Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous of 9 February 2017

Exploring the Frontiers of Knowledge and Imagination, Fostering Interdisciplinary Networking

Stanford, 9 February 2017
c/o Stanford University
LiKaShing building - Room LK101/102
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.
Where: Stanford University, LiKaShing building - Room LK101/102
There should be ample parking in the structure on corner of Campus Drive West and Roth Way. (Stanford map)
Parking is mostly free at Stanford after 6pm.
Program (the order of the speakers might change):
  • 7:00-7:25: Susan McConnell (Stanford/Biology) on "Conservation Photography: Putting Images to Work for the Environment" Nature photography with a mission... Read more
  • 7:25-7:50: Vanessa Sigurdson (Autodesk Artist in Residence) on "Autodesk Artist in Residence" The Pier 9 AIR program at Autodesk... 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: Stan Shaff (Audium) on "Exploring and expanding the language of space in music composition and performance" Audium, the only theater of its kind in the world, is a space built specifically for choreographing sound in space... Read more
  • 8:35-9:00: Marilia Librandi Rocha (Stanford/ Literature) on "Clarice Lispector and Vincent van Gogh - Hearing the Wild Heart" Clarice Lispector's "writing by ear" and the self-mutilation of Vincent van Gogh... Read more
  • 9:00pm-9:30pm: Discussions, networking You can mingle with the speakers and the audience

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See also...
  • Other LASER series
  • Archive of past LASERs
  • Leonardo ISAST
  • Art, Technology, Culture Colloquia
  • ScienceSchmoozer
  • LAST Festival
  • Other recommended events
    • Marilia Librandi Rocha is Assistant Professor of Luso-Brazilian and Latin American Literature ans Cultures at Stanford university. She is the author of Maranhao-Manhattan. Ensaios de Literatura Brasileira (Rio de Janeiro, 7Letras, 2009). Her current authored manuscript is titled "Writing by Ear: Clarice Lispector and the Aural Novel, and it is now under review at the University of Toronto Press as part of their important Romance Studies series. She is co-Executive Editor (with Vincent Barletta) of the literary Journal of Lusophone Studies of the American Portuguese Studies Association. Her texts have appeared in Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, and Portugal, besides Brazil and the United States. She has been an Invited speaker at Princeton University, Columbia University, The University of Chicago, The University of Utah, Brigham Youth University, The University of Queensland in Australia, Indiana University, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Universidade de Sao Paulo, Casa de Rui Barbosa, among others. Website: www.librandirocha.com
    • Susan McConnell (Stanford/Biology) is the Susan B. Ford Professor in the Department of Biology at Stanford University. The research in her laboratory explores the mechanisms by which neural circuits are established during mammalian brain development. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and her teaching has been recognized by the Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching. McConnells interest in the brain is an outgrowth of a lifelong fascination with animal behavior, which also led her to delve deeply into wildlife photography. Although she has worried that an obsession with "getting the picture" causes one to lose sight of the rewards of direct experience, McConnell has realized that when shes behind the lens, she feels absolutely and fully engaged with observing and predicting animal behavior. Telling stories about wildlife is best accomplished through a series of images that explore a subject and its relationships to the people who study, protect, live with, or exploit that species. McConnell is particularly interested in scientific studies of animal behavior in the field and in the depiction of animal emotions. Her photographs have been published in Smithsonian, National Geographic, Outdoor Photographer and other magazines. You can view her photos at http://www.susankmcconnell.com
    • 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. He founded the Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous (LASER) in 2008.
    • Stan Shaff started out in the 1950s as a trumpet player, composer and teacher. His friendship and collaboration with painter and sculptor Seymour Locks expanded his grounding in the arts. He explored the nature of sound in relation to movement with Ann Halprin's Dancers Workshop; curious about sound bereft of traditional tools and structure, he turned to tape composition, working and performing with composers involved with the Tape Music Center. By the late 1950s, Shaff's work with audio tape led to the need to externally realize sound in the way he conceived of it: as an energy in space. In 1959 Shaff met fellow musician and teacher Douglas McEachern, whose background in electronics enabled him to develop original equipment systems for live, spatial performances. From the first public presentation of these ideas in 1960 through succeeding decades of work with the co-creation and development of the sound theatre AUDIUM - constructed specifically for choreographing sound in space - Shaff has sought to explore and expand the language of space in music composition and performance.
    • Vanessa Sigurdson (Autodesk) is the Artist in Residence (AIR) Program Manager at Autodesk's Pier 9 Workshop. With over a decade of experience in design and digital fabrication, Vanessa has worked with artists and fabrication companies worldwide to combine modern technologies with traditional art making practices. Vanessa joined Autodesk in 2013, and has facilitated over 100 artist in exploring new methods of creating their work. Since then, her clan of wacky and diverse AiRs have been re-inventing the word `craft' and changing how we look at art today.

    Extended abstracts:

    Clarice Lispector (1920-1977) made her literary debut in 1943 with Perto do Coraao Selvagem (Near to the Wild Heart). My goal is to present the first development of "writing by ear" (a concept that would accompany her writing to the end) through an examination of an almost surreal, auditory presence which appears in the first paragraph of her first novel: "Amidst the clock, the typewriter and the silence there was an ear listening, large, pink, and dead." What might this "dead ear" mean? As paradoxical as it may seem, the image of this dead ear reminds us one of the most important inaugural scenes of Modern Art: the self-mutilation of Vincent van Gogh, on the night of December 23, 1888. We will see that the impact of Van Gogh's ear is in fact such within our cultural imaginary that it was even "reconstituted" in 2014 by German artist Diemut Strebe along with a team of scientists. What can this episode from the life of Van Gogh teach one about Lispector's writing by ear?

    What is conservation photography? I think of it as "nature photography with a mission." Conservation photographers photograph the natural world, animals and plants, and the people that threaten, protect or study wildlife and ecosystems - all with the goal of advocating for positive conservation outcomes.

    The Pier 9 Artists in Residence (AIR) program gives artists, makers, and fabricators a chance to work with us in our digital fabrication workshops at Autodesk. Our artists explore, create, and document cutting-edge projects, and share them with the DIY community.
    Audium, the only theater of its kind in the world, is a space built in 1960 specifically for choreographing sound in space. Use of space as a compositional element in music has received wide attention for decades, especially among electronic and computer musicians. Shaff's contribution lies in his realization that, if one is truly serious about utilizing space in music, one must configure the performance environment in ways that are inconceivable in a typical concert hall. Shaff and McEachern created the AUDIUM theater as an interactive environment for the exploration of sound in space. AUDIUM enables Shaff to develop and produce his finely crafted compositions, utilizing the results of their research.
    Photos and videos of this evening


    The Stanford LASERs are sponsored by the Stanford Deans of Research; Engineering; Humanities & Sciences; Medicine; and Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences; Continuing Studies; and the Office of Science Outreach.