Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous of March 18, 2015

Exploring the Frontiers of Knowledge and Imagination, Fostering Interdisciplinary Networking

Stanford, March 18, 2015
c/o Stanford University
Alway M106
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 L.A.S.E.R. will be devoted to special presentations on "Imagining the Universe", part of Stanford Art Institute's year-long collaborative project that will bring together scientists, artists, and humanists to explore the nature of the universe.

Where: Stanford University, Alway M106
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 4pm.
  • 7:00-7:25: Roger Malina (Univ of Texas/ Art & Technology) on "Art and Science for the Space Age" How art can help science fully benefit from the space age... Read more
  • 7:25-7:50: Allison Leigh Holt (Visual Artist) on "The Beginning Was The End: Hybrid Reality in Javanese Culture" Research on Javanese cultural concepts of time and multi-dimensional reality led to models in diagrams, video-sculptures and a sound installation ... 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: Chris McKay (NASA Ames) on "Imagining life in the Universe" What would it mean if we found life outside the Earth?... Read more
  • 8:35-9:00: Katharine Hawthorne (Choreographer) on "Thinking Bodies in Motion" Abstraction through movement can help us understand scale and interconnectedness... 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
  • ScienceSchmoozer
  • LAST Festival
    • Katharine Hawthorne is a San Francisco based dancer and choreographer who likes to watch thinking bodies in motion. She has performed with Liss Fain Dance, Hope Mohr Dance, Sharp & Fine, Ledges & Bones, and James Sewell Ballet, among others. Hawthorne's body of work is grounded in her passion for the sciences and her interest in integrating technology into performance. She has presented her creative work widely in the San Francisco Bay Area as well as in Minneapolis, Chicago, New York, Brown University in Providence, RI; Greece, Argentina, and Montr‚al, Canada. Recent performances have been recognized as "fiercely intelligent" and "fearlessly athletic" by the San Francisco Bay Guardian. Hawthorne holds a B.S. in Physics and Dance, with honors, from Stanford University.
    • Allison Leigh Holt is a San Francisco-based artist whose work combines video and sculpture, sound, diagrams, and installation to investigate and model the relationships between multi-dimensional reality, knowledge and cognition, and what it means to be human. She is the recipient of a J. William Fulbright Fellowship (Indonesia), a San Francisco Arts Commission grant, and nominations for the SFMOMA SECA Award and San Francisco Artist Award. Her exhibition, performance, and screening venues include Stanford University; SFMOMA; Headlands Center for the Arts; Axiom Gallery for New and Experimental Media (solo); Cemeti Art House (solo, Indonesia); the Boston Cyberarts Festival; and the Urban Screens Conference (Australia). Holt has been a resident artist at Cemeti Art House, the Experimental Television Center, and Kala Art Institute; a visiting artist at UC Santa Barbara, Institut Seni Indonesia, and North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics; and has presented at symposia such as the Video Vortex, Yogyakarta International New Media Festival, (both, Indonesia), the Cultural Studies Association, and Louise Bourgeois' Sunday Salon. She holds a BA from The Evergreen State College and an MFA from Massachusetts College of Art + Design.
    • Roger Malina is a space scientist and astronomer, and currently a Distinguished Professor of Art and Technology, and Professor of Physics, at the University of Texas at Dallas and Directeur de Recherche, for the CNRS in France. He founded the ArtSciLab at UT Dallas. In 2012-13 Malina chaired the National Science Foundation funded study "Steps to an Ecology of Networked Knowledge and Innovation". He previously served as director of the Observatoire Astronomique of Marseille and was NASA Principal Investigator for a project at the University of California, Berkeley. Malina is an elected member of the International Academy of Astronautics. He has served on the Comite National of the French CNRS for Astronomy and on the French National Commission on Cosmology. He has received a number of prizes and awards including the International Academy of Astronautics Social Sciences Award, several NASA Public Service Awards, "Laser d'or " Prize, from the International Video Art Organization. Since 1982 he has served as Executive Editor of the Leonardo Publications at MIT Press. He is Chairman Emeritus of Leonardo ISAST (International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology).
    • Chris McKay is Planetary Scientist with the Space Science Division of NASA Ames. His current research focuses on the evolution of the solar system and the origin of life. He is also actively involved in planning for future Mars missions including human exploration. Chris been involved in research in Mars-like environments on Earth, traveling to the Antarctic dry valleys, Siberia, the Canadian Arctic, and the Atacama, Namib, & Sahara deserts to study life in these Mars-like environments. He was a co-investigator on the Huygens probe to Saturn's moon Titan in 2005, the Mars Phoenix lander mission in 2008, and the Mars Science Laboratory mission in 2012.
    • 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 "Intelligence is not Artificial" (2013). He has also written extensively about cinema and literature.

    Extended abstracts:

    Everything we know about biochemistry and life we have learned from the one example we have on Earth. Where are we looking for life elsewhere in our Solar System? How are we looking? And what does it mean if we find life, and if that life is different biochemically from Earth life: A second genesis?


    If we stopped launching rockets tomorrow, our civilization as we know it would come to an end. We have entered a "space age" as clearly marked as were the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages. The work of artists involved in space and space exploration are instrumental in developing the full benefit and impact of the Space Age.


    Katharine Hawthorne presents a danced lecture at the intersection of art and science, using thinking bodies in motion to understand space and time. Hawthorne examines how abstraction through movement can help us understand scale, interconnectedness, and the space between us. Featuring performances by guest dancers from the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance.


    Media artist Allison Leigh Holt will outline her research on Javanese cosmology, its intersections with theoretical physics and science fiction, and her unique approach to bridging these. As a Fulbright Fellow, she translated the fundamental structures of traditional Javanese concepts of time and multi-dimensional reality, using original diagrams, video-sculptures, and interactive sound to create an overview of this endangered knowledge that had never before been done. Holt was recently nominated to collaborate with Senior Geographer Douglas Herman at the National Museum of the American Indian. As a finalist for a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, Holt will discuss her plans to design new media models of indigenous and scientific ways of approaching reality, emphasizing the contemporary relevance and equivalent value of each.

    Photos and videos of this evening