Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous of 10 January 2017

Exploring the Frontiers of Knowledge and Imagination, Fostering Interdisciplinary Networking
San Francisco, 10 January 2017, 7pm
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...

Program (the order of the speakers might change):
  • 7:00-7:25: Dave Wolber (USF/ Computer Science) on "Democratizing Computing with App Inventor" The USF Democratize Computing Lab's mission is to to break down the "programmer divide"... Read more
  • 7:25-7:50: Erling Wold (Composer) on "The Descent of Opera" Trends in modern opera... 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: Madeline Girard (UC Berkeley/ Biology) on "What makes males red-hot: mate choice in the peacock spider, Maratus volans" Jumping spiders have long been renowned for their specialized visual systems and colorful ornaments... Read more
  • 8:35-9:00: Nina Czegledy (Ontario College of Art & Design University, Toronto) on "From Sea to Sea: Charting a Trajectory" Art, science and technology projects in the framework of international collaborations... Read more
  • Discussions, networking You can mingle with the speakers and the audience

  • Nina Czegledy (Ontario College of Art & Design University, Toronto) is an artist, curator, educator, works internationally on collaborative art & science & technology projects. The changing perception of the human body and its environment as well as the paradigm shifts in the arts informs her collaborative projects. She has exhibited and published widely, won awards for her artwork and has initiated, researched, lead and participated in forums and symposia worldwide. Her installations have been exhibited in Finland, Hungary, Poland, Spain, New Zealand, Mexico, Italy, Brazil besides Canada and the USA. Czegledy lectures internationally, curates international exhibitions, develops collaborative art projects and initiates, co-organizes educational forums and workshops for educational institutes and international symposiasuch as the Media Art Histories conference series, and ISEA International Society of Electronic Arts symposia. She teaches Art and Design at theUniversity in Toronto, and is research collaborator for the Hexagram International Network for Research Creation in Montreal as well as senior fellow of the Hungarian University of Fine Arts and honorary fellow of the Moholy Nagy University of Art and Design, both in Budapest. She is a board member of the International Association of Art Critics of Canada, member of the governing board of Leonardo/ISAST, board member of the Subtle Technologies Festival in Toronto, chair of Interrelate.org in New Zealand and president of the Critical Media Art Society.
  • Madeline Girard (Berkeley) is currently a graduate student in Erica Bree Rosenblum's lab at UC Berkeley, studying communcation and sexual selection in peacock spiders of the Maratus genus. Laser vibrometry, microspectrophotometry, and optic flow analysis are tecniques that she uses to record and analyze male spiders during courtship in order to characterize and quantify display traits. The goal of her current research is to test the hypothesis that in species where males emit complex signals, females base mating decisions on combinatorial suites of traits that provide more information than any one signal element alone.
  • 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.
  • Dave Wolber (USF/ Computer Science) runs USF's Democratize Computing Lab and focuses on empowering artists, designers, kids, women, men, humanity majors, business students-- makers of all types-- to add coding to their creative arsenals. He is a leader in teaching beginners to learn coding by programming phones and tablets using the visual language App Inventor. His appinventor.org site has helped over 1.5 million new app creators, and his course-in-a-box materials have served as a template for numerous App Inventor courses at the K-12 and university levels. Wolber developed many of the tutorials for Google's original App Inventor site, and he is the lead author of "App Inventor 2: Create your own Android Apps", along with App Inventor creators Hal Abelson, Ellen Spertus and Liz Looney. He is also a co-author of mobile-csp.org, an on-line course and professional development materials for the new Computational Thinking Advanced Placement (AP) course for US High Schools.
  • Erling Wold is a composer, primarily of large and dramatic works. His opera UKSUS is on the life and times of Daniil Kharms. A recording of Certitude and Joy was released on MinMax/Starkland/Naxos. In 2011, his orchestral overture on Certitude and Joy was premiered, and the San Francisco International Arts Festival remounted his adaptation of William Burroughs' Queer. Two of his large works, the Missa Beati Notkeri Balbuli Sancti Galli Monachi for a Cathedral in Switzerland, and his solo opera Mordake, were released on CD. He is cofounder and executive director of the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra. His dance opera Blinde Liebe was performed in Europe and the US with Palindrome Dance of Nurenberg, Germany. His chamber works have been presented in Philadelphia by Relache, in the Bay Area by New Music Works and the Conservatory New Music Ensemble. He was a resident artist at ODC Theater, which presented his opera Sub Pontio Pilato (also performed in Austria), a chamber opera based on William Burroughs' early autobiographical novel Queer, as well as A Little Girl Dreams of Taking the Veil, based on the Max Ernst collage novel (European premiere in a German version by the Klagenfurter Ensemble in 2001). He has written a number of pieces for a dancer-controlled interactive video and music system for Palindrome dance. He has also worked with Nesting Dolls in Los Angeles and San Francisco on several theater and dance projects, including 13 Versions of Surrender and I brought my hips to the table. He has co-composed the scores for several Deborah Slater Dance Theater projects with fixed-media sound artist Thom Blum.

Address and directions:

University of San Francisco
2130 Fulton Street
SF, CA 94117
Fromm Hall - FR 115 - Berman Room
2130 Fulton Street, San Francisco, CA 94117-1080
Fromm Hall is behind the church, best accessed from Parker Ave.

Extended abstracts

Once considered the stodgiest of art forms, ignored by composers ("Opera Houses? Blow them up!" said Pierre Boulez), and shunned by cutting-edge audiences, modern operas have become chic, with festivals in abundance, and the writing of an opera a rite of passage for newly minted tunesmiths. Erling will talk about what drew him out of his basement studio and into this most social and collaborative world. He will share his productions, performances and adventures here and in Europe, and will touch briefly on the medium's trends. Erling is also a researcher in applications of computers to audio, and he will discuss both his love for technology and his tendency not to use it in his own works.

The brief presentation introduces some of my art, science and technology projectsin the framework of international collaborationswith a special focus on my Leonardo, the Canadian LASER involvement. Cross-cultural participation and inter-generational engagement characterizes my working practice. Most of the latest projects highlight eco art activism.

Jumping spiders have long been renowned for their specialized visual systems and colorful ornaments. Surprisingly however, virtually no experimental work has examined the importance of color as females select among potential mates. We conducted experiments on the exceptionally colorful peacock spider, Maratus volans, to investigate the role of both visual and vibratory courtship signals. By manipulating the visual and vibratory sensory environments, we tested whether long wavelength and/or vibratory signals were critical for male mating success. Our results suggest that red ornaments are relatively more important than vibratory signals for successful mating. We discuss the evolution of red coloration in peacock spiders and complex multimodal signaling across the group.

Software development is restricted to the digital elite, the .01% of the world who know how to program; most don't even dream of participating in the mysterious world of code. The USF Democratize Computing Lab's mission is to to break down this "programmer divide", and radically broaden and diversify the pool of software creators. The approach is based on App Inventor, a tool that allows absolute beginners to learn programming by building mobile apps for phones and tablets. App Inventor both heightens motivation (its really fun!) and lowers the barriers to learning, thus providing a welcome introduction to designers, artists, women, people of color, scientists, health professionals, humanities majors, entrepreneurs-- anyone who desires to add software to their creative problem solving arsenal. The end-goal is two-fold: to empower people to thrive in today's increasingly digital society, and to infuse the software development field with creative, big-picture thinkers.

Photos and videos of this evening