[Earlier this year I gave at talk about my art practice and my job in the lab to a group of ucla students. That professor put me in touch with Adam Steig who asked me to join a small team to teach art and science topics to high school students for two weeks this summer. It was a wonderful program and I'm happy to have been involved!]
After two weeks of exciting lectures, workshops, and fieldtrips the students in the UCLA sci|art Nanolab summer session have just finished presenting their final projects [images]! The high school students were given a week to work in groups and present a creative project influenced by a concept they had learned about in the previous week. During that more lecture heavy previous week my co-instructors and I described the history of scientific influences on art (and vice versa) and introduced students to many contemporary scientists and artists influenced by some aspect of each others field. My lecture, titled "Electro+Mechano+Robo Communications", discussed semaphores, telegraphs, telephones, computers and creative coding, and the history of clocks, robots, machines and electricity. During the lecture I described the creative craftsmanship and mechanical precision of watchmakers, the professional painting background of Samuel Morse, the performative showmanship of Nikola Tesla, and the insight to turn electricity into music by Léon Theremin. Laced throughout the talk were contemporary artists influnced by one or more of the topics I discussed, artists including Maywa Denki, Jean Luc Cornec, Ruben Margolin, Gregory Witt, Ian Ingram, and Arthur Gansen.
The other team members were Christina Agapakis PhD: synthetic biologist/science blogger/maker of armpit cheese, Romie Littrell: biomedical engineering grad student/bio hacker, Rita Blaik: material science grad student/abstract urban landscape photographer, Marc Duesseiller PhD: transdisciplinary scholar/ teacher of DIY nanoscience, electronics and robotics workshops, Megan Daadler: performance artist/maker of a sculpture mediated expereince that leaves viewers with a persistent sense of shared identity, John Carpenter: interactive digital artist/designer/arts educator, and Aisen Chacin: artist/maker of an internal mouth piece that when in contact with one's teeth that allows the wearer to hear music through bone conduction.