The LASERs are a national program of evening gatherings that bring artists and scientists together for informal presentations and conversation with an audience.|
The LASER (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous) series was started by Piero Scaruffi in january 2008 as a local forum
for presenting art and science projects underway in the Bay Area.
The Bay Area LASERs now alternate between San Francisco (at USF),
Silicon Valley (at Stanford Univ) and the East Bay (at UC Berkeley),
and parallel series were started in 2010 in Washington DC (chaired by
JD Talasek at the National Academy of Sciences) and in 2013 in Los Angeles (chaired by Victoria Vesna at UCLA).
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.
Each evening, free of charge and open to the public, presents up to four artists, scientists, philosophers, historians, inventors and scholars who are working on paradigm shifts.
Each evening also allows the audience to socialize and encourages people in the audience to briefly introduce their work.
To be added to the mailing list: Email me
(If you are interested in running a LASER series at your university, please contact me and this is roughly what makes the LASERs different).
Gallery of past presenters
See also the Audio interviews,
and the Stanford Interdisciplinary panels
- San Francisco - LASER 1.1 (january 2008):
Roger Malina (Leonardo ISAST), David Stork (Ricoh Innovations and Stanford Univ), Douglas Kahn (UC Davis) , Laura Peticolas (Berkeley's Space Science Lab)
- San Francisco - LASER 1.2 (march 2008):
Tami Spector (SFU), Amy Ione (Diatrope Institute), Kathelin Gray, Sharon Daniel (UC Santa Cruz)
- San Francisco - LASER 1.3 (may 2008):
Ken Goldberg (UC Berkeley), Carlo Sequin (UC Berkeley), Kris Paulsen (UC Berkeley), Trevor Paglen (UC Berkeley)
- San Francisco - LASER 1.4 (14 july 2008):
Amy Ione (Diatrope Institute), Roger Malina (Leonardo ISAST), Robert Rich, Lynette Cook
- San Francisco - LASER 1.5 (8 september 2008):
Thomas Zimmerman (IBM), Sharon Siskin (SF Dump), Deborah Munk (SF Dump), William Hsu (SFSU), Matt Heckert
- San Francisco - LASER 1.6 (10 november 2008): Sam Bower (Green Museum), Nomi Talisman (Israel), Frank Pietronigro (Zero Gravity Art Consortium), Hasan Elahi (San Jose State Univ)
- San Francisco - LASER 2.1 (12 january 2009):
Steve Wilson (SFSU), Dor Abrahamson (UC Berkeley), Kavita Philip and Beatriz da Costa (UC Irvine), Paul Rabinow (UC Berkeley)
- Mountain View (SETI Inst) - LASER 2.2 (11 february 2009): Amy Ione (Diatrope Institute), Frank Pietronigro (Zero Gravity Arts Consortium), Cosmo Kichman (DeYoung Museum), Robert Rich
- LASER 2.3 (San Francisco, 9 march 2009): Ruzena Bajcsy (UC Berkeley), Irene Chien (UC Berkeley), Richard Rinehart (UC Berkeley Art Museum), Wayne Vitale (composer)
- LASER 2.4 (Mountain View, 8 April 2009): Warren Sack (UC Santa Cruz), Hasan Elahi (San Jose State University), Chris McKay (NASA AMES)
- LASER 2.6 (Mountain View, 10 June 2009): Sheila Pinkel (artist), Robert Edgar (Stanford Univ), Liena Vayzman (San Jose State University), Roger Malina (CNRS Marseille)
- LASER 2.7 (San Francisco, 13 july 2009): Jamie McHugh (John Kennedy University), Daniel "Cosmo Kichman" Grupp (Artist), Rhonda Holberton (Artist), Terrence Deacon (U.C. Berkeley)
- LASER 2.8 (Mountain View, 12 august 2009): David Stork (Ricoh and Stanford), Laura Granka (Google and Stanford), Darlene Lim (NASA), Irene Chien (UC Berkeley)
- LASER 2.9 (San Francisco, 14 september 2009): Rachel Beth Egenhoefer (USF), Chris McKay (NASA AMES), Bonnie DeVarco, Zann Gill
