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.
7:00-7:25: Neeraj Sonalkar (Stanford/ Design) on "What improvised theater, jazz and design thinking have in common." Design thinking has a lot in common with the improvisational mindset practiced through improvisational theater or jazz.
7:25-7:50: Jan Rindfleisch (Author) on "The Blossoming of Silicon Valley's Arts Community."
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: Alex Reben (Inventor) on "Digital drugs and humanity in algorithms." The drug-like control that technology has on us.
8:35-9:00: Luciano Chessa (Composer) on "After the noise intoners." A contemporary take on the futurist manifesto.
9:00-9:30: Discussions, networking. You can mingle with the speakers and the audience.
Luciano Chessa is a composer, performance artist, conductor, pianist, and musical saw/Vietnamese dan bau soloist who has been active in Europe, the U.S., and Australia. Recent compositions include the experimental opera Cena oltranzista nel castelletto al lago produced for the TRANSART Festival in Bolzano, Italy: a work lasting 60+ hours (including 55 hours of fasting) and accessible in its entirety via a 24hrs/day live streaming; they also include Squeeze! Squeeze! Squeeze!, a large-scale work on MelvilleÎéÎ÷s Moby Dick; and A Heavenly Act, an opera with original video by Kalup Linzy commissioned by SFMOMA. Former compositions include a large orchestral work commissioned by the Orchestra Filarmonica of Torino "Ragazzi Incoscienti Scarabocchiano Sulla Porta Di Un Negozio Fallito" "TomBoy" for piano and a video by Terry Berlier, and "Movements", a multimedia work for 16mm film, dan bau and amplified film projectors produced in collaboration with filmmaker Rick Bahto. Chessa has just composed "Come un'Infanzia", a guitar + string quartet piece for the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, and is collaborating with performance artist Kalup Linzy and the Ensemble Parallele on an opera commissioned by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art premiered in 2011. As a music historian Chessa has written "Luigi Russolo, Futurist. Noise, Visual Arts, and the Occult" (UC Press, 2012). In 2009 Chessa supervised the first reconstruction of Russolo's "intonarumori" orchestra. His recordings include: Humus Destination X (1997), Entu (2000), Tryptique pour Gerard (2008), Peyrano (2008) Money is Money and Time is Time (2008) the dvd Tom's Heart (2008) The Orchestra of Futurist Noise Intoners Vol. 1 (Sub Rosa, 2012), Petrolio (2015).
Jan Rindfleisch is an artist, educator, curator/museum director and author. From 1978 to 1985, she taught art and art history at De Anza College, and in 1979 began a 32-year journey as executive director/curator of Euphrat Museum of Art. For decades, she has kept art in the forefront of the South Bay community through her visionary interdisciplinary exhibitions and programs at that museum. Rindfleisch has written essays and over a dozen books in conjunction with the California History Center, Euphrat Museum of Art, San Jos‚ Museum of Art, Arts Council Silicon Valley, Southern Exposure (San Francisco), Bronx Museum of the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, Artship Foundation (Oakland), and many other public, private, and governmental institutions. These include Coming Across: Art by Recent Immigrants; The Power of Cloth: Political Quilts 1845-1986; Content: Contemporary Issues; and Staying Visible, The Importance of Archives. Rindfleisch helped found the Cupertino Arts Commission, participated in the Getty Museum Management Institute, and served on the Santa Clara County Arts Council, the California Arts Council Visual Arts Panel, the Arts Council Silicon Valley Local Arts Grants Review Panel, and San Jos‚ City Hall Exhibits Committee. Her most recent book, Roots and Offshoots: Silicon Valley's Arts Community, explores the ignored history of the passionate individuals, creative partnerships, and maverick arts institutions that influenced South Bay Area arts and culture.
Alex Reben explores humanity through the lens of art and technology. His work deals with human-machine relationships, synthetic psychology, artificial philosophy and robot ethics among other topics. Using "art as experiment" his work allows for the viewer to experience the future within metaphorical contexts. His artwork and research has been shown and published internationally and he consults with major companies guiding innovation for the social machine future. Alexander has exhibited at venues both in the U.S. and internationally including The Vienna Biennale, MAK Contemporary Art Museum, The Vitra Design Museum, Ars Electronica, Volta, The Whitney Biennial, CERN, TFI Interactive, IDFA, ArtBots, 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 is a graduate of the MIT Media Lab where he studied human-robot symbiosis and art. He is a 2016-2017 WIRED innovation fellow and a visiting scholar in the UC Berkeley psychology department.
Neeraj Sonalkar is Research Associate at Stanford's Center for Design Research. The question that motivates his research is: how do engineering design team co-create new product possibilities? His research is focused on investigating how team behavior influences the generation and propagation of ideas into products. The Human Innovation Engineering group at the Center for Design Research conducts empirical and field research oriented towards acceleration of radical innovation by teams, organizations and regional ecosystems. We study and model how humans innovate both at the interpersonal interaction level and at the broader level of an organization or a regional innovation ecosystem such as the Silicon Valley. This research furthers our understanding of innovation as the outcome of an integrated system spanning individual mindset, interpersonal interaction dynamics, and the underlying physical, institutional, financial and knowledge infrastructure.
Alway Building - Room M130
Palo Alto, CA 94305-5101