Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous of August 7, 2013

Exploring the Frontiers of Knowledge and Imagination, Fostering Interdisciplinary Networking
UC Berkeley, August 7, 2013
Room 110, Barrows Hall (See the Extensions catalog)
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 Extensions,
Room 110, Barrows Hall - see this page
Campus map
  • 6:30-6:55: Mark Wagner (Street painter) on "Drawing on Earth: Street Painting, World Records, Satellite Photographs" Street Painting, aka chalk drawing/pavement art has recently come to the front of the global art world. The largest chalk drawing that set the Guinness World Record required working on the streets with tens of thousands watching Read more
  • 6:55-7:20: Melanie Swan on "Natural Aesthetics: GenArt, BioArt, Biomimicry, SynBio, CrowdArt" Philosophy provides an interesting lens for understanding activities where art, technology, and biology converge... Read more
  • 7:20-7:40: 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.
  • 7:40-8:05: 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
  • 8:05-8:30: 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
  • 8:30pm-9:00pm: Discussions, networking You can mingle with the speakers and the audience

See also...
  • Stanford interdisciplinary panels
  • Stanford events calendar
  • DASERs
  • Art, Technology, Culture Colloquia
  • ScienceSchmoozer
  • Previous Art/Science Evenings
    • 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). An avid traveler, he has visited 135 countries of the world. His latest book is A History of Silicon Valley, coauthored with Arun Rao, and his first ebook was "A Brief History of Knowledge" (2011), available on Kindle.
    • Melanie Swan is the principal of MS Futures Group, a futurist, hedge fund manager, and founder of citizen science organization DIYgenomics. Her educational background includes an MBA in Finance and Accounting from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a BA in French and Economics from Georgetown University. Melanie enjoys kick-boxing, independent film, and international travel.
    • 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.
    • Mark Wagner is a digital and traditional artist, and educator. Wagner moved from art school at Pratt Institute in Brookln NY to the high desert plains of New Mexico in the mid 80's. He's been involved in Native American Indian ceremony for over 30 years. He has been involved in the film industry as a concept artist and consultant, in addition to his work as graphic designer, illustrator, author, musician, and fine artist. He is currently working with the Smithsonian Institution, Museum of Natural History where the Paleo Indian department is featuring his artwork throughout their new web site. Wagner worked at Pixar Studios on the new Disney feature film John Carter, and has worked on other films; Terminator 3, DreamKeeper, and The Book of Stars. Wagner is also an internationally know street painter and chalk drawing artist. He founded the 501(c)3 nonprofit Drawing on Earth that inspires art and creativity in youth and communities around the world. Their first project set a Guinness World Record for the largest chalk drawing. Their current project is an Global Illustrated Story.

    Extended abstracts:

    Melanie Swan's abstract
    The arts and technology are coming together in exciting ways in contemporary society. New experimental media such as biology, data, and technology are leading artists, scientists, and other individuals to new realms of knowledge discovery and creative expression. Philosophy, concerned with aesthetics and epistemology (the study of knowledge), provides an interesting lens for understanding current activity in a range of contexts where art, technology, and biology are linked. These contexts include GenerativeArt, BioArt, Biomimicry, Synthetic Biology, and CrowdArt. Slides: http://www.slideshare.net/lablogga/natural-aestheticsdigital-art-and-philosophy-in-the-era-of-technologized-biomimicry
    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 discusses 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.

    Mark Wagner & Drawing on Earth.
    Drawing on Earth is a nonprofit that Inspires and Supports Art and Creativity in Youth and Communities Around the World. Founder and Creative Director Mark Wagner's first project set a Guinness World Record for the largest chalk drawing in 2008. 6,000 people (most of them elementary school kids from Alameda, CA) covered 90,000 sq. ft. of pavement with chalk, and a satellite photographed the artwork. Wagner went on to create 4 more pieces of art that have been photographed from space. "Our goal is to grow the creative spirit and anchor it into the bodies of young people and into the heart and mind of communities, as diverse as a public school playground, to the desert playa of Burning Man, and to corporate events all around the world because. Creativity is a Natural Renewable Energy."

    Photos and videos