CHAIRS: Tami Spector and Piero Scaruffi
- 7:00-7:25: Ellen Peel (SFSU/ Literature) on "Imagining the Constructed Body: From Statues to Cyborgs"
- 7:25-7:50: Alex Reben (Inventor & Artist) on "Human-Computer Collaboration"
- 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: Laura Splan (Media Artist) on "Material Expressions and Embodied Objects"
- 8:35-9:00: Dasha Ortenberg (Designer/Artist) on "Transformative Potentials of Speculative Mapping"
- Laura Splan (Media Artist) is a Brooklyn, NY based artist whose work explores intersections of art, science, technology and craft. Her conceptually based projects examine the material manifestations of our mutable relationship with the human body. She reconsiders perceptions and representations of the corporeal with a range of traditional and new media techniques. She is currently a visiting lecturer at Stanford University where she teaches Experimental Media Arts courses in the Art & Art History Department.
- Alex Reben is an MIT-trained artist and roboticist who explores humanity through the lens of art and technology. Using “art as experiment” his work allows for the viewer to experience the future within metaphorical contexts. Reben’s artwork and research have been shown and published internationally, and he consults with major companies, guiding innovation for the social machine future. He has exhibited at venues including The Vitra Design Museum, The MAK Museum Vienna, The Design Museum Ghent, The Vienna Biennale, ARS Electronica, VOLTA, TFI Interactive, IDFA, The Tribeca Film Festival, The Camden Film Festival, Doc/Fest, and The Boston Cyberarts Gallery. His work has been covered by NPR, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Washington Post, Fast Company, Filmmaker Magazine, New Scientist, BBC, PBS, Discovery Channel, Cool Hunting and WIRED, among others. He has lectured at TED, SXSW, TTI Vanguard, Google, UC Berkeley, SMFA, CCA, MIT, and other universities. Reben has built robots for NASA, and is a graduate of the MIT Media Lab, where he studied human-robot symbiosis and art. He is a 2016-2017 WIRED innovation fellow, a Stochastic Labs Resident, and a recent visiting scholar in the UC Berkeley psychology department.
- Dasha Ortenberg believes deeply in design's ability to stimulate critical thought, highlight the weirdness of individuals, and the reveal uncanny overlaps of (sub-)cultures. Her cross-scalar and cross-media approach to space is the result of a perpetual fascination with modes of human communication, collaboration, and cohabitation. Having emigrated from the Soviet Union as a child, she is driven by a deep gratitude to the United States for having provided the opportunity to pursue her passions and understand her heritage, and works to promote and propagate such opportunities for others. Dasha holds degrees in Art History and Linguistics (UC Berkeley), and Architecture (Harvard GSD). Her formal education is supplemented by a variegated work experience, which includes radio, dance, and archival conservation. In her conceptual projects, pedagogical pursuits, and work for art and architectural practices she strives to combine traditional and contemporary technologies to transform individual narratives and historic cross-currents into socially-impactful spatial experiences. She leverages the media of documentation, representation, and fabrication to highlight juxtapositions and create conversations that encourage mutual understanding. Her project, A Franchise of Difference, transformed documentation of interviews and sites from a 7,000-mile road trip into architectural concepts. She works as a designer at Anderson Brule Architects. As an artist with the ZERO1 American Arts Incubator in March 2018, she developed, taught and administrated the "Rhetorical City" program at L'Uzine in Casablanca, Morocco. She is also developing and directing the 2018 events cycle "Structures of Power," -- which explores the structures of traditional power and methods of empowerment -- for the Women in Architecture group of Silicon Valley.
- Ellen Peel is Professor in the Department of Comparative and World Literature at San Francisco State University. She teaches and conducts research in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century fiction (French, English); twentieth- and twenty-first century fiction (English, U.S.); literary theory and criticism (especially narrative, feminist, psychoanalytic, reader response, rhetorical); women's literature; science fiction and utopian literature; and surveys of Western and world literature. Her publications include Politics, Persuasion, and Pragmatism: A Rhetoric of Feminist Utopian Fiction (Ohio State University Press, 2002). "Imagining the Constructed Body: From Statues to Cyborgs" appeared in the MLA volume Teaching World Literature (2009). Recent publications include "Narrative Causes: Inside and Out" (in Narrative Theory Unbound: Queer and Feminist Interventions) and "The Conundrum of Feminism in Doris Lessing's Fiction" (in Feminine Issues: In the Writing of British Female Authors). She is working on a book about the constructed body in literature and film.
- 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.
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.
University Center 402/403
University of San Francisco
San Francisco, CA 94118