Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous of 12 September 2017

Exploring the Frontiers of Knowledge and Imagination, Fostering Interdisciplinary Networking
San Francisco, 12 September 2017, 7pm
c/o University of San Francisco
Fromm Hall - Berman Room
Chaired by Piero Scaruffi and Tami Spector

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 USF invite you to a meeting of the Leonardo Art/Science community. The event is free and open to everybody. Like previous evenings, the agenda includes some presentations of art/science projects, news from the audience, and time for casual socializing/networking.
See below for location and agenda.
Email me if you want to be added to the mailing list for the LASERs.
See also...

Program (the order of the speakers might change):
  • 7:00-7:25: Hsiao-Yun Chu (SFSU) on "R. Buckminster Fuller: The Arts of the Sea and the Land" Fuller's lifelong passion for boating and the sea translated into his design work and philosophy... Read more
  • 7:25-7:50: Liat Berdugo (Media Artist) on "Technologies of Power, Access, and Freedom" We live in a world saturated with glowing rectangles... Read more
  • 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: Gregorij Kurillo (Berkeley/ Teleimmersion Lab) on "Virtual and Augmented Reality for Connecting People" Collaborative virtual and augmented reality at the Teleimmersion Lab of UC Berkeley... Read more
  • 8:35-9:00: Manuela Travaglianti (UC Berkeley/ Political Science) on "How can we Prevent Election Violence?" An overview of the determinants of political violence during the electoral process... Read more
  • Discussions, networking You can mingle with the speakers and the audience

  • Liat Berdugo is an artist, writer, and curator who studied mathematics and philosophy at Brown University, and design at Rhode Island School of Design. Berdugo has been exhibited in galleries and festivals nationally and internationally, and her book, The Everyday Maths, was published by Anomalous Press in 2013. She is the net art and special programs curator for Print Screen, Israel's international festival of digital art; co-founder and curator of the Bay Area's Living Room Light Exchange, a monthly new media art salon; co-founder and curator of World Wide West, an annual summit, exhibit, and performative new media event, among others. She collaborates widely with individuals and archives. Her work has won several awards, including fellowships at the Hambidge Center, the Vermont Studio center, and a year-long residency in Tel Aviv, Israel, through the Dorot Foundation. Current research projects include a series of works that interrogate citizen video archives in zones of conflict. Specifically, Berdugo has been researching citizen surveillance and counter-surveillance in Israel/Palestine, and writing a series of essays on the politics of visibility in amateur videography. More at liatberdugo.com.
  • Hsiao-Yun Chu is Associate Professor and Graduate Coordinator, School of Design, San Francisco State University. Her interests include design history, user-based research methodology, project-based learning, practice-based research, and the cultural and social implications of design. She is the author of two books on R. Buckminster Fuller and of numerous articles on design and design history. She is also an associate editor with the International Journal of Design. Prof. Chu is the coordinator of the Master's Program in Design at SF State, and the study abroad advisor for incoming students from our six bilateral programs. Ph.D., University of Brighton, Brighton UK; M.S. Eng, Product Design, Stanford University; A.B. cum laude, Harvard University. She published two books: "New Views on R. Buckminster Fuller" (Stanford University Press, 2009) and "Dymaxion Car: Buckminster Fuller" (IvoryPress, 2010).
  • Gregorij Kurillo received B.Sc. (2001) and Ph.D. degrees (2006) from School of Electrical Engineering, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. From 2002-2006 he was a Research Assistant with the Laboratory of Robotics and Biomedical Engineering with the research focus on the application of human and robotic grasping for rehabilitation of upper extremity. Dr. Kurillo was a Postdoctoral Researcher at University of California, Berkeley, from 2006-2009. Since 2009 he has been Lead Research Engineer at Teleimmersion Lab at UC Berkeley. He is currently also holding a joint appointment as Assistant Researcher at UC Davis Medical School. Dr. Kurillo's research interests include geometric and photometric camera calibration, 3D vision, robotics, technology & healthcare, rehabilitation engineering, tele-medicine, and collaborative virtual reality.
  • 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.
  • Manuela Travaglianti is a Lecturer in the Peace and Conflict Studies and the Global Studies program at UC Berkeley. Her research focuses on the causes and consequences of political violence in Sub-Saharan Africa. She studies the the effectiveness of electoral violence prevention programs through experimental and qualitative methods. She teaches classes on post-conflict peace building and global studies in Africa, and advise undergraduate senior capstones in peace and conflict studies. She has collaborated with the United States Institute of Peace. Prior to joining UC Berkeley she was a graduate fellow at the Stanford Center for International Conflict and Negotiation.

Address and directions:

University of San Francisco
2130 Fulton Street
SF, CA 94117
Fromm Hall - Broad Conference Room
2130 Fulton Street, San Francisco, CA 94117-1080
Fromm Hall is behind the church, best accessed from Parker Ave.

Extended abstracts

We live in a world saturated with glowing rectangles: smartphones, especially, have become technological appendages to bodies, allowing software and hardware alike to become part of a daily habitus. This talk uses smartphones as through line in media art and design practice to conceptually interrogate technologies of power, access, and freedom. In this talk, Berdugo works from the technological, but more so from the logos of the tehkneÄ: from an artistic point of view that survey the ground which exists - often absurdly - between what the digital world promises and what it delivers.


Virtual and Augmented Reality for Connecting People Recent advances in augmented and virtual reality (AR & VR) have pushed this technology from high-end laboratories to consumers. This provides new opportunities for exploring digital worlds at a lower cost. This talk will present the research activities and discuss the findings in collaborative virtual and augmented reality performed in the last decade at the Teleimmersion Lab at University of California, Berkeley.

Electoral violence is a widespread phenomenon across the world. Especially in fragile democracies, elections are often undermined by intimidation, violent protest, or outright violence. Violence can discourage voters from engaging in the democratic life of their country. I will provide an overview of the determinants of political violence during the electoral process and discuss common practices designed to prevent it. While such practices are widespread and generously sponsored by donor countries and international organizations, their effectiveness is still in question. I will discuss what we know on what are the best ways to prevent violence, including results from my own research.

R. Buckminster Fuller is lauded as an iconoclast, a highly original thinker, a consummate Renaissance individual, and even a creative genius by some. But what were the sources and inspirations of his creative thinking, and what gave him the ability to "think different" about the problems facing mankind? This talk will discuss Fuller's lifelong passion for seafaring and the ocean, and how it formed and shaped his unique perspectives on efficiency, self-sufficiency, and good design.

Photos and videos of this evening