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Ervin Johnson
Ervin Johnson's posts

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Coming to you from Brian Bullard...

Today I wanna take a minute to introduce you guys to Theo Jansen.  I LOVE this guys stuff.  In fact, most people do.  Because it is Uh-mazing.  Theo Jansen is the creator of what are called "Strandbeests."  Strandbeests are what you could call an artificial life-form.  There are no electronics involved.  They are made almost entirely out of plastic tubing, and they operate solely off of wind currents, which is why I'm pretty sure they are always located near the ocean when he releases them.  Click the link to check out a video, and prepare to be UH-MAZED!!!  Not quite a perpetual motion machine, but if anyone has ever played the game Shadow of the Colossus, these things remind me of that for some reason.  This is just a really impressive example of applying engineering to art and how astonishing the results can be.

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Durrell Smith post...

Light and Space art
The use of radically new art-making materials and the dematerialization of the art object characterize Light and Space art. It can be considered a descendant of the earlier Los Angeles Look, whose practitioners experimented with unusual materials such as cast resin and fiberglass.
As immaterial as Conceptual art, Light and Space art focuses less on ideas than on sensory perceptions. Robert Irwin has created numerous installations in which constantly changing natural light—often filtered through transparent scrims—is used to redefine a space. For viewers, his mysterious light-shot environments intensify sensory awareness and heighten the experience of nature itself in the form of light.
Works of Light and Space art have frequently—and aptly—inspired either scientific or metaphysical interpretations. Irwin and James Turrell, for instance, investigated the phenomenon of sensory deprivation (which influenced the development of their similarly spare light works) as part of the art-and-technology program initiated by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1967. For his series of works on the theme of alchemy, Eric Orr has used natural light as well as blood and fire.

Recent post by Durrell Smith

John McCracken, 1966 lacquer, polyester resin, fiberglass, plywood Collection Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Museum purchase with funds from Ansley I. Graham Trust, Los Angeles. © John McCracken. Photo by Philipp Scholz Ritterman.

In the 1960s and ’70s, light became a primary medium for a loosely-affiliated group of artists working in Los Angeles. Whether by directing the flow of natural light, embedding artificial light within objects or architecture, or by playing with light through the use of transparent, translucent or reflective materials, these artists each made the visitor’s experience of light and other sensory phenomena under specific conditions the focus of their work. Key examples of this approach include immersive environments by Bruce Nauman and Eric Orr, each of which produce different and extreme retinal responses; the disorienting and otherworldly glow of a Doug Wheeler light environment; a richly hued and spatially perplexing light piece from James Turrell’s Wedgework series, and the subtle sculpting of space with natural light by Robert Irwin.

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So, here is a fun link that everybody can look at. I had mentioned it in class when we gave our group blog presentation. Cupriavidus metallidurans is the bacteria responsible for this amazing feat. I find it interesting that for the gallery show they did, they claimed they were turning something of no value into something of value, and the notion of creating or destroying commodity is happening before one's very eyes. I will point out that they mention in the article that gold chloride can actually be relatively expensive, though not as much as gold.

Highlight quote from the article, "So yes, basically, Cupriavidus metallidurans can eat toxins and poop out gold nuggets."

Below is a wiki-link you can follow to learn more about the bacteria involved in this process.

So as far as group order for posts, the current line up is as follows:  Alex will be going first week, Brian will be going second week, and Durrell will be third.

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Durrell's Thesis:

Through careful investigation and analysis, I will explore the dynamics of science in relation to art and how it is used to represent and define itself through scientific photography and various other mediums as well as artists that use science to compete with the formalities of art itself.

Scholarly Post:
I found a quote that I found particularly interesting:

"This view of science as the sole mediator of everything depends upon one unstated assumption: While art cycles with the fashions, scientific knowledge is a linear ascent. The history of science is supposed to obey a simple equation: Time plus data equals understanding. One day, we believe, science will solve everything."

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Durrell's latest entry:  "Poured during the late 1960s and early 1970s, the work of De Wain Valentine is indicative of a West Coast art culture that embraced technological and industrial advancement; sought to create a connection between science, art and technique; and adapted industrial materials for artistic purposes."
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