Sunday, April 24, 2016

Art in Medicine

   Art and health are two extremely different topics that are surprisingly related in a number of ways.   Scientific observations that relate to the medical field are heavily reliant on certain types of art.  This relationship is outlined in the Hippocratic Oath which outlines the importance of the coalition between the two.  It urges doctors to remember that artistic abilities may, at times, be preferred to scientific ones.  Especially in the time of Hippocrates, art was crucial to the success or failure of medical procedures and knowledge.
One part of medicine that heavily involves the use of art is MRI's.  MRI's are unique because they operate through aural techniques.  This was a groundbreaking advancement that proved it was possible to create a visual image through the use of sound and magnets.  Silvia Casini argues that ultrasounds portrait like qualities due to its “performative” qualities.  The advancements in this form of art have made it possible to identify tumors, and problems with patient’s brain structures without having to perform further procedures.

An example of an individual who is combining art with medicine is Kevin Warwick.  Warwick has found a way to insert an electronic chip into his nerves to track his movements and gather information.  After Warwick tracks his movements he can identify useful information on his lifestyle and methods of moving.  In a way, Warwick has begun to merge himself with a computer.  He has begun experimenting with opening doors, turning on lights, and even operating a computer without ever lifting a finger.  

In The Architecture of Life, Donald Ingber describes just how complex life is.  The human body is made up of an extensive anatomy that is still not completely understood by the scientific world.  The advancements in art have made practices significantly better, faster, easier, and more reliant.  It has allowed doctors to go from simply drawing a picture of what they see anatomically, to being able to see inside a body by performing a simple 15 minute procedure. 

-Brian Sussex


Casini, Silvia. "Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) as Mirror and Portrait: MRI Configurations between Science and the Arts." Configurations 19.1 (2011): 73-99. Web.
Ingber, Donal E. The Architecture of Life. N.p.: Scientific America, 1998. Print.
"Kevin Warwick." Kevin Warwick. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2016. <>.
Tyson, Peter. "The Hippocratic Oath Today." PBS. PBS, 27 Mar. 2001. Web. 25 Apr. 2016. <>.
Voxdotcom. "Life Looks Really Different through an MRI Machine." YouTube. YouTube, 16 Sept. 2014. Web. 25 Apr. 2016. <>.

Sunday, April 17, 2016


      Robotics is becoming a topic that more and more people are beginning to discuss.  Especially with the up and coming presence of drones, people have begun wondering what robotic technology should and shouldn't do.  From my perspective I have noticed that the public's reaction to the exponential growth of industrialization varies tremendously.  Many despise of certain types of industrilizations such as the use of robots and drones. Others, such as the people at Arduino, welcome these advancements.  Arduino is a simple electronics platform that people can use for a wide variety of projects.  Technological advancements such as these make it easy for people to get their feet wet in industrialization processes.

Image result for irobot   After I read Walter Benjamin's work on mechanical reproduction, my mind went instantly to IRobot, a film set in 2035 that portrays and apocalyptic instance where robots became smarter than humans.  Benjamin frequently mentioned the depreciation of quality through the use of robotics and industrialization.  This is something that is very closely portrayed in the character of Will Smith who is obviously opinionated about the quality of the robots.  Although the film is and extreme case of the downside of robotics, it sends a message about why society should be cautious in the field of industrialization.

An additional area where mechanization is beginning to apply to art is music.  Before the emergence of computers and other electronics, music consisted of solely of percussions, acoustics, and vocals.  Today, many artists are utilizing artificial noises to make parts of their songs sound better.  Artists that fall under the "techno" category are even using electronics for their whole song.

Douglas Davis mentioned his stance on these types of arts in his piece The Work of Art in the Age of Digital Reproduction.  In it he states how he believes that the industrialization of certain arts is worsening it.  He believes that as soon as digital reproduction touches a piece of art, that work is devalued substantially

-Brian Sussex


"WHAT IS ARDUINO?" Arduino. Web. 17 Apr. 2016.

Davis, Douglas. "The Work of Art in the Age of Digital Reproduction (An Evolving Thesis: 1991-1995)." Leonardo 28.5 (1995): 381. Web.

I, Robot. 20th Century Fox, 2004.

"Rehearsing Revolution and Life : The Embodiment of Benjamin’s Artwork Essay at the End of the Age of Mechanical Reproduction." Walter Benjamin and Art. Web.

SKrillix. Youtube. Web. 17 Apr. 2016.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Math and Art

Math in Art

Growing up, I always prided myself in being an exceptional student in all of my math classes.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and was able to solve problems at ease that others struggled with.  Art classes were a different story however.  After I educated myself on the topic this week, I noticed that math skills may perhaps relate to specific kinds of art.  A simple example of how math and science relate is described in Abbott’s Flatland.  Abbott describes how different perspectives of different objects give the viewer different shapes. In addition, I was enlightened by the math that goes into the constructions of vanishing points, as Marc Frantz mentioned in his lecture.  This picture of different shapes shows both effects in action as a viewer can see different things based on their vantage point.  One can also notice the intersecting lines on the bottom of the picture that are seemingly parallel.    

                I was also intrigued to find the amount of math that goes into the production of sound.  Technological advancements can be seen in the difference between digital and analog sound.  Music and Computers states that digital sound is simply an approximation of analog sound.  As more and more approximations are made to produce digital sound, the quality becomes clearer and clearer. 

   Based on what I have learned this week, I would say that examples involving art, science, and math intertwined are extremely easy to find.  For example, architectural structures a lot of times involve all three in order to not only be safe, but also attractive.  All three aspects go into making UCLA the beautiful school that we know today.

 Abbott, Edwin Abbott. Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions. New York: Barnes & Noble, 1963. Print.

Frantz, Marc. "Vanishing Points and Looking at Art." (200). Web.

"Royce Hall." Huy Moeller PhotoCine. Web. 11 Apr. 2016.

"Chapter 2: The Digital Representation of Sound, Part Two: Playing by the Numbers." Music and Computers. Web. 11 Apr. 2016.

"Understanding Analog and Digital Audio." Understanding Analog and Digital Audio. Web. 11 Apr. 2016. 

 "Basic Shapes and Perspective." By Eqathlete on DeviantArt. Web. 11 Apr. 2016.