Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous of 13 April 2017

Exploring the Frontiers of Knowledge and Imagination, Fostering Interdisciplinary Networking
UC Berkeley, 13 April 2017
Soda Hall (corner of Hearst and LeRoy), Room 405
NOTE: Use the EAST-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 405
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: Ron Rael (UC Berkeley/ Architecture) on "3D Printing Materials for Architecture" 3D printed architecture can revolutionize the way buildings are made today... Read more
  • 7:25-7:50: Pantea Karimi (Media Artist) on "(Re) Visualizing Medieval Science" How art can revisit medieval science... 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: John Cumbers (Synbiobeta) on "Synthetic Biology and the Naturalist Fallacy " Abstract forthcoming Read more
  • 8:35-9:00: Kim Anno (California College of the Arts) on "Climate's Secular Dante" Secularizing Dante, in the face of climate adaptation... 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
    • Kim Anno has been a professor at the California College of the Arts since 1996. She is a painter, photographer, and video artist whose work has been collected by museums nationally and shown internationally, recently she had a solo exhibition at the Marcia Wood Gallery in Atlanta,and at the Goethe Institute, Johannesburg in July 2012. She has also presented a two channel screening and live concert with composer, David Coll at the Kala Art Institute in 2013 of "Water City, Berkeley". Anno has had exhibitions and screenings at in three continents. She was awarded a fellowship by the Zellerbach Foundation and the Open Circle Foundation in 2012-13, the Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation Purchase Award and the Eureka Foundation's Fleishhaker Fellowship. Her recent interests and expertise has been in the intersection of art and science, particularly in aesthetic issues surrounding climate change, water,and adaptation. She has been granted a Sustainable Arts residency at Kala Art Institute in support of her new interdisciplinary work. She is currently at work on a multi chapter intersdisciplinary video work: Men and Women in Water Cities, with in 2013 Water City:Berkeley in the filming process.
    • John Cumbers is the founder of SynBioBeta, an activity hub for synthetic biology startup companies, industry and investors. He received his PhD in Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, and Biochemistry from Brown University. He has a masters degree in bioinformatics from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and an undergraduate degree in computer science from the University of Hull in England. He founded the iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machines competition) team at Brown University in 2005, was an iGEM ambassador to China in 2006/2007 and has been working in the field of synthetic biology and resource utilization in space at NASA Ames since 2008. John led the Planetary Sustainability Collaboratory at the NASA Ames Space Portal where he worked on partnerships that bring new technologies to bear on sustainability challenges on Earth and in space. In 201 0, John was the recipient of a National Academies Keck Futures Initiative award to understand the role that synthetic biology could play in NASA's missions. He has also been involved in multiple start-ups producing food for space and using microbes to extract lunar and martian resources. He was at NASA for 7 years working on these issues and was instrumental in starting NASA's program in synthetic biology. Thought leader, and community builder, and consultant for both the public and private sector, John is passionate about using biotechnology to make a better world through sustainable technologies. As an authority on the topic, John has built communities in the space synthetic biology arena, published multiple papers on food production in space, terraforming, and the genetics of extremophiles. Constantly educating and connecting those around him, John is person to know in the industry. His company, SynBioBeta, brings together the entire community together several times each year and gives anyone the opportunity to meet with the bright minds building and shaping the bioeconomy - from venture capitalists and angel investors to entrepreneurs and industry thought leaders
    • Pantea Karimi (Media Artist) has lived, studied, and worked in Iran, the UK and the US and presently resides in San Jose, California. She is a printmaker and painter and also holds a professional degree with work experience in graphic design, all of which have influenced her fine art aesthetic and practice. Karimi earned her MFA in printmaking and painting from San Jose State University in 2009. She also holds an International Diploma in printmaking and glassworks from Hastings College of Arts and Technology in England in 2004 and an MFA in graphic design from the University of Art in Tehran, Iran, in 1999. Karimi's fine arts and graphic works have been featured in several publications in Iran, Italy, the UK and the United States. Her prints and digital works have been exhibited in various venues in Iran, Algeria, Germany, Mexico, the UK, and the United States, including the de Young Museum and the Yerba Buena Art Center in San Francisco, 2012 ZERO1 Biennial, the Triton Museum in Santa Clara, the Peninsula Museum of Art in Burlingame, the Google Company in Mountain View, the NASA Research Center in Sunnyvale, the San Jose City Hall, the New Bedford Art Museum in Massachusetts, and Platform in Munich, Germany. She is the recipient of the 2016-2017 Kala Fellowship-Residency Award; the 2010 Distinguished Artist Award by the City of Cupertino Fine Arts Commission; and the 2011 Multicultural Arts Leadership Initiative Fellowship. Karimi's current work is an exploration into the pages of medieval and early modern scientific manuscripts, particularly, Persian, Arab and European and the long-term exchange of knowledge across these cultures. She works with a wide range of materials and uses installation and 2-dimentional forms as well as video projection to create a novel and dynamic visual interpretation of the scientific concepts and ideas presented in the manuscripts.
    • Ron Rael is the Director of the printFARM Laboratory (print Facility for Architecture, Research and Materials), holds a joint appointment in the Department of Architecture, in the College of Environmental Design, and the Department of Art Practice and is both a Bakar and Hellman Fellow. Rael is an applied architectural researcher, design activist, author, and thought leader in the fields of additive manufacturing and earthen architecture. In 2014 his creative practice, Rael San Fratello (with architect Virginia San Fratello), was named an Emerging Voice by The Architectural League of New York-one of the most coveted awards in North American architecture. In 2016 Rael San Fratello was also awarded the Digital Practice Award of Excellence by the The Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA). His first book, "Earth Architecture" (Princeton Architectural Press, 2008) is a history of building with earth in the modern era to exemplify new, creative uses of the oldest building material on the planet. A forthcoming book, "Borderwall as Architecture" (University of California Press 2017), advocates for a reconsideration of the barrier dividing the U.S. and Mexico through design proposals that are hyperboles of actual scenarios that occur as a consequence of the wall. Emerging Objects, a company co-founded by Rael, is an independent, creatively driven, 3D Printing MAKE-tank specializing in innovations in 3D printing architecture, building components, environments and products (a short documentary of thier work can be seen here). His work has been published widely, including the New York Times, Wired, MARK, Domus, Metropolis Magazine, PRAXIS, Thresholds, Log, and recognized by several institutions including The Museum of Modern Art, The Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, La Biennale di Venezia, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, and Storefront for Art and Architecture.
    • 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.

