Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous of 4 October 2017

Exploring the Frontiers of Knowledge and Imagination, Fostering Interdisciplinary Networking
UC Berkeley, 4 October 2017
Soda Hall (corner of Hearst and LeRoy), Room 405
NOTE: Use the EAST-entrance of SODA Hall entering from LeRoy Avenue.
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 405
Campus map
Program (the order of the speakers might change):
  • 7:00-7:25: 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
  • 7:25-7:50: 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.
  • 8:10-8:35: 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
  • 8:35-9:00: 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

See also...
  • Other LASER series
  • Archive of past LASERs
  • Leonardo ISAST
  • Art, Technology, Culture Colloquia
  • Other LASER series
  • ScienceSchmoozer
  • LAST Festival
  • Other recommended events
    Extended abstracts:

    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