The 4th LAST Festival

date:April 7-8th, 2017
location:Hammer Theater (101 Paseo De San Antonio, San Jose, CA 95113)
Organized by San Jose State University in partnership with the Paseo Public Prototyping Challenge and Festival
Part of the South First Fridays Art Walk SJ
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Schedule

Friday, April 7th, 2017

6pm-9pm Opening of the Art Exhibition

Saturday, April 8th, 2017

MAIN STAGE of Hammer Theater

11am - 4pm "Homo Digitalis": Panels and Talks

BLACK BOX of Hammer Theater

10am - 8pm Art Exhibition

Hammer Theatre Center (Tent City)

1pm - 2:30pm Shoptalk workshop

Art Exhibition


ART CURATOR Joel Slayton, founder of SJSU's CADRE and former executive director of ZERO1.

Joel Slayton teaches Digital Media Art at San Jose State University and was Executive Director of ZERO1 The Art and Technology Network in San Jose, California, between 2008 and 2016. Previously he was the founding director of the CADRE Laboratory for New Media at San Jose State University, the second oldest academic media arts center in the USA.

Cere Davis: Water Organ

Cere Davis is a acousto-kinetic sculptor, engineer, musician and dancer with a background in computer systems architecture, physics and vocal improvisation. Her work crosses the boundaries between engineering, soulful expression, and laboratory experimentation, inviting the audience to vicariously re-experience and re-explore our everyday experience of science and technology through a new lens.

Water Organ is a kinetic sculpture that plays an ambisonic musical composition as inductive forces transform floating resonant vessels into moving speakers. Participants trigger a random process generating electronic tones sent into seven copper inductive coils placed under water. Magnets underneath floating vessels transform upcycled steel "tin" lids into audible speakers, each resonating with a unique timbral character while passing over copper inductive speaker coils. A seven toned ambisonic composition emerges from the minute vibration of each steel vessel floating above the water. The audible volume of each vessel varies according to a complex interplay between a vessel's resonant frequency and the frequency of the electromagnetic audio signals being sent through the coils. Kinetic motion emerges from a semi-chaotic imbalance of inductive and magnetic forces periodically pushing and pulling magnetic vessels towards and away from the coils as the electrical current reverses direction. This work offers a calming natural meditative "Koi pond" like behavior.

Eric Parren: Breeder

Eric Parren is an interdisciplinary artist. His work explores modes of perception and the physics of light and sound to make links between the past, the present, and what is to come.

Breeder is a software application designed to let people playfully explore the principle of artificial evolution. The software is based on the concept of "the Biomorph" as proposed by the British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins in his book The Blind Watchmaker. Variables such as the colors, patterns, and movements of abstract visual elements are encoded into an artificial DNA. The visitor can crossbreed the genetic codes of these elements by selecting two of them to produce a new generation. The new generation inherits different genetic traits from both selected parents. Each child's genetic code is also slightly mutated in order for new genetic traits to arise over the course of multiple generations. This leads to an endless stream of rhythmically pulsating shapes that highlight the poetic beauty of the evolutionary process.

Garret Beleu: VidAudio

Garrett Beleu is an alumnus from the CADRE Media Lab at San Jose State University. His artwork creates new experiences from familiar technologies in a combination of traditional and new media.

VidAudio creates an interface for exploring a city locale and its inhabitants as sonic, audio textures. The artwork features a live webcam feed which users can manually reposition while the video's color data is converted into digital audio. A monitor and touchpad interface will allow users to manipulate parameters of the video to audio conversion. By translating video feed into audio, users will be able to explore and experience their visual surrounds in a novel manner.

Gary Boodhoo: Deep Dream Vision Quest

Gary Boodhoo combines videogames and machine learning to create interactive science fiction. A Jamaican-born industry veteran, millions of players around the world use the interfaces he invented for games including Madden NFL, The Sims, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and The Elder Scrolls Online. His work examines how digital environments overlap real ones.

Deep Dream Vision Quest is a neural image synthesizer that creates multiplayer hallucinations and turns dreaming into a shared experience. Our interactive video installation shows the world to a neural network through a live camera. Clusters of artificial neurons light up when the machine recognizes features it has learned before. Using Google's inceptionism method, we synthesize images (dreams) from neural signals. We loop these and project video back into the installation space.

