Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous of November 2012

Constructive Interference of the Arts and Sciences

San Francisco, 12 November 2012
c/o University of San Francisco
Fromm Hall - Maier Room

An event for and about Artists and Scientists who work/think/imagine/engage at the intersections of the Arts and Science.

Chaired by Piero Scaruffi (p@scaruffi.com) and Tami Spector
Part of a series of cultural events

Leonardo ISAST and USF invite you to a meeting of the Leonardo Art/Science community. See below for location and agenda.

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.

See also...

  • Interdisciplinary panels
  • DASERs
  • Art, Technology, Culture Colloquia
  • ScienceSchmoozer
  • Previous Art/Science Evenings

    • 6:45pm-7:00pm: Socializing/networking.
    • 7:00-7:25:
    • Christina Mazza on "Trashed" Art made of garbage Read more
    • 7:25-7:50:
    • Derek Sears (NASA) on "Sometimes Space Comes to us: The Science of Meteorites" We will never understand these materials, so chock full of information, until we visit their sources... 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:
    • Marti Hearst (UC Berkeley) on "'Natural' Search User Interfaces" What does the future hold for search user interfaces? Read more
    • 8:35-9:00:
    • Stella Zhang on "On The Edge of Culture" Art as a process of rethinking oneself at the intersection of Eastern and Western cultures Read more
    • 9:00pm-9:30pm: Discussions, networking You can mingle with the speakers and the audience

    • Marti Hearst is a professor in the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley. She received BA, MS, and PhD degrees in Computer Science from UC Berkeley and was a Member of the Research Staff at Xerox PARC from 1994 to 1997. A primary focus of Dr. Hearst's research is user interfaces for search.She just completed the first book on the topic of Search User Interfaces and she has invented or participated in several well-known search interface projects including the Flamenco project that investigated and the promoted the use of faceted metadata for collection navigation. Professor Hearst's other research areas include computational linguistics, information visualization, and analysis of social media.Prof. Hearst has received an NSF CAREER award, an IBM Faculty Award, a Google Research Award, an Okawa Foundation Fellowship, two Excellence in Teaching Awards, and has been principle investigator for more than $3M in research grants.
    • Christina Mazza is a San Francisco Bay Area artist working primarily with reclaimed materials, creating intricate works of art that focus on the urban byproducts of human life while encourage sustainability and environmental responsibility. She has exhibited at the Boston Center for the Arts, San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, Southern Exposure, Intersection for the Arts, and numerous other venues throughout the Bay Area. Mazza recently completed a residency at Recology's AIR Program in 2010 and the Artist's Studio Program at the de Young Museum in 2009. Her work has also been accepted into The Drawing Center's Viewing Program in NYC. Selected works have been published in an anthology showcasing contemporary Asian American women artists and in Recology's 20th Anniversary publication. Mazza has a BFA in Advertising and Illustration and previously worked 15 years at leading advertising agencies in Dallas, Los Angeles and San Francisco before becoming a full-time visual artist.
    • 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. He has also written extensively about cinema and literature.
    • Derek Sears is a teacher and researcher who has spent his career studying meteorites and their relationship to asteroids. He is best known for his application of thermoluminescence to the study of meteorites, but has also worked on water on Mars and the composition and spectral properties of asteroids. For 14 years he was part of the preliminary examination team for Antarctic meteorites and between 1992 and 2002 he was editor of Meteoritics and Planetary Science. He has published three books on meteorites. He is a research scientist at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California.
    • Stella Zhang was born in Beijing, China. She learned painting from her father the acclaimed brush painter Ping Zhang who was a professor at the Central Academy of Fine Arts. She attended the Central Academy of Fine Arts for high school. She then matriculated to the Central Academy of Fine Arts for college where she received her BFA in Chinese Brush Paining in 1989. She moved to Japan in 1990 where she studied Japanese Painting at Tama Fine Art University and later at Tokyo Art University where she earned her MFA in Japanese Painting in 1996. She has lived in the United States since 2003. In the past 20 years, her work has been exhibited in Chinese, Japanese and American galleries and museums. Her work has been included in fine arts collections in many countries. She has published four books.

    Address and directions:

    University of San Francisco
    2130 Fulton Street
    SF, CA 94117
    Room: Fromm Hall - Maier Room

    See the campus map and directions

    Extended abstracts

    Trashed. What do you see when you look at garbage? As a visual artist who works with reclaimed materials, I see innumerable possibilities, complex textures with linear interplay, and engrossing human narratives. Within the walls of Recology's San Francisco Transfer Station, I have found both inspiration and beauty among the piles of city trash collected from it's residents. Working both from the perspective of a 2-D and installation artist, I focus on the plethora of minutia up through the broader and more abstract implications of our own inner "discard." By drawing isolated items from the dump, I allow the viewer to examine articles in an unconventional forum as art, thereby deriving fresh perspective and unrealized appreciation for the otherwise obvious and mundane.

    Natural search user interfaces. What does the future hold for search user interfaces? This talk identifies some important trends in the use of information technology and suggest how these may affect search in future. This includes is a notable trend towards more 3natural'' user interfaces, a trend towards social rather than solo usage of information technology, and a trend in technology advancing the integration of massive quantities of user behavior and large-scale knowledge bases. These trends are, or will be, interweaving in various ways, which will have some interesting ramifications for search interfaces, and should suggest promising directions for research.