- LASER 2.10 (Mountain View, 14 october 2009): Julie Newdoll (Artist), Steve Wilson (SFSU), Wayne Lanier (San Francisco Exploratorium)
- LASER 2.11 (San Francisco, 9 november 2009): Jim Campbell (artist), Phil Ross (artist), Warren Sack (UC Santa Cruz), Renetta Sitoy (artist)
- LASER 2.12 (Mountain View, 11 december 2009): Chris Chafe (Stanford CCRMA), Brad Drda (SF Dump), Cindy Stokes (Photographer)
- LASER 3.1 (San Francisco, 11 january 2010): Helen Mayer and Newton Harrison (Artists), Joe Davis (MIT), Laura Granka (Stanford Univ), Victoria Vesna (UCLA)
- LASER 3.2 (Mountain View, 10 february 2010): June Power (Altor Systems), John Edmark (Stanford Univ), Carlo Sequin (U.C. Berkeley), Gertrude Reagan (Visual Artist)
- LASER 3.3 (San Francisco, 8 march 2010): Anna Couey (Artist), Taraneh Hemami (Artist), Helena Carmena (California Academy of Sciences), Jesse Austin & Charles Lee (BIOS Design Collective)
- LASER 3.4 (Mountain View, 14 april 2010): Rachel Beth Egenhoefer (USF), Ken Eklund, Phil Ross (USF), Tami Spector (USF)
- LASER 3.5 (San Francisco, 10 may 2010): Chris Palmer (Artist), Therese Lahaie (Artist), Mona El Khafif (California College of the Arts), Evelyne Gayou (INA France)
- LASER 3.6 (Mountain View, 9 june 2010): Robert Lang (Origami Artist), Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison (UC San Diego), Victoria Scott and Scott Kildall (Artists), Robert Buelteman (Photographer)
- LASER 3.7 (San Francisco, 12 july 2010): Linda Gass, Peter Foucault, Imin Yeh, Cindy Stokes
- LASER 3.8 (Mountain View, 11 august 2010): Shona Kitchen (San Jose State University CADRE), Leila Takayama (Willow Garage and Stanford Univ), Fred Kuttner (U.C. Santa Cruz), Roger Malina (CNRS Marseille)
- LASER 3.9 (San Francisco, 13 september 2010): Tanu Sankalia (USF), Deborah Aschheim (Visual artist), Anne Fougeron (Architect), Jeff Hull (Nonchalance)
- LASER 3.10 (Mountain View, 13 october 2010): Renetta Sitoy, Henrik Bennetsen and Chris Palmer
- LASER 3.11 (San Francisco, 8 november 2010): Robert Edgar (Sunnyvale Art Institute), Ken Eklund (game designer), Robert Lang (origami artist), Tom McKeag
- LASER 3.12 (Mountain View, 8 december 2010): Bathsheba Grossman, Phillip Prager, Peter Foucault , Wayne Vitale
- LASER 4.1 (San Francisco, 10 january 2011): Mathias Crawford, Robert Buelteman, Suzanne Husky, Robert Horn
- LASER 4.2 (Mountain View, 9 february 2011): Steven Oscherwitz (University of Washington), Bill Smart (Washington University and Willow Garage), Miu-Ling Lam (UCLA), Pamela Z (Multimedia artist)
- LASER 4.3 (San Francisco, 7 march 2011): Henrik Bennetsen (Katalabs), Niki Ulehla (Recology), Melanie Swan (DYIgenomics), Eri Gentry (Biocurious)
- LASER 4.4 (San Francisco, 9 may 2011): Elizabeth Jameson, Kal Spelletich, Caroline Lewis, Robert Davis, Minna Harri
- LASER 4.5 (San Francisco, 11 july 2011): Margarita Marinova (NASA), James Thompson (Stanford), Grisha Coleman (Arizona State Univ), Pamela Z
- LASER 4.6 (Stanford, 3 august 2011): Jonathan Trent (NASA), Cindy Stokes (Photographer), Robert Edgar (Sunnyvale Art Institute), Ken Eklund (game designer)
- LASER 4.7 (USF, 12 september 2011): Alan Cooper and Julianne Stafford (USGS), Luciano Chessa (San Francisco Conservatory), Leonard Pitt (Flying Actor Studio), Randal Koene (Carboncopies)
- LASER 4.8 (Stanford, 5 october 2011): Henrik Bennetsen, Rachel Beth Egenhoefer (USF), Trudy Myrrh Reagan, Wayne Vitale
- Special (Bay Area Science Festival, 2 november 2011): Robert Buelteman, Therese Lahaie, Deborah Munk, John Edmark, Martin Pohl & Christian Gonzenbach