Jeffrey Yip: Lucy

Jeffrey Yip is a new media artist highly interested in the intersection of art and technology. His work revolves around creating environments by integrating visualizations in unison with sound.

Lucy is a 360 degrees projection-mapped octahedron. This sculpture, suspended in the air, resembles a diamond in the sky nodding to one of The Beatles' greatest hits. This object acts as a 360 video screen. Spectators are encouraged to navigate around the piece for a more dynamic experience. Lucy draws inspiration from the supernatural utilizing optical illusions to further communicate the idea of a futurist mysticism.

Jennifer Berry: B Code

Science and art have played dual roles in Jennifer Berry's life, and she uses these tools to share her explorations with a greater audience to affect real change in the world. Berry's art practice includes sculpture in traditional mediums as well as new media.

B Code is a living, biological 3D printer that employs honeybees to create sculptural forms in beeswax. Honeybees developed the world's first additive manufacturing over millennia of evolution, and Jennifer Berry harnesses their technology to create hive systems that enhance the natural tendencies of bees. Together they produce sculptural forms never before possible by human technology or nature alone. The technology bees have developed as 3D printers uses the strength of the hexagon in combination with natural plastics to create living structures, and in highlighting this technology, Berry inspires designers, engineers, and artists to rethink how we build our own environments.

Kim Anno, Ricardo Rivera, Kristina Dutton & Nathan Clevenger: In the Hour of Butterflies

Kim Anno is a director, producer, painter, photographer, and book artist whose work has been exhibited by museums nationally and internationally. She has been a professor at the California College of the Arts since 1996. Anno has been at work on an epic social practice filmmaking project: Men and Women In Water Cities, which is a longer term work made with local actors, citizens in coastal communities who are grappling with sea level rise. Anno's films have been screened internationally. Anno founded the nonprofit Wild Projects to foster international collaborations through fearless art, film, and performance productions.

Ricardo Rivera has been an exhibiting artist since 2001, and currently mines databases of information and cultural research to trigger images and memories through the viewer's physiological experience of the work.

Kristina Dutton is a composer and violinist who works in a wide range of musical settings, moving freely between improvisation, new music, and interdisciplinary collaboration.

Nathan Clevenger has been composing and performing music at the boundaries of jazz, chamber music, and popular music from an early age.

In the Hour of Butterflies is an interactive sculpture installation, created by the collaborative team of artist Ricardo Rivera, artist Kim Anno, and composer Kristina Dutton, with additional sound design and composition by Nathan Clevenger, and in collaboration with Dr. Arnaud Martin, professor and researcher at George Washington University's Department of Biological Sciences. This work presents the staccato fluttering and slow movements of butterflies in scientific observation. Film footage captures butterflies in captivity and in the process of release. They feed on sugar infused sponges, and release themselves from slumber. Butterflies such as the painted lady/thistle butterfly are prolific in the U.S., and commonly studied in research laboratories, yet, while seemingly ubiquitous, they are fragile creatures, metamorphosed into adults for only a fleeting matter of weeks. Sound and music is composed as interactive elements commanded by the gesture of the viewer, magnifying the sense of intimacy, wonder, curiosity and fragility. The temporal life of the butterfly is presented as an ephemeral sculpture using two transparent screens developed by Samsung for research and development, then repurposed as art. The wonder and intimate spectacle of the animal life of a butterfly is experienced as a viewer interacts by gesturing in proximity to the translucent screens.

Kostas Daflos: Cipo_program

Kostas Daflos is an architect and new media artist based in Athens. He explores through the Cipo_program methods between art and architecture in everyday life.

The Cipo_ vehicles are based on an interactive DIY hybrid toolkit that composes different separated cases allowing different functions between them. These units are linked to each other; adapted with different ways. The project is oriented on the one hand to the concept of the Lego tools partition, and on the other hand, from the literature, to the partition of Kafka's novel (1919) named "In der Strafkolonie". Intended for temporary interventions in city life events, they also appropriate concepts from the function, typology and melodies of the old automated mechanical handmade musical boxes or instruments organs from the 19th century and the gift machines from the 20th century, as well as the concept of the mobile barrel organ.

