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.
Email me if you want to be added to the mailing list for the LASERs.
Like previous evenings,
the agenda includes some presentations of art/science projects,
news from the audience, and time for casual socializing/networking.
This event is kindly sponsored by the Minerva Foundation.
Where: UC Berkeley
Soda Hall, Room TBA
NOTE: Use the WEST-entrance of SODA Hall entering from Etcheverry Plaza.
Program (the order of the speakers might change):
Andrew Blanton (San Jose State Univ) on "Alchemy, Cyberpunk Aesthetics and Digital Art"
A philosophical look at the relationship between alchemy and cyberpunk aesthetics of the 1980's... Read more
Erling Wold (Composer) on "The Descent of Opera"
Trends in modern opera... Read more
- 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.
Carolyn Porco (UC Berkeley, NASA and California Academy of Sciences) on "TBA"
Abstract forthcoming Read more
Mark Stephen Meadows (Botanic) on "TBA"
Abstract forthcoming Read more
- Discussions, networking
You can mingle with the speakers and the audience
Other LASER series
Archive of past LASERs
Art, Technology, Culture Colloquia
Other LASER series
Other recommended events
- Mark Stephen Meadows has been active in Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality and many other high-tech fields. He started working with chatbots in the mid-1990s, including stints at Xerox PARC and SRI Intl. He worked with everything from IBM Watson to Amazon Alexa. His company Construct built the first realtime multi-user 3D environment. Botanic.io is dedicated to RT3D avatars on mobile devices and in AR, basically implementing A.I. characters that speak with you. An early owner of both Bitcoin and Ethereum, Mark has implemented a range of things that allow our avatars to interoperate with the blockchain, such as a voice-to-blockchain bridge. Also a painter, Mark strives to build interactive portraits - talking paintings. He founded Botanic Technologies in 2011 with customers in the US, Australia, and China. His former startup was Id Avatars (formerly Geppetto Avatars), dedicated to conversational avatar platforms for healthcare applications. Mark conducted research at Xerox-PARC (1998-2000), SRI Intl (2000-2001) and at the Waag Center for New Media in Amsterdam (2002-2004). He has published several books, most recently "We, Robot" (2010) and "Iu Avatar" (2006).
- Carolyn Porco, a visiting distinguished scholar at UC Berkeley and a fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, is the leader of the imaging science team on the Cassini mission presently in orbit around Saturn, a veteran imaging scientist of the Voyager mission to the outer solar system in the 1980s, and an associate member of the New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt. Carolyn has co-authored over 120 scientific papers on a variety of subjects in astronomy and planetary science and has become a regular public commentator on science, astronomy, planetary exploration. Her popular science writings have appeared in such distinguished publications as the London Sunday Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, Astronomy magazine, the PBS and BBC websites. She also consulted for Hollywood on two popular movies (Contact in 1997 and Star Trek in 2009). She participated, along with Carl Sagan, in planning and executing the 1990 "Portrait of the Planets" taken with the Voyager 1 spacecraft, which included the famous Pale Blue Dot image of Earth. In 1999, she was selected by the London Sunday Times as one of 18 scientific leaders of the 21st century. In 2009, New Statesman named her as one of the "50 People Who Matter Today." And in 2012, she was named one the 25 most influential people in space by TIME magazine. Before Cassini's arrival at Saturn in 2004, her research focused on the planetary rings encircling the giant planets and the interactions between rings and orbiting moons. For the past decade, Carolyn has turned her attention primarily to the study of Enceladus, the small Saturnian moon whose south polar region was found to be the site of over 100 tall geysers of icy particles, making Enceladus home to the most accessible extraterrestrial habitable zone in the solar system. Carolyn has been the recipient of a number of awards and honors for her contributions to science and the public sphere. An asteroid is named after her.
- 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.
- Erling Wold is a composer, primarily of large and dramatic works. His opera UKSUS is on the life and times of Daniil Kharms. A recording of Certitude and Joy was released on MinMax/Starkland/Naxos. In 2011, his orchestral overture on Certitude and Joy was premiered, and the San Francisco International Arts Festival remounted his adaptation of William Burroughs' Queer. Two of his large works, the Missa Beati Notkeri Balbuli Sancti Galli Monachi for a Cathedral in Switzerland, and his solo opera Mordake, were released on CD. He is cofounder and executive director of the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra. His dance opera Blinde Liebe was performed in Europe and the US with Palindrome Dance of Nurenberg, Germany. His chamber works have been presented in Philadelphia by Relache, in the Bay Area by New Music Works and the Conservatory New Music Ensemble. He was a resident artist at ODC Theater, which presented his opera Sub Pontio Pilato (also performed in Austria), a chamber opera based on William Burroughs' early autobiographical novel Queer, as well as A Little Girl Dreams of Taking the Veil, based on the Max Ernst collage novel (European premiere in a German version by the Klagenfurter Ensemble in 2001). He has written a number of pieces for a dancer-controlled interactive video and music system for Palindrome dance. He has also worked with Nesting Dolls in Los Angeles and San Francisco on several theater and dance projects, including 13 Versions of Surrender and I brought my hips to the table. He has co-composed the scores for several Deborah Slater Dance Theater projects with fixed-media sound artist Thom Blum.
Starting with an etymological breakdown of alchemy and relating the practice to cyberpunk aesthetics of the 80's and 90's and tying that all to contemporary critical theory/philosophy looking at Merleau-Ponty/Deleuze/Negarestani while showing my work throughout.
Once considered the stodgiest of art forms, ignored by composers ("Opera Houses? Blow them up!" said Pierre Boulez), and shunned by cutting-edge audiences, modern operas have become chic, with festivals in abundance, and the writing of an opera a rite of passage for newly minted tunesmiths. Erling will talk about what drew him out of his basement studio and into this most social and collaborative world. He will share his productions, performances and adventures here and in Europe, and will touch briefly on the medium's trends. Erling is also a researcher in applications of computers to audio, and he will discuss both his love for technology and his tendency not to use it in his own works.
Photos and videos of this evening