Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous of August 12, 2015

Exploring the Frontiers of Knowledge and Imagination, Fostering Interdisciplinary Networking
UC Berkeley, August 12, 2015
Soda Hall (corner of Hearst and LeRoy), Room 306 HP Auditorium
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 306 HP Auditorium
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: Charlotte Jacobs (Stanford University) on "Jonas Salk and the Conquest of Polio" Salk's polio vaccine all but eradicated a crippling disease... Read more
  • 7:25-7:50: Greg Niemeyer (UC Berkeley/ Center for New Media) on "Edge of Consciousness" Visualizing and sonifying patterns of thought... 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: Vivienne Ming (Neuroscientist) on "Superpowers Cyborgs Taxes Fanatics Reincarnation" How to foster the growth necessary to drive the human race... Read more
  • 8:35-9:00: Lauren Baines (Choreographer) on "Embodied Knowledge: Mirror Neurons, Kinesthetic Empathy, and What Site Dance Can Show Us" Developments in neuroscience have demonstrated that our movements in space are not relegated solely to the sphere of action.... Read more
  • 9:00pm-9:30pm: 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
    • Lauren Baines is a California-based choreographer, performer, and scholar, who possesses diverse arts management and curation experience. She holds a MFA in Dance from Mills College and a BA and BS from Santa Clara University (triple majoring in Theatre Arts (dance emphasis), Art History, and Psychology). Baines received the Leigh Weimers Emerging Artist Award in 2013 and has been awarded several other grants and residencies both locally and internationally. She has shown work at Dance Mission Theatre, ZERO1 Garage, Montalvo Arts Center, de Saisset Museum, LEVYdance Salon, subZERO Festival, Anne & Mark's Art Party, and in New York festivals. She recently returned from presenting a paper at the Society of Dance History Scholars and Congress on Research in Dance joint conference in Athens, Greece. Baines currently works as an arts consultant and educator for several Bay Area organizations, volunteers on the de Saisset Museum Enhancement Board and genARTS Silicon Valley's Steering Committee, and is producing her dance work throughout the area.
    • Charlotte Jacobs, M.D. is the Ben and A. Jess Shenson Professor of Medicine (Emerita) at Stanford University. A native of Kingsport, Tennessee, she graduated studied medicine at Washington University in St. Louis. As a professor at Stanford University, she engaged in teaching, cancer research, and patient care. She has served as Senior Associate Dean and as Director of the Clinical Cancer Center. Her academic honors include numerous awards for excellence in patient care and teaching, as well as the Distinguished Alumni Award from Washington University. She currently cares for veterans with cancer at the Palo Alto Veterans Medical Center. Mid-career, Jacobs began studying biography and has been awarded several writing residencies, most recently at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program where she received the Patricia E. Bashaw and Eugene Segre Fellowship. Her first biography, Henry Kaplan and the Story of Hodgkin's Disease, published in 2010, was called one of the Best Five Books on doctors' lives by The Wall Street Journal . Jacobs' second biography, JONAS SALK: A LIFE, was published by Oxford University Press in May 2015.
    • Vivienne Ming, named one of 10 Women to Watch in Tech in 2013 by Inc. Magazine, is a theoretical neuroscientist, technologist and entrepreneur. She co-founded Socos, where machine learning and cognitive neuroscience combine to maximize students' life outcomes. Vivienne is also a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley's Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience, where she pursues her research in neuroprosthetics. In her free time, Vivienne has developed a predictive model of diabetes to better manage the glucose levels of her diabetic son and systems to predict manic episodes in bipolar suffers. She sits on the boards of StartOut, The Palm Center, Emozia, and the Bay Area Rainbow Daycamp, and is an advisor to Credit Suisse, Cornerstone Capital, and BayesImpact. Dr. Ming also speaks frequently on issues of LGBT inclusion and gender in technology. Vivienne lives in Berkeley, CA, with her wife (and co-founder) and their two children.
    • Greg Niemeyer (UC Berkeley/ Center for New Media), born in Switzerland, started working with new media when he arrived in the Bay Area in 1992 and he received his MFA from Stanford University in New Media in 1997. At the same time, he founded the Stanford University Digital Art Center, which he directed until 2001, when he was appointed at UC Berkeley as Assistant Professor for New Media. At UC Berkeley, he is involved in the development of the Center for New Media, focusing on the critical analysis of the impact of new media on human experiences. His creative work focuses on the mediation between humans as individuals and humans as a collective through technological means, and emphasizes playful responses to technology. His most recognized projects are Gravity (Cooper Union, NYC, 1997), PING (SFMOMA, 2001), Oxygen Flute (SJMA, 2002), ar (Pacific Film Archive, 2003), Ping 2.0 (Paris, La Villette Numerique, 2004), Organum Playtest (2005), Good Morning Flowers (SFIFF 2006, Townhouse Gallery, Cairo, Egypt, 2006), blackloud.org, sevenairs.org, and polartide.org
    • 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.

    Extended abstracts:


    Jacobs' upcoming biography, JONAS SALK: a Life, chronicles the life of one of the USA's most beloved and decorated scientific heroes. His polio vaccine all but eradicated a crippling disease from the face of the earth, and the scientific community never forgave him. This first full account of Salk's life, to be released by Oxford University Press in May of 2015, reveals the complex man behind the controversial legend. When on April 12, 1955, the public learned that Jonas Salk's vaccine could prevent polio, celebration erupted worldwide, and Salk became a hero overnight. Yet this international idol, whose smile shone from newspapers and magazines, did not live "happily every after." He suffered a great deal of pain from his fame.

    A dynamic, reflexive relationship exists between bodies and space as humans both respond to and mold the world around them. The body functions as the first site of experience and interaction with the world. Through movement, humans engage in conversation with the world they occupy. In the last decade or so, developments in neuroscience have demonstrated that our understanding and processing of our movements in space, however, are not relegated solely to the sphere of action. Witnessing others in action can trigger neurons in the same brain areas in the observer as in the doer. Dance has alluded to this kinesthetic empathy, or sympathy, since the early 1900s, but now we are better poised to understand the processes behind these experiences. In the light of these findings, and employing the philosophy of embodiment and phenomenology, I have been investigating site dance - dance placed in urban, public settings - as a method by which to engage individuals, empower audiences to recognize their role as active agents shaping the non-static entity of space, and engender new relationships to places within a community.

    Technologies exists with the power to ignite the trajectory of every life. We have resources that allow everyone to live up to their true potential. By removing artificial barriers to entry Vivienne Ming, PhD describes the cost of unrealized human potential and demonstrates how to foster the growth necessary to drive the human race.

    Medical data shows patterns of thought at the rate of 1000 Hz. Niemeyer reports on a project to visualize and sonify such data in collaboration with Chris Chafe for a project called GNOSISONG which the art and music team is preparing for an upcoming show at UNAM Mexico City, and discusses issues concerning the responsible use of data.

    Photos and videos of this evening