Pantea Karimi: Shelf Garden

Pantea Karimi is a printmaker and painter and also holds a professional degree with work experience in graphic design. Her work is an exploration into the pages of medieval and early modern scientific manuscripts, particularly, Persian, Arab and European and the long-term exchange of knowledge across these cultures. She uses prints, paintings, site-specific installations and video projections to create a novel and dynamic visual interpretation of the scientific concepts and ideas presented in the manuscripts.

The Shelf Garden installation is composed of medieval plants planted in vases on pharmacy pusher-kit shelves and a lighting system for horticulture of these plants. The plants are those found in the 12th-century Herbal of al-Ghafiqi manuscript on medicinal plants. The shelf Garden addresses an indirect criticism of today's commercial pharmaceutical practices and the current human condition in relation to commercial drugs as well as our own growing disconnect with nature. This installation not only highlights these "medieval plants" and their healing benefits, but also offers an approach to healthy Placemaking and public engagement with natural elements and their conversion process in an urban life setting.

Purin Phanichpat: Connect Our Efforts

Purin Phanichphant's works are often playful, interactive, and simple, combining his fun-loving Thai roots, an obsession with knobs, buttons, and screens, and his training as an interaction designer. He was Principal Product & Interaction Designer at IDEO. His most recent works include a land-glider dubbed the Death Wheel 3000dx, an interface for human-computer sex, a wall covered with all the tap lights in the Bay Area, and a machine that churns out Thai food.

Connect Our Efforts is an interactive art exhibit on the topic of climate change. It aims to help participants realize that efforts by many is much more powerful than effort by one. The projected graphic shows the global average temperature that is slowly increasing (which is impossible to see without the 5th or 6th digit). In front of the audience are simple input "crank boxes" by turning a crank box, one can slow down or even lower the global average temperature. If more than one audience turn the crank boxes, the effect is multiplied (up to six people can play together at the same time), thus implying that if we put in efforts together to battle climate change, we can make significant impact.

Scott Tooby: Sonic Mirror

Scott Tooby is a sound artist and composer making electronic instruments and art that integrates machine listening and embeddable computing. After obtaining a degree in music composition from UCSB, Tooby moved to Los Angeles and acquired skills in electronics and sound design while working in the entertainment industry. He is now an MFA candidate at UC Santa Cruz's Digital Arts and New Media program.

The Sonic Mirror is an audio-reactive electronic instrument that automatically generates musical soundscapes from the sounds of its environment. through the combination of generative audio software, machine listening and embeddable computing. The Sonic Mirror instrument creates a generative soundscape refective of sounds made by participants and the immediate surroundings. Machine listening algorithms extract features from detected sounds, and based on the analysis, the system dynamically renders a soundscape from recorded sounds using a variety of audio synthesis techniques. Additional audio processing techniques based on seismology and neurology are performed to render a temporal distillation of an environment's soundscape. The Sonic Mirror software has been designed to operate on embeddable single-board computers (like the Raspberry Pi) to function as a self-contained hardware instrument, but the instrument can manifest in an open-ended variety of confgurations. The name and functionality behind this project is inspired by a concept for a cybernetic environmental sound installation initially conceived by composer and bioacoustic researcher David Dunn.

Steve Durie: Socio-Graph

Steve Durie is an artist, lecturer, digital media producer, designer and a faculty member at San Jose State University. He has worked on projects involving digital media, installation, web art, music and performance which have been applied to traditional art, academic environments, business and commercial venues. This Human Machine Interface class is the brilliant yet motley crew also known as art106. They are a diverse collection of artists from the CADRE Media Lab at San Jose State University. The class is taught in the Digital Media Art Unit in the Dept. of Art and Art History. They are: Alisha Ellard, Jose Vela, Effatina Boutros, Tom Lin, Karin Pond, Loren Stump, Lacey Nein, Dylan Munson, Kevin Nguyen, Marc Brodeur, Jennifer Seo, Dominique Auyeung, Michelle Tam, Janelle Chan, Jordan Pon, Josette Kong, Tyler Stannard, Justin Almogela, Christine Chang, Elaine Huang, Ryan Thomson, Kong Vue, Matthew Rodriguez, Navjit Sandhu, Ryan Dahili, Manuel Mendez.

