Announcing the 2016 Scientific Delirium Madness

By Danielle Siembieda
A Grammar for Human Agency From the 2015 SDM Program: "A Grammar for Human Agency" by Deborah Forester. Photo courtesy of Djerassi SDM 2015. Read more in Leonardo 49:3.

We are pleased to launch our artist/scientist residency session with Djerassi Resident Artists Program for the third year. For one month (6 July - 3 August) 11 scientists and artists will be given the gift of time and space at the Djerassi Resident compound in Woodside, CA. Dubbed Scientific Delirium Madness, the retreat will connect some of the world's most distinguished scientists with some of the world's most forward-thinking artists selected from over 185 applicants and nominees. During the course of the residency, choreographers, composers, writers and visual artists will work closely with physicists, biologists and industrial engineers to explore and transform the boundaries of art and science. The announcement was made by Margot H. Knight, Executive Director of the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, at the Leonardo Art & Science Evening Rendezvous (LASER) in Berkeley on June 15. Margot H. Knight noted, “An art/science residency is in our organizational DNA,” noted Margot H. Knight, Executive Director of the Djerassi Program. “Our late founder, biochemist Carl Djerassi had an active arts practice as a writer and playwright. Our Silicon Valley location reminds us constantly of the robust interplay between art and science and technology.” Kimberly Suda, Director of The National Academies Keck Futures Initiative (NAKFI) says, “We are  excited about sponsoring a fellow for this year’s Scientific Delirium Madness because we share in the Program’s goals of exploring how art and science are two sides of the ‘creativity and innovation’ coin.” She continues, “The 2015 NAKFI conference is the first year we experimented with the intentional inclusion of art and design into our interdisciplinary mix.  There is still a lot to unpack, but we’ve learned a lot about how creating a safe space for diversity to thrive can inspire new thoughts about how we live today and what we dream for tomorrow.  This residency provides that safe space.” In addition to collegial time, the retreat will include a regular series of blogs, LASER (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous) events organized by noted cultural historian Piero Scaruffi, an Open House/Open Studio public gathering at the Djerassi Program on July 24 and a special insert in the Leonardo journal. The residency is supported by Leonardo/ISAST, Djerassi Resident Artists Program donors, and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts and NAKFI (National Academies Keck Futures Initiative.) THE PARTNERS Recognized as one of the world’s most prestigious artist residencies, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program has accelerated the creative process of more than 2,200 residents since its founding in 1979. Perfectly suited to grant creative thinkers freedom for intense work, the facility sits on an isolated 583-acre ranch amidst native redwood and oak forests, rolling grasslands, and broad Pacific Ocean vistas. Residents connect with and use the inspirational grounds—for hiking, installation and performance areas, and for gathering artist materials. Its mission is to nurture creativity and provide space and uninterrupted time for arts and to protect, preserve and restore—in perpetuity—the natural habitat upon which it sits. Leonardo/The International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology (Leonardo/ISAST) creates opportunities for the powerful exchange of ideas between practitioners in art, science and technology. Through publications, initiatives and public forums, Leonardo facilitates cross-disciplinary research, seeking to catalyze fruitful solutions for the challenges of the 21st century. By enhancing communication among scientists, artists and engineers, Leonardo supports experimental projects and interacts with established institutions of art and science to transform their practices. It has served as a critical content provider in the field of Art/Science through its Publications Program since 1968, currently in partnership with the MIT Press. Through its Engagement Programs, Leonardo has a rich history of collaborative activities and events with like-minded organizations and institutions around the world. Leonardo’s popular LASER (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous) lecture/networking gatherings spotlight art and science practitioners and thinkers The LASER (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous) series is an international program of Leonardo/ISAST that involves an evening gatherings that bring artists and scientists together for informal presentations and conversation with an audience. The Bay Area LASER series was started by cultural historian Piero Scaruffi in January 2008. The Bay Area LASERs now alternate between San Francisco (at USF), Silicon Valley (at Stanford University) and the East Bay (at UC Berkeley). Sister series, coordinated by Leonardo ISAST include Washington D.C, Los Angeles, CA, Santa Cruz, CA, Northern California, London, Austin, TX, North Texas, Kansas,  Zurich, Switzerland, Toronto, ON, and NYC, NY, Tacoma, WA. NAKFI (National Academies Keck Futures Initiative) is designed to enable scientists from different disciplines to focus on new questions, upon which they can base entirely new research, and to encourage and reward outstanding communication between scientists as well as between the scientific enterprise and the public.  The goal of the Keck Futures Initiative -- launched in 2003 by the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine, with the support from W.M. Keck Foundation -- is to stimulate new modes of scientific inquiry and break down barriers to interdisciplinary research in funding agencies, academic and other research settings, publication and academia.