Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous of August 8, 2013

Exploring the Frontiers of Knowledge and Imagination, Fostering Interdisciplinary Networking
Stanford, August 8, 2013
c/o Stanford University
Room 200-030 (Lane History Corner, Main Quad)
Stanford events
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,
Room 200-030 (Stanford map)
Parking is mostly free at Stanford after 4pm.
  • 7:00-7:25:
    Niki Ulehla (Pupper Maker) on "Marionettes, forms and relationships" How and why does a marionette move? How do the basic mechanics of the construction lead to the imitation of life... Read More
  • 7:25-7:50:
    David Israel (SRI Intl) on "Random Thoughts on Random Natural Language Processing Research" Research at SRI Intl to emulate human language... 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:
    Jeanne C Finley (California College of the Arts) on "The Non-Fiction Imagination" How imaginative engagement with representational media has shifted and defined the individual's relationship to both the self and community... Read more
  • 8:35-9:00:
    Tony Pratkanis (Stanford Univ) on "Replacing the Office Intern: An Autonomous Coffee Run with a Mobile Robot" The adventures of Stanford's PR2 mobile robot as it traveled from the robotics lab to the coffee shop upstairs... Read more
  • 9:00pm-9:30pm: Discussions, networking You can mingle with the speakers and the audience

See also...
  • An Evening on Design (UC Berkeley, 14 august 2013):
  • Stanford events calendar
  • Los Angeles LASERs
  • Washington DASERs
  • Art, Technology, Culture Colloquia
  • ScienceSchmoozer
  • Previous Art/Science Evenings
    • Jeanne C Finley, a Professor of Media Studies at the California College of the Arts, is a media artist who works in experimental and documentary forms including film, video, photography, installation, internet, and site specific public works. Her work has been exhibited in international institutions including the Guggenheim Museum, SF and NY Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum and the George Pompidou Center. She has been the recipient of many grants including a Rockefeller Media Arts Fellowship, Guggenheim Fellowship, Cal Arts/Alpert Award, National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships. Since 1989 she has worked in collaboration with John Muse on many installation and video projects including Flatland, 2007, Clockwork, 2006, and Catapult, 2005. Finley's film and video credits include: Lost, 2006, Loss Prevention, 2000, O Night Without Objects, a Trilogy, 1998, A.R.M. Around Moscow , 1993, Involuntary Conversion, 1991 and Nomads at the 25 Door, 1991. These tapes have won awards at international festivals such as the San Francisco, Atlanta, Berlin Video Festival, Toronto, and World Wide Video Festival.
    • David Israel received his BA in Philosophy from Harvard College (1965) and his PhD in Philosophy (focusing on Philosophy of Logic, Language and Mathematics) from UC Berkeley in 1973. After nine years in academia, (and that explains why it took so long to finish his PhD) he entered the wonderful world of contract research in Artificial Intelligence, a world in which most contracts are let by DARPA (the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency) and now IARPA (DARPA's much younger sibling in the Intelligence Community). Over the past decade or so, he has been Principal Investigator (PI) of the AQUAINT Project (Advanced Question-Answering for Intelligence; sponsored by ARDA, a predecessor of IARPA); PI of Halo Phase I; Senior Advisor, Halo, Phase II (Halo was focused on representing and reasoning scientific knowledge, e.g., from Intro College Textbooks in Chemistry, Physics and Biology; it was funded by Vulcan Research, a component of Vulcan, founded by Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft); Chief Scientist, CALO Project (DARPA; CALO was inarguably the largest AI research project in history, focused on building personal assistants for "knowledge workers" ); PI, GALE Project, Phase I; co-PI, Phase II (DARPA; focused on machine translation from both text and speech, in Chinese and Arabic); PI, Mobius Project (DARPA; a very large exploration of the possibilities for Machine Reading), Years 1 and 2; Senior Technical Advisor, Bootstrapped Learning Project (DARPA) and PI of the Machine Reading Project (DARPA; the full follow-on to the Mobius exploration).
    • Tony Pratkanis studies at Stanford University, specializing in Robotics and Mechatronics. He currently works in the Salisbury Robotics lab. He is also a member of the technical Board of Advisors for Suitable Technologies. Prior to attending to Stanford, he worked at Willow Garage. An eleven-year member of the Homebrew Robotics Club, his robots have been featured at Maker Faire and in the mass media including the CBS morning news, BBC, Servo Magazine, and IEEE Spectrum among others. In addition to robotics, he is interested in software engineering, chemistry, alternative energy and entrepreneurship.
    • 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). 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. He has also written extensively about cinema and literature.
    • Niki Ulehla is a San Francisco based artist, puppeteer and goldsmith. Originally from Tennessee, she lived in Texas, Alabama, Germany, Georgia, Massachusetts and the Marshall Islands before coming to California in 1997. She studied painting at Stanford, puppet-making in Prague and goldsmithing in San Francisco. She worked as a goldsmith in the studios of Petra Class and Sandra Enterline for five years and has had her own studio since 2005. She has been making and performing with marionettes for over a decade in the SF bay area and Czech Republic. She began performing in San Francisco with the puppet-music ensemble, Cows for Tuttle and later began developing shows in collaboration with musicians and composers. Currently she is further developing a version of Dante's Inferno that she began as an artist in residence at Recology (the dump) in San Francisco. In addition she has been exploring the possibilities of Small Shows, performing experiments in small scale and microscopic puppetry using projection.

    Extended abstracts:

    Tony Pratkanis.
    I will present work with the PR2 mobile robot at Stanford University, in which we programmed our robot to autonomously travel from our lab to a coffee shop, purchase a coffee, and return it. I will explain the details of the challenges we faced (such as doors and elevators) and our methods for overcoming them. Finally, I will use this work as a launch pad to discuss the issues and challenges involved in personal robotics in general and how we might work to resolve them. This work was originally presented at the 2013 International Conference on Robotics and Automation.
    Jeanne C Finley.
    Finley will cite a selection of video and digital recording works from the last 30 years to consider how imaginative engagement with representational media has shifted and defined the individual's relationship to both the self and community. Media artists, and consumers of recording media, have utilized developments in recording technology from the early open video reel-to-reel porta-pack to contemporary digital surveillance, to challenge widely held notions of identity and privacy. The work presented by Finley will make evident that the territory of representational media is a primary ground on which the power struggles between institutional control and individuals take place.

    David Israel.
    I will discuss a number of recent activities -- bith research *and* commercialization activities -- aimed at (partially ... very partially) emulating the distinctively human capacity for the use of language.

    Marionettes, forms and relationships.

    Marionettes (and puppets in general) are often accused of stiff and unnatural movements. There seems to be a belief that a puppet does what its "master " wants. I disagree with this, believing instead that a puppet's form directs the puppeteer. During my talk I will present a breakdown of how a marionette is jointed and strung and why it is this way. I will show short videos of comparative puppet locomotion. I will discuss the individuality of marionettes and the cooperation between puppet and puppeteer.

    Photos and videos