Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous of 13 June 2018

Exploring the Frontiers of Knowledge and Imagination, Fostering Interdisciplinary Networking
UC Berkeley, 13 June 2018
Soda Hall (corner of Hearst and LeRoy), Room TBA
NOTE: Use the WEST-entrance of SODA Hall entering from Etcheverry Plaza.
Chaired by Piero Scaruffi

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.
Campus map
Program (the order of the speakers might change):
  • 7:00-7:25: Fanny Yang (UC Berkeley) on "TBA" Abstract forthcoming... Read more
  • 7:25-7:50: Mel Day (SJSU) on "Everyday Voices: Building a Different Kind of Wall" Amateur and collective singing can play a role in deepening dialogue among groups... 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.
  • 8:10-8:35: Jonathan Moscone (Yerba Buena and Institute for the Future) on "Be a Creative Home for Civic Action" Yerba Buena Center for the Arts believes that arts institutions must fundamentally change how they think about civic engagement... Read more
  • 8:35-9:00: Stephanie Brown (USF/ Museum Studies) on "Authenticity, apples, and the art market: The mystery of 1939.34.3" What does it mean for a work of art to be considered a forgery, and what does the idea of authenticity in art imply?... Read more
  • Discussions, networking You can mingle with the speakers and the audience

See also...
  • Other LASER series
  • Archive of past LASERs
  • Leonardo ISAST
  • Art, Technology, Culture Colloquia
  • Other LASER series
  • ScienceSchmoozer
  • LAST Festival
  • Other recommended events
    • Carla Bengtson (University of Oregon) bengtson@uoregon.edu Developed in collaboration with scientists, philosophers, and anthropologists, and situated in wild, urban, and liminal spaces, my site- and species-specific projects query what can be seen and what can be said between species, while revealing what human signs, images, and technology can and cannot mean, do, and say. These mutually misunderstood but strangely illuminating interactions call into question our very understanding of nature and culture, communication and intention. Recent projects in Ecuador, realized during twelve residencies at Tiputini Biodiversity Research Station, include inviting Euglossa bees to interact with videos of themselves, developing simulations of orchid bee perfumes for humans to wear, working alongside leafcutter ants to cut and collect insect drawings from a Peterson’s Field Guide to Insects, and teaching monkeys to point a snakes, widely considered to be the precursor to human language. US-based projects include interacting with lizards via tiny projected videos of humans doing push-up displays, using technologically enhanced building gutters to communicate with woodpeckers, and giving other species a voice in climate change politics by partnering with crows to target climate-change deniers for scoldings by murders of crows.
    • Stephanie Brown has worked in museums as an executive director, curator, historian, and archivist. Her work has ranged from designing and implementing collections plans to curating exhibitions to institutional strategic planning. She is currently the guest curator for the Haggin Museum's reinstallation and reinterpretation of its permanent art collection. Stephanie's professional and academic interests include curatorial practice, material culture studies, and public history. Stephanie is on the Museum Studies faculty at the University of San Francisco, where she also teaches in the Art History/Arts Management program. Previously, she taught Museum Studies at Johns Hopkins University and was Executive Director of the Chevy Chase Historical Society in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Dr. Brown also served as Associate Curator for American Material Culture and Historian at Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens in Washington, D.C. Stephanie has a B.A. in History from Williams College and a Ph.D. in European History from Stanford University.
    • Mel Day is an interdisciplinary artist and educator, currently at San Jose State University, and previously at UC Berkeley, Santa Clara University, and University of Toronto Mississauga and Sheridan College. Recent work explores the role of singing in civic engagement, deepening dialogue among potentially insular groups. Day is currently building a "Wall of Song" with artist Michael Namkung, a massed singing of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah, which has been exhibited nationally, most recently at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. Her work has also been exhibited and screened in venues such as Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco Film Festival, Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley Art Museum, San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, ZERO1 Biennale, and Peak Gallery in Toronto. She has participated in residencies nationally and internationally including Stanford University's Experimental Media Arts Lab, Headlands Center for the Arts, Djerassi Resident Artist Program, Oberpfaelzer Kuenstlerhaus (Schwandorf, Germany), The Lab, SF and she recently co-founded an IDEO-awarded Youth Fellowship program at Djerassi. Other honors include San Francisco Foundation's Murphy Fellowship in the Fine Arts and the Eisner Prize in the Creative Arts from UC Berkeley.
    • Jonathan Moscone Chief of Civic Engagement at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA). Through creative place-making, youth programming, community partnerships and political advocacy, Jonathan activates YBCA's mission in the public realm by creatively engaging the people of San Francisco in shaping the future of its schools, neighborhoods, and city. Prior to joining YBCA's leadership team, Jonathan served for 15 years as artistic director of the California Shakespeare Theater (Cal Shakes) in Berkeley and Orinda, California. He is the first recipient of the Zelda Fichandler Award, given by the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation for "transforming the American theater through his unique and creative work." From 2000-2016, he served on the executive committee of the board of trustees for Theater Communications Group and was a 2016 Future for Good Fellow at Institute for the Future. Currently Jonathan serves on the boards of Californians for the Arts/California Arts Advocates, and Alice Waters' Edible Schoolyard Project.
    • 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 and the Life Art Science Tech (LAST) festival in 2014. Since 2015 he has been commuting between California and China, where several of his books have been translated.
    • Fanny Yang is...

    Extended abstracts:


    Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) believes that arts institutions must fundamentally change how they think about civic engagement, moving beyond public programs and tours, and focusing squarely on advocacy, coalition building, and policy change. This revolutionary approach is focusing the institutions energies beyond the traditional with civic engagement projects which aim to have deep and noticeable impact.These initiatives include fellowships which this year focused on a Food Justice project in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighbourhood, committing time and resources to schools in underserved neighborhoods and serving as lead proponents to restore vital hotel tax funding to local arts organizations and family homelessness programs. What do these commitments mean to YBCA and how they are perceived. Is this the start of a revolution that will change how we think about the role art can play in the lives of cities and communities.

    What does it mean for a work of art to be considered a forgery, and what does the idea of authenticity in art imply? What does it mean for an artwork to be real, and why do we value the real so highly? And what is the role of museums in determining what's authentic and what isn't? In 1929, collector Eila Haggin McKee bought what she thought was a painting by Gauguin. The painting hung in Stockton's Haggin Museum for over seventy-five years.before it was labeled a forgery. In this talk, drawn from research I have conducted for the Haggin, I will examine the history of ownership of this painting before 1929, and the tumultuous art world of 1890s Paris that may have seen its creation. Finally, through this painting's particular story, I will investigate the ways that scholars determine authenticity, and the relationship between museums, as guardians of the real, and their public.

    Mel Day will discuss the role of amateur and collective singing in deepening dialogue among potentially insular groups and in civic engagement as it has evolved in her own work and in select resonant cultural and historical contexts. She will share her current project, “Wall of Song” with artist Michael Namkung, recently exhibited at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, and how they’re gathering hundreds of voices to build a “different kind of wall” that brings us together instead of dividing us.

    Photos and videos of this evening