Program Handout:
"Homo Digitalis" at the 3rd LAST festival

Sunday October 18, 1pm-4pm, Stanford Univ

General program of the LAST festival | Videos of the talks

Note: "Homo Digitalis" will be held at Li Ka Shing Center - Room 101/102

Program (times are wildly approximate):


Sarah Granger (Author and Serial Entrepreneur) on "The Digital Mystique"
1:30pm Panel on "Robots and People" moderated by Arun Rao (PIMCO Economist from Los Angeles, coathor of "A History of Silicon Valley"), with Animesh Garg (UC Berkeley's "People and Robots" initiative), Alex Reben (Inventor) and Leila Takayama (Google).
2:15pm Melanie Swan (Economic Theorist, New School from New York) on "Bitcoin and the Age of Cybercurrencies"
2:45pm: BREAK
3pm Panel on "Art in the Digital Age" moderated by Tracy Freedman (Art Business Advisor) with Robert Buelteman (Photographer) Danielle Siembieda (Media Artist), Dorothy Santos (Blogger), and Cere Mona Davis (Media Artist)
3:30pm Closing remarks! Kal Spelletich (Seemen founder), John Law (Burning Man/ Nevada cofounder), and Piero Scaruffi (Cultural historian and Founder of the LAST Festival) on "A Clash of Titans: the Counterculture and the Digital Society"
Robert Buelteman is a fine art photographer whose works connect audience to subject in an emotionally transcendent manner, consistent with the traditions of eastern wisdom and western revelation. Whether examining the grand landscape or inquiring into the design of plants, his prints are a powerful extraction of beauty and substance revealing unrecognized dimensions in the commonplace. In 1999, Robert left photographic tradition behind in creating Through the Green Fuse, a portfolio of unique images made without cameras, lenses, or computers. Working exclusively with large sheets of photographic film, the living plant is used as a filter through which high-voltage electricity and fiber-optically-delivered light are passed. The resulting images serve as window on the mystery of life, and were compared by the Los Angeles Times with pictures of our universe made by the Hubble telescope. Robert was appointed to be the Artist-in-Residence at the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico in 2003. In 2010, he was invited to be a guest at Stanford University's Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, where he has continued his artistic inquiry into the design of life.
Cere Mona Davis is a cross-displinary Acousto-Kinetic Sculptor, Engineer, Musician and Dancer based in Berkeley, Ca. Her background includes work and studies in computer systems architecture, physics and vocal improvisation. Her work freely crosses the boundaries between engineering, soulful expression, and laboratory experimentation. Cere's current work utilizes elemental aspects Physics through the use of transduction, shape, materiality and motion to create viscerally inviting acoustic-kinetic sculptural embodiments. Through maker festivals and public exhibitions, we are invited to vicariously re-experience and re-explore our everyday experience of science and technology through a new lens. Her works allow us to newly re-appreciate natural "everyday" scientific processes which are often hidden in plain sight, yet are pervasive all around us.
Tracy Freedman (Art Business Advisor) is a fine art advisor. She offers business and marketing guidance to artists and gallerists and advises private collectors. Her areas of expertise include gallery management, marketing, exhibition conception, curatorial direction and execution, publications, and fine art acquisition and sales. Tracy co-owned and directed Hackett-Freedman Gallery, San Francisco from 1987-2009. There, she co-curated more than 300 solo and group exhibitions of contemporary and post-war American and European art, and directed publication of more than 40 catalogues and books. She is a past President and former board member of the San Francisco Art Dealers Association. She has served on the Executive Committee of Northern California ArtTable since 2013, organizing programs on fine art appraisals and member events, and recently joined the National Board of ArtTable.
Animesh Garg is a Ph.D. candidate at University of California Berkeley who works with Ken Goldberg, Pieter Abbeel and Alper Atamturk, focusing on human-machine collaboration, skill-augmentation, semi-supervised autonomy and healthcare decision support. Animesh is also associated with CITRIS' "People and Robots" Initiative (CPAR) that focuses on new theory, benchmarks, software, and approaches that address challenges in the interest of society. Primary research themes in CPAR are: Cloud Robotics, Deep Learning, Human-Centric Automation, and Bio-Inspired Robotics.
Sarah Granger is an author, blogger, speaker and entrepreneur. Her articles and blogs have been read by millions of readers, reaching dozens of countries and translated into several languages. A first generation digital native, she has been online since the early 1980s. Her work focuses on how the Internet and digital media is changing our lives and our world. Her first solo book, The Digital Mystique, was published by Seal Press fall 2014. She has interviewed noted women leaders including Carly Fiorina, Valerie Jarrett, and Maria Shriver. She is known for directing the launch of what Wired News called the "first true weblog to be put up by a politician" in 2003. As a serial entrepreneur, Sarah has spent more than 25 years launching, building and growing IT, Internet and social ventures since the age of 14. In 2011 Sarah founded the Center for Technology, Media & Society to engage in a wide range of emerging issues relating to information technology's impact on our lives and in our world. Through CFTMS, she engages directly with partner NGOs, local, state and national governments, including Congressional and White House staff. Key areas of focus include e-government, women in tech, cybersecurity, IT ergonomics, and innovation.
John Law attended the first Suicide Club initiation a year after his arrival in San Francisco in 1976 and through his apprenticeship in that saturnalian cabal came to know many of the world's greatest bridge spans. It is his great good fortune to be affiliated with singular organizations such as The Billboard Liberation Front, Survival Research Labs, Dark Passage, The Cacophony Society, PeopleHater, Seemen, Circus Redickuless, S.F. Cyclecide, and The Madagascar Institute to name a few. In 1990 he cofounded the Burning Man event that takes place in the Nevada desert.
