LASER Talks in San Jose

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Our February 21st event consists of an incredible lineup including Yolande Harris, a Santa Cruz based sound and new media artist presenting her work with deep ocean recordings, Dr. David Deamer, Biologist and Research Professor of Biomolecular Engineering at University of California, Santa Cruz, speaking on Stardust, Cells and the Origin of Life.

CHAIRS: Craig Hobbs, Andrew Blanton, and Dr. Michael Kaufman

We also have Dr. Resa Kelly, a San Jose State University Chemist speaking on Animations for Exploring Students' Understanding of the Particulate Nature of Reactions, and Victoria Scott, a SF based new media artist working in VR!

Full speaker details, descriptions and links can be found below.

Our speakers for February 21st, 2019 include -

Dr. David Deamer
Biologist and Research Professor of Biomolecular Engineering
University of California, Santa Cruz

Stardust, Cells and the Origin of Life

Description: The paradigm is that life began in salty sea water, in the ocean, perhaps in hydrothermal vents. But there is an alternative supported by experimental evidence, that life began in fresh water hot springs undergoing cycles of wetting and drying. Under these conditions, protocells can assemble from organic compounds delivered by meteoritic infall 4 billion years ago, when life first emerged on our planet.

Yolande Harris
Research Associate
University of California, Santa Cruz

Melt Me Into The Ocean: learning from underwater sound

Description: How do we engage our sonic intelligence to expand our understanding and empathy towards remote environments such as the ocean? ‘Melt Me Into The Ocean’ is a series of artworks that use deep ocean recordings in site-specific installations and sound walks. The technological ability to retrieve sounds from ocean depths and listen to them in land-bound environments, raises questions as to how our sense of place might expand to integrate the submarine world into the presence of our imagination. Sound is considered as engaging a sense of relatedness that allows participants to imaginatively dive beneath the visual surface of the ocean, encouraging a sense of presence and connectedness to arise from these encounters.

Dr. Resa Kelly
Professor, Chemistry
San José State University

Animations for Exploring Students' Understanding of the Particulate Nature of Reactions

Description: This presentation focuses on a qualitative study performed to examine how first semester general chemistry students made sense of contrasting atomic level animations to develop their understanding of a precipitation reaction event. Findings from interviews, card sorting and model constructing exercises will be shared to examine how the animation treatment affected students’ conceptual understanding in a clinical setting and when embedded in a General Chemistry class. Our latest animation designs, informed by recent studies, will be shown.

Victoria Scott
San Francisco

The Energy Body in VR

Description: Reality is modeled in our heads and imaginations; developing thoughts, projected feelings, intuitions about unseen forces, and visualizations of space (in the past and future). No machine can create empathy, but is it possible to open ourselves to spiritual connection, emotional intimacy, and healing of body trauma using visualizations, immersive color and spatialized sound in the virtual world to create safe containers for difficult to confront feelings?

According to energy healers, our external physical bodies, are invisibly surrounded by many differently shaped fields and auras, each with distinct colors, forms and properties. For Laser, I will present two new VR projects which give viewers abstracted visualizations of these emotional energy systems; Field, an experimental, interactive art environment, and Cloud Breath, a breathing meditation app.


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

LASER is a program of Leonardo/ ISAST organized by the CADRE Media Lab at SJSU. The LASER Talks at SJSU are funded by the College of Humanities and the Arts through an Artistic Excellence Grant in 2018-19.

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.

February 21st, 2019 6:30 PM   through   9:30 PM
100-198 S 4th St
Science Building/ Sci 164
San Jose State University
San Jose, CA 95192
United States

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