Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous of 10 August 2017

Exploring the Frontiers of Knowledge and Imagination, Fostering Interdisciplinary Networking

Stanford, 10 August 2017
c/o Stanford University
LiKaShing building - Room LK130
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. 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.
Where: Stanford University, LiKaShing building - Room LK130
There should be ample parking in the structure on corner of Campus Drive West and Roth Way. (Stanford map)
Parking is mostly free at Stanford after 6pm.
Program (the order of the speakers might change):
  • 7:00-7:25: Luciano Chessa (Composer) on "After the noise intoners" A contemporary take on the futurist manifesto... Read more
  • 7:25-7:50: BJ Fogg (Stanford/ Persuasive Technology Lab) on "Persuasive Technologies"
  • 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" Abstract forthcoming... Read more
  • 8:35-9:00:
  • Jinxia Niu (Author based in China) on "Chinese creativity and innovation in the 21st century" "Innovation" can have wildly different meanings in modern China and in the USA... Read more
  • 9:00pm-9:30pm: Discussions, networking You can mingle with the speakers and the audience

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See also...
  • Other LASER series
  • Archive of past LASERs
  • Leonardo ISAST
  • Art, Technology, Culture Colloquia
  • ScienceSchmoozer
  • LAST Festival
  • Other recommended events
    • 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 Melville╬Ú╬¸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).
    • BJ Fogg (Stanford/ Persuasive Technology Lab) is the founding director of the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab. Previously, he directed the Stanford Web Credibility Project. He is the author of the book "Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do" (2003). Fogg coined the concept of "captology", the overlap between persuasion and computers. He never teaches the same class twice. One year, he taught how to use online video to persuade people. Another year, his class focused on how social media can promote world peace. And in yet another year, his class was about Facebook apps, and his students persuaded more than 16 million people to install the apps they created, as documented in a New York Times article. In 2015 he created a course that was all about getting people to connect more with nature. A cofounder of Instagram was a student of his. He directs a series of conferences at Stanford on Mobile Health. Fortune Magazine listed him as one of "10 New Gurus You Should Know."
    • Jinxia Niu is a Chinese journalist and author. She has published special reports on "The rise of Wechat" and on Alibaba's founder Jack Ma. In 2015 a number of her articles on big data were included in the book "Big Data Combat" that she edited. She has interviewed scores of influential business people, writers and politicians. In late 2015 she began a project with Silicon Valley author Piero Scaruffi that consists in a series of interviews about the future of technology and society. The book was published in 2017: "Humankind 2.0". In 2016 she was awarded the top prize for journalism in the Zhejiang province of China (population 54 million people). She is routinely called "a Buddhist nun" because of her passionate interest in all things Buddhist. She has memorized several Chinese classics, written in ancient Chinese that most Chinese people can't even read.
    • Alex Reben is best known for his robots and machine art, including the film-making "BlabDroids". He has been called "The Willy Wonka of robots" for his experimentation and style of building. The BlabDroids are making the worlds first documentary entirely shot and directed by robots. They have traveled the world asking difficult and meaningful questions in order to learn what makes us human. His current work involves using science and technology to probe deeply into synthetic psychology and artificial philosophy. Alexander holds a graduate degree from the MIT Media Lab where he researched human-machine symbiosis and design. He has built robots for NASA, worked on particle accelerators and consults with executives to help make products more "lovable". He has held fellowships at MIT in the Center for Future Storytelling and CMS DocLab. Classes which he lectured while at MIT include Interactive Technology Design and Promoting Art Through Design. He is currently a visiting scholar in the UC Berkeley psychology department and a director at Stochastic Labs, an art, science and technology incubator. Alexander has exhibited at prestigious venues both in the U.S. and internationally including Ars Electronica, Volta, The Whitney Biennial, Axiom, 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.
    • Piero Scaruffi is a cultural historian 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). His latest book of history is "A History of Silicon Valley" (2011). The first volume of his free ebook "A Visual History of the Visual Arts" appeared in 2012. His latest book is "Intelligence is not Artificial" (2013). He has also written extensively about cinema and literature. He founded the Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous (LASER) in 2008.

    Extended abstracts:

    Abstract forthcoming


    Abstract forthcoming

    From the San Francisco Weekly tribute: "Luciano Chessa has had a long, rich career as both musicologist and musician. Now, after releasing six albums and spending thirty-plus years as a composer and performer, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts is rewarding him with his own retrospective on April 30,2016. Born on the Italian island of Sardinia in 1971 to scientist parents, Chessa listened to Giuseppe Verdi records as a four-year-old, which inspired him to pursue a life in music. After attending the Conservatory of Bologna, he moved stateside and earned a PhD in Musicology from the University of California at Davis. Along the way, he was exposed to the work of German-American deconstructionist Geoffrey Hartman, whose aim to blur the line between the artistic and academic showed Chessa that there was an alternative to the dry traditionalism of his younger years."

    Mainland China has staged one of the most impressive economic booms in the history of the world, without a single recession in 30 years. The nationa is now undergoing another transformation, from a manufacturing-based economy to an IT-based economy. The Chinese like talk nonstop about "innovation", but "innovation" can have wildly different meanings in the USA and in China.

    The Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab focuses on methods for creating habits, showing what causes behavior, automating behavior change, and persuading people via mobile phones. Over the years, improving health has become a theme.

    Photos and videos of this evening


    The Stanford LASERs are sponsored by the Stanford Deans of Research; Engineering; Humanities & Sciences; Medicine; and Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences; Continuing Studies; and the Office of Science Outreach.