Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous of January 12, 2014

Exploring the Frontiers of Knowledge and Imagination, Fostering Interdisciplinary Networking
San Francisco, January 12, 2014
c/o University of San Francisco
Fromm Hall - FR 115 - Berman Room
Chaired by Piero Scaruffi and Tami Spector

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.

Leonardo ISAST and USF invite you to a meeting of the Leonardo Art/Science community. The event is free and open to everybody. Like previous evenings, the agenda includes some presentations of art/science projects, news from the audience, and time for casual socializing/networking.
See below for location and agenda.
Email me if you want to be added to the mailing list for the LASERs.
See also...

  • 6:45pm-7:00pm: Socializing/networking.
  • 7:00-7:25: Paula Birnbaum (USF Art History) on "Contemporary Feminist Art and Globalization" How has globalization impacted contemporary visual art produced by women?... Read more
  • 7:25-7:50: Danielle Siembieda-Gribben (Visual Artist and Curator) on "The Future of Eco Art/Tech" How is Eco Art adapting to the growth of Green Engineering, CleanTech and Environmental Politics?... 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/ NASA Space Portal) on "The Synthetic Biology Startup Ecosystem" The number of startup companies in this field is growing exponentially... Read more
  • 8:35-9:00: Kiri Rong (Visual Artist, Curator, Computer Scientist) on "The State of the Arts in China" The unique trajectory of China's art world over the last 30 years... Read more
  • 9:00pm-9:30pm: Discussions, networking You can mingle with the speakers and the audience

  • Paula Birnbaum (USF) is Associate Professor and Program Director of Art History/Arts Management in the Department of Art + Architecture of the University of San Francisco. She will serve as Academic Director of the new Master of Arts Program in Museum Studies beginning in August of 2013. Paula is a specialist in modern and contemporary art and holds a doctorate in Art History from Bryn Mawr College. She is a former Fulbright Scholar and fellow at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at Stanford University. In 2008 Paula received the University of San Francisco, Faculty Union (USFFA) Distinguished Teaching Award (university wide award) and enjoys teaching a variety of classes including Museum Studies - History and Theory, Modern and Contemporary Art, European Art 1900-1945 and Women and Art, as well as curating exhibitions in USF's Thacher Gallery. She also runs the Arts Management Internship Program, and has enjoyed working closely since 2003 with educators from Bay Area Museums including the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, SFMOMA, the Contemporary Jewish Museum, among many others. Her research focuses on the impact of gender and ethnicity on modern and contemporary women artists and their self-representation, as well as the role of gender and sexuality in museum exhibitions. She has recently completed two books: Women Artists in Interwar France: Framing Femininities (Ashgate), and a co-edited anthology with Anna Novakov, Essays on Women's Artistic and Cultural Contributions 1919-1939 (Edwin Mellen). Paula's articles appear in a variety of journals including the Art Journal, Aurora, Woman's Art Journal, and The Royal Academy of Art Magazine.
  • John Cumbers is the founder of SynBioBeta, a network for synthetic biology startup companies. He runs conferences, introductory courses in synthetic biology, a news digest and a podcast series. The goal of SynBioBeta is to support the fledgling industry and to help new startups partner and raise capital. John also works at NASA Ames Research Center in the synthetic biology program where he works on mission design, space resource utilization, life support and food production. John has a Ph.D in Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, and Biochemistry from Brown University and a MS.c in Bioinformatics from the University of Edinburgh.
  • Kiri Rong graduated from Beijing Institute of Technology as Computer major and began her career as a Cisco network engineer. Soon after, She studied Fashion Design at Beijing's Central Academy of Arts and began her own design business which soon blossomed into her own designer goods factory. While the factory was a great success, Kiri sensed that her true calling lay in the booming Chinese art scene. Kiri soon became the department manager for Modern and Contemporary Art at the Beijing Googut Auction House. In 2009 Kiri moved to the Bay Area and soon opened an art gallery while practicing Digital Art.
  • 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.
  • Danielle Siembieda-Gribben is an Arts Entrepreneur working in the intersection of New Media Art, Sustainability and Community. She practices between genres of Social Practice, Institutional Critique, Intervention and New Media. Most of her work includes an emphasis on the environment and technology. Her most recent project, "The Art Inspector" was incepted in 2009 as a method to reduce the carbon footprint of art. This project has been funded Silicon Valley Energy Watch to conduct energy assessments on artist's studios and take them through an eco-art makeover. She has been an artist in residence at the TechShop SJ where she create a body of work around cyborg politics and the anthropocene. Some of her other roles include being a board member of the Women's Environmental Art Directory; art consultant to the SF Department of the Environment, member San Jose Public Art Advisory Committee; and Fellow Alum at SF Emerging Arts Professionals. Siembieda has a MFA in Digital Media Art at SJSU at the CADRE Laboratory for New Media with a focus on green technologies, sustainable materials. More at www.siembieda.com and www.artinspector.org

Address and directions:

University of San Francisco
2130 Fulton Street
SF, CA 94117
Fromm Hall - FR 115 - Berman Room

See the campus map and directions

Extended abstracts

The evolution of the Eco Art movement has always borrowed from the sciences and social justice. How is Eco Art adapting to the growth of Green Engineering, CleanTech and Environmental Politics? Danielle Siembieda will explain how and why artists are using Art + Tech to save the planet.
As the field of synthetic biology turns 10 years old, the move from academia to industry is afoot. In 2012 I brought together 150 people in Menlo Park for the first Synthetic Biology Startup Ecosystem Conference. The number of startup companies in this field is growing exponentially and at our last conference in November 2013 in San Francisco we had 55 companies and 300 people. In this talk I'll discuss what is synthetic biology, outline the different types of companies in the field and the technologies that they are bringing to market. I'll also discuss the pros and cons of genetically modified organisms and how the bioeconomy is growing world-wide.
Curator Kiri Rong will summarize progress in China's art world over the last 30 years and highlight differences between western and Chinese contemporary art world.
How has globalization impacted contemporary visual art produced by women? With a focus on the Middle East, Paula Birnbaum will explore how feminist artists of diverse backgrounds, many of whom live in diaspora, engage with models of global exchange to comment on gender, religion and the politics of visual representation.
Photos and videos of this evening