iCubed

Spring 2014 STEAM Paintings

NSF

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No.0963146. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

UCF

Hydroplane - Michael Alvarez

I entitled this installation “Hydroplane” because it is about the interaction of water with rubber on the road, which often results in miles and miles of scrap and blown tires across the roads and freeways of this nation.

This sculptural piece is my attempt to create a powerful image that suggests the vast enormity of this waste material, which is largely non-recyclable.

This work was inspired by research presentations on the topic, “Solid Waste Management” by Dr. Debra Reinhart, UCF Pegasus Professor and Civil Engineer. Reinhart was aided by research assistants: Kimberley Cranmore, undergraduate STEM fellow and Stephanie Bolyard, PhD candidate, in Associate Professor Carla Poindexter’s advanced painting class.

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Aesthetics is Rooted in Research - Bethany Bennett

This piece literally forces viewers to look at themselves to remind us that we all have an impact on our environment. The piece is also intended to remind viewers that the aesthetics of art, like the investigations of science, is rooted in research.

This work was inspired by research presentations on the topic, “Solid Waste Management” by Dr. Debra Reinhart, UCF Pegasus Professor and Civil Engineer. Reinhart was aided by research assistants: Kimberley Cranmore, undergraduate STEM fellow and Stephanie Bolyard, PhD candidate, in Associate Professor Carla Poindexter’s advanced painting class.

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Snowflakes Turning Orange - Grant Coronica

“I think a lot of snowflakes are alike...and I think a lot of people are alike too.” -- Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho

Every snowflake follows a path of creation that allows each to be unique, even though they are all made up of the same substance: water. The common pattern all snowflakes follow is hexagonal in structure, which radiates outward in a variety of ways, depending on environmental effects such as temperature. From microscopic to macroscopic, would one say that the Earth's appearance will also depend on the environmental effects we humans create? It is our responsibility to be aware of the choices we make and their consequences to the environment.

This work was inspired by research presentations on the topic, “Solid Waste Management” by Dr. Debra Reinhart, UCF Pegasus Professor and Civil Engineer. Reinhart was aided by research assistants: Kimberley Cranmore, undergraduate STEM fellow and Stephanie Bolyard, PhD candidate, in Associate Professor Carla Poindexter’s advanced painting class.

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What Was, What Is....What Now? - Nicole Dikon

I approached this piece with the intent to mimic the earth's decay. A memory of it's initial pristine beauty is overtaken by the toxicity and filth produced by our own ignorance. The decayed bodies are a warning of what's to come. This begs the question; what now?

This work was inspired by research presentations on the topic, “Solid Waste Management” by Dr. Debra Reinhart, UCF Pegasus Professor and Civil Engineer. Reinhart was aided by research assistants: Kimberley Cranmore, undergraduate STEM fellow and Stephanie Bolyard, PhD candidate, in Associate Professor Carla Poindexter’s advanced painting class.

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What Was, What Is....What Now? - Nicole Dikon

I approached this piece with the intent to mimic the earth's decay. A memory of it's initial pristine beauty is overtaken by the toxicity and filth produced by our own ignorance. The decayed bodies are a warning of what's to come. This begs the question; what now?

This work was inspired by research presentations on the topic, “Solid Waste Management” by Dr. Debra Reinhart, UCF Pegasus Professor and Civil Engineer. Reinhart was aided by research assistants: Kimberley Cranmore, undergraduate STEM fellow and Stephanie Bolyard, PhD candidate, in Associate Professor Carla Poindexter’s advanced painting class.

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Halting Tree - Forrest Debois

Approaching the topic of waste, I chose to paint about what waste says about the people who leave it behind.

The title for this painting is an anagram for “the triangle”, a recurring shape in the design of the image. The purpose of the anagram is to illustrate the kind of false narrative that the human mind will sometimes construct based on limited information made available to it to make sense of an experience.

Imagine that you are walking through the middle of nowhere and find a single left-footed shoe carefully placed on the dried out remains of a newly burnt tree, hanging precariously above barbed wire. These elements suggest a succession of past events, but you'll probably never know the actual story behind them for certain.

This work was inspired by research presentations on the topic, “Solid Waste Management” by Dr. Debra Reinhart, UCF Pegasus Professor and Civil Engineer. Reinhart was aided by research assistants: Kimberley Cranmore, undergraduate STEM fellow and Stephanie Bolyard, PhD candidate, in Associate Professor Carla Poindexter’s advanced painting class.

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Rain - Nicole Dikon

This piece was created entirely out of recycled materials. Dried acrylic paint chips with toxic metals such as barium, cadmium and cobalt were used to illustrate the contaminants being detected in rainwater testing around the world.

