Berkeley Big Bang 08

UC Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, CA
June 1-3, 2008

Leonardo community members who will be in the San Francisco Bay Area in early June are invited to Berkeley Big Bang 08, three days of new media and art hosted by The UC Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archives (BAM/PFA) and the Berkeley Center for New Media, timed to link with 01SJ: A Global Festival of Art on the Edge, a new media art biennial taking place June 4–8 in San Jose. Occurring together for the first time, these two events combine to create one of the nation’s largest gatherings of new media art, a virtual “big bang” of innovation and creativity.

The Berkeley Big Bang program will include a two-day symposium on new media, art, science, and the body in partnership with Berkeley Center for New Media and Leonardo: The International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology; a campus media lab demonstration and open house; and an alternate reality game. Berkeley Big Bang is presented in tandem with BAM/PFA exhibitions of work by media artists Trevor Paglen, Jim Campbell, Lynn Hershman Leeson, and Scott Snibbe.


Remix: From Science to Art and Back in the Digital Age

Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Co-hosted by Leonardo/ISAST and the Berkeley Art Museum

Schedule of events

8:30am: Registration and Check-In.

9:00am: Introduction: 40 Years of Leonardo, by Steve Wilson, Leonardo Board Member, Author of Information Arts, Professor of Conceptual/Information Art at San Francisco State University.

9:30-11:00am: "Osmosis": What Can the Arts Do for the Sciences?

Art-Science interaction is a two way process. The impact of science and technology on the arts is much discussed and well documented. This panel seeks to examine the influence of the arts on the sciences, and the benefits that science can derive from the arts.

  • Bronac Ferran, Writer, Researcher, Instructor at Royal College of Art in London, Past director of the Interdisciplinary Arts at Arts Council England
  • Melinda Rackham, Executive Director of the Australian Network for Art and Technology
  • Jim Crutchfield, Complexity and Chaos Researcher, Professor of Physics at UC Davis, Co-founder and Scientific Director Art and Science laboratory
  • Chris Chafe, Composer, Duca Family Professor at Stanford University, Director Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics


  • Moderated by Piero Scaruffi, Poet, Cultural Historian and Cognitive Scientist
11:15am-12:45pm: Brilliant Noise: how data becomes experience for artists and for scientists

Most information about the world we live in is now mediated by instruments. This data is often visualised and sonified both to aid analysis and to communicate with other researchers, but artists too can make this data meaningful and "sensual". The same data sets can lead to very different kinds of work. One person's noise is another person's sound.
  • Camille Utterback, Interactive Video Artist, Inventor, and Founder of Creative Nerve
  • Laura Peticolas, Geophysical Researcher at Space Sciences Lab, UC Berkeley
  • Douglas Kahn, Auditory and Sound Culture Historian, Director of Technocultural Studies, UC Davis


  • Moderated by Tami Spector, Professor of Organic Chemistry at University of San Francisco and Leonardo Board member
12:45 - 1:45pm: Lunch Break

2:00-3:30pm: "The New Sensuality: Epistemologies of the Very Very Small"

Human cognition is bounded by the inadequacy of human senses to allow us sensory contact with the world on scales larger or smaller than ourselves. To perceive the nano world one needs extended senses or new senses. The nano world requires a new ontology and a new epistemology.
  • Ruth West, New Media artist, Director Visual Analytics and Interactive Technologies National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research Center, University of California, San Diego
  • Wayne Lanier, Microbiologist, San Francisco Exploratorium
  • Jennifer Frazier, Project Director of the Visualization Laboratory, San Francisco Exploratorium


  • Moderated by Piero Scaruffi, Poet, Cultural Historian and Cognitive Scientist
3:30 - 5:00pm: Closing event of the two-day conference for the audience to mingle with the speakers of the various panels and with Leonardo board members. Winners of the first Leonardo Art/Science Student Contest will also be presented.


Leonardo Student Art Exhibition

The Jury of the first Leonardo Art/Science Student Contest has selected the following projects as winners:

- "Where Are You": Michiko Tsuda (Tokyo National University of the Arts, Japan)

- "Telematic Drum Circle": Byeong Sam Jeon (Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences, University of California, Irvine, California)

- "Circadian Capital": Margarita Benitez and Markus Vogl (School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois)

- "Afterimage - Mind Frame" : Jaewook Shin (ITP, Tisch School of Art, New York Univ, New York)

- "Oberhausen Requiem": Hiroki Nishino (University of Washington)

In addition the jury has recommended a honorable mention for:

- "Open Space 2.0": Homling Hsu (National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan)

- "Three-letter dictionary": Cheth Rowe (San Francisco Art Institute)

The five winners will present their projects at the June 3 conference that will take place in Berkeley, California. All seven will be featured in a forthcoming issue of the Leonardo journal (TBA).

The jury consisted of:

Nina Czegledy, independent media artist, curator and writer
Piero Scaruffi, cognitive scientist and writer
Tami Spector, professor of organic chemistry at the University of San Francisco
Pamela Winfrey, senior artist at the San Francisco Exploratorium


For more information about the conference, visit: http://bampfa.berkeley.edu/events/education/bigbang.

Updated 9 September 2009