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Schedule Spring 2023

Please note that class schedule may change / get updated throughout the course to adjust to additions of visitors, lectures, events and adjustments made for the specific needs of the class group. 

Weekly meetings – 2:00 — 4:50pm – ROYCE 154



Professor, Teaching Assistant and Students introduce themselves

PENCIL / GRAPHENE lecture 1: Prof. Vesna
NANO / CARBON lecture 2:  Prof. Gimzewski


Blog 1: Log in / introduce yourself to everyone: 500 words / 2-3 images / 2-3 links
Exercise + upload: Turn OFF your computer / phone. Find a quiet spot. / DRAW graphite structure and / or any of the CARBON allotropes / your impression of the lecture on the pencil  / WRITE (with the pencil): about what you learned today / your impressions / SCAN in your drawing / writing and upload to your blog. Write a few sentences about what you were thinking / feeling while using the pencil. 

READ: Paul Thomas paper — Geneology of a Graphite
Charcoal Body Drawing: Heather Hansen

OPTIONAL READING: Additional Reading Materials From Paul Thomas

EXPLORE MORE [optional]
HONORS book — scan through the book to get an idea and pick one essay to read through. 
INTRO to BIOTECH & ART: part 1part 2part 3part 4part 5 — this is from the Intro to Art Sci & Technology class – pswd: artsci

Victoria Vesna intro to her work: RECORDING
MORE about works mentioned:





We will explore mycelium, yeast, mushrooms and the basic ingredients of KOMBUCHA — everyone will get a SCOBY to grow.

At the end of class we will visit the Art Sci gallery exhibition.


BAKE a bread using the no knead recipe.
VIEWNo Knead Bread Recipe
READPAPER by Haytham Nawar

part 1. 

Make connections SCOBY, Kombucha, wheat, water, salt, yeast, GMO, taste, smell, nourishment. Make sure to reference some of the reading / viewing materials to broaden the scope of your hands on experience.

part 2:  

Bake a bread and take a photo (no need to blog about making bread). Add photos of your SCOBY sculpture  (as many as you want)

Note: if allergic to wheat or do not have a kitchen — buy a bread and take a picture of the bread and the ingredients. 

READThe Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction, Ursula K. Le GuinMushroom Hunter Package
VIEW: TED X — Jae Rhim Lee “Burial Suit”, A green space, park, forest, woods etc.
Netflix: Michael Pollan — COOKED: Air
The Organic Internet
The Amazing World of Mycelium
Merlin Sheldrake eats mushrooms sprouting from his book
 Sound Walk Audio – Follow the instructions of the sound walk, collect objects that relate to fungi

Optional/Additional Reading
Purity and Danger: An Analysis of Concepts of Pollution and Taboo (Routledge Classics)
I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life

Optional Videos/Readings to Explore:
wheat GMO
Amazon Mechanical Turk
Can’t Find Yeast? Grow Your Own at Home With a Sourdough Starter
Tower Tour, 1997
Yeast Cell – 3D
The Ultimate Sourdough Starter Guide
Why Pink Himalayan Salt Is So Expensive | So Expensive
Salton Sea
A dusting of salt could cool the planet
The Salt-Craving Neurons





We will be looking at plastic — how artists are responding and what alternatives are possible.

At the end of class we will visit the Art Sci gallery exhibition.

A brief history of plastic TED Talk

Plastic Eating Mushrooms | Environmental Center | University of Colorado Boulder

Plastidemic: Plastic’s Impact On Our World

Washed Up: Alejandro Duran’s Site-Specific Found Plastic and Trash Installations

Bolivian WALL-E: Teen Inventor Makes Robots Out Of Trash

This Mortal Plastik, a film by Jess Irish

Meet New Media Artist & Filmmaker Jess Irish

The Monumental Effort To Rid The World’s Oceans From Plastic | VICE on HBO

NOISE AQUARIUM – 3D Audio Visual Experience of Plankton in Noise Pollution

OPTIONAL / Recommended:

SWEPT AWAY: love letter to the surrogate — April 22, 23 at the beach, in front of the Annenberg Community house, Santa Monica

SUNDAY, April 23, 6pm — REGISTER
OCTOPUS MANDALA: the butterfly effect 
— Prof. Victoria Vesna and the Art Sci collective
show up 6pm — participatory performance starts at 6:30 (60 mins). SIGN UP



WED | APRIL 26 — GUEST: Marta de Menezes


Marta de Menezes will be giving a public lecture at noon, Broad Arts, EDA. She will join the class afterwards and we will discuss animals, genetic engineering, food and culture. We will also be joined by Maryam Razi who is the lead designer of HOX Zodiac, a collaboration with neuroscientist Siddharth Ramakrishnan.

We will learn about artists who work with food and share a meal as animals in the Chinese animal zodiac. 

READGAMES of CHANCE: Explorations of our Animal Selves

EXTRA CREDIT ASSIGNMENT: learn about your Chinese animal zodiac sign and prepare a dish — EAT or be EATEN (see recommended ingredients for your sign). Share in a separate blog.



MIDTERM assignment:

Pick a topic / sub-topic from the subjects we covered so far — based on that we will meet online and split into discussion groups. The goal is to come up with a project proposal that draws from your major. This will be an individual project. You will be coming up with a conceptual idea that could be “impossible” but based on actual science. It is important for you to also refer to artists who work in the area you choose to address. Use the PPT template and submit by Sunday (May 7th).



