Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous of September 14, 2015

Exploring the Frontiers of Knowledge and Imagination, Fostering Interdisciplinary Networking
San Francisco, September 14, 2015
c/o University of San Francisco
Fromm Hall - FR 115 - Berman Room
Chaired by Piero Scaruffi and Tami Spector

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.

Leonardo ISAST and USF invite you to a meeting of the Leonardo Art/Science community. The event is free and open to everybody. Like previous evenings, the agenda includes some presentations of art/science projects, news from the audience, and time for casual socializing/networking.
See below for location and agenda.
Email me if you want to be added to the mailing list for the LASERs.
See also...

  • 7:00-7:25: Daiane Lopes Da Silva (Choreographer) on "Dance, Technology and Science at Kinetech Arts" Adapting concepts of Fractal Noise and Markov Chain in relation to dance... Read more
  • 7:25-7:50: Rob Meagley (ONE Nanotechnologies) on "Nanotechnology and Art" 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: Jasmina Bojic (Stanford/ Cinema) on "Running out of Time - the United Nations Association Film Festival" The United Nations Association Film Festival celebrates the power of international documentary films dealing with human rights, the environment,... Read more
  • 8:35-9:00: Lily Alexander (UC Santa Cruz) on "Counterculture, Collectivity, and the Aesthetics of Early Communications Art at the Western Front and Beyond" The confluence of avant-garde performance, postmodern dance, experimental video and sound in the early development of communications media projects... Read more
  • 9:00pm-9:30pm: Discussions, networking You can mingle with the speakers and the audience

  • Lily Alexander (UC Santa Cruz) is currently a PhD candidate in the History of Art and Visual Culture Department at UC Santa Cruz where her dissertation research focuses on intersecting histories and theories from the political and social movements of the 1960s and early 1970s, with the development of certain participatory forms of media art. She is also a curator, and recent shows she has worked on have included (e)MERGE, a ZERO1 2012 Biennial exhibition of emerging California artists working at the intersection of art and technology; Liquescent, an exhibition of both historic and new work by sound artist Bill Fontana's held at the Haunch of Venison Gallery in New York and I've Got Something on Your Mind, the UCSC Digital Arts and New Media 2012 MFA show. Further, she is the director of the Prof. Christopher Alexander and Center for Environmental Structure (CES) Archives where she is spearheading a project to create a digital archive of Prof. Alexander's large body of work. In recent months, she worked on the selection and preparation of archival material from several historical, low-cost housing CES projects for inclusion in the US Pavilion's exhibition OfficeUS at the 2014 Venice Biennale, as well as selected and prepared archival material for the exhibition ReEnchant the World, an architectural exhibition that opened at La Cite de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine in Paris, in conjunction with the 2014 LOCUS Award for Sustainable Architecture, under the umbrella of UNESCO. Previously, she spent nine months as a research fellow at the Catherine Clark Gallery, where she was writing about several of the artists in the gallery's innovative media program. Before moving to California for her PhD work, she lived in New York where she was the online contributing editor for the contemporary art magazine Whitewall. She also spent a couple of years working as the head researcher for the Hans Hofmann Catalogue Raisonne Project, after receiving her MA in Modern and Contemporary Art History at Christies in New York.
  • Jasmina Bojic has taught at Stanford University for last nineteen years. She has been working as a journalist more than twenty-eight years, covering many political and cultural events, including the Academy Awards, Cannes, Sundance, Venice and Tribeca film festivals. Jasmina has served on juries at many international film festivals and has extensive connections with filmmakers and the film industry worldwide. She has worked as a producer/director on several documentaries and TV Programs dealing with human rights issues. 18 years ago Jasmina conceptualized and organized one of the oldest international documentary film festivals in the US - UNAFF (United Nations Association Film Festival) at Stanford University. In 2000, UNAFF's mission was broadened to include the UNAFF Traveling Film Festival. Jasmina is Founder and Director of the CAMERA AS WITNESS program which extends the educational use of UNAFF documentaries throughout the academic year at Stanford.
  • Daiane Lopes Da Silva is a dancer, choreographer and the artistic director of Kinetech Arts. Her work has been performed in Brazil, France, Belgium and the U.S.A. In Portugal, she worked with Lisbon Dance Company, Almada dance Company and Dan‡Arte. In the Bay Area, Daiane performed with Labayen Dance, KUNST-STOFF Dance Company, Robert Moses' Kin, among others. Her residencies include R.A.D., R.A.W., and Marin Headlands Center for the Arts. Daiane studied with full scholarship at the Escola Municipal de Bailados de Sao Paulo and P.A.R.T.S. (Performing Arts Research and Training Studios), directed by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker in Brussels. She graduated with a B.A. in Psychology, Alpha Beta Kappa, from SFSU.
  • Rob Meagley is presently CEO, CTO and resident "Mad Scientist" at ONE Nanotechnologies, a company founded to invent, develop and market photonic nanodevices and device arrays for biomarker characterization and related technology. Prior to forming ONE Nanotechnologies and following post-doctoral research at UC-Berkeley and Cornell, Rob was Principle Investigator, Senior Staff Scientist, and the Molecules for Advanced Patterning Program Manager for Intel. In 2004 he was named Researcher-In Residence for a group he created at Lawrence Berkeley National Labs to discover, develop and commercialize advanced lithography materials. With over 38 papers, 41 patents, and numerous awards to his name, Rob is an expert in the design and synthesis of small molecules and complex molecular systems. In addition to managing several complex, interdisciplinary teams and research programs, he has also lectured extensively on materials science chemistry and nanotechnology, and provides consulting services to the nanotechnology, MEMS and biotechnology communities.
  • 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. His latest book is "Intelligence is not Artificial" (2013). He has also written extensively about cinema and literature.

