Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous of April 2012

Exploring the Frontiers of Knowledge and Imagination, Fostering Interdisciplinary Networking
Stanford, 4 April 2012
c/o Stanford University
Chaired by Piero Scaruffi

The LASERs are a national program of evening gatherings that bring artists and scientists together for informal presentations and conversation with an audience. See the program for the whole series.

Leonardo ISAST and Stanford Continuing Studies invite you to a meeting of the Leonardo Art/Science community. See below for location and agenda.

The event is free and open to everybody. Email me if you want to be added to the mailing list for the LASERs.

Like previous evenings, the agenda includes some presentations of art/science projects, news from the audience, and time for casual socializing/networking.

See also...

  • The Tenth International Conference on Neuroesthetics
  • Artists Redefine Turing
  • Stanford interdisciplinary panels
  • Stanford events calendar
  • DASERs
  • Art, Technology, Culture Colloquia
  • ScienceSchmoozer
  • Previous Art/Science Evenings
    When: 4 April 2012

    Where: Stanford University
    Building 200 (History Corner), Room 203 Stanford map

    Parking: History Corner is close to the Oval (dead end of University Ave if you are coming from El Camino Real). Parking is mostly free at Stanford after 4pm (read the fine print on the parking signs).

    • 6:45pm-7:00pm: Socializing/networking.
    • 7:00-7:25:
    • Michael Marmor (Stanford Univ) on "Simulating the Vision of Artists" A number of great artists have had poor vision during their productive years, including Degas, Monet and O'Keeffe... Read more
    • 7:25-7:50:
    • Alan Cooper and Julianne Stafford (U.S. Geological Survey) on "Cultural perspectives of Science in Antarctica" An exploration through narrative, images and live music of the past and the future of Antarctic studies for scientists and artists before and after the Antarctic Treaty... Read more
    • 7:50-8:05: 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.
    • 8:05-8:30:
    • Sara Loesch-Frank (Lettering Artist) on "Follow the Glow: Metallic Leaf and Unusual Media in Art" Many people are familiar with gilding as the flash of gold on medieval manuscript pages. Most people are unaware of how the metal adhered to the page or where the colors came from on the illuminations. Read more
    • 8:30-8:55:
    • Leonard Pitt (Flying Actor Studio) on "The Art of the Body, The Art of the Pen" The art of physical theatre through a collection of character masks and how the discipline of moving one's body can teach one how to become a writer." Read more
    • 8:55: Piero Scaruffi on the next Leonardo Art/Science evening I will simply preview the line-up of speakers for the next Leonardo evening.
    • 9:00pm-9:30pm: Discussions, more socializing You can mingle with the speakers and the audience

    • Alan Cooper is an emeritus scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey and consulting professor at Stanford. He has 28 years experience working on Antarctic studies and heads the Antarctic Seismic Data Library System for Cooperative Research under the 1959 Antarctic Treaty. He has published more than 250 research papers. Alan is also co-concertmaster of the California Pops Orchestra and performs with the Left Bank trio and Fiume di Musica.
    • Sara Loesch-Frank is an exhibiting artist and educator working in the Bay Area. Her work has been included in the book, " Art and Craft of Hand Lettering," " Writing Beyond Words," and Letter Arts Review magazine. Her work has been shown at the Southern Highland Craft Guild in Asheville N.C. and at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. Along with Chinese artists, Sara exhibited her work in Chengde and Qufu, China in a joint exhibition. Filoli Gardens and the Triton Museum of Art have often shown her artwork. Sara team teaches a Sophomore Seminar Series at Stanford University: "Art Chemistry and Madness: the Science of Art Materials." in Chemical Engineering with her husband.
    • Michael Marmor is Professor and past Chair of Ophthalmology at Stanford University. He also teaches in the Bioethics program, and the undergraduate Program in Human Biology. He is a leading expert in retinal physiology and disease, and in studies on the interface of vision and the arts. He has written several books and more than 300 papers, not only about retina but also about vision in art, history, music and sports. A recent article showed simulations of how Degas and Monet might have seen their own work as their eyesight failed. His most recent book is The Artist's Eyes (Abrams, 2009).
    • Piero Scaruffi is a cognitive scientist who has lectured in three continents and published several books on Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science, the latest one being "The Nature of Consciousness" (2006). He pioneered Internet applications in the early 1980s and the use of the World-Wide Web for cultural purposes in the mid 1990s. His poetry has been awarded several national prizes in Italy and the USA. His latest book of poems and meditations is "Synthesis" (2009). As a music historian, he has published ten books, the latest ones being "A History of Rock and Dance Music" (2009) and "A History of Jazz Music" (2007). An avid traveler, he has visited 135 countries of the world. His latest book is A History of Silicon Valley, coauthored with Arun Rao, and his first ebook was "A Brief History of Knowledge" (2011), available on Kindle.
    • Leonard Pitt is an actor, author and teacher. He originally studied mime in Paris with Etienne Decroux in the 1960s and settled in Berkeley in 1970. He has performed and taught around the world. He currently operates The Flying Actor Studio in San Francisco offering a one-year conservatory program in the art of physical theatre. He has written three books about Paris, Walks Through Lost Paris, Paris a Journey Through Time, and Paris Postcards, the Golden Age, plus A Small Moment of Great Illumination about the life of Valentine Greatrakes, a 17th century Irish healer.
    • Julianne Stafford was the co-founder of a private consulting firm for investing in natural resources and have a long and varied musical backgrounds in classical and popular music. Stafford also perform with the Left Bank trio and Fiume di Musica.

