Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous of April 14, 2016

Exploring the Frontiers of Knowledge and Imagination, Fostering Interdisciplinary Networking
UC Berkeley, 14 April 2016, 7pm
Soda Hall (corner of Hearst and LeRoy), Room 380
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 380
NOTE: Use the WEST-entrance of SODA Hall entering from Etcheverry Plaza.
Campus map
What (the order of the speakers might change):
  • 7:00-7:25: Alex Reben (Inventor) on "Engineering Psychology" The viewer has to become the subject in a dialogue between technology and humanity... Read more
  • 7:25-7:50: Michael Sturtz (Stanford dSchool) on "Creativity, design thinking, and the future of making and learning" How can we predict of the future of making and learning? ... 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: Cosana Eram (Univ of the Pacific) on "What to Learn from the Half-staged Conflicts of the Avant-garde?" The avant-garde at the beginning of the 20th century provoked the public in order to free imagination... Read more
  • 8:35-9:00: Cere Davis (Media Artist) on "Kinetic Design Patterns Produced Through Motion" Methods to visualize, model and ultimately create life-like kinetic forms of motion... Read more
  • Discussions, networking You can mingle with the speakers and the audience

See also...
  • Other LASER series
  • Leonardo ISAST
  • Art, Technology, Culture Colloquia
  • Other LASER series
  • ScienceSchmoozer
  • LAST Festival
    • Cere Davis is a acousto-kinetic sculptor, engineer, musician and dancer with a background in computer systems architecture, physics and vocal improvisation. Her work crosses the boundaries between engineering, soulful expression, and laboratory experimentation, inviting the audience to vicariously re-experience and re-explore our everyday experience of science and technology through a new lens. http://ceredavis.com .
    • Cosana Eram is an assistant professor of French Studies at the University of the Pacific. Her academic background includes a Ph.D. in French and Humanities at Stanford (2010), a Fulbright at New York University, as well as undergraduate and graduate studies in Romania, where she holds a Doctorate Magna Cum Laude in Philology (2003). As a literary scholar and translator, she has publications on modern and postmodern fiction, cultural studies, and global social issues. Her current research interests encompass transatlantic avant-garde, modern and contemporary French literature, ethics of technology and the human, and digital humanities. She is currently working on a book with the title "ScanDADAL" about the French avant-garde logic of dispute and conflict.
    • Alex Reben is best known for his robots and machine art, including the film-making "BlabDroids". He has been called "The Willy Wonka of robots" for his experimentation and style of building. 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. His current work involves using science and technology to probe deeply into synthetic psychology and artificial philosophy. 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. Classes which he lectured while at MIT include Interactive Technology Design and Promoting Art Through Design. 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.
    • 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.
    • Michael Sturtz teaches at Stanford's d.school after over twenty years of experience as a teacher, builder, manifestor, and facilitator in a variety of creative fields. teaches at Stanford's d.school, where he directed the ReDesigning Theater Project, and is now the Founder and Executive Director of the Stanford Creative Ignition Lab. This new lab is exploring the potential for visual, experiential, and embodied thinking to advance the future of learning, design, and making. The program aims to pioneer new ways to more purposefully bring the tools of invention and production seamlessly into our creative processes. In 1999 Michael set out to reinvent the idea of arts education, founding an art school that encourages a truly non-competitive learning environment. The Crucible started with only a conceptual design and a grant for $1,750, growing rapidly under Michael's leadership to become the nation's largest nonprofit industrial arts education facility. Michael designed facilities and programs that house 70 faculty and over 8,000 students annually. His Fire Arts Festivals, Fire Operas, and Fire Ballets defined a new genre of entertainment in the Bay Area and attracted extremely diverse audiences from around the country. When not trying to reinvent the world, Michael enjoys restoring his 1875 Victorian home, building in his studio, and conducting experimental cooking adventures. You can see his work at michaelsturtz.com.

    Extended abstracts:

    Cere Davis
    In designing systems and objects of motion, the relationship between a material's physical properties, morphology, size, texture and external physical forces results in unpredictable and complex motion. This talk will explore a variety of methods being used to today to visualize, model and ultimately create life-like kinetic forms of motion.
    Reben's "Engineering Psychology" invites the viewer to become the subject in a dialogue between technology and humanity. Ranging from low to high tech and from playful to serious, each piece uses technology to engage an element of human experience: including love, attraction, physical pleasure, repulsion, and pain. Works will include balloons that appear alive, a machine that gives visitors a `headgasm', robots that break down barriers with cuteness, devices that placate and tease, a mask that mechanizes humanity, and installations that invoke child-like joy and suggest unbearable visceral pain.
    The need for conflict resolution appears important to our age mired by irreconcilable ideological differences and antagonistic discourses. But there was a time about one hundred years ago when a confrontation between various systems of norms was not regarded as something negative and was in fact desirable and fostered as such. My zoom is on the European avant-garde at the beginning of the twentieth century and beyond, and its manner to use conflict, polemic, and dispute as the best ingredients to obtain a process of desired public fermentation. Is there anything we can learn from the cultural wars waged about one hundred years ago? With examples from Futurism, Dadaism, Surrealism, Lettrism, my point is that the artists who belonged to these movements provoked the public in order to free imagination from the shackles of tradition and recreate the locus of a revolution against aesthetic, moral, social, and political codes. I focus on controversial performative events, press scandals, and personal disputes as marks of a special cultural sociability and as legacies of long lasting networks of change.
    From stone carving to digital manufacturing, take a meandering recounting of a search to find one's own creative path while manifesting new learning environments along the way. The exploration of visual, experiential, and embodied thinking informs new ways to more purposefully bring the tools of production seamlessly into the creative processes. The more technology advances the more democratization of design becomes a reality, What will that world look like? How can we predict of the future of making and learning?
    Photos and videos of this evening