Sunday, April 24, 2016

WEEK 4: MedTech + Art

Arts and Medicine are the constant inspiration of each other. As we will see in the examples below, advances in medical technology give artist new perspective while arts can improve medical education and patient care.
X-ray use has become a common practice among art authenticators. Not only does it unlock secrets underneath paintings, but it helps to establish authenticity. Types of paper, materials, preparatory sketches, changes to the composition, and other clues can be discovered through the use of an x-ray to prove the nature and origin of painting. Through a combination of documentary research and x-ray examinations, authenticators can determine if a painting is genuine. For example, it is well-known that most artists would recycle their canvases. Painting over a rejected picture was a common practice. X-ray comparison of "A View of Picksgrill Harbor, Dusky Bay" by Hodges, shows a completely different landscape underneath. The original is of icebergs while the scene on the surface is a tropical rainforest.

Physician and artist Satre Stuelke founded the Radiology Art project to explore the hidden contents and structures of everyday things. This project intends to make it easier for patients to relate to some of the radiology procedures they experience during their medical care through deeper visualization of various objects that hold unique cultural importance in contemporary society.
As Dr. Vesna mentioned in lecture, art illustration such as 3D animation has incredibly facilitated education and documentation of our understanding of medicine. The video below might look unremarkable to a person without much knowledge of cell biology, but every detail in the video was carefully crafted to reflect our latest understanding of the cell.
Stanford pediatric anesthesiologists Sam Rodriguez and Thomas Caruso recently developed a program designed to relax their young patients and reduce children's stress and nervousness before surgery; the Bedside Entertainment and Relaxation Theater was implemented at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital earlier this year. Another example of using art to enhance medical care.

Stuelke, Satre. "Radiology Art: X-ray Art." Radiology Art: X-ray Art. N.p., 2009. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.
"X-ray Examination." X-ray Examination. Art Experts, n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.
Selcon82. "Inner Life Of A Cell - Full Version.mkv." YouTube. YouTube, 25 Jan. 2011. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.
Digitale, Erin. "Packard Children’s Anesthesiologists Invent Safe, Fun Way to Distract Children before Surgery." Scope Blog. Stanford Medicine, 14 Apr. 2016. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.
Victoria, Vesna. "Medicine Pt3." YouTube. Uconline, 22 Apr. 2012. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

WEEK 3: Robotics + Arts

Industrialization gave birth to many art forms that would not be otherwise possible. For example, photography and cinematography exist only because humans developed cameras. More recently, the development of computer science made computer animation possible, providing artists with additional tools to illustrate their imagination. In return, art carefully examined the technology such as robotics and artificial intelligence in its own unique way.
There is a clear progression of the way arts depict robots, from fear of robots replacing humans, to love for robots with human-like personality, to a more careful examination of the future of artificial intelligence. The Industrial Revolution of the 1700’s and 1800’s gave birth to the term Luddites – the name of textile workers who protested the adoption of machines that threatened to replace them. Of course, Luddites could not stop the progress of technological achievements. As the centuries rolled on, more machines came. Assembly lines, radios, telegraphs, printing presses, electric motors continued to relieve humans from labor. It was no surprise that in 1927, the movie Metropolis depicted a female robot Maria, who ultimately caused chaos and death for the workers in Metropolis.
When the time came to the 1970’s, the era of Star Wars, robots became good companions of humans. R2-D2, the barrel-shaped droid, is charismatic, resourceful, cute, funny, brave and insanely adaptable. The design is unforgettable, and he’s indispensable in the movie.
With significant advancement in artificial intelligence post-2000, the film industry began to discuss more deliberately whether robots will benefit or destroy humanity. I, Robot, a 2004 film and WALL-E by Disney in 2008 are a good representation of the two polar views on this matter. The former believes that robots are determined to dominate human society while the latter thinks that robots can be as loving as humans. Other films provoke more philosophical questions about artificial intelligence. For example, The Matrix trilogy examines the distinction between reality and illusion; Ex Machina asks the essential question: “What constitutes true artificial intelligence?”

 Humanity hates the idea that what we create and can ultimately replace us, but is motivated by the convenience and power that robots and artificial intelligence can bring us.

Benjamin, Walter (1969 [1936]). "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction." Illuminations. Ed. H. Arendt. New York, Schocken. 217–251.
Davis, Douglas. "The work of art in the age of Digital Reproduction (An Evolving Thesis: 1991-1995)." Leonardo (1995): 381-386.
Dube, Ryan. "How Hollywood Has Depicted Artificial Intelligence Over The Years." MakeUseOf. 16 May 2015. Web. 17 Apr. 2016. <>.
"Movie Robots - Illustrated History of Film Robots." Movie Robots - Illustrated History of Film Robots. Web. 17 Apr. 2016. <>.
Vesna, Victoria. "Robotics Pt2." YouTube. UC Online Program, 15 Apr. 2012. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.