    Extended abstracts: Simulating the Vision of Artists.

    A number of great artists have had poor vision during their productive years, including Degas, Monet and O'Keeffe. With suitable knowledge of their disease, and careful computer manipulation, one can create images that show how the artists might have viewed their paintings or sculptures at any given time. Computer simulations do not duplicate all sensations of blurred vision for many reasons, but they do show where visual loss poses a physical limitation to an artist. Even this knowledge must be used with caution, for the impact of visual blur or color distortion will vary with the style of the artist. And paintings that appear blurred or distorted may be created that way for aesthetic reasons, so that the diagnosis of eye disease from an artist's work is hazardous.

    The Art of the Body, The Art of the Pen

    With no formal education I learned how to write by learning how to move my body with discipline and artistry. To date I have written four books. To convey meaning through gesture and movement or through language demands the same clarity and intention. Underlying the art of the word and the art of the gesture is the necessity of deep listening and deep seeing. Demonstrating with my voice, my body and a variety of wooden character masks I will make all apparent.

    Gilding and Illumination survived the Middle Ages.

    Many people are familiar with gilding as the flash of gold on medieval manuscript pages. Most people are unaware of how the metal adhered to the page or where the colors came from on the illuminations. Artists are still working with these materials on a myriad of substrates. Some present thought-provoking challenges to art conservators. Lettering artists are using metallic foils, not only on traditional vellum and paper but also on textured panels, encaustics, canvas, glass and metal. The use of various polymers and unusual substances make an exciting dynamic to mirror the hand's motion. While students explore and experiment, traditional techniques are often insufficient to answer their needs. Loesch-Frank will show examples of her own and her student's work using these techniques from the traditional to more exotic. This sophisticated time in which we live moves so quickly, the expressive touch of the human hand with tools on a surface can reacquaint us with the joy of making our own marks.

    Cultural perspectives of Science in Antarctica.
    Science in Antarctica differs from that done anywhere else in the world. Why is this so? All modern science investigations are based on making observations and deriving theories from those observations. Yet in Antarctica, a unique science culture exists. The tenets of the Antarctic Treaty mandate open access to data and the oversight of research by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR)(e.g., coordination of science programs of 47 countries) guide how science is to be done there. Political sages of the "Cold War" era masterfully designed and implemented the Treaty, adopted in 1959, to assure that Antarctica would become a peaceful location for collaborative science to benefit all mankind. Antarctica's history leading up to the Treaty holds a fascinating record of national explorations, commercial exploitations, melding of international science and arts cultures, and great personal triumphs and tragedies. From the earliest forays of Captain Cook until the mid-20th century, leaders, scientists and crews of Antarctic expeditions, as a matter of course, made use of cultural arts skills to describe and interpret their experiences, observations and discoveries in the region. Narrative, drawing, painting, poetry, music and later photography and film skills allowed them to recount experiences, illustrate observations, and communicate with colleagues and an interested public. In our talk, we use images, text-narrative and live music to briefly review and exemplify how some key cultural arts (e.g., art/drawing, photography, music) have supported successful exploration efforts, scientific research and national collaborations in times before the Treaty. Technological advances since the early 20th century, and since the time of the treaty, have improved scientists' ability to accurately and remotely measure and interpret Antarctic systems as indicators of Earth's history and climate. Concurrent with this increasing data volume and precision, Antarctic scientists (and other scientists) increasingly struggle to communicate the complex results and their theories to the public effectively. Scientists' historic use of the arts had high impact in conveying their discoveries to a general public who were interested to learn about science and exploration. We suggest, if scientists again focused on incorporating the Arts, especially narratives, humanistic imagery, humor and live music, to help convey their findings, their messages would be more widely understood and accepted. They would have greater impact. Today, Antarctic science is guided by the Treaty and SCAR, and is a universal role model for successful international collaborative research. Our presentation illustrates the link between science and Arts, to inspire research colleagues to revive their cultural arts skills - and use them in live presentation of their research.

  • Photos and videos