Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous of 10 December 2018

Exploring the Frontiers of Knowledge and Imagination, Fostering Interdisciplinary Networking

Stanford, 10 December 2018
LiKaShing building - Room LK120
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 LK120
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: Hirohisa Tanaka (Stanford/ SLAC) on "TBA" Abstract forthcoming... Read more
  • 7:25-7:50: Helen Blau (Stanford/ Biology) on "TBA" Abstract forthcoming... 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: Michal Kosinski (Stanford Graduate School of Business) on "TBA" Abstract forthcoming... Read more
  • 8:35-9:00: Mauro Ffortissimo (Media Artist, Poet and Piano Deconstructor) on "What is a Piano?" A multidisciplinary creative process and ... 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
    • Helen Blau is the Director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford and Professor of Political Science as well as Professor Emerita of International Studies at the University of Washington. She has been a Senior Fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University. She held the Chair in Politics, United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, 2009-13. At the University of Washington she was director of the CHAOS (Comparative Historical Analysis of Organizations and States) Center and formerly the Harry Bridges Chair and Director of the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies. She became a fellow of the National Academy of Sciences in 2015, the American Academy of Political and Social Science (AAPSS), inducted 2017, the American Academy of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2001 and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow in 2002. She served as president of the American Political Science Association from 2004 to 2005. Levi is the author or coauthor of numerous articles and six books, including Of Rule and Revenue (University of California Press, 1988); Consent, Dissent, and Patriotism (Cambridge University Press, 1997); Analytic Narratives (Princeton University Press, 1998); and Cooperation Without Trust? (Russell Sage, 2005). The book In the Interest of Others (Princeton, 2013), co-authored with John Ahlquist, explores how organizations provoke member willingness to act beyond material interest. Her research continues to focus on how to improve the quality of government. She was general editor of Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics and is co-general editor of the Annual Review of Political Science. Levi serves on the boards of the: Social Science Research Council (SSRC); Center for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (CEACS) in Madrid; Berggruen Institute; and Scholar and Research Group of the World Justice Project. Levi and her husband, Robert Kaplan, are avid collectors of Australian Aboriginal art. Ancestral Modern, an exhibition drawn from their collection, was on view at the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) in 2012. She has lectured in Australia, China and Europe (Germany, Hungary, England). She periodically serves as a consultant to the World Bank. She is the recipient of the 2014 William H. Riker Prize for Political Science.
    • Mauro Ffortissimo was born in Argentina in 1962, and emigrated to the USA in 1981. He has been living, working and making art in San Francisco and the greater Bay Area since that time. Trained in classical piano, self-taught in painting and sculpting, he has worked in multiple media’s including, sheet metal and, most prominently: de-constructed piano assemblages. Mauro has pioneered the “Piano Liberado”; bypassing the keyboard and playing directly on the strings to liberate the instrument from the traditional constraints of the 12-tone scale. He is a co-founder of the music/arts organization Sunset Piano.— a live performance company that takes pianos and places them into unexpected naturalistic and urban outdoor spaces. For three years running he has co produced a major summertime piano installation in the San Francisco Botanical Garden called Flower Piano. His work is the subject of the documentary film "Twelve Pianos" by Storyfarm's Dean Mermell, highlighting Mauro's work. The film premiered as the closing film at Green Film Festival in SF’s Castro theater and will soon be available online. Mauro also writes poetry and hosts a poetry and music salon at Specs Bar in North Beach, the second Wednesday of each month.
    • Michal Kosinski is a psychologist and data scientist. His research focuses on studying humans through the lenses of digital footprints left behind while using digital platforms and devices. He is an Assistant Professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business. Michal holds a PhD in Psychology from University of Cambridge, an MPhil in Psychometrics, and a MS in Social Psychology. Michal coordinates the myPersonality project, which involves global collaboration between over 200 researchers, analyzing the detailed psycho-demographic profiles of over 8 million Facebook users. While at Cambridge University, he started an open-source online adaptive testing platform Concerto and ApplyMagicSauce.com predictive engine. Previously, Michal was the Deputy Director of the University of Cambridge Psychometrics Centre, a researcher at Microsoft Research, and a post-doc at Stanford's Computer Science Department.
    • Hirohisa Tanaka is Professor of Particle Physics and Astrophysics at Stanford University. Honors & Awards include: Co-recipient, Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics (2015); Invitation Fellow, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (2009); Fellow, American Physical Society (2015). He is or has been a member of the International Advisory Committee, International Conference on Neutrino Physics and Astrophysics (2016 - Present), of the Experimental Advisory Committee, SNOLAB (2009 - 2012), of the Panel on Long Baseline Neutrino Experiments and Neutrino Factories, International Committee for Future Accelerators (2013 - 2017), of the Five Year Plan Steering Committee, TRIUMF (2012 - 2013), of the Physics Advisory Committee, Fermilab (2014 - Present), of the Long Range Planning Task Force, Institute of Particle Physics (2015 - 2015), of the Planning and Policy Advisory Committee. Chair, Accelerator Subcommittee, TRIUMF (2017 - Present).
    • 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. Since 2015 he has been commuting between California and China, where several of his books have been translated.

    Extended abstracts:


    For the past decade, artist Amanda Hughen has created visual representations of cellular transformation by layering fragmented imagery from architecture, biology, and consumer goods. Her work refers to the loaded gun theory of illness: genetics loads the gun, environment pulls the trigger. In years of researching disease and cellular mutation for this project, and as the topic became more personal because of her own genetic makeup, she faced a huge amount of information on the subject in science journals and news media. Multiple articles on a similar topic often contained contradictions, redactions, and institutional agendas. Defeated by the limitations of scientific certainty and by the bias of news media, she has recently turned her gaze to mainstream media, namely, the newspaper of record: the New York Times. In her current series of work, Hughen magnifies, dissects, and layers forms, words, and images found in the printed pages of the New York Times as her search for answers takes a quixotic, absurdist turn.


    Abstract forthcoming

    Abstract forthcoming

    The artist, who has brought pianos to the cliffs of the California coast, the streets of San Francisco, and the botanical gardens of Golden Gate Park, will demonstrate and illustrate a creative process that spans poetry, music, visual arts and sculpture, and that relates to the community.

    Photos and videos of this evening


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