Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous of 14 June 2017

Exploring the Frontiers of Knowledge and Imagination, Fostering Interdisciplinary Networking
UC Berkeley, 14 June 2017
Soda Hall (corner of Hearst and LeRoy), Room 310
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 310
NOTE: Use the WEST-entrance of SODA Hall entering from Etcheverry Plaza.
Campus map
Program (the order of the speakers might change):
  • 7:00-7:25: Susan Moffat (UC Berkeley's Global Urban Humanities Initiative) on "The Albany Bulb: From Dump to Art Park...and Ecological Research Station?" Working to preserve the creative aspects of the Albany Bulb, a landfill... Read more
  • 7:25-7:50: Evie Leder (Video Artist) on "#NSFW Looking / Seeing" Art that looks at things you are not supposed to... 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: Carmen Aguilar y Wedge (Hyphen Labs) on "NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism" A transmedia exploration told through speculative product design, emerging technologies, cognitive research, and transhumanism... Read more
  • 8:35-9:00: Karl Schaffer (Choreographer) on "Dancing with Mathematics" Surprising ways in which mathematical ideas are found in the performing art of dance... Read more
  • Discussions, networking You can mingle with the speakers and the audience

See also...
  • Other LASER series
  • Archive of past LASERs
  • Leonardo ISAST
  • Art, Technology, Culture Colloquia
  • Other LASER series
  • ScienceSchmoozer
  • LAST Festival
  • Other recommended events
    • Carmen Aguilar y Wedge is a Latinx engineer, designer, researcher and business woman. Co-captain of Hyphen-Labs, Carmen collaborates to create robust transmedia experiences by combining new and old ideas, crafts and digital, physical, mediums ranging in scale from small products and prototypes to large architectural installations. Carmens knowledge and experience spans a wealth of creative disciplines encompassing new media, virtual reality, animation, physical computing, parametric design, digital fabrication, programming, robotics, and architecture.
    • Evie Leder is a two-time winner of San Francisco Arts Commission Individual Artist Grant. She is also the recipient of the Princess Grace Award, a New York Expo of Short Film Jury Award and a grant from the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Leder is a member of "A Simple Collective" in San Francisco and a founding member of "the lesbian film collective". Leder's art concerns itself with the tensions inherent within the moving image: It's seductive nature, the flickering light, the voyeurism, the acts of looking and being seen and the power of the gaze. Her work focuses on recontexualizing gender and the socially agreed-upon constructs that hold up our gender and sexuality systems. Leder's work has screened internationally at film festivals and galleries including; Black and White Projects, The Kinsey Institute, The Sundance Channel, Tampere International Short Film Festival, Frameline, Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, South By Southwest, New York Expo of Short Film and Video, The New Festival, Mix NY, Outfest LA, SOMArts Cultural Center, Euro Underground Film Festival and Art Matters, among many others. Evie Leder is represented by Black and White Projects. In 2016 she was selected as a charter tenant at the Minnesota Street Project Studio Program. She holds a BA from Hampshire College and an MFA from UC Davis.
    • Susan Moffat is the Project Director of the Global Urban Humanities Initiative, an interdisciplinary program at UC Berkeley that brings together the environmental design disciplines and the arts and humanities. Her research focuses on issues including perceptions of nature and culture in public space, parks, homelessness, water and landscape, and methods of spatial narratives. As a curator, Susan has mounted exhibitions on cartography and on the San Francisco Bay shoreline. Her oral history and mapping project, Atlas of the Albany Bulb, collects place-based stories from users of wild space at the urban edge, including unhoused people and artists, and was part of the SOMArts Cultural Center exhibition Refuge in Refuse: Homesteading Art and Culture Project. She also served as a consultant on the Detour audio tour of the Albany Bulb. She has organized symposia including Mapping and Its Discontents; Art, Politics, and the City in Mexico and China; and, in collaboration with the Arts Research Center, Reimagining the Urban and Public Art/Housing Publics: Conversations on Art and Social Justice. Susan was a guest co-editor of the Fall 2016 special edition of BOOM: California on urban humanities, which features her article, The Battle of the Bulb: Nature, Culture and Art at a San Francisco Bay Landfill.
    • 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.
    • Karl Schaffer is a mathematician and choreographer. Schaffer began dancing in Birmingham, Alabama, and has studied, performed and/or taught modern, tap, Flamenco, Bharatya Natyam, folk dance, and Tai Chi Chuan. Schaffer's dance work plays with ideas and movement in original, surprising, and entertaining ways, often exploring imaginative connections between dance and mathematics. The Dr. Schaffer and Mr. Stern Dance Ensemble, co-directed with Erik Stern for 30 years has performed internationally, including recently at the National Science Museum in Seoul, Korea; National Museum of Mathematics, NYC; Kennedy Center, DC. He recently served as guest artist for the Mellon Creative Residencies at Haverford, Swarthmore, and Bryn Mawr, and an Artist in Residence at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History. Schaffer and Stern are on the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Partners in Education Teaching Artist Roster, and frequently give workshops for major arts venues on integrating math and dance in the classroom and studio. Schaffer's recent concerts are The Daughters of Hypatia celebrating women mathematicians, Mosaic dealing with the conflict in Palestine, Israel, and the Mideast, and the upcoming Choreocopia, integrating food, song, and dance. He teaches dance freelance and math at De Anza College, and received his MA and PhD in graph theory from UC Santa Cruz.

