Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous of June 10, 2015

Exploring the Frontiers of Knowledge and Imagination, Fostering Interdisciplinary Networking
UC Berkeley, June 10, 2015
Soda Hall (corner of Hearst and LeRoy), Room 306 HP Auditorium
NOTE: Use the WEST-entrance of SODA Hall entering from Etcheverry Plaza.
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. This event is kindly sponsored by the Minerva Foundation.
Where: UC Berkeley
Soda Hall, Room 306 HP Auditorium
NOTE: Use the WEST-entrance of SODA Hall entering from Etcheverry Plaza.
Campus map
What (the order of the speakers might change):
  • 7:00-7:25: John Edmark (Stanford Univ) on "Blooms: Phi-Based, Strobe-Animated Sculptures" Blooms are based on the same phyllotaxy found in pinecones, sunflowers, artichokes, and many succulents... Read more
  • 7:25-7:50: Robert Lang (Origami Artist) on "From Flapping Birds to Space Telescopes" Origami has undergone a renaissance over the last few decades, in part due to the contributions of scientists and mathematicians to the art... Read more
  • 8:10-8:35: Kathryn Roszak (Director of Dance Lumiere) on "Dance and Science: Star Dances and the Higgs boson Ballet" Dance theater inspired by astronomy, biology, mathematics... Read more
  • 8:35-9:00: Anna Davidson (UC Davis/ Plant Sciences) on "It's Alive!" A brief history and overview of Bioart... Read more
  • 9:00pm-9:30pm: Discussions, networking You can mingle with the speakers and the audience

See also...
  • Other LASER series
  • Leonardo ISAST
  • Art, Technology, Culture Colloquia
  • Other LASER series
  • ScienceSchmoozer
  • LAST Festival
    • Anna Davidson is currently pursuing her M.F.A. in art studio for sculpture/biological arts at UC Davis. In 2014 she received her Ph.D. in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis where she studied ecophysiology of trees. She teaches at the intersection of art and science and her research incorporates both disciplines.
    • John Edmark teaches design, color theory, and animation at Stanford University. His creative investigations range from geometric kinetic works and transformable objects, to products for storage, kitchen, and creative play. Previously, he researched 3-D virtual environments at Bell Laboratories. He has Masters degrees in Product Design (Stanford), and Computer Science (Columbia), and is named inventor on nine U.S. utility patents. His other interests include hyper-stereo landscape photography, ultra-light backpacking, and throat singing.
    • Robert Lang is recognized as one of the foremost origami artists in the world as well as a pioneer in computational origami and the development of formal design algorithms for folding. With a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Caltech, he has, during the course of work at NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Spectra Diode Laboratories, and JDS Uniphase, authored or co-authored over 100 papers and 50 patents in lasers and optoelectronics as well as authoring, co-authoring, or editing 14 books and a CD-ROM on origami. He is a full-time artist and consultant on origami and its applications to engineering problems but keeps his toes in the world of lasers, most recently as the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics from 2007-2010. He received Caltech's highest honor, the Distinguished Alumni Award, in 2009 and was elected a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society in 2013.
    • Kathryn Roszak, Artistic Director of Danse Lumiere, brings new audiences to classical art forms by blending and innovating within the disciplines of dance, literature, music, science and theater. Training at San Francisco Ballet, School of American Ballet, and American Conservatory Theatre, Roszak performed with San Francisco Ballet, San Francisco Opera Ballet, and Berkeley Repertory Theatre. She choreographed for American Conservatory Theatre, San Francisco Opera Center, Kent Nagano's Berkeley Symphony. Recent works include stage adaptations of Pulitzer Prize winning poet Gary Snyder's "Mountains and Rivers Without End," Maxine Hong Kingston's "The Fifth Book of Peace," and "The Star Dances," collaborating with U.C. Berkeley astronomers for the International Year of Astronomy. The San Francisco Bay Guardian named Danse Lumiere one of the top ten performances of 2011 for Roszak's "Pensive Spring; A Portrait of Emily Dickinson" presented by Cal Performances' Fall Free for All. Roszak taught for the Lines Ballet/Dominican University and she teaches "Dance and Film" at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, at U.C. Berkeley, where she also serves as the Dance Specialist for Cal Performances. Danse Lumiere creates dance theater linking the arts, environment, and humanity. Founded in 1995 as Anima Mundi, the company specializes in adapting literature for the stage, fusing dance, theater, and music. The company performed at La MaMa Theater, New York, The Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., Copenhagen Cultural Festival, University of San Francisco and at the Herbst Theatre, San Francisco, among others. The company has received grants including from Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation, Laurance S. Rockefeller, Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, Djerassi Resident Artists' Program, Goethe Institute, Royal Norwegian Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Fleishhhacker Foundation, and Zellerbach Family Fund.
    • 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.

    Extended abstracts:

    The last decade of this past century has been witness to a revolution in the development and application of mathematical techniques to origami, the centuries-old Japanese art of paper-folding. The techniques used in mathematical origami design range from the abstruse to the highly approachable. In this talk, I will describe how geometric concepts led to the solution of a broad class of origami folding problems - specifically, the problem of efficiently folding a shape with an arbitrary number and arrangement of flaps, and along the way, enabled origami designs of mind-blowing complexity and realism, some of which you'll see, too. As often happens in mathematics, theory originally developed for its own sake has led to some surprising practical applications. The algorithms and theorems of origami design have shed light on long-standing mathematical questions and have solved practical engineering problems. I will discuss examples of how origami has enabled safer airbags, Brobdingnagian space telescopes, and more.

    Bioart, distinguished by its medium, is living matter in the form of tissues, bacteria, fungi, or entire living organisms and their life processes as art. I will provide a general overview of bioart, touch on its history and discuss the contemporary artists working in this field.

    One of the main goals of choreographer Kathryn Roszak's work with Danse Lumiere is to integrate art and science, particularly dance and science. We have created dance performances with professional dancers for the International Year of astronomy in 2009. In our outreach programs in schools and at Lawrence Hall of Science we feature women choreographers and women scientists, and this breaks down pre-conceived barriers particularly for girls, exciting both girls and boys about science through dance, and the kids are inspired to make their own dances. Our dances find inspiration from science: planetary movements, solar flares, spiraling galaxies, magnetism, the northern lights, and the higgs boson discovery have all been sources for choreography. We have also found inspiration in biology with a dance about roots with music composed from the cellular structure of xylem and phloem. Mathematics inspires our dances with geometric patterns and dances based on patterns of algorithms. Danse Lumiere has collaborated with U.C. Berkeley scientists: Dr. Bethany Cobb (astrophysics), Dr Carleton Pennypacker (physics), and Dr. Matt Fillingim of Space Sciences. Some of our choreographic investigations include looking at not only at patterns, but also at charts, computer simulations, and scientific language for inspiration. Through innovative choreography, Danse Lumiere is bringing new audiences to dance and science. Through our performances, womens' artistic and scientific contributions are made visible, and science is also made more accessible to a general audience. http://www.dlkdance.com/star.html

    Demonstration and explanation of Blooms, a unique type of 3D-printed sculpture designed to animate when spun and lit by a strobe light (or captured by a video camera with a very fast shutter speed). Blooms are based on the same phyllotaxy found in pinecones, sunflowers, artichokes, and many succulents.
    Photos and videos of this evening