Life/Art/Science/Technology (LAST) Festival

The L.A.S.T. festival Is an interdisciplinary event that combines art, tech and science to help reshape the cultural environment of the 21st century towards a multidimensional form of individual and social creativity. The festival seeks to inform, educate, mobilize, catalyze and maximize best ideas and opportunities for individual empowerment by connecting the public to leading technological and artistic innovators of Silicon Valley. At the same time it seeks to foster an open dialog between engineers and artists on the future of art and tech and how it impacts our world. The L.A.S.T. festival presents interactive multimedia art installations (the Art Expo), inspirational talks by luminaries on cutting-edge technology and science, and interdisciplinary panels on how technology and science impact society.

The L.A.S.T. festival , organized by the nonprofit Thymos Foundation and originally conceived by piero scaruffi, is a weekend-long interdisciplinary event structured around four programs:

  • Interactive multimedia art installations (the Art Expo)
  • Inspirational talks by luminaries on cutting-edge technology and science (the "Engineering the Future" Symposium)
  • A mini-symposium on how technology and science impact life, mind, society ("Homo Digitalis")
  • Live performances and tech demos

  1. Click here for the first LAST festival - San Jose on June 6-7, 2014
    See photos and videos of the first LAST festival.
    Watch Pierre Passeur's documentary of the first LAST festival
  2. Click here for the second LAST festival - San Francisco on 23-25 October 2014
    See photos and videos of the second LAST festival.
  3. Click here for the third LAST festival - Stanford University on 16-18 October 2015
    See photos and videos of the third LAST festival.
  4. Click here for the fourth LAST festival - San Jose's Hammer Theater on 7-8 April 2017
    See photos and videos of the fourth LAST festival.
  5. The LAST Festival organized a Dada Centennial Celebration - Stanford University, April 2016
    Watch the full video.

Mission Statement

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 symposium features talks on Artificial Intelligence, Graphics/Animation, Nanotech, Space Exploration, Computer Graphics, etc by leaders of today's science and technology.

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

Expo: Interactive Digital Experimental Art - IDEA expo (Friday and Saturday 6pm-11pm):

The "expo" features a dozen interactive digital installations that break the "Do not touch!" taboo of the traditional museum and are inspired by the high-tech world of the 21st century. Art installations for the LAST expo have included: David Glowacki's Danceroom Spectroscopy (already exhibited at various locations in Europe), visual tracking system "Corelated Space" for musical soundscape and laser light (a collaboration among artist Wes Modes, musician Lanier Sammons and engineer Brent Townshend), Erich Richter's "Chant" (for reflecting pool, partially submerged speakers and spoken-word), Ian Winters' LED sculpture "Horizon Line", Peter Foucault's drawing robot "Attraction/Repulsion", Kinetech's interactive video installation "Time Bubble", Emily Martinez's "AntiApocalypse" for brainwave rhythms, Yuan-Yi Fan's "Qi-Visualizer" for mobile biometrics, Robert Edgar's "Emerge/Reemerge", Adam Carlin's participatory installation "Some Thing Grounded" for computer printers and Craigslist listings, Jennifer Parker's and Barney Haynes' symphonic installation "SoundPool" for nature sounds, Kristen Gillette's topography-generator "Sound Relief", Amy Ho's light projection "Passing", Leona Hu's orchestra conducting system "Reverie" for motion sensor, UCSC OpenLab's sculptural date visualization "BioSensing Garden", etc

Symposium - Engineering the Future (Saturday 1pm-6pm):

As a complement to the L.A.S.E.R. series and to the S.M.M.M.A.S.H. series, we pick disciplines that will change the world in the near future and invite a visionary speaker for each one. These are interactive talks (originally we wanted to call them "Q&A") in which the audience gets a chance to engage the speakers in a freewheeling dialogue. ("IMHO": Inspirational Minds and High-tech Oracles, or Interactive Mindful Humble Opinions, or...)

Past speakers have included

  • Peter Norvig, Director of Research at Google
  • Daniel Kaufman, Director of the Information Innovation Office at DARPA
  • Jennifer Dionne, Founding Director of the Stanford Nanotech Lab
  • Chris McKay, Chief Planetary Scientist at NASA Ames
  • Alvy Ray Smith, Co-founder of Pixar
  • Bruno Olshausen, Director of UC Berkeley's Center for Neuroscience
  • Christine Peterson, Cofounder of the Foresight Institute
  • Charles Chiu, UCSF/ Infectious Diseases

Live performances:

Adventurous and creative performances by sound and dance artists.

The "L in "LAST"

The "L" in "LAST" stands for how digital media are changing our lives, minds and communities. We call our mini-symposium on this topic "Homo Digitalis". It features talks, panels and Q/A with the audience.

Also check out the L.A.S.E.R.s...

Piero Scaruffi launched the Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous in 2008 on behalf of Leonardo ISAST. Follow the L.A.S.E.R.s throughout the year at a location near you while you wait for the next LAST festival!

Venues: Email the founding director if you are interested in holding a L.A.S.T. festival at your location (it does require a large space for art pieces plus a 100-seat theater for the science talks).

Artists: email us if you want to be on our mailing list for future Open Calls: click here

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