The LASERs are a national program of evening gatherings that bring artists and scientists together for informal presentations and conversation with an audience. See the program for the whole series.
The event is free and open to everybody.
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Like previous evenings,
the agenda includes some presentations of art/science projects,
news from the audience, and time for casual socializing/networking.
Where: Stanford University, LiKaShing building - Room LK130
There should be ample parking in the structure on corner of Campus Drive West and Roth Way. (Stanford map)
Parking is mostly free at Stanford after 6pm.
Program (the order of the speakers might change):
Neeraj Sonalkar (Stanford/ Design) on "What improvised theater, jazz and design thinking have in common"
Design thinking has a lot in common with the improvisational mindset practiced through improvisational theater or jazz... Read more
BJ Fogg (Stanford/ Persuasive Technology Lab) on "Persuasive Technologies"
- 7:50-8:10: BREAK. Before or after the break, anyone in the audience currently working within the intersections of art and science will have 30 seconds to share their work. Please present your work as a teaser so that those who are interested can seek you out during social time following the event.
Alex Reben (Inventor) on "Digital drugs and humanity in algorithms"
The drug-like control that technology has on us... Read more
Luciano Chessa (Composer) on "After the noise intoners"
A contemporary take on the futurist manifesto... Read more
- 9:00pm-9:30pm: Discussions, networking
You can mingle with the speakers and the audience
Watch it live on your mobile device by using
Watch it live on your personal computer by using
Other LASER series
Archive of past LASERs
Art, Technology, Culture Colloquia
Other recommended events
- Luciano Chessa is a composer, performance artist, conductor, pianist, and musical saw/Vietnamese dan bau soloist who has been active in Europe, the U.S., and Australia. Recent compositions include the experimental opera Cena oltranzista nel castelletto al lago produced for the TRANSART Festival in Bolzano, Italy: a work lasting 60+ hours (including 55 hours of fasting) and accessible in its entirety via a 24hrs/day live streaming; they also include Squeeze! Squeeze! Squeeze!, a large-scale work on Melville╬Ú╬¸s Moby Dick; and A Heavenly Act, an opera with original video by Kalup Linzy commissioned by SFMOMA. Former compositions include a large orchestral work commissioned by the Orchestra Filarmonica of Torino "Ragazzi Incoscienti Scarabocchiano Sulla Porta Di Un Negozio Fallito" "TomBoy" for piano and a video by Terry Berlier, and "Movements", a multimedia work for 16mm film, dan bau and amplified film projectors produced in collaboration with filmmaker Rick Bahto. Chessa has just composed "Come un'Infanzia", a guitar + string quartet piece for the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, and is collaborating with performance artist Kalup Linzy and the Ensemble Parallele on an opera commissioned by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art premiered in 2011. As a music historian Chessa has written "Luigi Russolo, Futurist. Noise, Visual Arts, and the Occult" (UC Press, 2012). In 2009 Chessa supervised the first reconstruction of Russolo's "intonarumori" orchestra. His recordings include: Humus Destination X (1997), Entu (2000), Tryptique pour Gerard (2008), Peyrano (2008) Money is Money and Time is Time (2008) the dvd Tom's Heart (2008) The Orchestra of Futurist Noise Intoners Vol. 1 (Sub Rosa, 2012), Petrolio (2015).
- BJ Fogg (Stanford/ Persuasive Technology Lab) is the founding director of the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab. Previously, he directed the Stanford Web Credibility Project. He is the author of the book "Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do" (2003). Fogg coined the concept of "captology", the overlap between persuasion and computers. He never teaches the same class twice. One year, he taught how to use online video to persuade people. Another year, his class focused on how social media can promote world peace. And in yet another year, his class was about Facebook apps, and his students persuaded more than 16 million people to install the apps they created, as documented in a New York Times article. In 2015 he created a course that was all about getting people to connect more with nature. A cofounder of Instagram was a student of his. He directs a series of conferences at Stanford on Mobile Health. Fortune Magazine listed him as one of "10 New Gurus You Should Know."
- Alex Reben explores humanity through the lens of art and technology. His work deals with human-machine relationships, synthetic psychology, artificial philosophy and robot ethics among other topics. Using "art as experiment" his work allows for the viewer to experience the future within metaphorical contexts. His artwork and research has been shown and published internationally and he consults with major companies guiding innovation for the social machine future. Alexander has exhibited at venues both in the U.S. and internationally including The Vienna Biennale, MAK Contemporary Art Museum, The Vitra Design Museum, Ars Electronica, Volta, The Whitney Biennial, CERN, TFI Interactive, IDFA, ArtBots, The Tribeca Film Festival, The Camden Film Festival, Doc/Fest, and The Boston Cyberarts Gallery. His work has been covered by NPR, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Washington Post, Fast Company, Filmmaker Magazine, New Scientist, BBC, PBS, Discovery Channel, Cool Hunting and WIRED among others. He has lectured at TED, SXSW, TTI Vanguard, Google, UC Berkeley, SMFA, CCA, MIT and other universities. Reben is a graduate of the MIT Media Lab where he studied human-robot symbiosis and art. He is a 2016-2017 WIRED innovation fellow and a visiting scholar in the UC Berkeley psychology department.
- Piero Scaruffi is a cultural historian who has lectured in three continents and published several books on Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science, the latest one being "The Nature of Consciousness" (2006). He pioneered Internet applications in the early 1980s and the use of the World-Wide Web for cultural purposes in the mid 1990s. His poetry has been awarded several national prizes in Italy and the USA. His latest book of poems and meditations is "Synthesis" (2009). As a music historian, he has published ten books, the latest ones being "A History of Rock and Dance Music" (2009) and "A History of Jazz Music" (2007). His latest book of history is "A History of Silicon Valley" (2011). The first volume of his free ebook "A Visual History of the Visual Arts" appeared in 2012. His latest book is "Intelligence is not Artificial" (2013). He has also written extensively about cinema and literature. He founded the Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous (LASER) in 2008.
- Neeraj Sonalkar is Research Associate at Stanford's Center for Design Research. The question that motivates his research is: how do engineering design team co-create new product possibilities? His research is focused on investigating how team behavior influences the generation and propagation of ideas into products. The Human Innovation Engineering group at the Center for Design Research conducts empirical and field research oriented towards acceleration of radical innovation by teams, organizations and regional ecosystems. We study and model how humans innovate both at the interpersonal interaction level and at the broader level of an organization or a regional innovation ecosystem such as the Silicon Valley. This research furthers our understanding of innovation as the outcome of an integrated system spanning individual mindset, interpersonal interaction dynamics, and the underlying physical, institutional, financial and knowledge infrastructure.
As technology becomes ever increasingly complex and integrated into our lives, its influence over us increases as well as its tendency to become us. This lecture will describe several experiments investigating the drug-like control that technology has on us, as well as the inherent humanity within all of it.
Design thinking is commonly perceived as a process and a mindset for creative problem solving. This design thinking mindset has a lot in common with the improvisational mindset practiced through improvisational theater or jazz. Using an improvisational lens enables us to go beyond practicing design thinking as process-following, to practicing design thinking as a fluid, interaction-based activity. This has broader implications for how we practice creative teamwork, and the building of innovation ecosystems such as Silicon Valley. Neeraj Sonalkar has a background in mechanical engineering and design thinking. His interest in team creativity took him to improvisation theater and semiotics. Inspired by improvisational theater and the idea of a musical notation, he invented a notation for visualizing the dynamics of design teams. Neeraj is currently heading Human Innovation Engineering Research at the Center for Design Research at Stanford University, where he uses improvisation and design thinking to build innovation ecosystems in cities globally.
From the San Francisco Weekly tribute: "Luciano Chessa has had a long, rich career as both musicologist and musician. Now, after releasing six albums and spending thirty-plus years as a composer and performer, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts is rewarding him with his own retrospective on April 30,2016. Born on the Italian island of Sardinia in 1971 to scientist parents, Chessa listened to Giuseppe Verdi records as a four-year-old, which inspired him to pursue a life in music. After attending the Conservatory of Bologna, he moved stateside and earned a PhD in Musicology from the University of California at Davis. Along the way, he was exposed to the work of German-American deconstructionist Geoffrey Hartman, whose aim to blur the line between the artistic and academic showed Chessa that there was an alternative to the dry traditionalism of his younger years."
The Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab focuses on methods for creating habits, showing what causes behavior, automating behavior change, and persuading people via mobile phones. Over the years, improving health has become a theme.
Photos and videos of this evening