- LASER 4.9 (USF, 7 november 2011): Laurie Frick, Bob Ostertag, Walter Kitundu, Jennifer Parker (UC Santa Cruz)
- LASER 4.10 (Stanford, 7 december 2011): Shona Kitchen, Carlo Sequin (UC Berkeley), Margarita Marinova (NASA), Peter Foucault
- LASER 5.1 (USF, 9 january 2012): Piero Scaruffi, Mark Wagner, GianPablo Villamil, Cheryl Leonard
- LASER 5.2 (Stanford, 1 february 2012): Luca Antonucci & Daniel Small, Zann Gill, Anne Fougeron, Phil Ross
- LASER 5.3 (USF, 12 march 2012): Shamit Kachru (Stanford), Indre Viskontas, Scott Kildall, Rebecca Kamen
- LASER 5.4 (Stanford, 4 april 2012): Michael Marmor (Stanford), Alan Cooper and Julianne Stafford (USGS), Sara Loesch-Frank (Stanford), Leonard Pitt
- LASER 5.5 (USF, 14 may 2012): Sean Gourley, Shanshan Sheng, Mark Feldman
- LASER 5.6 (Stanford, 6 june 2012): Renetta Sitoy, Luciano Chessa, Abigail De Kosnik, Javier Ideami
- LASER 5.7 (USF, 9 july 2012): Christina Smolke, Mark Jacobson, Ian Winters
- LASER 5.8 (Stanford, 8 august 2012): Sydell Lewis, Shamit Kachru, Indre Viskontas, Christine Peterson
- LASER 5.9 (USF, 10 september 2012): Hana Mori Bottger, Jennifer Dionne, Jesse Houlding, Vijaya Nagarajan
- LASER 5.10 (Stanford, 10 october 2012): Andrew Todhunter, Terry Berlier, Mark Jacobson, Cheryl Leonard
- LASER 5.11 (USF, 12 november 2012): Christina Mazza, Stella Zhang, Derek Sears, Marti Hearst
- LASER 5.12 (Stanford, 12 december 2012): Audrey Shafer, Mark Wagner, Jennifer Dionne, Jennifer Parker
- LASER 6.1 (USF, 14 january 2013): Piero Scaruffi, Meredith Tromble, Alison Gopnik, Alvy Ray Smith
- LASER 6.2 (Stanford, 6 february 2013): Carina Earl, Luke Muehlhauser, Christine Marie, Helene Mialet
- LASER 6.3 (USF, 11 march 2013): Curt Frank, Deborah Gordon, Terry Berlier, Katharine Hawthorne
- LASER 6.4 (Stanford, 4 april 2013): Jesse Houlding, Vijaya Nagarajan, Salma Arastu, Chris McKay
- LASER 6.5 (USF, 13 may 2013): Lucia Ayala, Reuben Margolin, Sara Loesch, Sasha Leitman, John Granzow
- LASER 6.6 (Berkeley, 5 june 2013): Indre Viskontas, Robert Buelteman, Jennifer Dionne, Vijaya Nagarajan
- LASER 6.7 (Stanford, 6 june 2013): Sean Gourley, Walter Kitundu, Jeremy Mende, Melanie Swan,
I have also chaired or co-chaired or will chair the following events in the San Francisco Bay Area:
Email me if you'd like to be on the mailing list
for these interdisciplinary cultural events.
Why i do this: a cognitive and historical perspective on art and science
A LASER overview
Videos and Slides
To be added to the mailing list
is a cognitive scientist
who was the manager of the Olivetti Artificial Intelligence Center in Silicon Valley,
held visiting scholarships at several academic centers (notably Harvard and Stanford universities),
lectured in three continents, and published several books on Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science (most recently, "The Nature of Consciousness" in 2006). He pioneered Internet applications in the early 1980s and the use of the World-Wide Web for cultural purposes in the mid 1990s; and
he has co-authored "A History of Silicon Valley".
As a music historian, he has published ten books, the latest ones being "A History of Rock Music" (Second edition, 2009) and "A History of Jazz Music" (2007).
He has also written extensively about cinema, literature and the visual arts on his website www.scaruffi.com.
His latest book of poems and meditations is "Synthesis" (2009).
"A Brief History of Knowledge" (2011), the lectures from his old UC Berkeley class, has been published as an Amazon ebook.
An avid traveler, he has visited more than 140 countries of the world.
Full bio: click here.