LASER Talks in Kansas

LASER (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous) is Leonardo/ISAST's international program of evening gatherings that brings artists and scientists together for informal presentations and conversations.

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CHAIRED BY: Carlos Castellanos


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Shawn Hutchinson

Department of Geography, K-State

Title of Presentation: Geography Illustrated

The discipline of geography spans a broad swath of academic territory and includes elements of the humanities, social sciences, physical and biological sciences, as well as a healthy dose of computation and computer programming for data analysis and visualization. While the research is diverse, the unifying framework for geographers is place and using places to integrate what we know about the world to better understand patterns, processes, and relationships. This presentation highlights how one geographer uses satellite images of the Earth’s surface to quantify and analyze patterns of biophysically-relevant data with the goal of translating that data into useful information about places such as the Flint Hills of Kansas.

Rebecca Bahlmann

Department of Art, K-State

Title of Presentation: coming soon...

Using Slavoj Zizek and Dsiga Vertov’s analogy of the camera as a partial object, as an “eye” torn from the subject, I will explore how VR and the static stereoscopic effect of space in photography positions the viewer in an extremely individualised spacial matrix within the 3-D world. How have artist exploited this mode of working for conceptually based works. 3-D photography (the first verison of VR) has sometimes been dismissed as a gimmick or fad[i], one that was fashionable in the late 19th century in europe and then in the early 20th in the US – then again in the 1950’s and 60’s. In this laser talk I will show some examples of artist who work in this manner as part of a book I am working on. The slides will either use an anaglyph format with red/green glasses or a passive viewing system with passive polarized glasses.

Prathap Parameswaran

Department of Civil Engineering, K-State

Title of Presentation: Microbial Electrochemical Cells: an emerging environmental biotechnology platform at the waste-water-energy nexus

I will present key findings during my interaction with the principles of Environmental Biotechnology over the past several years and how I envision its role to fulfill both societal and environmental needs of the planet today. I will also describe the ingredients in critical thinking that help to develop research questions for the future and how it has been valuable during my research career so far. I describe key facets of these research ingredients during my presentation, as outlined below. Anaerobic microbial food webs channel high-energy electrons locked in particulate organic matter to an energy form usable to human society, such as methane in an anaerobic digester or hydrogen gas in a microbial electrolysis cell (MEC). A multitude of other opportunities such as the production of Hydrogen Peroxide, organic chemicals that are precursors to biosynthesis all exist with the anode respiring bacteria being the central piece that signifies the uniqueness of this technology.

Carlos Castellanos

Department of Art, K-State

Title of Presentation: “Bio-Creation and Peace: A Report from the 2017 International Symposium on Electronic Art“

The International Symposium on Electronic Art is a major international gathering of artists and academics working at the interaction of art, science and technology. This year's symposium was held in Manizales, Caldas, Colombia in June, under the theme "Bio-creation and Peace". I will present an overview of the various exhibitions, panel discussions and keynote presentations of this year's event. Quoting from the ISEA 2017 web site: "In recent times, pockets of peace across our planet have emerged and Colombia is one example. Does the idea of peace have a larger role to play than simply resolving conflict? In what ways could indigenous awareness contribute to our understanding of peace? What bridges in thought and action are needed to achieve global peace across cultural and transdisciplinary boundaries? Is bio-creation in conflict with, or in accord with, indigenous awareness of living organisms?".

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LASER (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous) Talks is Leonardo's international program of evening gatherings that bring artists and scientists together for informal presentations and conversations. LASER Talks were founded in 2008 by Bay Area LASER Chair Piero Scaruffi and are in over 30 cities around the world. To learn more about how our LASER Hosts and to visit a LASER near you please visit our website

The mission of the LASERs is to provide the general public with a snapshot of the cultural environment of a region and to foster interdisciplinary networking.

November 16th, 2017 5:30 PM   through   8:00 PM
Kansas State University
Manhattan Campus
Beach Museum of Art & Willard Hall 217
Manhattan, KS 66506-0600
United States

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