Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous of 11 July 2017

Exploring the Frontiers of Knowledge and Imagination, Fostering Interdisciplinary Networking
San Francisco, 11 July 2017, 7pm
c/o University of San Francisco
Fromm Hall - 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: Gary Boodhoo (Videogame designer) on "Human Encounters With a Gregarious Learning Machine" Using stagecraft, creative coding, and game design to make pictures of Minds... Read more
  • 7:25-7:50: Jan Rindfleisch (Author) on "The Blossoming of Silicon Valley's Arts Community" The story of the development of the arts in Silicon Valley has just begun to be told... 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: Melissa Merencillo (Virtual Reality Designer) on "Where We Are in XR (X Reality: Augmented, Virtual, Mixed and Cinematic Realities)" Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality of the last 12 months... Read more
  • 8:35-9:00: Pantea Karimi (Media Artist) on "(Re) Visualizing Medieval Science" How art can revisit medieval science... Read more
  • Discussions, networking You can mingle with the speakers and the audience

  • Gary Boodhoo combines videogames and machine learning to create interactive science fiction. A Jamaican-born industry veteran, millions of players around the world use the interfaces he invented for games including Madden NFL, The Sims, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and The Elder Scrolls Online. His work examines how digital environments overlap real ones.
  • Pantea Karimi (Media Artist) has lived, studied, and worked in Iran, the UK and the US and presently resides in San Jose, California. She is a printmaker and painter and also holds a professional degree with work experience in graphic design, all of which have influenced her fine art aesthetic and practice. Karimi earned her MFA in printmaking and painting from San Jose State University in 2009. She also holds an International Diploma in printmaking and glassworks from Hastings College of Arts and Technology in England in 2004 and an MFA in graphic design from the University of Art in Tehran, Iran, in 1999. Karimi's fine arts and graphic works have been featured in several publications in Iran, Italy, the UK and the United States. Her prints and digital works have been exhibited in various venues in Iran, Algeria, Germany, Mexico, the UK, and the United States, including the de Young Museum and the Yerba Buena Art Center in San Francisco. She is the recipient of the 2016-2017 Kala Fellowship-Residency Award; the 2010 Distinguished Artist Award by the City of Cupertino Fine Arts Commission; and the 2011 Multicultural Arts Leadership Initiative Fellowship. Karimi's current work is an exploration into the pages of medieval and early modern scientific manuscripts, particularly, Persian, Arab and European and the long-term exchange of knowledge across these cultures. She works with a wide range of materials and uses installation and 2-dimentional forms as well as video projection to create a novel and dynamic visual interpretation of the scientific concepts and ideas presented in the manuscripts.
  • Melissa Merencillo is an X-Reality (XR = AR/VR/MR) enthusiast and technophile focusing on social presence, behavioral communication and interaction design in digital reality systems. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication from California State University East Bay (2012) and a Master of Arts in Multimedia in Interaction Design also from California State University East Bay (2017). Her work on the collaborative thesis, Project: This Way!, explored the concepts of copresence in VR and was shown at the VR Mixer of the Game Developer's Conference in San Francisco, Maker Faire Bay Area in San Mateo, and at the symposium, If You Weren't: Playing with Realities in ARG, AR, and VR held at Stanford University in Palo Alto. She is a member of various AR/VR MeetUps and attends industry conferences on AR/VR technology throughout the Bay Area. She is currently the Instructional Support Technician II and Video Lab Coordinator of the Department of Communication at California State University East Bay supporting courses in digital video and media production.
  • Jan Rindfleisch is an artist, educator, curator/museum director and author. From 1978 to 1985, she taught art and art history at De Anza College, and in 1979 began a 32-year journey as executive director/curator of Euphrat Museum of Art. For decades, she has kept art in the forefront of the South Bay community through her visionary interdisciplinary exhibitions and programs at that museum. Rindfleisch has written essays and over a dozen books in conjunction with the California History Center, Euphrat Museum of Art, San Jos‚ Museum of Art, Arts Council Silicon Valley, Southern Exposure (San Francisco), Bronx Museum of the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, Artship Foundation (Oakland), and many other public, private, and governmental institutions. These include Coming Across: Art by Recent Immigrants; The Power of Cloth: Political Quilts 1845-1986; Content: Contemporary Issues; and Staying Visible, The Importance of Archives. Rindfleisch helped found the Cupertino Arts Commission, participated in the Getty Museum Management Institute, and served on the Santa Clara County Arts Council, the California Arts Council Visual Arts Panel, the Arts Council Silicon Valley Local Arts Grants Review Panel, and San Jos‚ City Hall Exhibits Committee. Her most recent book, Roots and Offshoots: Silicon Valley's Arts Community, explores the ignored history of the passionate individuals, creative partnerships, and maverick arts institutions that influenced South Bay Area arts and culture.
  • 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 "Thinking about Thought". 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 and the Life Art Science Tech (LAST) festival in 2014.