    Sometimes Space Comes to us: The Science of Meteorites.
    The Earth has been bombarded by objects from space since the moment of its creation. We know that major extinctions of life forms have occurred on at least one occasion, probably more. Even today rocks are falling from space. In April of this year a daytime fireball deposited 75 fragments of a rare meteorite in the Sutter's Mill area of California. A just a few days ago a bright fireball and a large sonic boom were reported in the vicinity of Concord, CA, which probably also deposited meteorites, whether on land or at sea is unclear. Meteorites have been the subject of intense scrutiny for over 200 years and we know an enormous amount about them, but there is far more we do not know. We know some remarkable facts. We know that the majority are as old as the Earth and solar system, that this majority have compositions resembling that of the solar photosphere, and that they have internal textures unlike anything made on Earth. Such meteorites are clearly a unique opportunity to study the early solar system and the processes that formed the planets. Such meteorite also contain grains of matter that formed in other star systems or in the interstellar medium. If the meteorites are "sun stuff", these exotic components in them are "star stuff". We also know that a small fraction of these ancient meteorites went through igneous processes not unlike those we see on Earth, where basalts were formed by volcanism and chunks of iron-nickel were formed in the cores of these geologically active objects. We try to understand the history of these ancient meteorites by comparing them to the asteroids, but this is difficult because while meteorites are studied in the laboratory using an amazing array of modern instruments, asteroids are 10s of millions of miles away and have to be studied by astronomical techniques and an occasional highly expensive space mission. As we have become more ambitious in our searching, and - it has to be added - as the commercial value of meteorites soars, huge numbers of meteorites have been found in the hostile places of Earth, the deserts of the world and the ice sheets of Antarctica. In these hoards we have discovered over 60 meteorites that are from the Moon and even more that are from Mars. Meteorites therefore have the potential to inform us about asteroids, the early solar system and the formation of planets, the interstellar medium and processes occurring in other stars, and the geology of the Moon and Mars. But despite our encyclopedic knowledge, and the wide array of specialists who have considered these objects, some fundamental properties of these objects are not understood. To a great extent, this must be because these objects are the flotsam and jetsam of the solar system. They are what floated in space and washed up on our shores. So the irony is, we will never understand these materials - so chock full of information - until we visit their sources and bring back samples. We need to know the geology of the sources of the meteorites. We need to know their birthplace. Only then will the huge warehouse of data locked in these rocks see its full scientific potential.

    On The Edge of Culture. Creating art is a way of examining my inner self, my true self. Creating art is my way of interpreting various emotions and spiritual thoughts; to remove the mask in order to show the true face of human nature. At times, I will create art as a process of rethinking myself. In my life, I have experienced many impulses, both physical and mental, that have taken me from one place to another. I have adapted to new environments and cultures. Living at the intersection of Eastern and Western cultures has influenced my vision of life. My mind is usually hovering between what is real and what is imagined. Therefore my work is very personal and reflects my inner conflicts and struggles. Many events in our lives happen naturally and frequently. Over time, we may become apathetic and neglectful of everyday occurrences, and even ourselves. This illustrates how people think and navigate through life, but recognizing the significance of small items can influence how we see everything around us. Seemingly insignificant details reveal the sensitivities and weaknesses of human nature. We are consistently being challenged by feelings of confusion and lucidity, loss and hope. In addition, the place between an actual experience and a dream could also make one feel lost as we often struggle and seek out a space in which to escape. My work is emotional and embodies a relationship that falls between reality and dream, rather than a description of a specific story. My work utilizes images to provide hints and/or clues leaving the viewer to his or her own conclusions. Each individual viewer will have a unique way of seeing my work, according to the life experiences and psychological state that the viewer has at that time. I am attracted to a type of beauty that is flexible and uncertain, like a mood that is troubled and emotional, casual and sensitive. Imperfection indeed creates a new harmony. I have tried to metaphorically open a new space in my work to remind the viewers to interact with the piece. This allows them to dig out all the possibilities of the inner powers of the piece. Whether the reaction is positive or negative, it is an emotional response. This process of viewer creation promotes a way of seeking better solutions as well as other new energies. When I create a piece, I feel like telling my viewers about my own stories. The interpretation and vision will be left up to my viewers to imagine and decide for themselves. I like to use direct and pure language to explain themes. I use simple and basic elements to do the job giving up unnecessary details in order to maintain the fundamental element of the inner meaning of the artwork. The clarity of the work creates an intellectual and emotional relationship with the viewers, rather than giving fixed anticipations and expectations. The exhibition space, in relation to the work, is meant to be a guiding or interpretive tool. The meaning of my work demonstrates a state of mind in everyday life: a friendly, familiar feeling. Therefore, I choose raw and ordinary materials to create familiarity, closeness, and to stir emotion. I hope to create an image containing a natural quality of tenderness and flexibility evoking the viewer's memories directly and peacefully. The purpose of using a white background is to give the effects of flatness, delicacy, ethereal and quiet. Differential light emphasizes the expansion of space, not only demonstrating clarity, but setting an assertive control of existence of "spirit." The molding and sense of light combine illusion and gender, suggesting that the activity of temperament is prone to meditation and spiritual freedom, at times drifting, at time rebellious. The expansion of space creates a field with pressure, so the work is not fixed due to the various elements used, which also demonstrate the faces of vitality. During production, I work extemporaneously disregarding rules and boundaries. The freedom and diversity of artistic language enables me to find and channel my intimate needs of expression.

    Photos and videos