Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous of 15 June 2017

Exploring the Frontiers of Knowledge and Imagination, Fostering Interdisciplinary Networking

Stanford, 15 June 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: Fyodor Urnov (UC Berkeley/ Genomics) on "Genetics and Society" Gene therapy for single-gene disorders is already here... Read more
  • 7:25-7:50: Fred Turner (Stanford/ Dept of Communication) on "Technology, Counterculture and The Dream of a World Without Politics" The dream of a world without 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: Elizabeth Jameson (Neuro-Artist) on "Re-Imaging the MRI" An artist's use of medical technology to change the narrative of chronic illness... Read more
  • 8:35-9:00: Adrien Segal (Sculptural Data Artist) on "Scientific inquiry, sensory experience, and the creative process" Making the unseen in the world around us visible... 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
    • Elizabeth Jameson is an artist who specializes in the intersection of art, science, and medical technology. She transforms her brain scans, particularly MRIs, into provocative images that challenge how society views the brain, and illness. Since her diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, she has continually undergone brain scans to track the progression of her disease. Initially the sterile black and white images of the MRIs of her brain were terrifying - she refused to look at them. She began using art to reinterpret these images. Her work invites people to discuss what it means to live in an imperfect body, and to stare directly at the beauty and complexity of the imperfect brain with curiosity. She has spent over a decade transforming her MRIs, and is now focused on the advanced technology of Diffusion Tensor Images (DTIs). She also uses storytelling, technology, and design to focus on expanding the narrative of illness. She is currently working on untapped potential of time spent in waiting rooms of clinics, using portraiture, interactive art, and collecting stories to broaden and deepen the narrative around illness. Currently, Elizabeth creates her work with the aid of her artist's assistant, Catherine Monahon.
    • 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.
    • Adrien Segal is a sculptural data artist and designer based in Oakland, CA. Her work has been exhibited internationally in galleries and museums, and is published in several books and academic journals, including Boom: A Journal of California and Data Flow 2. She has been an Artist in Residence at Facebook, the Bunnell Street Art Center in Alaska, the Oregon College of Arts and Crafts in Portland, Oregon, and at Autodesk's Pier 9 Workshop in San Francisco. Adrien was the Fall 2015 Wornick Distinguished Visiting Professor at California College of the Arts. In addition to teaching, she pursues her creative practice out of her studio on the former Naval Base in Alameda, CA.
    • Fred Turner is a cultural historian and the Harry and Norman Chandler Professor in Communication at Stanford University. Since the late 1990s, he has been studying the ways in which changes in computing and American culture have shaped one another. He is the author of several books, including the award-winning From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism, and most recently, its prequel, The Democratic Surround: Multimedia and American Liberalism from World War II to the Psychedelic Sixties.
    • Fyodor Urnov joined the Altius Institute for Biomedical Sciences in Seattle in August 2016, having previously worked as Vice President, Discovery and Translational Research, at Sangamo BioSciences. During his 16 year career at Sangamo, Fyodor co-invented human genome editing with engineered nucleases, and led a successful effort to reduce to practice its application in basic research and translational settings, including in the clinic. Fyodor led Sangamo's partnership efforts with Dow Agrosciences (crop trait engineering), Sigma-Aldrich (research tools), and Biogen (gene editing for beta-thalassemia and sickle cell disease). He did his undergraduate training at Moscow State University, his PhD at Brown University, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the NIH. As an associate director at Altius, he shares broad responsibility for defining and leading the scientific effort at the Institute.

    Extended abstracts:

    Elizabeth Jameson's fascination with medical imaging and brain scans has a personal basis. Diagnosed with the disease of multiple sclerosis, She found herself confronting stark images of her brain that seemed equally frightening and mesmerizing. MRIS are one of her primary symbols of Multiple Sclerosis. Her artwork originally saturated these cold, two-dimensional computerized pixels with rich colors that transformed scientific images into portraits of individuals with all the frailties, humor, and idiosyncrasies that make us human. She transformed the MRIs of her own brain into provocative and graceful images that challenge how society views illness. As her disease has progressed, her practice has evolved. She used engage in traditional art practice; now she uses storytelling, technology, and design to focus on expanding the narrative of illness. She is currently working on untapped potential of time spent in waiting rooms of clinics, using portraiture, interactive art, and collecting stories to broaden and deepen the narrative around illness.

    Across social media and the "sharing economy" today, pundits and executives promise a technology enabled world of collaborative benevolence. From this world politics has been banished, its awkward negotiations replaced by platform-based conversations and resource exchange. But where did this vision come from? In this talk, Fred Turner will trace the dream of a world without politics back to the counterculture of the 1960s. He will then show how that dream shapes our experience of new media today.


    Information becomes knowledge through experience - a direct sensory perception of the tangible world around us. By translating data into physical forms, a direct sensory experience can become the means by which information is communicated. Starting with data as a conceptual basis, my work incorporates scientific research, digital technology, material culture, and somatic experience into a practice that aims to manifest information in the realm of the physical.

    Not much time has elapsed since the invention of gene editing, but scientists are already able to treat single-gene disorders and to produce GMOs through targeted gene knockouts (i.e. without the insertion of foreign DNA).
    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.