Socio-Graph is a kinetic installation that entails a series of drawing machines that can be controlled by a variety of interfaces. The drawing machines are able to leave multiple marks over the surface of a large sheet of paper slowly being un-rolled to provide an endless canvas over time. Each drawing machine is controlled by a different interface, with a variety of controls and feedback mechanisms. In addition, the look and labeling of each interface and the corresponding drawing machine is designated to represent a different local cultural issue and point of engagement. This designation then invites participants the ability to interact and 'draw' marks and imagery on the scrolling paper, as a symbol of interest and attention. Resembling a large graphical trace of various data streams like a polygraph of cultural indicators, this piece invites the audience to express some choice and participation which might reflect preferences of different and competing issues involving the City of San Jose.

Tim Thompson: Space Palette

Tim Thompson is a software engineer, musician, and installation artist. He has worked on wide-ranging artistic work which includes interactive installations, musical performances, visual performances using multitouch pads (pre-iPhone), and real time video looping and processing with a handheld security camera.

The Space Palette is a musical and graphical instrument that lets you play music and paint visuals simultaneously by waving your hands in the holes of a wood frame. No pre-recorded media, sequences, or loops are used - everything is generated in realtime by your hands. The wood frame is a reference for the player, while the Microsoft Kinect is used to detect the position of whatever hands (or objects) appear in the holes of the frame. The depth of your hands matters as much as their left/right/up/down position - it's like having multiple three-dimensional mouse pads in mid-air. Any number of hands can be used. Musically, the large holes are like piano keyboards (left-to-right) on which you play individual notes, and hand depth controls things like vibrato and filters. Visually, the large holes allow you to paint with graphical shapes (heavily processed by visual effects), and hand depth controls their size. The 12 small holes in the corners of the Space Palette are used to select different sets of sounds and graphics. Each of the 4 large holes plays a different sound and paints a different graphic, simultaneously.

Vanessa Peneyra: Out of the Box

Vanessa Peneyra is a digital media artist from San Jose State University. Her works unitizes dance, music, video, and sculpture to create narratives and experiences.

Out of the Box is a laser cut record. The artist collaborated with a programmer, a musician, and a graphic designer to create our own record that can create music on a record player. The art of this project is not necessarily the final product itself, but the process that was behind it. By using Python and processing, a .wav file can transform into grooves that can be engraved with a laser cutter. This project not only lead us to create music in its physical form but it also got us working backwards, using high tech to create a low-tech product.

Wes Modes: Fomophobia

Wes Modes is a Santa Cruz artist focused on social practice, sculpture, performance and new media work. He is an art lecturerat UC Santa Cruz and California State University Monterey Bay and former curator at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History.

FOMOphobia is a network-connected installation that immerses the viewer in a visualization of the artist's real-time social networking anxiety, sounding alarms and keeping count of unhandled content. Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) is a form of social anxiety described as "a compulsive concern that one might miss an opportunity for social interaction, a novel experience, or other satisfying event." FOMO is the result of our bombardment by modern networking, more insidious because we take an active part in it, simultaneously stressed out about and perpetuating our own addiction. FOMOphobia brings this private guilt to the surface with glaring numeric displays and alarm bells. It exposes the artist's social networking burden and addiction, revealing both the accumulation and content of his social media messages. FOMOphobia provokes viewers to re-weigh the value of their relentless connectedness.

Sara Dean, Glenda Drew, Beth Ferguson, Jiayi Young: Shoptalk - Field Tools for Peace

Jiayi Young is Assistant Professor of Design at UC Davis. Her work has been published and exhibited nationally and internationally, including at the International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA); Hall of Science, New York; the United Nations Fourth Conference on Women, Beijing, China; the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia; and Moltkerei Werkstatt, Cologne, Germany. Beth Ferguson is Assistant Professor of Design at UC Davis. Sara Dean is Assistant Professor of Graduate Design at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. Glenda Drew is Professor of Design at UC Davis.

