Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous of April 3, 2014

Exploring the Frontiers of Knowledge and Imagination, Fostering Interdisciplinary Networking

Stanford, April 3, 2014
c/o Stanford University
Li Ka Shing Center, Room LK120
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.
Where: Stanford University, Li Ka Shing Center, Room LK120 (directions)
Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge at Stanford University School of Medicine: room LK120. Good map and driving directions here. 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 4pm.
  • 7:00-7:25: Robert Rich (Composer) on "Slow Music in a Manic World" Sound focused on a listener's state of mind rather than the composer's ego... Read more
  • 7:25-7:50: Patricia Burchat (Stanford/ Physics) on "What is the Dark Energy in the Universe?" A scientific revolution in our understanding of the universe is under way.. 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: Kal Spelletich (Kinetic Artist) on "Interactive art as a catalyst towards an engaged life" Machines and robots that challenge phenomenologicaly those who activate and interact with them by challenging their perceptions about the role of technology, its roles in their lives and, what is fear and play... Read more
  • 8:35-9:00: Sharon Spain (Curator) on "A Nexus For Art & Environmental Activism: Recology Artist Residency Program" Two decades of art created from waste... Read more
  • 9:00pm-9:30pm: Discussions, networking You can mingle with the speakers and the audience

See also...
  • Stanford events calendar
  • Art, Technology, Culture Colloquia
  • Other LASER series
  • ScienceSchmoozer
  • Previous Art/Science Evenings
    • Patricia Burchat (Stanford Physics Dept) is the Gabilan Professor of Physics at Stanford University. She grew up in a very large family in a very small town in Canada. She studies the Universe at both the smallest and the largest scales, using accelerators to probe the elementary particles and the fundamental interactions, and telescopes to investigate the cosmological evolution of the Universe. In both cases, she asks similar questions: What is the Universe made of? What are the laws of physics that govern the constituents of the Universe? Burchat is part of an international collaboration developing a telescope that will provide the best census of the Universe to date -- the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope. Her team will use the gravitational bending of light by "dark matter" to study the evolution of "dark energy", shedding light on the identity of these components that make up the majority of the density of the Universe. Professor Burchat is passionate about teaching and instilling enthusiasm for science in her students. At Stanford, she has received the Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching and the Walter J. Gores Award for excellence in teaching. She is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and has received a Guggenheim Fellowship. She is currently Chair of the National Organizing Committee for the APS Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics.
    • Robert Rich has released over 30 albums in the last three decades, mostly instrumental electronic music. He became somewhat notorious for performing all-night Sleep Concerts in the '80s. He studied for a year at Stanford's CCRMA while getting a degree in Psychology, and now tours occasionally, creates sound design for films and electronic instruments, and has begun teaching courses on audio mastering and studio engineering. More at http://robertrich.com.
    • Piero Scaruffi is a cognitive scientist 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 "Demystifying Machine Intelligence" (2013). He has also written extensively about cinema and literature.
    • Sharon Spain serves as curator for Recology San Francisco's Artist in Residence Program. The Program's mission is to educate the public about recycling and resource conservation by enabling artists to make art "at the dump," providing tours to students and adults, and programming off-site exhibitions. Before coming to Recology, Spain was the associate director of the Asian American Art Project at Stanford University, the managing editor of Asian American Art: A History, 1850-1970 (Stanford University Press, 2008), and a contributor to the de Young Museum catalog, Asian/American/Modern Art (2008). She has worked for the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery and San Francisco State University Fine Arts Gallery.
    • Kal Spelletich was 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.

    Extended abstracts:

    This talk will provide an overview and history of the Artist in Residence Program at Recology San Francisco, and will cover the work of artists who have engaged with political and/or environmental issues during their residencies. It will also touch on how the residency can activate artists in terms of these issues and how it provides a unique, and often profound, experience of consumption and its consequences. The Recology Artist in Residence Program, founded twenty-four years ago by artist and activist Jo Hanson, provides studio space and access to materials "at the dump" to artists residing in the San Francisco Bay Area. The program's goal is to educate the public about recycling and resource conservation while also supporting local artists. Over one-hundred artists have participated in the program since its founding.
    A scientific revolution in our understanding of the universe is under way. In recent decades, cosmology has become an observational science that has led to two mysterious observations: about a quarter of the energy density of the universe is in the form of "dark matter," which gravitationally attracts but is otherwise invisible, and about two-thirds is "dark energy," which causes space itself to expand at an ever-increasing rate. Only a small fraction of the energy in the universe is due to matter that we understand! In this visual presentation, we will explore the evidence for dark energy, and some of the experiments being developed to investigate its fundamental nature.
    Kal Spelletich's abstract
    I build machines, robots and installations for my audience to operate. This interactive work is inspired by political activism, volunteerism and getting people involved in life. The collaboration with the audience completes the work. My collaborators are the audience. The work does not exist without them. I experiment with creating a feedback loop between participant and machine. This work questions the role technology plays in our lives. How far people are prepared to submit to external forces and how far they are willing to interact and play with technology. My work attempts to challenge and subvert the applications of technology, the boundaries between art, the audience, fear and play. The dominant medium in the 21st century is technology. Technology is the overriding medium ruling, healing, pacifying and terrorizing us. It is saving lives, eases workloads, numbs us with inane entertainment, slaughters with deft precision and ruthlessness. Fear is also a source of terrorization. Terrorized by a fear of everything. This year it is financial collapse. The last few years it was terrorists. Previously Communists, Black people, Native Americans, next, maybe Martians. So, I also work with fear as a medium. Some inspirations are, political activism, hybrid human machine systems, blurring the boundaries between man and machine and prosthetically augmenting the body.

    Slow Music in a Manic World.
    Robert Rich will discusse the context for his personal style of introverted music, tracing a lineage of sound focused on a listener's state of mind rather than the composer's ego. He finds Pauline Oliveros' phrase 'Deep Listening' more useful than Eno's term 'ambient'. He'll mix a casual overview of antecedents with many musical samples.

    Photos and videos of this evening