WED | MAY 10 – GUEST: Cristina Albu

Starting with the late 1960s, artists have experimented with neurofeedback techniques to unveil that we can model our brainwave oscillations in relation to sounds and images that signal our transition into meditative states. Cultivating enchantment with the agency we can develop over unconscious processes and the non-verbal connections we mentally establish with others, they have invited us to reflect on the intrinsic alterity of our inner and outer worlds. 
In this talk, I map out a genealogy of artworks informed by the aesthetics of neural networks and their dynamic behavior. I argue that the diversity of these practices results not only from the artists’ original coupling of multiple media of expression, but also from their imaginative blending of ideas derived from phenomenology, biofeedback experimentation, cybernetic theories, and Southeast Asian philosophies. I delineate a taxonomy of artworks encompassing neural data and I discuss how they catalyze speculative thinking about biological, cultural, and social entanglements.

About Cristina Albu: Cristina Albu is an art historian, educator, and writer focusing on crossovers between contemporary art, cognitive sciences, and technology. She is Associate Professor of Contemporary Art History at University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC). Albu is the author of Mirror Affect: Seeing Self, Observing Others in Contemporary Art (Minnesota University Press, 2016) and the co-editor (with Dawna Schuld) of Perception and Agency in Shared Spaces of Contemporary Art (Routledge, 2018). Her writings have appeared in scholarly anthologies (e.g. Nervous Systems, Hybrid Practices, Framings, The Permanence of the Transient, Crossing Cultures) and journals (e.g. Afterimage, Artnodes, Camera Obscura, and the Comparative Media Arts Journal). At UMKC, Albu teaches courses on global contemporary art, participatory and site-specific tendencies, museum studies, and the role of emotion in art reception. She is currently working on a book which charts how artists have paired neurofeedback technology with sounds and video images to cultivate an embodied understanding of our entanglement in more or less visible systems.

Recommended Readings/Viewings:

1. Nina Sobell, UnSeen UnHeard:

2. Nina Sobell, Pioneer in Interactivity:

3. Cristina Albu, Camera Obscura Journal:

4. Brain Art: Brain-Computer Interfaces for Artistic Expression:



WED | MAY 17


We are going to the UCLA Planetarium with astrophysicist Santiago Torres.
Then we are going to UCLA Meteorite Gallery.


(1) Blog about the visit to the Planetarium, Alien Star Dust, Meteorite gallery (please visit on your own).

(2) Make a selfie / screen capture using the snap chat alien star dust AR. — we would like to have the class star dust portrait collage with everyone!

S: SCALE — NANO / BIO / Molecules
T: STM, SEM, AFM, Webb telescope
E: DUST / particles
A: artist / designers / architects — examples
M: exercise: if you have your USB microscope — choose a few different things to zoom into. Make a collage.


LAB TOUR: UCLA California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) UCLA

Powers of TEN, by Charles and Ray Eames, 1977



WED | MAY 24

First we will glance back in history and at Nikola Tesla’s work with vibrations and frequencies, the Theremin and Cymatics. Then turn to the contemporary scientific work of nanoscientist James Gimzewski and Dr. Carlo Ventura who contributed to the emerging field of synocytology. We briefly look at the influence of this work on imagining future non-invasive medical procedures. From there we move to the collaborations with artists that these two scientists are engaged with and inspired by. 

We will visit the Wight gallery, meteorite gallery, the Art Sci gallery.



Bernie Kraus: the voice of the natural world
David Roy — Black NASA

Record sounds / rhythms of your environment or refer to sound / rhythms of your body (heart / pulse etc). Upload a maximum of 5 minutes of audio, may be more than one audio recording of different sounds. Write a blog reflecting on the lecture, discuss your sound recording process, and describe what drew you to this sound(s). You may include images or drawings, but the focus is on the audio. If you reference a source, please cite it.

Name your audio file: first name_last name_title of audio
Upload your audio to this folder:

Spring 2022 upload here:

Past uploads:

Optional viewing:

Carolina Eyck and her theremin | Carolina Eyck | TEDxDornbirn
REAL HEART BEAT from 86 BPM to 274 BPM – might be disgusting !
20Hz to 20kHz (Human Audio Spectrum)
CYMATICS: Science Vs. Music – Nigel Stanford
Introduction to the Electromagnetic Spectrum
Researchers Listen to Yeast Cells


WED | MAY 31

Senior students in the class will present their final ideas.



Students present their final ideas



* The PDF of your Blog Compilations + Summary + MindMap and extra credit event blogs are due June 7th. 

* The final paper or project proposal is due June 14th.

The final submission will encompass all blog compilations, a mind map, and a summary. You also have the choice to submit either a paper or a project proposal.

File Naming Method: Use the format: LAST NAME, Firstname_HNRS177_S23

MindMap: Develop a comprehensive mindmap integrating all the points. Craft it using pencil and paper, then scan it. Make sure it fits the dimensions 640 X 480. Submit this both as a separate file for a class collage and within your blog compilations.

Blog Compilations: Your final mindmap and a one-page summary should be positioned at the beginning of your blog compilations.

Paper Option: Write a paper that provides a historical and conceptual overview, along with future speculative projections, on a specific topic linking art and science. The paper should be formatted in MLA style, contain between 1500 to 2000 words, and include at least five images or diagrams.

Project Proposal Option: The project proposal or prototype should be presented in 20 slides. The format should align with the midterm template, offering a more in-depth exploration. Please limit slides containing images without substantial text to no more than five.

References: Include a minimum of 20 references in your bibliography.


FINALS FOLDER — upload here!

Great art + science art project archive: Ars Electronica Festival

Past final paper + compilation + summary: