Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous of December 2012

Exploring the Frontiers of Knowledge and Imagination, Fostering Interdisciplinary Networking
Stanford, 12 December 2012
c/o Stanford University
History Corner (Building 200), Room 305
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. This 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.
When: 12 December 2012

Where: Building 200 Room 305
Building/Room: Building 200 Room 305 (Stanford map)
Parking is mostly free at Stanford after 4pm.

  • 6:45pm-7:00pm: Socializing/networking.
  • 7:00-7:25:
    Audrey Shafer (Stanford Univ) on "Meaning and Medicine: Poetry and the Arts, Humanities & Medicine Program" Medical humanities is a relatively young field with ties to history of medicine, medical anthropology, literature & medicine, feminist & disability studies, bioethics, cultural studies, arts therapies, and religious studies... Read more
  • 7:25-7:50:
    Jennifer Dionne (Stanford Univ) on "Lights, Nano, Action!" Imagine a world where cancer is cured with light, objects can be made invisible, and teleportation is allowed through space and time... Read more
  • 7:50-8:05: 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.
  • 8:05-8:30:
    Jennifer Parker (UC Santa Cruz) on "Down to earth: Art, Astronomy and Physics" Highlighting new works created by artists and scientists from the UCSC OpenLab Network... Read more
  • 8:30-8:55:
    Mark Wagner (Street painter) on "Street Painting & Burning Man: Creating Community Through Impermanent Art" 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
  • 8:55: Piero Scaruffi on the next Leonardo Art/Science evening I will simply preview the line-up of speakers for the next Leonardo evening.
  • 9:00pm-9:30pm: Discussions, more socializing 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
    • Jennifer Dionne is an assistant professor in the department of Materials Science and Engineering. Her research investigates metamaterials - engineered materials with optical and electrical properties not found in nature - for applications ranging from high-efficiency solar energy conversion to bioimaging. Jen received her Ph. D. in Applied Physics in 2009 at the California Institute of Technology and B.S. degrees in Physics and Systems & Electrical Engineering from Washington University in 2003. Prior to joining Stanford, she served as a postdoctoral research fellow in Chemistry at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Her work has been recognized with a NSF CAREER Award, AFOSR Young Investigator Award, Hellman Faculty Scholar Award, and MRS Gold Award. In 2011, she was named one of Technology Review's TR35 - 35 international innovators under 35 tackling important problems in transformative ways.
    • Jennifer Parker is an Associate Professor of Art and Digital Arts and New Media at the University of California Santa Cruz. Her research is rooted in sculpture, interactive and kinetic art, and cross-disciplinary and collaborative research. Current and past projects explore new methodologies for art making that engage art and science thinking. She is co-founder and director of The OpenLab Network at UCSC and has been working with Barney Hyanes since 2008 developing the SonicSENSE interactive art platform. She has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally. Local venues include Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, SF Camerawork; The Lab; Gray Area Foundation for the Arts; Kala Art Institute; and ZER01:10SJ Biennial.
    • 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.
    • Audrey Shafer (Stanford Univ) is Professor of Anesthesia, Stanford University School of Medicine/VA; staff anesthesiologist, Palo Alto Veterans Affairs Health Care System; and Director, Arts, Humanities and Medicine Program, Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics http://bioethics.stanford.edu/arts/. Born in Philadelphia, she studied at Harvard, Stanford and the University of Pennsylvania for biochemistry, medicine and anesthesia training, respectively. She is associate editor, Medical Humanities - BMJ and poetry editor, Journal of Medical Humanities. She co-directs the scholarly concentration in Biomedical Ethics and Medical Humanities, teaches creative writing for medical students, and strives to create an environment at the medical school which encourages creative exploration, collaboration and scholarly work in medical humanities. She is a founding member of Stanford Pegasus Physician Writers. Her poetry appears in numerous journals and anthologies and she is the author of The Mailbox (Random House, 2006), a story about posttraumatic stress disorder in Vietnam veterans. "From [the] knockout opening, first-time novelist Audrey Shafer builds a story finely balanced between mystery. and meditation -- on loneliness, love and what a boy really needs to make a life." The Washington Post
    • 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:
    The OpenLab Network is a new research initiative at the University of California Santa Cruz. The OpenLab Network targets a complex education issue of national significance regarding the ability of art and science researchers to collaborate on research endeavors. The goal of the OpenLab Network is to help change the current status by providing shared research facilities and create a network for collaborative discourse fueled by academic communities, arts and science communities, and industry. The OpenLab Network project is currently pursuing the physical development of new collaborative laboratories on campus as spaces to foster this research and establish an on-line social networking system for faculty and students to create projects. Laboratories and studios in both the arts and the sciences will be accessible to users in the OpenLab Network. Within this immersive environment, we will conduct research to acquire skills and knowledge that crosses disciplinary boundaries between science, education, and the arts while sharing expertise in collaborative research methodologies. Current OpenLab members include: Drew Detweiler, Jack O'Neill, Amy Boewer, Kyle McKinley, Caroline Morley, Noar Movshovitz, John Peters, Uliana Popov, Leslie Thompson, Joile Ruelle, Lyes Belhocine, Sudu Tewari, Claire Dorman, Morgan MacLeod, Bruce Kirk, James Guillochon, Raja Guhathakurta, Jennifer Parker, Nina Mccurdy, Erik Asphaug, Anahi Caldu Prima, Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz, Jonathan Fortney, Nathan Kandus...

    Street Painting: Creating Community Through Impermanent Art. In June of 2008, 6,000 people (over 4,000 elementary school children) from Alameda CA, USA worked collaborately over two weeks to create the world largest chalk drawing, setting a new Guinness World Record. Over 90,000 sq. ft. were covered with beautiful colored chalk and a satellite photograph from 423 miles miles high was taken of the artwork. This spawned DRAWING on EARTH, whose mission statement reads: "Inspiring Art and Creativity in Youth and Communities around the World". Quote: "We believe that creativity is a natural renewable energy that when exercised and practiced during youth empowers one to experience an inner resource that is sustainable, long term, and available in all aspects of one's life. We believe that kids who are nurtured creatively grow up ready and able to more effectively interact with the world, connect to the environment, integrate with technology, and understand the bigger picture. We believe that art is not just a pretty picture but also a way of being creative that will help to solve some of the world's problems. We believe that creativity crosses race, economic, gender, and religious boundaries and is the glue that brings communities together that heals personal and collective wounds. We believe people connected to their creativity consume less, are more comfortable with what they have, are able to generate more of what they want and need, are better at taking care of themselves, are able to help others with their generosity. We believe that creativity continues to be important later in careers and business, partnership and marriage, community engagement, becoming an elder, and being curious about the end of ones life. We believe that a creative art education to be the best investment into the future that anyone can give and receive."
    There current project is a 5 year Global Illustrated Story where large youth and community chalk drawings are created around the world that will eventually tell one story. This is an attempt to set another world record. The first chapter of the story began in late 2009 in Caracas Venezuela, the projects title was called Creative Growth, it may be the theme of the entire story - growing creativity.

    Meaning and Medicine: Poetry and the Arts, Humanities & Medicine Program. Medical humanities, also known as health humanities; social medicine; arts, humanities & medicine, medicine & society; arts & healthcare; and a number of other terms, is a multidisciplinary endeavor that strives to be interdisciplinary. It is a relatively young field with ties to history of medicine, medical anthropology, literature & medicine, feminist & disability studies, bioethics, cultural studies, arts therapies, and religious studies. Story, language and pattern recognition are basic tools of medical care and are also useful points of inquiry for medical humanities. Anesthesiology, as crystallized medical care, is a specialty which relies heavily on communication, trust, teamwork and responsibility. Rendering a human being incapable of surviving without intervention is associated with profound changes and transformations in the patient and those attending to the patient. In this talk, Shafer will explore how examining the context of medicine and the human condition through medical humanities projects such as the Stanford Arts, Humanities and Medicine Program and through her own poetry on anesthesia can provide insight into the human-human interactions which form the basis of all health care.

    Lights, Nano, Action! Imagine a world where cancer is cured with light, objects can be made invisible, and teleportation is allowed through space and time. The future once envisioned by science fiction writers is now becoming a reality, thanks to advances in nanomaterials science and engineering. Materials can now be designed on length scales as small as one-billionth of a meter, with properties very distinct from their macro-sized counterparts. For example, nanoscale semiconductors such as silicon can fluoresce while nanosized clusters of silver and gold can appear colors spanning a rainbow palette. The unique functionalities of nanomaterials are now being utilized for next-generation solar cells, batteries, electronics, optical communications, and medical therapeutics. Here I'll describe my group's effort to design new optical nanomaterials. Unlike most natural materials, these engineered materials strongly interact with both the electric and magnetic field of light. Their optical properties enable applications ranging from highly efficient solar-renewable technologies to optical tweezers that can trap and manipulate single nanoparticles and proteins using light alone.

  • Photos and videos