For Event 3, I attended a live event in the Broad Art Center presented by Sam Wolk on “A Lecture on Synthetic Life” where he used biotechnology to create an electronic living environment. With coding he create strips of DNA which could be considered a flower (prey) or creature (predator). The computer would create random species of the flowers and creature than let them live in his technological environment. He could also electronically alter the DNA traits of the flowers and creatures to create environmental situations.
The artistic part was when he applied color, size, and symbols to the flowers’ and creatures’ DNA. For example one trait had a certain color and then the visibility of the the color depended on how much prevalence the trait had in the flower’s or creature’s DNA. The creature’s also were given symbols for the type of sex they become. Altogether the creatures visual effects plus how the react with each other and the environment was very cool to watch.
I particularly thought the coding for this project was amazing. This year I had to take two math classes where I needed to code for my lab assignment. We only make simple graphs and calculations but even then I have had a very hard time with the lab. So to see how his codes could create something as complex and beautiful as this is truly amazing. I have much respect for Sam’s ability to code.
Unfortunately he mentioned his project did not end in a success, however, he did not mention why. Nonetheless I though it was a very cool project and by changing DNA traits Sam could make really unique pieces of art. In relation to the lectures, this live event correlates with Week 6 Biotechnology + Art due to how he was able to manipulate biotechnology to create art. I would definitely recommend this to other students.
Wolk, Sam. "A Lecture on Synthetic Life." Replica Praesens. UCLA, Los Angeles. 26 May 2016. Lecture.
Vesna, Victoria, narr. “BioTech Art Lectures I”. Web. 31 May 2016.
Vesna, Victoria, narr. “BioTech Art Lectures II”. Web. 31 May 2016.
Vesna, Victoria, narr. “BioTech Art Lectures IV”. Web. 31 May 2016.
Percy, Ingrid Mary. 2005. Kelowna Art Gallery, Victoria. Humanist Perspective. Web. 31 May 2016.