[Nov 9/10] Victoria Vesna: Dog Nose Knows!

This card game is designed for four people at a time who play from the point of view of a dog. By making it an interactive game, Victoria Vesna, Siddharth Ramakrishnan and Adeline Ducker engage the audience and evoke curiosity, and begin a dialog about the human sensory world in comparison to that of the dog. They hope this simple interface will allow access to a larger audience, spanning varied ages, and fosters thought and conversation, inviting the audience to test the game, have fun and give feedback.

[Nov 9/10] Dog Nose Knows!

Victoria Vesna, Siddharth Ramakrishnan and Adeline Ducker
Friday, Nov 9, at 7pm: Opening Reception
Saturday, Nov 10, 3 – 6pm, Game Testing Workshop

Launch of card game conceptualized by media artist Victoria Vesna and neuroscientist Siddharth Ramakrishnan, graphics / game design by Adeline Ducker.

Location:
Harvestworks – www.harvestworks.org
596 Broadway, #602 | New York, NY 10012 | Phone: 212-431-1130
Subway: F/M/D/B Broadway/Lafayette, R Prince, 6 Bleeker

DOG NOSE KNOWS concept emerged during a conference organized by the UCLA Society for Genetics “Made for Each Other? Dog and Human Co-Evolution” (February 2011). Though humans and dogs share the same physical space and have done so for centuries, their sensory worlds are very different. We wanted to highlight this difference in “umwelts” between human and dog using simple interfaces.

When compared to humans, dogs have olfactory epitheliums with a larger surface area and contain 40 times more olfactory receptors. They also have a specialized Jacobsen’s organ that helps them detect pheromones. All this gives them an ability to smell around 1000 times better than humans. Dogs have an estimated 220 million olfactory receptor neurons in comparison to 2-5 million in humans, and show a corresponding improvement in behavioral tests involving odor sensation [Schoon 1997; Szetei et al., 2003]. This heightened sensitivity and the ability to train dogs, has resulted in using them to detect various odors that we as humans cannot perceive. Dogs are now used to detect landmines in war zones, truffles, track game and criminals. They are also able to find humans trapped under snow/landslides and cadavers buried far below the surface [Amato, 2009]. Recently dogs have also been shown to detect early onset of different cancers [Hovarth et al., 2008].

The card game is designed for four people at a time who play from the point of view of a dog. By making it an interactive game, we engage the audience and evoke curiosity, and begin a dialog about the human sensory world in comparison to that of the dog. We hope this simple interface will allow access to a larger audience, spanning varied ages, and fosters thought and conversation. This time we invite the audience to game test with us, have fun and give feedback.

DOG NOSE KNOWS is conceptualized and developed by Victoria Vesna and neuroscientist Siddharth Ramakrishnan. This version was created by game designer Adeline Ducker who will present and game test together with Victoria Vesna. Siddharth will join via skype as he is currently in Seattle. This project was supported in part by the David Bermant Foundation.

VICTORIA VESNA


Victoria Vesna, Ph.D., is a media artist and Professor at the UCLA Department of Design | Media Arts and Director of the Art|Sci center at the School of the Arts and California Nanosystems Institute (CNSI). She is currently a senior researcher at IMéRA – Institut Méditerranéen de Recherches Avancées in Marseille (2011-2013). Her work can be defined as experimental creative research that resides between disciplines and technologies. With her installations she explores how communication technologies affect collective behavior and how perceptions of identity shift in relation to scientific innovation. Victoria has exhibited her work in over twenty solo exhibitions, more than seventy group shows, has been published in excess of twenty papers and gave 100+ invited talks in the last decade. She is the North American editor of AI & Society and in 2007 published an edited volume – Database Aesthetics: Art in the age of Information Overflow, Minnesota Press and in 2011 an edited volume entitled Context Providers: Conditions of Meaning in Media Arts (co-edited with Christiane Paul and Margot Lovejoy).

Come to the book launch and symposium! Chinese translation of Context Providers: Conditions of Meaning inMedia Arts is launched at Harvestworks on Sunday, November 11th, 3-6pm.

SIDDHARTH RAMAKRISHNAN

Siddharth Ramakrishnan, PhD., is a Neuroscientist currently working in the field of Bioelectronics at Columbia University in New York. He works on designing microchips to record from brain cells and using proteins to create bio-batteries and biosensors. As a postdoctoral researcher at UCLA (2006-2009) he studied the development and physiology of reproductive neurons in the zebrafish brain. His PhD dissertation (UIC, 2005) addressed pattern generating networks in snails and how they were modulated to elicit various behaviors. With Victoria Vesna he has co-taught hybrid Art and Science courses at the New School of Design (2009-2012). A Fellow of the UCLA Art|Sci center, His collaborations with artists have led to exhibitions and documentaries that blend the worlds of art and science highlighting topics like Hox genes, animal umwelts and biomimicry. In 2013 he joins the University of Puget Sound as the Jennie M. Caruthers Chair in Neuroscience. More information can be found at www.siddharthramakrishnan.com

ADELINE DUCKER

Adeline Mai Ducker is a recent graduate of the Department of Design Media Arts at UCLA. For the past year she has been working at the UCLA Game Lab led by Eddo Stern who recommended her for this project.

 

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