Shoptalk: Field Tools for Peace calls to the festival participants and the local community of San Jose, to bring and make items, artifacts, and tools that activate actions for Peace. This workshop explores methods for community problem solving including the creative acts of listening, shared narratives, object making, and collective/shared visioning of possible futures. The workshop looks beyond solo authorship towards collaborative making, including: identifying new objects and methods for peace and protest; engaging digital communities for new forms of participation; creating practices of identity and obfuscation in precarious situations; and creatively exploring practical and theoretical relationships with peace. The workshop will give participants the opportunity to collaborate and build their own tool submissions for the Field Tools for Peace online exhibition and gallery at fieldtools4peace.com, and explore new approaches to engage participants to practice methods of thinking and making to promote social resiliency, art for social change, and participatory action for peace. Workshop leaders will start with short presentations about community arts practices and case study overviews. Workshop participants will then have the opportunity to introduce themselves, tell their personal and/or community stories, then brainstorm topics and mediums to prototype projects through collaborative problem solving and rapid prototyping methods. Free Workshop Registration.

Performances

Performances will be announced soon.

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Homo Digitalis: Talks and Panels

Saturday April 8

CURATOR
Piero Scaruffi (LAST Festival founder)

M.C.
Anna Davidson (UC Davis & SFAI)

Art & Sustainability

curated by ZERO1

11:00-11:45

Machines that dream? Can an artificial intelligence be Creative?

11:45-12:30

When A.I. makes it, is it still "Art"? As "deep learning" and other A.I. technologies increase the power of machines to perform like humans, where is the border between "us" and "them"? In 2016 an A.I. made art that was sold at an auction. When does creativity end and mechanical procedure begin? Can we build machines capable of finding creative solutions to complex problems?

Artificial Humanity

12:30-13:00

What happens when we edit your genes? Why should we do it? Next year is the bicentennial of Frankenstein: will it also be the year that Frankenstein becomes reality instead of fiction?

Technology for Peace

13:00-13:40

Which technologies of the future can enhance trust and empathy? Social media had the potential to build stronger communities but are often used to generate and spread hate (and fake news). How can we make sure that today's accelerating progress will lead to a more peaceful, collaborative and empathic society?

BREAK

13:40-14:00

Why do we need Space Exploration?

14:00-14:25

Why do we need Space Exploration? How can it help solve problems on our planet and help us understand who we are?

Silicon Valley and the Bay Area Counterculture

14:25-15:00

Why did Silicon Valley "happen" here instead of New York or London? What was special about the Bay Area that the rest of the world didn't have? Where does Creativity come from?

Blockchain for a society based on the truth

15:00-15:20

Bitcoin is now worth as much as gold. It is based on the blockchain technology, and it is a particular case of the "smart contracts" that are made possible by blockchain. How can blockchain improve social interactions? For example, can it help us create a society in which lies and fake news are impossible?

Virtual/Augmented Realities and Social Engineering

15:20-16:00

Buckminster Fuller (of "geodesic dome" fame) envisioned global virtual reality as accelerating human imagination. How can we use the immersive tools of VR and AR to expand our perception of reality and make sense of the world?

Our Mission

The L.A.S.T. (Life Art Science Technology) festival celebrates the confluence of art with the new media technologies and nascent sciences that are transforming sociality and experience in the 21st century.

Creativity does not happen in a vacuum, whether it's art, tech or science. They all coexist, influence each other and interact. Silicon Valley did not happen in a vacuum, it happened within the intense cultural ecosystem of the Bay Area. The L.A.S.T. festival aims at presenting art, tech and science within the same venue. The art expo features a dozen interactive high-tech installations that break the "Do not touch!" taboo of the traditional museum and that are meant to let you experience something you never experienced before. The speakers features talks on Artificial Intelligence, Graphics/Animation, Nanotech, Space Exploration, Computer Graphics, etc by leaders of today's science and technology.

Join the Team

Join the team and help make this happen! The festival is totally nonprofit and we always need volunteers. Calling all college level students in the Bay Area! You can help with the actual days of the festival, with designing this website, with curating the art expo, with managing the speakers and panels, with P.R., and with the setup.

Contact Us Mailing List