This work was inspired by research presentations on the topic, “Solid Waste Management” by Dr. Debra Reinhart, UCF Pegasus Professor and Civil Engineer. Reinhart was aided by research assistants: Kimberley Cranmore, undergraduate STEM fellow and Stephanie Bolyard, PhD candidate, in Associate Professor Carla Poindexter’s advanced painting class.

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Electronic Sunsets of the Things We Left Behind - Lindsay Green

Electronic sunsets pulsed before our eyes

Electronic sunsets living the life

We took what we were given

And raised our power lines

Now all we have left to show

Is what we left behind



It all goes back to those telephone wires

And the people that they made us

But now they've gone and cut the cord

There's no one left to save us

This work was inspired by research presentations on the topic, “Solid Waste Management” by Dr. Debra Reinhart, UCF Pegasus Professor and Civil Engineer. Reinhart was aided by research assistants: Kimberley Cranmore, undergraduate STEM fellow and Stephanie Bolyard, PhD candidate, in Associate Professor Carla Poindexter’s advanced painting class.

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To Kitty - Jordan Guzman and Anonymous

Paper is one of the key targets for recycling. In the process of recycling wood pulp paper, wood fibers are degraded after 4-6 times of recycling. Each cycle weakens the fibers, which then become too short to be useful in making paper.

From childhood to now, long before art, writing has always been at the forefront of my creative expression. The main role of paper has been to cleanse myself of ruminating thoughts and emotions. During and after a writing session is when I feel most refreshed. Seemingly troubling thoughts lose their power through the process of writing. Each entry is a reminder of my progression towards maturity and mastery of self.

To Kitty connects the relationship between the degradation of wood fibers as they are being recycled to the idea of relief after expression through written word. It is a visual poem about my personal connection to paper. The title comes from Anne Frank's autobiography, The Diary of Anne Frank, where she names her journal Kitty. The materials used reflect the impermanence of both word and paper. Each visual element correlates with the poem I have written below, also entitled To Kitty.



To Kitty

I inquire into my insoluble nature

Together in decay we still show no protest

You are my constant relief

Earth converted into a place of worship

Where honesty and answers linger in the ground

You feel though you cannot touch

Your touch requires no hands

Inscriptions of ink weaken obsession's impulse

Zealous streams of growth puncture through

Dyeing my spirit with the purest hope

-Jordan Guzman, 2014

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Canned Koi - Olivia Heath-Jolly

“If people destroy something replaceable made by mankind, they are called vandals; if they destroy something irreplaceable made by God, they are called developers.”-Joseph Wood Krutch

This work was inspired by research presentations on the topic, “Solid Waste Management” by Dr. Debra Reinhart, UCF Pegasus Professor and Civil Engineer. Reinhart was aided by research assistants: Kimberley Cranmore, undergraduate STEM fellow and Stephanie Bolyard, PhD candidate, in Associate Professor Carla Poindexter’s advanced painting class.

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Symbols of Beauty - Anne Hennessy and Alex Ruiz

This mixed media image is a response to the presentation regarding waste management. On December 14, 2013, this piece of wood was recovered from a dumpster and recycled into an idea of beauty. We asked ourselves- what makes acceptable Art? What is Beauty? Is it the creator or is it the viewer who decides these questions?

The golden ratio is 1.61803398875. Throughout classical western history this number has been believed to mathematically exemplify perfect natural balance and beauty. We incorporated several symbols of this ideal aesthetic on this piece of found wood that was otherwise considered rubbish.

Our point of view is influenced by the dualities between the scientific theory of beauty and the beauty that lies outside of the formula.

“Without mathematics there is no art”

-Luca Pacioli.

“Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art”

-Leonardo da Vinci

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Equation for Tree Growth - Taylor Menzel

This painting is the sum of my research and understanding of Leonardo da Vinci’s rule for tree growth. Da Vinci stated in his journal “all the branches of a tree at every stage of its height when put together are equal in thickness to its trunk.” After reading further research from Christophe Eloy, I learned that this is due to the tree protecting itself from wind damage. The equations in my painting are used to measure the relation between mother branches splitting into daughter branches. Through my process of painting this, I was simply trying to show that trees are more complex than I realized.

This work was inspired by research presentations on the topic, “Solid Waste Management” by Dr. Debra Reinhart, UCF Pegasus Professor and Civil Engineer. Reinhart was aided by research assistants: Kimberley Cranmore, undergraduate STEM fellow and Stephanie Bolyard, PhD candidate, in Associate Professor Carla Poindexter’s advanced painting class.