Address and directions:

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

Extended abstracts

Suddenly, computers are good at seeing and understanding. Learning machines have arrived, bearing unexpected cargo. The surprising truth behind artificial intelligence is that Mind emerges from the environment. In 2015 a team at Google led by Alexander Mordvintsev released the first "Deep Dream" images to an amazed internet. These were instantly recognizable as photographs of the psychedelic experience. The algorithm is a dozen lines of code. It exaggerates a provided picture using habits the machine has learned. It's a deterministic process. For any given image, the machine constructs the same hallucination every time. I create video installations that show the world to a learning machine through a live camera. Deep Dream Vision Quest is a neural image synthesizer that creates multiplayer hallucinations. Although the algorithm is predictable, the world is not. At live performances I'm often asked where the images come from. I've come to recognize how easy it is for humans to complete them with our memories. In this talk I describe how I use stagecraft, creative coding, and game design to make pictures of Minds.

I will share first-hand experiences with the evolving technology of AR/VR hardware and software through events and major conferences that took place in the Bay Area this past year. Events include the VRX USA, World's Fair Nano SF, Game Developer's Conference, ALT+CTRL, Silicon Valley VR Expo and XTech Expo. At these events, I demoed technology and spoke with developers and designers who are creating new methods for users to experience digital reality systems in ways that we thought would only exist in futuristic movies. Through VR haptic technology we can feel the 3D objects in VR with our fingers or feel the vibrations of the VR environment through our chest, by using wearable EEG sensors we can visually monitor our brain activity through an app or use our minds to manipulate objects in a game or control drones in flight, there is the ability to now smell in VR environments with microfans and artificial scents embedded in VR headsets, or attend holographic meetings in a virtual space where you can see the actual bodies of other people and not just their artificial avatars. The Bay Area has numerous events and opportunities to experience the possibilities and potential of AR/VR technology. We live in an area where we can learn about where this technology is going and what our future reality may become.

The story of the development of the arts in Silicon Valley has just begun to be told. Its art history is filled with people who were often marginalized, people who stood up to the status quo, people with the guts and love to persevere and build a community that nourished all, at a time when that was not easy to do. It's time to tell the story. How did we get from the largely monochromatic, exclusive, and repressive landscape of the 1970s to where we are now? Silicon Valley blossomed in the last quarter of the 20th century with the formation of arts offshoots, spin-offs, and startups that tapped into the area's increasing ferment of ideas and involved myriad supporters across all walks of life.

Pantea Karimi presents and discusses her medieval and early modern scientific manuscripts research project. Karimi's research topics include: Medieval Math, Medieval Paper Wheel Charts Calculators, Medieval Cartography, Medieval Medicinal Botany and Optics. Through her work she invites the viewer to observe science and its history through the process of image-making. In her talk she presents the scientific manuscripts pages, the process of research and how she uses the visual elements in early science to create her art.

Photos and videos of this evening