LASER Talks in San Francisco | Leonardo/ISAST

LASER Talks in San Francisco

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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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LASER Chairs: Tami Spector and Piero Scaruffi



7:00 p.m. - 7:25 p.m.

Jeff Johnson (USF/ Computer Science) on "Designing Technology for an Aging Population"


7:25 p.m. - 7:50 p.m.

Peter Maravelis (City Lights) on "Schizo-curation: Transcending the boundaries of spectatorship"


7:50 p.m. - 8:10 p.m.

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 p.m. - 8:35 p.m.

  Stephanie Brown (USF/ Museum Studies) on "Authenticity, apples, and the art market: The mystery of 1939.34.3"


8:35 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

  Damian Madray (DXLabs) on "Evolution of Design with Culture Thinking"




Stephanie Brown has worked in museums as an executive director, curator, historian, and archivist. Her work has ranged from designing and implementing collections plans to curating exhibitions to institutional strategic planning. She is currently the guest curator for the Haggin Museum's reinstallation and reinterpretation of its permanent art collection. Stephanie's professional and academic interests include curatorial practice, material culture studies, and public history. Stephanie is on the Museum Studies faculty at the University of San Francisco, where she also teaches in the Art History/Arts Management program. Previously, she taught Museum Studies at Johns Hopkins University and was Executive Director of the Chevy Chase Historical Society in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Dr. Brown also served as Associate Curator for American Material Culture and Historian at Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens in Washington, D.C. Stephanie has a B.A. in History from Williams College and a Ph.D. in European History from Stanford University.

Jeff Johnson is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of San Francisco. He is also a principal at Wiser Usability, a consultancy focused on elder usability. After earning B.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Yale and Stanford Universities, he worked as a UI designer, implementer, manager, usability tester, and researcher at Cromemco, Xerox, US West, Hewlett-Packard, and Sun. He has previously taught at Stanford University, Mills College, and the University of Canterbury. He is a member of the ACM SIGCHI Academy and a recipient of SIGCHI's Lifetime Achievement in Practice Award. He has authored articles on a variety of topics in HCI, as well as the books GUI Bloopers (1st and 2nd eds.), Web Bloopers, Designing with the Mind in Mind (1st and 2nd eds.), Conceptual Models: Core to Good Design (with Austin Henderson), and Designing User Interfaces for an Aging Population (with Kate Finn).

Damian Madray is the founder and creative director at TheGlint, an experimental lab for artists to explore and play with all modalities of art to create experiences that can transform and connect. Here he's a culture anthropologist who is (re)designing the art of dialogue with experiences and a social alchemist creating experiences that is meant to break down social barriers, bring guests into vulnerability and connect them in meaningful ways. He's the founder of Presence, a startup aimed at altering the way we gather to be truly social with a platform for artists to create intentional experiences. He moved to the Bay Area six years ago coming from Canada where he studied design and is originally from Guyana, a small Caribbean country. Damian has an amazing career in design that spans a decade and is considered one of the leading design thinkers in Silicon Valley. He's a design partner at DXLabs where he heads up design and help fortune 500 companies discover and launch new business ideas using exponential technologies. As a student of design, philosophy and culture, he's exploring the intersection of these topics having written many thought pieces on designing culture. His work has been featured in 500 Startups, New York Times, Bold Italics, Huffington Post, Slate, WSJ & Financial Times.

Peter Maravelis is a native San Franciscan with a life-long involvement in the art and literary scenes. He programs the events calendar at City Lights Bookstore and is editor of San Francisco Noir and San Francisco Noir 2: The Classics. He produces the noir reading and performance series, Subterranean SF. Together with international and academic partners he has produced numerous festivals celebrating the European avante-garde. These include Dada World Fair, Carnival Pataphysique, Fantomas By The Bay, Haunted Reflections: Walter Benjamin in San Francisco, Subtle Channels: An Oulipo Laboratory, Trajectories of the Catastrophic: The Life and Work of Paul Virilio, and others. He's been known to occasionally moonlight with private investigators.

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 "Thinking about Thought". 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.

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 28 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 14th, 2017 7:00 PM   through   9:00 PM
2130 Fulton Street
Cowell Hall Room 313
University of San Francisco
San Francisco, CA 94117
United States

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