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Growth - Omalix Martinez

This installation represents a living organism that keeps reproducing and growing. The living processes of growth, digestion, and movement are made possible thanks to chemical reactions that involve carbon compounds. Although the growth of this three-dimensional work might look random, it follows a pattern that repeats over and over again just like the fractals that organize chaos in nature. The medium used to build this fragile sculptural installation offered me the keyword “adherence”. I wanted to use a medium that would adhere to itself and emulate how certain organisms grow. The whole process was somewhat like a coral reef repetitively multiplying in order to grow. This work also resembles a microscopic view of Graphene, a material that comes from carbon.

Ultimately, this artwork is an intriguing play of light and shadow between tangible form and visible space.

This three dimensional piece was inspired by and created in response to the work of Evelyn Strunk, a UCF undergraduate STEM fellow and science researcher who was analyzing the conductive properties of Graphene Oxide.

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SyntheScape - Alejandro Ocampo

Science has always been about venturing into the unknown and defying the limitations placed in front of us. There have been countless discoveries that have shaped the modern world, but these discoveries often overshadow the consequences that follow them. In the pursuit of bettering our civilization we created a plethora of synthetic materials that has helped us move forward into the next stage of our journey. However, these materials are finding themselves in mounds all across the world, with no real place or purpose. The foundation for future generations to build upon will be heaps of unrecyclable garbage. They will inhabit a world of plastic trees, filtered air, silicon beaches and mountains made of trash. Science has always been about venturing into the dark abyss of ignorance and sheading light to places where there is none. If so, then perhaps these “synthescapes” can be processed and eliminated from our foundation to the future.

This work was inspired by research presentations on the topic, “Solid Waste Management” by Dr. Debra Reinhart, UCF Pegasus Professor and Civil Engineer. Reinhart was aided by research assistants: Kimberley Cranmore, undergraduate STEM fellow and Stephanie Bolyard, PhD candidate, in Associate Professor Carla Poindexter’s advanced painting class.

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Adduce - Sylwia Ponicki

I challenged myself to produce an expressive and beautiful painting from a stack of discarded objects and materials that are damaged and no longer functional in order to emphasize the creative process of “recycling” things that have lost their context and value and to turn this into an image that can be valued in a different way.

This work was inspired by research presentations on the topic, “Solid Waste Management” by Dr. Debra Reinhart, UCF Pegasus Professor and Civil Engineer. Reinhart was aided by research assistants: Kimberley Cranmore, undergraduate STEM fellow and Stephanie Bolyard, PhD candidate, in Associate Professor Carla Poindexter’s advanced painting class.

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Victor and Radamés - Lujan Perez and MJ Torrecampo

In response to Dr. Debra Reinhart’s presentation we were inspired by the 19th century Realists who chose to portray the working class and their everyday life. We decided to depict the custodians with whom we have developed a silent relationship throughout our time at UCF. Although investigating a solution for the increasing waste issue is seen as more important and respectable than physically collecting the waste, we wanted to take the opportunity to honor the custodians who come to the studio at 5 P.M. to maintain the cleanliness of the Visual Arts Building. This painting is hopefully a reminder that without Victor, Radamés, and the thousands of other people on the base of the waste management pyramids, the field of environmental engineering will have a bigger issue than leachate control.

This work was inspired by research presentations on the topic, “Solid Waste Management” by Dr. Debra Reinhart, UCF Pegasus Professor and Civil Engineer. Reinhart was aided by research assistants: Kimberley Cranmore, undergraduate STEM fellow and Stephanie Bolyard, PhD candidate, in Associate Professor Carla Poindexter’s advanced painting class.

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Detritus - Taylor Provenzano

Drawing inspiration from Edward Burtynsky’s insightful documentary, “Manufactured Landscapes,” I sought to capture the claustrophobic nature of China’s exponentially increasing solid waste landscapes. As China is on the rise to urbanization, their environment is undeniably compromised due to an increased demand for a higher quality of living, adversely leaving humans in health-threatening situations. In attempts to recycle valuable metals, locals must dig through metal waste mounds and pry out the desired metal from old computer parts, exposing them to toxic substances such as mercury, lead, and cadmium.

Through this work, I attempted to connect the stifling nature of my inner demons and layered useless emotions with the comparable state of China’s inescapable layers of solid waste mounds that continue to grow and smother their landscapes.

This work was inspired by research presentations on the topic, “Solid Waste Management” by Dr. Debra Reinhart, UCF Pegasus Professor and Civil Engineer. Reinhart was aided by research assistants: Kimberley Cranmore, undergraduate STEM fellow and Stephanie Bolyard, PhD candidate, in Associate Professor Carla Poindexter’s advanced painting class.

