Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous of September 2009

Constructive Interference of the Arts and Sciences

San Francisco, 14 September 2009
c/o University of San Francisco
2130 Fulton Street
SF, CA 94117
Maraschi room in Fromm Hall (Golden Gate & Parker)

An event 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
Sponsored by: ZKM|Center for Art and Media and USF Dean's Office of Arts and Science
and by: School of the Art Institute of Chicago

  • 6:30pm-6:45pm: Socializing/networking. We encourage you to interact with Leonardo ISAST board members.
  • 6:45-7:10:
  • Rachel Beth Egenhoefer (USF) on "Knitting Code" Knit cloth is tangibly constructed from series of knit and purl stitches. Code is constructed from intangible sets of zeros and ones strung together. I also started working with the idea of motion, the motion to knitting, typing, wearing cloth, working at a computer and translating what these motions could look like. Two projects to be shown and discussed include Virtual Knitting and KNiiTTiiNG. In Virtual Knitting users are able to knit with custom made electronic knitting needles in both physical and virtual space at the same time, constructing both tangible and intangible cloth. KNiiTTiiNG uses the Nintendo Wii to knit with.
  • 7:10-7:35:
  • Chris McKay (NASA AMES) on "This Martian Life: Three Stories" Mars is of interest because of the possibilities of life, past, present, and future. On Mars, we hope to find our first example of another type of life: a second genesis. We also plan to send life from Earth to Mars. Perhaps a flower on Mars will be the first. Finally the possibility of a global biosphere on Mars - populated by martian life or lacking martian life by Earth life.
  • 7:35-7:50: BREAK
  • 7:50-8:15: Bonnie DeVarco (artist) on "Imago Mundi - Visioning Earth from MappaeMundi to Cyberspace" Drawing from the history of geography, art, architecture, science and cartography, a multidisciplinary look at centuries of innovative devices that have shifted our perception of Earth. In particular, during the course of the 20th century, visionary architect Buckminster Fuller spent 50 years refining the concept of a true immersive Earth as a celestial theatre. His idea, the Geoscope, raised the level of what might be possible with networked, dynamic immersive Earth Theatres (how to "make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological damage or disadvantage to anyone").
  • 8:15-8:45:
  • Zann Gill on "What Daedalus told Darwin" Tracing a thought path from Leonardo da Vinci's little-known Codex Trivulzianus, through Adam Smith's neglected Theory of Moral Sentiments, which was overshadowed by his Wealth of Nations, highlights cultural biases that may explain why we emphasized a half interpretation of Darwin's theory of evolution, making the Tragedy of the Commons an inevitable outcome of evolutionary dynamics. Recent findings in cell biology raise questions about pure Darwinism (random variation and environmental selection) as the exclusive driver of evolution's ingenious designs. Mythical inventor/ architect Daedalus tells the great scientist Charles Darwin that Intelligent Design has diverted us from the full meaning of "design" - its role in life's past and future evolution toward an eco-sustainable planet.
  • 8:45: Piero Scaruffi on the next Leonardo Art/Science evening I will simply preview the line-up of speakers for the next Leonardo evening.
  • 8:45pm-9:30pm: Discussions, more socializing You can mingle with the speakers and the audience

  • Rachel Beth Egenhoefer is an artist, designer, writer, and educator. Her work explores the intersections between textiles, technology, and the body on historical, constructional and conceptual levels; and often incorporates tactile elements such as candy, knitting, and machines to represent intangible computer codes and conceptual spaces. Egenhoefer is currently an Assistant Professor in Design in the Department of Art + Architecture at the University of San Francisco.
  • Bonnie DeVarco is an interdisciplinary researcher, writer and curator and Media X Distinguished Visiting Scholar. With an academic background in cultural anthropology, dance ethnology and archives management, she writes and lectures on Design Science, virtual worlds, next generation geographic information systems, information visualization and the culture of cyberspace. She is currently co-authoring Shape of Thought, on the history and evolution of visual language with Eileen Clegg and is co-editing a book on Ludic Cartographies with Matteo Bittanti and Henry Lowood of the Stanford University's Humanities Lab.
  • Zann Gill started her career as a researcher for Buckminster Fuller. Early interest in Fuller's concepts for "World Game" to achieve environmental sustainability and "design science" sparked her focus on cross-disciplinary innovation, including a networked system of urban innovation as a complex adaptive system. She moved to Australia in 1989 to work on a proposal from the Japanese government to the Australian government to build an IT "city of the future", the so-called Multifunction Polis (MFP). At NASA she developed plans for an Institute for Advanced Space Concepts (IASC), a collaboratory BEACON (Bio-Evolutionary Advanced Concepts) and the astrobiology program for NASA University. Zann is currently working with Australia's National ICT Center Excellence (NICTA) to reposition the "eco-sustainable city of the future" initiative to harness smart systems technology, ubiquitous computing, and social networks.
  • Chris McKay is a 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 desert to study life in these Mars-like environments. His was a co-I on the Titan Huygen's probe in 2005, the Mars Phoenix lander mission in 2008, and the Mars Science Lander mission for 2011. He is the deputy program scientist for Constellation - the NASA program for future human exploration of the Moon and Mars.
  • 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). He has also written extensively about cinema, literature and the visual arts. An avid traveler, he has visited 121 countries of the world.


See this page to reach USF. Then look for Maraschi room in Fromm Hall, which is located on the corner of Golden Gate and Parker.

University of San Francisco 2130 Fulton Street SF, CA 94117

Confirmed so far: