Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous of 10 October 2019

Exploring the Frontiers of Knowledge and Imagination, Fostering Interdisciplinary Networking

Stanford, 10 October 2019
LiKaShing building - Room LK130
Chaired by Piero Scaruffi and prof. Curtis Frank

The LASERs are an international 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 and the dates for the Bay Area. 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.
Where: Stanford University, LiKaShing building - Room LK130
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 6pm.
Program (the order of the speakers might change):
  • 7:00-7:25: Irving Weissman (Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine) on "How normal stem cells regenerate the body but sometimes lead to cancer" Besides the more famous embryonic stem cells, there are also adult stem cells, and, unfortunately there are also tumor stem cells... Read more
  • 7:25-7:50: James Ferrell (Stanford/ Systems Biology) on "Can Living Cells Assemble Themselves?" Experiments suggest that the ability to self-organize into cell-like structures is basic property of living matter... 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: Yoon Chung Han (SJSU) on "Biometric Data Arts using Fingerprint and Iris Data" Biometric data artworks that prompt the audience to explore their own identities... Read more
  • 8:35-9:00: Aja Duniven (Animate) on "Gamification of Altruistic Action: Gamifying nonprofit outreach for greater impact" Turning everyday activities into games to further fundraising, education, and outreach... Read more
  • 9:00pm-9:30pm: Discussions, networking You can mingle with the speakers and the audience

Watch it live on your mobile device by using
periscope @lasertalks
twitter @lasertalks
Watch it live on your personal computer by using
See also...
  • Other LASER series
  • Archive of past LASERs
  • Leonardo ISAST
  • Art, Technology, Culture Colloquia
  • ScienceSchmoozer
  • LAST Festival
  • Other recommended events
    • Aja Duniven, who studied astrophysics at the University of Colorado Boulder, is founder and CEO of Animate Inc as well as founder of Global Peace Train and president of the Coalition for Collaborative Development. Aja has led media production and community empowerment teams on 5 continents and designed products and eCommerce platforms for those communities. Aja rides the cutting edge of emerging cryptocurrency, augmented, virtual and mixed reality technologies and is dedicated to implementing these technologies in creative gameplay that brings benefit to all beings of our world. She has worked with women in the slums of Kenya, the Lakota of Pine Ridge Reservation, the homeless population in the US, youth transitioning out of gangs, those suffering with mental illness, survivors of abuse, animals and more. Aja has developed Augmented Reality applications that are available on itunes and google play stores, she produces and directs 360 video content and is the Founder and Creative Lead for the Presentville Game. Aja thrives leading teams creating 2D video, animation, 360 video, augmented, virtual and mixed reality content that benefits the world. Her passion in these emerging technologies includes apps for meditation, nonprofits, empathy building, altruistic games, personal development, art and mixed reality (device free) storytelling.
    • James Ferrell is Professor of Chemical and Systems Biology and of Biochemistry at Stanford University. He was Chair of the Dept. of Chemical and Systems Biology from its inception in 2006 until 2011. The Ferrell lab is working to understand the design principles of biochemical switches, timers, and oscillators, especially those that control the cell cycle. We make use of quantitative experimental approaches, modeling, and theory.
    • Yoon Chung Han is an interactive media artist, award-winning interaction designer and educator. Over the past ten years, she has created a wide range of interactive 2D/3D audiovisual art installations including biologic art, data visualization and sonification, generative art, and audiovisual interface design. Her recent research focus was on multimodal interactions using body data, in particular on creating a personalized experience in media arts using biometric data visualization and sonification. Her works have been presented in many international exhibitions, conferences and academic journals such as ACM SIGGRAPH Art gallery, Japan Media Arts Festival, London Science Museum, Media City Seoul, ZKM, NIME, ISEA, ACM Multimedia, ACM SIGCHI, IEEE Vis, and Leonardo Journal. She earned her bachelor and the first Master degree at the Seoul National University, and her second Master degree at Design | Media Arts, University of California, Los Angeles. She worked at Samsung Electronics in S.Korea as a graphic designer and was a visiting researcher/data visualization specialist at SENSEable City Lab, MIT in Cambridge, MA. She holds Ph.D. in Media Arts and Technology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is currently an assistant professor in the department of design in the San Jose State University.
    • 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. He founded the Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous (LASER) in 2008. Since 2015 he has been commuting between California and China, where several of his books have been translated.
    • Irving Weissman is a Professor of Pathology and Developmental Biology at Stanford University, where he is the Director of the Stanford Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine along with Michael Longaker. His awards include election to the National Academy of Sciences in 1989, being named California Scientist of the Year in 2002, the Robert Koch Prize in 2008 the Rosenstiel Award in 2009 and the Max Delbrueck Medal in 2013. He developed methods to identify stem cells, and has extensively researched stem cells and progenitor cells.His research focus is "the phylogeny and developmental biology of the cells that make up the blood-forming and immune system." Weissman is widely recognized as the "father of hematopoiesis" since he was the first to purify blood forming stem cells in both mice and humans. His work has contributed to the understanding of how a single hematopoietic stem cell can give rise to specialized blood cells. Weissman is also a leading expert in the field of cancer stem cell biology, where his work sheds light on the understanding of the pathogenesis of multiple human malignancies. He is also known for transgenic research in which human brain cells are grown in the brains of mice. Weissman was awarded the 2019 Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research for discoveries in stem cell and cancer biology.

    Extended abstracts:

    It is very easy for biochemists to destroy the organization of living cells-just put the cells in a blender and turn it on. But after you do that, is there any chance the homogenized cells will return to their normal organized state? This seemed like too slim a possibility to even be worth testing. But in the course of some other studies of a homogenized cell system-frog egg extracts-one of my postdocs, Xianrui Cheng, noticed that these extracts have an almost spooky ability to spontaneously turn into what looks a lot like a sheet of well-organized cells. And the "cells" in these sheets of "cells" can, under the right circumstances, be made to divide into daughter cells. These findings suggest that the ability to self-organize into cell-like structures is basic property of living matter.

    Every biologic organism has a unique body pattern such as fingerprints, irises, palm prints, and faces. These distinct biometric patterns on the body represent a person's unique signature and identity. In this digital era, the main problems with the use of biometric data are the misuse of personal data and privacy issues. As more digital applications request people to input their biometric data as a more convenient and secure method of identification, the possibility of losing their personal data and identities may increase. The phenomenon of biometric data abuse causes one to question what the notion of "real" identity means and what methods can be used to define identity and hidden narratives. The questions of identification and the insecurity of biometric data have become my inspiration, providing artistic approaches to the manipulation of biometric data and having the potential to suggest new directions for solving the problems. This talk will focus on two biometric data artworks: Digiti Sonus (2012-2013) and Eyes (2018). Digiti Sonus is an interactive fingerprint sonification or interactive sound installation that transforms human's fingerprints into musical sound. The idea is to allow audience to explore their own identities through unique sound generated by their fingerprint patterns based on algorithmic computing and a physical device. Eyes is an interactive art installation and a series of biometric data artworks with my previous artwork Digiti Sonus. It's an interactive biometric data art that transforms human's Iris data into musical sound and 3D animated image.

    Global Peace Train, a Colorado-based nonprofit, turns everyday activities into games to further fundraising, education, and outreach. Executive Director, Aja Duniven, created a technique for nonprofit leaders to engage their populace using a toy or stuffed animal as a way to research the issues the community is facing and create an avatar to establish the gameplay and begin the creation story. The avatars are uploaded into augmented and virtual reality and used with blockchain technology to prove altruistic outcomes and tell inspiring stories. Aja's presentation will include real-world examples of this technology in action, focusing on the Sammy Bear avatar, connected to sustainable housing and the challenges that come with homelessness.

    Our research encompasses the phylogeny and developmental biology of the cells that make up the blood-forming and immune systems. His laboratory identified and isolated the blood-forming stem cell from mice, and has defined, by lineage analysis, the stages of development between the stem cells and mature progeny (granulocytes, macrophages, etc.). This required developing and cloning stromal cells of the hematolymphoid microenvironments from the bone marrow for myeloid and B cells, and from the thymus for T cells. While the adhesion molecules and factors from these stromal cells proved important as molecules (and the genes that encode them) for myeloid and B cells, the analysis of T cell development required in vivo studies of thymic development. In addition, our laboratory has pioneered the study of the genes and proteins involved in cell adhesion events required for lymphocyte homing to lymphoid organs in vivo, either as a normal function or as events involved in malignant leukemic metastases. The term "stem cell" refers to any cell capable of growing more of itself. In most cases people refer to pluripotent, or embryonic, stem cells, which have the ability to become any cell in the body; but there are also adult stem cells, which are more limited in the kinds of cells that they can create. Unfortunately there are also tumor stem cells. Note that we do not use transgenic methods for human brain stem cells, but the brain stem cells themselves. The transplants into immunodeficient mouse brains showed the properties of normal human brain stem cells within a brain context wherein we show site appropriate stem cell self-renewal, migration and differentiation to neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes. The mice also can be both immune deficient and have a disease that we are testing human brain stem cells have a therapeutic regenerative potential.

    Photos and videos of this evening


    The Stanford LASERs are sponsored by the Stanford Deans of: Engineering; Humanities & Sciences; Research; and Medicine; by Continuing Studies.