LASER Talks in San Jose

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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.

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 20 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.

Join us for the launch of San José State University's LASER Art + Science talks at the SubZERO Festival. We have an incredible lineup of artists and scientists, with live talks and performances featuring SJSU faculty. This inaugural LASER event is the first of a series of art/ science talks at SJSU starting in 2017.

The 10th Annual SubZERO Festival is happening First Friday & Saturday June, 2nd and 3rd. The SJSU LASER talks will occur during the second day of the festival on Saturday, June 3rd!

Our speakers and performers include:

Michael Kaufman, Physicist

Water Factories in Space: How Nature Conspires To Make Lots Of It

The universe contains abundant raw materials for making water, and the regions around young and old stars are ideal for producing lots of it. I’ll discuss how this happens and how we know. I will also discuss the curious phenomenon of naturally occurring space lasers.  

Bio: Michael Kaufman is Professor and Chair in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at San José State University. His astrophysics research focuses on the interactions and feedback between newly formed stars and the interstellar medium — the raw material from which stars form. He constructs computational models of the energy transport, dynamics and chemistry that occur in regions of active star formation, focusing on the spectral signatures produced by important molecules like H2O, O2 and CO. The model results are used to interpret observations of nearby young stars and distant galaxies made with ground-based, airborne, and space-based telescopes.

Maya Ackerman, Computer Scientist, Opera Singer
Composed by an Artificial Intelligence: Soprano and Violist Perform Machine-Made Songs

Songwriting is one of the newest frontiers tackled by Artificial Intelligence. We will present AI-based machines that compose music and lyrics. A soprano and violist will perform songs created with these machines.

Speaker and Soprano: Maya Ackerman
Violist: Sheila Hu
Joint work with David Loker, James Morgan, Joshua Palkki, Chris Cassion, Rafael Perez y Perez, and Divya Singh.

Bio: Maya Ackerman is a soprano and computer science professor, specializing in computational creativity and machine learning. Her work has been featured in the media at venues such as NBC Mach, New Scientist, and Palo Alto Weekly. Dr. Ackerman is currently an Assistant Professor at San Jose State University.

Rhonda Holberton, Artist
Still Life: Reality has Always Been Augmented

Roughly 60% of the brains resources are devoted to processing vision. What we see shapes what we know. I will discuss my explorations into reality making using processes that pull real object into virtual space and translate them back again.

Bio: Rhonda Holberton is an Oakland-based artist.  Her multimedia installations make use of digital and interactive technologies integrated into traditional methods of art production. Holberton has recently exhibited at San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, FIFI Projects Mexico City, the San Francisco Arts Commission, and The Berkeley Art Center.  Her work has been featured in Art in America, Pulse Magazine, and the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies. She is currently a lecturer in experimental media at Stanford University and will join San Jose State University as an Assistant Professor in Digital Media Arts in the fall of 2017.

Andrew Blanton, Artist and Percussionist

As an exploration of sound and software, Andrew Blanton will present two of his compositions M0DULATOR and WAVEGUIDE. Beginning his studies as a classical percussionist, Andrew builds software and visuals as a new media artist exploring signal processing and visualization.

Bio: Andrew Blanton is a media artist and percussionist. He received his BM in Music Performance from The University of Denver (2008) and a Masters of Fine Arts in New Media Art at the University of North Texas (2013). He is currently an Assistant Professor of Digital Media Art at San Jose State University in San Jose California teaching data visualization and a Research Fellow in the UT Dallas ArtSciLab in Dallas Texas. His current work focuses on the emergent potential between cross-disciplinary arts and technology, building sound and visual environments through software development, and building scientifically accurate representations complex data sets as visual and sound compositions. Andrew has advanced expertise in percussion, creative software development, and developing projects in the confluence of art and science.

Featured event page artwork by Rhonda Holberton from her Nebula Series.

Stardust suspended in Acrylic Medium on Glass
1x3 in


June 3rd, 2017 7:00 PM   through   9:00 PM
100-198 S 4th St
Science Building/ Sci 164
San Jose State University
San Jose, CA 95192
United States

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