    Extended abstracts:

    Abstract forthcoming

    Pantea Karimi presents and discusses her medieval scientific manuscripts research project; the process of research and image-making, use of materials and representation of ideas. She also presents the work she is currently developing at her 6-month Fellowship Residency at the Kala Art Institute in Berkeley.

    3D printed architecture has the ability to transcend the way that buildings are made today. 3D printers allow architects to be material morphologists. They expand our ability to construct because they open the door for us to test material, form and structure simultaneously and instantly. 3D printing is a sustainable method of manufacture and can take advantage of local and ecological material resources. In an era of throw away consumerism and over consumption, excessive energy use, too much waste, and toxic materials, architects have a responsibility to the public, and the planet, to change our mindset about what our buildings are made of, how they function, and to inform the manufacturing processes used to construct architecture. Our research challenges the status quo of rapid prototyping materials by introducing new possibilities for digital materiality. In this scenario it is not solely the computational aspects that have potential for material transformation but also the design of the material itself. Because of the nature of these materials, they can be sourced locally (salt, ceramic, sand), come from recycled sources (paper, rubber), and are by products of industrial manufacturing (wood, coffee flour, grape skins); this would situate them within the realm of "natural building materials". However, the expansive and nascent potential of these traditional materials, when coupled with additive manufacturing, offers unnatural possibilities such as the ability to be formed with no formwork, to have translucency where there was none before, extremely high structural capabilities and the potential for water absorption and storage, the materials that we all know as natural building materials are now unnatural building materials.

    Dante Alighieri, great poet and innovator of the Italian language, pushed boundaries as far as he could to adapt to "new times" of the late middle ages. And yet, his characters and actors were always coupled with Christian idealism. Ultimately rejecting this confine, Kim Anno continues his momentum and in the spirit of the great innovation also reacts to "new times." She continues the inevitable and secularizes his text, in light of the Anthropocene. The text continues to be flexible, lucid, and vivid, yet it becomes a great mirror for society, and calls for adaptation to the altered world without a Christian narrative. What can human beings do themselves? Anno uses this text in films, live performances, and in journals to draw attention to adaptation, and cultural resiliency. The viewer and audience are left to face each other to find new solutions to the epic problem of a hotter planet.
    Photos and videos of this evening