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 405
Program (the order of the speakers might change):
Gary Boodhoo (Videogame designer) on "Human Encounters With a Gregarious Learning Machine"
Using stagecraft, creative coding, and game design to make pictures of Minds... Read more
Rosanna Guadagno (University of Texas at Dallas) on "Men, Women, and Technology: Insights from Social Psychology"
Abstract forthcoming... 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.
Paul Dresher (Composer) on
"What Would Happen If..Inventing Musical Instruments - the Experimental Playground at the Intersection of Music, Craft and Physics."
Inventing new instruments requires one to experiment like a scientist... Read more
Micheline Marcom (Novelist) on "The Illuminated Book, the Imaginal World, Dreams, and Deep Reading"
What knowledge and dreams have in common... Read more
- Discussions, networking
You can mingle with the speakers and the audience
Other LASER series
Archive of past LASERs
Art, Technology, Culture Colloquia
Other LASER series
Other recommended events
- Gary Boodhoo combines videogames and machine learning to create interactive science fiction. A Jamaican-born industry veteran, millions of players around the world use the interfaces he invented for games including Madden NFL, The Sims, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and The Elder Scrolls Online. His work examines how digital environments overlap real ones.
- Paul Dresher is one of the foremost composers of the post-minimalist generation. He has composed opera, chamber and orchestral works, live instrumental electroacoustic music and scores for theater, dance, and film. Paul's many honors include a 2006-07 Guggenheim Fellowship and commissions from the Library of Congress, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Spoleto Festival USA, the Kronos Quartet, the San Francisco Symphony, Zeitgeist, San Francisco Ballet, Chamber Music America, among others. Compositions include: the post-minimalist classics Liquid and Stellar Music (1981) and Channels Passing (1982), the trio Double Ikat (1989); the "American Trilogy" (1985-90), three operas in collaboration with writer Rinde Eckert; the evening-length collaboration with choreographer Margaret Jenkins "The Gates" (1994); the Concerto for Violin and Electro-Acoustic Band (1997); the solo percussion work "Schick Machine" (2009), created for percussionist Steven Schick and performed on a set huge invented musical instruments and sound sculptures; the Concerto for Quadrachord & Orchestra (2012), "Sound Maze" (2015), a hands-on sound installation of twelve invented musical instruments that toured the USA in 2017; and the multidisciplinary piece "Molded by the Flow" in collaboration with playwright Rinde Eckert and faculty and students at the University of Southern Maine, where Paul has been appointed USM Libra Professor for the 2016-17 academic year. He has had a long time interest in the music of Asia and Africa, studying Ghanian drumming, Hindustani classical music, Balinese and Javanese music. His music has been performed throughout North America, Asia and Europe. His recordings include: This Same Temple & Liquid and Stellar Music (Lovely Music, 1984), Dark Blue Circumstance (New Albion), Opposites Attract (New World), Slow Fire (Minmax), and Casa Vecchia (Starkland).
- Micheline Marcom is a Saudi Arabia-born novelist who grew up in Lebanon and then Los Angeles. Her first book and the beginning of a trilogy of novels, Three Apples Fell from Heaven (2001), about the Ottoman government's genocide of the Armenian population, was named as one of the best books of the year by both The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. Her second book in the trilogy, The Daydreaming Boy (2004), earned her the 2004 Lannan Literary Fellowship as well as the 2005 PEN/USA Award for Fiction. The trilogy's third chapter, Draining the Sea (2008), deals with the Guatemalan Civil War. These were followed by "The Mirror in the Well" (2008) and "A Brief History of Yes" (2013). She teaches Creative Writing at Mills College.
- 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.
In the 18th century, William Blake revived the illuminated manuscript as a means of fusing the visual and literary into a form which might awaken man from what he called the "sleep of reason," and act as a vehicle for the revolution of the imagination. Henry Corbin, the sufi scholar, in his work about Ibn 'Arabi speaks of the faculty of imaginative power. This talk will discuss writing as a process of knowledge, dreams as a portal, the imagination, and solitary deep reading as a vital form of resistance and transformation.
"What Would Happen If.." It's the question I often ask myself when I start to work on a new instrument. While composition and performance is usually the ultimate goal of all my activities, inventing new instruments (whether acoustic or electronic) requires me to experiment like a scientist and play like an artist. In fact, if you possess enough experience with physics of sound and the acoustic characteristics of physical materials, there is little difference between the two. In this presentation, I'll show video of a few finished instruments in performance and then work backwards to how they were imagined and created.
Suddenly, computers are good at seeing and understanding. Learning machines have arrived, bearing unexpected cargo. The surprising truth behind artificial intelligence is that Mind emerges from the environment. In 2015 a team at Google led by Alexander Mordvintsev released the first "Deep Dream" images to an amazed internet. These were instantly recognizable as photographs of the psychedelic experience. The algorithm is a dozen lines of code. It exaggerates a provided picture using habits the machine has learned. It's a deterministic process. For any given image, the machine constructs the same hallucination every time. I create video installations that show the world to a learning machine through a live camera. Deep Dream Vision Quest is a neural image synthesizer that creates multiplayer hallucinations. Although the algorithm is predictable, the world is not. At live performances I'm often asked where the images come from. I've come to recognize how easy it is for humans to complete them with our memories. In this talk I describe how I use stagecraft, creative coding, and game design to make pictures of Minds.
Photos and videos of this evening