Arun Rao is is a writer and investor. He has worked at 3 investment companies (2 in Silicon Valley), contributed articles to the Economist magazine, and has co-authored "A History of Silicon Valley." Mr. Rao is a vice president and portfolio manager in the Newport Beach office, focusing on high yield and distressed bonds, credit derivatives and equities. Previously, he was on the firm's structured products (MBS/ABS) and alternatives desk. Prior to joining PIMCO in 2013, he worked at Hall Capital Partners, Sterling Stamos Capital Management and the Economist magazine.
Alex Reben is best known for his robots and machine art, including the film-making "BlabDroids". The BlabDroids are making the worlds first documentary entirely shot and directed by robots. They have traveled the world asking difficult and meaningful questions in order to learn what makes us human. Alexander holds a graduate degree from the MIT Media Lab where he researched human-machine symbiosis and design. He has built robots for NASA, worked on particle accelerators and consults with executives to help make products more "lovable". He has held fellowships at MIT in the Center for Future Storytelling and CMS DocLab. He is currently a visiting scholar in the UC Berkeley psychology department and a director at Stochastic Labs, an art, science and technology incubator. Alexander has exhibited at prestigious venues both in the U.S. and internationally including Ars Electronica, Volta, The Whitney Biennial, Axiom, 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.
Dorothy Santos is a writer, editor, and curator whose research areas and interests include new media and digital art, augmented reality, online performance, gaming, open source culture, and political aesthetics. Her master's thesis Narratives of Marginalized Bodies: Exploring Third Space in Contemporary New Media and Digital Art (2014) focused on new media and digital artists who interrogate the body as the site of interaction in relationship to architecture, augmented and virtual spaces. She serves as the managing editor for Hyphen, contributing editor for new asterisk magazine, and is a member of the research collective The Civic Beat. Her work appears in art21, Art Practical, Daily Serving, Hyperallergic, and Public Art Dialogue. She has lectured and spoken at the de Young museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Stanford University, School of Visual Arts, and more. She serves as executive staff for the Bay Area Society for Art & Activism and a board member for the SOMArts Cultural Center.
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), whose Chinese translation was voted 7th most influential book of the year. 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 is the founder of both the Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous series and of the Life Art Science Tech (LAST) Festival.
Danielle Siembieda-Gribben is an Arts Entrepreneur working in the intersection of New Media Art, Sustainability and Community. She practices between genres of Social Practice, Institutional Critique, Intervention and New Media. Most of her work includes an emphasis on the environment and technology. She has been an artist in residence at the TechShop SJ where she create a body of work around cyborg politics and the anthropocene. Some of her other roles include being a board member of the Women's Environmental Art Directory; art consultant to the SF Department of the Environment, member San Jose Public Art Advisory Committee; and Fellow Alum at SF Emerging Arts Professionals. Siembieda has a MFA in Digital Media Art at SJSU at the CADRE Laboratory for New Media with a focus on green technologies, sustainable materials.
Kal Spelletich is the founder of Seemen, an interactive machine art performance collective, has collaborated with Survival Research Labs and countless others from rock bands to scientists, politicians, NASA, Hollywood television and filmmakers. For 28 years he has been experimenting with interfacing humans and technology to put people in touch with intense real life experiences and to empower them. Kal's work is always interactive, requiring a participant to enter or operate the piece, often against their instincts of self-preservation. He works on the waterfront of San Francisco scouring junkyards and dumpsters for industrial items whose technology can be reapplied. He curates art exhibits and is involved in political activism.
Melanie Swan is an Economic Theorist at the New School in New York. She is the founder of several startups including the Institute for Blockchain Studies, DIYgenomics, GroupPurchase, and the MS Futures Group. Ms. Swan's educational background includes an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, an MA in Contemporary Continental Philosophy from Kingston University London and Université Paris 8, and a BA in French and Economics from Georgetown University. She is a faculty member at Singularity University and the University of the Commons, an Affiliate Scholar at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, and a contributor to the Edge's Annual Essay Question.
Leila Takayama is a senior user experience researcher at Google[x], a lab that aims for moonshots in science and technology. Prior to joining Google[x] in 2013, Leila was a research scientist and area manager for human-robot interaction at Willow Garage. She is also a World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council Member for the area of AI & Robotics. In 2012, she was named a TR35 winner and one of the 100 most creative people in business by Fast Company. With a background in cognitive Science, psychology, and human-computer Interaction, she examines human encounters with new technologies. Dr. Takayama completed her PhD in communication at Stanford University in June 2008, advised by Professor Clifford Nass. She also holds a PhD minor in psychology from Stanford, a master's degree in communication from Stanford, and bachelor's of arts in psychology and cognitive science from UC Berkeley (2003). During her graduate studies, she was a research assistant in the User Interface Research (UIR) group at Palo Alto Research Center (PARC).