    Extended abstracts:

    Interactions between mathematics and music or visual arts may be familiar to many people, but there are also surprising ways in which mathematical ideas are found in the performing art of dance. In our dance company we sometimes explore what can happen when mathematical concepts are translated to bodies moving in space, or we might examine how mathematics may already be embedded within choreography. Sometimes dance questions inspire new mathematical problems, sometimes we find activities to engage students in better understanding the math curriculum through full-body dance and movement exercises. But we often have the most fun just playing with the ways that math and dance are so connected that one cannot be separated from the other. I will discuss and show examples of all of these approaches to dance and mathematics integration.

    The Albany Bulb is a construction debris landfill that juts a mile into San Francisco Bay from its eastern shore, pointing like a rubbly fist at the Golden Gate, which lies directly west. Long home to dogwalkers, birdwatchers, underground artists making sculpture out of driftwood and rebar, and, until 2014, to a longstanding encampment of homeless people, the Bulb has been hotly contested territory. Now this untamed landscape owned by the City of Albany is being gradually domesticated and incorporated into the management regimes of the McLaughlin Eastshore State Park. Susan Moffat and a group of artists and local Bulb lovers are working to preserve the creative aspects of the Bulb so that it can remain perhaps the last piece of habitat for the kind of informal art that used to populate the Emeryville shoreline and other spots along the Bay. They envision a new kind of art park centered on community participation. The park will be home to performance, music, temporary installations, scientific investigation, and experiments in art and science that examine consumption, waste, climate change and habitats for human and other species. Susan will talk about her Love the Bulb group and their ongoing performances, artmaking and gatherings.

    NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism is a transmedia exploration told through speculative product design, emerging technologies, cognitive research, and transhumanism. Created by and for women of color, Hyphen-Labs presents a multi-layered possible future that transcends the constraints of the present; a realm which The New Yorker has called "another plane of consciousness." The virtual reality experience is the first chapter of a science fiction story placing you in a "neurocosmetology lab" where black women are the pioneers of brain optimization. Here, instead of ordinary braids, customers are fitted with transcranial electrodes that allow access to a surreal digital temple blending the physical with the digital.

    Evie Leder has spent more than 3 decades making art works that look closely at things she shouldn't. Bodies, parts, gender, grief, regret, death, sex. Her work has always been lens based and has shifted from photography to film and video to electronic media. Leder will talk about her artistic practice.
    Photos and videos of this evening