LASER Talks in Santa Cruz

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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: John Weber

Leonardo Art & Science Evening Rendezvous (LASER) is an international program bringing together artists, scientists, and scholars for presentations and conversations. LASER talks are a program of the Leonardo International Society for Art, Science, and Technology (ISAST). Join us at 6:30 for a reception followed at 7 p.m. with presentations by theoretical cosmologist Anthony Aguirre, botanist Brett Hall, curator Rachel Nelson,and artist Susana Ruiz in Digital Arts Research Center (DARC) 108.

Anthony Aguirre, “Wandering, Wondering, and Physics”
Brett Hall, “Adventures in the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum's Native Plant Program”
Rachel Nelson, “Visual Pedagogies: Teaching Race in the Prison Industrial Complex”
Susana Ruiz, "Experiments in Game-Based Pedagogy: Playful Approaches to Media Theory, Production, and Activism"

This event is FREE and open to the public. Metered parking is available in the Performing Arts Lot adjacent to Digital Arts Research Center. For additional information and disability or access needs please contact

Speaker Bios:

Anthony Aguirre is a theoretical cosmologist and associate professor in Physics at UC Santa Cruz, His wide range of research interests including black holes, foundations of physics, information theory, and artificial intelligence. He is a founder and co-director of the Foundational Questions Institute and of the Future of Life Institute. He has just completed his first book, Cosmological Koans (released May 21).

Brett Hall is California Native Plant Program Director at the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum and Botanic Garden. Along with students and enthusiastic members of the community, Hall is developing a large California Conservation Garden featuring common and rare native plant communities, developing a seed bank for research and educational use, and, all the while, exploring the wild lands which are the essence and driver of the Arboretum's native plant gardens and programs.

Rachel Nelson, PhD is curator of the Institute of the Arts and Sciences (IAS) and lecturer in History of Art and Visual Culture at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Currently, Nelson is curating a solo exhibition of work by Carlos Motta and a traveling exhibition, Barring Freedom, engaging art and the prison industrial complex. She has published exhibition catalogue essays, journal articles and reviews, including in NKA, Third Text, Savvy, and African Arts.

Susana Ruiz is an artist and assistant professor in Film and Digital Media at UC Santa Cruz whose work traverses the intersections of cinema, games, art, ethics and activism. Her teaching and research are broadly concerned with how the intersection of art practice, design, computation, and storytelling can enable emergent forms of social justice, aesthetics, and learning.



ArtSci Institue

This LASER Talk is graciously sponsored by the University of California, Santa Cruz Institute of the Arts and Sciences.

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.

May 21st, 2019 6:30 PM   through   8:30 PM
1205 Soquel Ave
Santa Cruz, CA 95062
United States

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