Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous of 11 September 2018

Exploring the Frontiers of Knowledge and Imagination, Fostering Interdisciplinary Networking
San Francisco, 11 September 2018, 7pm
c/o University of San Francisco
Fromm Hall - 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...

Program (the order of the speakers might change):
  • 7:00-7:25: John Bischoff (Composer & Mills College) on "Free Association: Snapshots of an Electroacoustic Musical History" From electro-acoustic music to computer network music... Read more
  • 7:25-7:50: Clair Brown (UC Berkeley) on "Buddhist Economics" Buddhist economics guides us in creating a compassionate economy in a sustainable world... 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: Meredith Drum (Video Artist) on "Effect/Affect: New and Old Media for Socially and Ecologically Engaged Art Projects" The production of socially and ecologically engaged art projects requires specific forms and tools... Read more
  • 8:35-9:00: Bharath Ramsundar (CTO of Computable) on "Decentralized Data Markets In Theory And Practice" Today's data economy critically depends on access to high quality datasets... Read more
  • Discussions, networking You can mingle with the speakers and the audience

  • John Bischoff, Professor of Music at Mills College in Oakland, is a pioneer of live computer music. He is known for his solo constructions in real-time synthesis as well as his development of computer network music. Bischoff studied composition with Robert Moran, James Tenney, Robert Ashley, and David Behrman. He has been active in the experimental music scene in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 40 years as a composer, performer, and teacher. He has performed all over the world and received numerous awards. He is a founding member of the League of Automatic Music Composers, the world's first computer network band. From 1985 to the present he has performed and recorded with the network band The Hub. In 2004, noted media theorist Douglas Kahn published A Musical Technography of John Bischoff in the Leonardo Music Journal (Vol. 14, MIT Press). Two important retrospective CD packages documenting computer network music were released in 2007 and 2008: The League of Automatic Music Composers: 1978-1983 (New World Records) and 3-CD set of recordings by The Hub titled Boundary Layer (Tzadik). Recordings of his work are also available on Lovely Music, 23Five, Centaur, and Artifact Recordings. A solo CD titled Audio Combine was released a few years ago on New World Records and was picked as one of the "Best of the Year 2012" by WIRE magazine.
  • Clair Brown is Professor of Economics, Director of the Center for Work, Technology, and Society, and past Director of the Institute of Industrial Relations at the University of California, Berkeley. Clair has published research on many aspects of how economies function, including development engineering, high-tech industries, the standard of living, and discrimination. Today Clair works on how our economic system can provide comfortable, meaningful lives to all people in a sustainable world. At UC Berkeley, Clair teaches an undergraduate seminar on Buddhist Economics, provides an economic framework that integrates global sustainability and shared prosperity along with care for the human spirit. Clair also is a faculty leader in Development Engineering, a program for graduate students to develop their multidisciplinary skills for designing, building, and evaluating new technologies to help regions improve quality of life in a sustainable way. Her books include American Standards of Living, 1919-1988, and Buddhist Economics: An enlightened approach to the dismal science (Bloomsbury Press, 2017). Clair's economic approach and life as an economist is published in Eminent Economists II - Their Life and Work Philosophies (Cambridge University Press, 2013). The Labor and Employment Research Association honored Clair with their Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to improving workers' lives. She practices Tibetan Buddhism. Learn more about Clair and listen to podcasts on Buddhist Economics at www.buddhisteconomics.net. See http://buddhisteconomics.net/
  • Meredith Drum creates experimental cinema as fictions, essays and documentaries in the form of linear videos, interactive installations, printed books, place-based movement research and mobile media projects. Her work has been supported by grants and residencies from a range of institutions including the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, iLand, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Wassaic Project, the Experimental Television Center, Wave Farm Transmission Arts, ISSUE Project Room, HASTAC and the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts. Meredith exhibits frequently in New York City, and has also recently been included in international exhibitions in Dubai, Mexico City, Rio, Brighton (UK), Manizales (CO), Paris, Copenhagen, and Valencia (ES).
  • Bharath Ramsundar received a BA and BS from UC Berkeley in EECS and Mathematics and was valedictorian of his graduating class in mathematics. He did his PhD in computer science at Stanford University where he studied the application of deep-learning to problems in drug-discovery. At Stanford, Bharath created the deepchem.io open-source project to grow the deep drug discovery open source community, co-created the moleculenet.aibenchmark suite to facilitate development of molecular algorithms, and more. Bharath's graduate education was supported by a Hertz Fellowship, the most selective graduate fellowship in the sciences. Bharath is the lead author of "TensorFlow for Deep Learning: From Linear Regression to Reinforcement Learning", a developer's introduction to modern machine learning, with O'Reilly Media. After leaving Stanford, Bharath co-founded Computable, where he is focused on designing the decentralized protocols that will unlock data and AI to create the next stage of the internet.
  • 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 and the Life Art Science Tech (LAST) festival in 2014. Since 2015 he has been commuting between California and China, where several of his books have been translated.

Address and directions:

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

Extended abstracts

My presentation will trace a path that outlines my own musical history and experience of experimental music, focusing particularly on electro-acoustic music. Some of the examples I will discuss originate in acoustic music traditions and I include them because they have played an important part in my approach to working with electronics. The phrase “free association” in the title refers to both the connections between ideas that I will be suggesting, and to the free association in Computer Network Music—a musical form I will be talking about—between players, between notes, and between musical parameters. Captioned images of the computer technology my colleagues and I have used, starting from about 1977, will accompany my discussion.


Buddhist economics guides us in creating a compassionate economy in a sustainable world. Buddhist economics measures economic progress by the well-being of all people, not Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or average national income, but "an economy that supports meaningful lives with shared prosperity for everyone, while simultaneously caring for the environment and the human spirit." Take a moment to ask yourself how you view your success and happiness. Does it include the well-being of others and society itself, including the planet we are passing on to the next generation?

Today's data economy critically depends on access to high quality datasets. However, the owners of such datasets are incentivized to keep them private since there is no fair and efficient market for purchasing high value datasets. The construction of a decentralized, liquid data marketplace would remove critical bottlenecks for the growth of machine learning and AI. In this talk, I'll explain how a decentralized data marketplace can be constructed by exploiting the capabilities of smart contract platforms such as Ethereum, and discuss the practical implementation of such a protocol.

Questioning the effect and affect of the use of specific forms and tools, both high and low tech, for the production of socially and ecologically engaged art projects, I will critique two of my own recent works: Fish Stories Community Cookbook and the Oyster City AR Walking Tour.

Photos and videos of this evening