Address and directions:

University of San Francisco
2130 Fulton Street
SF, CA 94117
Fromm Hall - FR 115 - Berman Room
2130 Fulton Street, San Francisco, CA 94117-1080
Fromm Hall is behind the church, best accessed from Parker Ave.

Extended abstracts

In the years of the late 1960s and early 1970s, the wave of social movements across the globe, including the civil rights movements, the free speech as well as free space movements, and protests against the Vietnam War emerged in conjunction with an intensification of artistic explorations into new medial forms of expression. Amidst this flurry of artistic experimentation, an international network of artists became interested specifically in making art that used, adapted, analyzed, critiqued and transformed the channels of media and communications technologies. Connected through communications channels developed by artists influenced by or involved with, for example, artistic networks such as Fluxus and the New York Correspondence School (Mail Art) of Ray Johnson, these artists shared art and ideas across a world divided by the Cold War. Towards the end of the 1970s and early 1980s there had been major developments in telecommunication technologies, with the development of telematics (the combination of computers with telecommunications), increased public access to satellites, and the dawn of the personal computer. As a growing number of artists embraced these new technologies, an effervescence of communications projects that engaged with novel mechanisms of communication ensued. In this short talk I will be discussing my recent research at the historic artist's space Western Front in Vancouver, Canada. This was one of the global nodes that either directed or took part in a number of the more well known communications projects such as The World in 24 Hours that was organized by Robert Adrian X for Ars Electronica in 1982. While some of the histories that have come out of this period have focused on the new technologies that were being used, or the philosophical underpinnings of work by pioneers such as Roy Ascott, I will be delving into the actual work that was collaboratively produced during these events, with the participation of artists such as Mona Hatoum, Hank Bull, and Willoughby Sharp. Because of the difficulty of accessing the documentation of such events, still stored primarily on videotape, the actual artistic content of such technological networks has often been elusive. In my talk I will be exploring the role of countercultural movements, specifically the move to collectivity, and the subsequent confluence of avant-garde performance, postmodern dance, experimental video and sound in the early development of these communications media projects. I am especially interested in considering the role that such intermedia 'situations' had in the development of artistic approaches towards using communications technologies, in particular in the emphasis on multi-sensory perception, the role of the nonverbal in communication, and the total phenomenological experience of such mass communications interventions or 'sculptures.'
The UNAFF (United Nations Association Film Festival) was originally conceived to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It was founded by Stanford educator and film critic Jasmina Bojic with the participation of the Stanford Film Society and the UNA Midpeninsula Chapter, a community-based nonprofit organization. UNAFF celebrates the power of international documentary films dealing with human rights, the environment, protection of refugees, famine, homelessness, racism, disease control, women's issues, children, universal education, war and peace. The 18th UNAFF will be held from October 15-25, 2015 in Palo Alto, Stanford University, East Palo Alto and San Francisco. This year's theme RUNNING OUT OF TIME continues the ongoing celebration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and focuses on time-sensitive aspects of the Millennium Development Goals. UNAFF has screened some of the most awarded and talked about documentaries in the industry including seven that went on to win Academy Awards and twenty-seven that were nominated. As one of the oldest solely documentary film festivals in the US, UNAFF has grown and earned the respect of audiences and filmmakers alike for its fearless independence and integrity. UNAFF prides itself in creating a community forum with year-round programs for discovery and dialogue about different cultures, issues and solutions.

Like many vibrant cities located where land meets ocean, the intersection of art and science present fertile ground for innovation and beauty. In this talk , artistic director of Kinetech Arts, Daiane Lopes da Silva will share her first hand experience of working at that intersection. She has been experimenting with adopting science concepts for choreography, examining concepts of Fractal Noise and Markov Chain in relationship to dance. Her examination of those scientific concepts extends to elements such as probability, stillness, weight shifting, directional pathways and improvisation.

Photos and videos of this evening