willis Lecture about her separation from her daughter.
Shannon Willis gave a great speech about her pursuing her career and  how she is separated from her daughter because of it. It gave her inspiration to create a piece of her recording herself while watching videos of her daughter. There is deep connection between her and her daughter that is apparent in the video and I thought it was of great social commentary to show how technology has allowed us to see the world in a virtual way and still allows us to explore emotions that we feel even though they are not face to face interactions.
Toni Dove talking about Lucid Possession 
Finally, Toni Dove talked about her work of Lucid Possession which is a live cinema performance that follows a programmer who becomes famous on the internet but is bogged down by voices in her head. The artistic aspect of this comes from the characters dress which is part robotic and visuals are projected onto the dress.

Professor Vesna and I at the LASER event
This was a very interesting event being able to see all different types of integration of art and science and it gave me a better perspective on how the two combined can create entertainment for others.