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Growth - Ross Ruder

This piece deals with a recent and unfortunate event in my life. On January 30th 2014, I tore my ACL which is 1 of 4 main ligaments holding the knee together. On February 13th 2014, I underwent surgery to replace my torn ACL. Due to the lack of blood flow to the region of the knee where the ACL is, the surgeon cannot simply sew the ligament back together, but instead they must replace the tendon with a new one.

One can choose to use a part of another tendon from their body to replace their ACL (but this is usually only the best option for top athletes like college level and higher). For the average person, a tendon from a cadaver is used instead. I have a cadaver’s patella tendon (a knee cap tendon) in place of my torn ACL.

The pipettes and other materials this sculpture is composed of are disposed items from the biology department here at UCF. I chose to use these materials because they signify scientific advances that made the surgery possible. ACL repairs have only been around for about 100 years (and were very crude when they first emerged).

The pipettes allow for liquid to be transported in precise quantities from vial to vial. This was important in the development of anesthesia, which is necessary for ACL surgery. They also resemble the bones’ porous structure and strength. The tendons are fashioned from hot glue, which implies what tendons do - they are the glue that holds the knee together. The meniscus tendon is the exception, which is represented by foam, because this tendon serves as a cushion for the leg bones so they don’t grind each other down.

The actual slice of meat I used in this artwork, represents the cadaver’s patella tendon that was inserted inside of me. It is a foreign material that my body must accept as its own, and eventually will become a part of me.

While the materials the project were made out of show the use of waste management by using recycled materials from the biology department, the focus

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Elevation - Shanna Stiles

This painting attempts to map the intersection between the scientific, psychological, and spiritual aspects of near death experiences. It is an investigation of where these worlds meet – a recognition of the possible and impossible. Scientifically, near death experiences can be explained by neurochemistry and the brain states that occur due to dying. Most experiences recollect a passage in a tunnel from darkness into light. This communion with the light during near death experiences is depicted through the use of subtle variations in color and an ambiguous distance between light and dark. The many translucent layers suggest a cryptic space of the mind and the spatiotemporal boundaries experienced. Thus, by portraying the four elements of earth, water, air and fire I subtly merge the concept of landscape with a physiological state of mind and a sweeping sense of abstracted realities.

This painting was created in response to a presentation on the topic, “Near Death Experiences” by Dr. Costas Efthimiou, Professor of Math and Physics in Spring 2014.

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This Toxic Life - Alex Traum

In our society of mass production and mass consumption, the same waste materials that harm the environment are harming us first. Dr. Reinhart’s presentation on waste management reminded me of how we are not only poisoning the Earth with our manufactured products, but also poisoning ourselves. Grocery stores are lined with shelves of processed foods; foods that are artificially dyed, pumped with hormones and antibiotics, and full of synthetic substitutions that affect our bodies more than we want to admit.

We live in a country where the healthcare industry comprises 17% of our Gross Domestic Product. Being sick equals big business and we have become victims of a vicious cycle, where we buy products that make us sick and buy products to make us feel better. In The Toxic Life I comment on how we have given in to this cycle, that even when we know we are consuming processed foods that wreak havoc on our bodies, these products still dominate most of our diets.

This work was inspired by research presentations on the topic, “Solid Waste Management” by Dr. Debra Reinhart, UCF Pegasus Professor and Civil Engineer. Reinhart was aided by research assistants: Kimberley Cranmore, undergraduate STEM fellow and Stephanie Bolyard, PhD candidate, in Associate Professor Carla Poindexter’s advanced painting class.

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You Are What You Throw Away - Jager Palad

I made a self-portrait out of beer cans and cigarette cartons because my peers and I consume both on a regular basis. My objective was to render a stylized self-portrait using only these materials, which I did through the use of symbolic color and form.

I was inspired by the work of artist, Tom Deininger, who uses everyday found objects to render his self-portraits using a predetermined color palette. In my painting, I began with cooler blues and deep reds, gradually building up to yellows and oranges. (Foster's and Yeungling beer cans, American Spirit and Camel cigarette cartons, for example).

Another artist who inspired me was Vik Muniz, who uses odd materials such as oil and raw garbage to make his works of art. In his documentary Wasteland, he said the transition of the medium into an image when changing the distance between the viewer and the work of art inspired him.

Looking closely at my work, the viewer sees nothing but bits of cardboard, aluminum and staples, but stepping back they see me lighting a cigarette.

This work was inspired by research presentations on the topic, “Solid Waste Management” by Dr. Debra Reinhart, UCF Pegasus Professor and Civil Engineer. Reinhart was aided by research assistants: Kimberley Cranmore, undergraduate STEM fellow and Stephanie Bolyard, PhD candidate, in Associate Professor Carla Poindexter’s advanced painting class.

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