Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous of February 6, 2013

Exploring the Frontiers of Knowledge and Imagination, Fostering Interdisciplinary Networking

From Palo Alto: From 280/ Sand Hill Rd:

Stanford, February 6, 2013
c/o Stanford University
Building 320, Braun Corner ("Geology Corner") Room 105
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,
Building 320, Braun Corner ("Geology Corner") Room 105 (Stanford map)
Parking is mostly free at Stanford after 4pm.
  • 6:45pm-7:00pm: Socializing/networking.
  • 7:00-7:25:
    Carina Earl on "Labyrinth of Infinite Doorways" A visual point of access for places and times within our current framework of knowledge about the universe and evolution... Read more
  • 7:25-7:50:
    Luke Muehlhauser (Singularity Institute) on "Superhuman Artificial Intelligence: Promise and Peril" Technological revolutions shape our world more than anything else, and superhuman AI will be the most transformative technological revolution of all... 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:
    Christine Marie on "Cinematic shadows and stereoscopic objects" Used as a tool for storytelling- giant cinematic shadow theater is a form that is both ancient and appealing... Read more
  • 8:35-9:00:
    Helene Mialet (UC Berkeley) on "On Stephen Hawking and his extended body" These days, the idea of the cyborg is less the stuff of science fiction and more a reality... Read more
  • 9:00pm-9:30pm: Discussions, networking You can mingle with the speakers and the audience

See also...
  • Stanford interdisciplinary panels
  • Stanford events calendar
  • DASERs
  • Art, Technology, Culture Colloquia
  • ScienceSchmoozer
  • Previous Art/Science Evenings
    • Carina Earl has shown her work in various galleries in Washington DC. During a brief time in Philadelphia she asked to lead and execute a mural with the Philadelphia Mural Arts Commission and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful. In San Francisco she has been deeply involved with Trickster Arts Salon which has presented opportunities to show at Mission Control and Aspect Gallery. She has also shown numerous times at the Diego Rivera Gallery in N. Beach, presented a solo show at Hive Mind Gallery in Oakland in 2011, and exhibited several pieces at SFAI's Vernassage in 2012. Carina began a serious interest in art when she received her first canvas and paint set in 1986. She has always felt that through painting she has been able to access portals into other times and dimensions. Currently she is working on a body of large scale paintings called Labyrinth of Infinite Doorways which focuses on a period about 4 billion years from now when the Milky Way will merge with neighboring Andromeda. Her concepts are based on a principle that intention is stronger than fear, that life is a structural component of physics, and that eventually life will penetrate both star systems to form a galactic biosphere.
    • Christine Marie is an artist and director creating original lo-fi spectacles of large-scale cinematic shadow theater. She seamlessly integrates performers, objects and hand made special effects to elicit connections with concepts, phenomenology and history in emotional and visually stimulating performances. She studied Wayang Kulit traditional shadow puppetry in Bali and is a former member of ShadowLight theater. Christine Marie received an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in Integrated Media and Theater. She lectures and conducts workshops for theater companies, film studios, universities and schools. She has taught shadow animation at Pixar and consulted for the film, "Me and My Shadow," for DreamWorks studios. Christine Marie is a 2012 TED Fellow. She also directs, designs and edits for film and video design. "Signaling Arcana" will premiere in 2013.
    • Helene Mialet has held positions at Cornell University, Harvard University and Oxford University where she ran the program in Science Studies; she has also held post-doctoral fellowships at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin and in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge University under the auspices of the Marie Curie Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship, sponsored by the European Union for extremely promising young scholars. She has published widely on subjectivity, agency, innovation and cognition. Her most recent book is entitled L'Entreprise Cratrice, (Paris: Herms-Lavoisier, 2008), which is an ethnographic study of practices and processes of invention in an applied research laboratory in a multinational oil company (Total); this book was a finalist for the Prix ADVANCIA for the best book published in French on Entrepreneurship and Innovation in 2008. She has just completed a new book entitled Hawking Incorporated, Stephen Hawking and the Anthropology of the Knowing Subject (University of Chicago Press, 2012). This work provides an ethnographic study of `abstraction' and formalism, focusing on the case of Stephen Hawking as a means of exploring larger questions having to do with singularity, identity, distributed agency, subjectivity, corporeality (and/or the mind/body problem), socio-technical networks and scientific practice. She is currently working on a new project concerned with the study of new networks of knowledge production and expertise constituted by `laypersons' (e.g., electronic lists organized around specific themes like parents of children with juvenile diabetes).
    • Luke Muehlhauser joined the Singularity Institute in 2011 as a researcher, and was shortly thereafter appointed Executive Director. He has published dozens of articles on technological forecasting, intelligence explosion theory, and the cognitive science of rationality. Previously, he interviewed dozens of scientists and philosophers for his podcast Conversations from the Pale Blue Dot, taught classes for the Center for Applied Rationality, and has worked both as a fashion consultant and as an information technologies consultant. He is currently developing several papers, including a survey of proposals for dealing with superhuman AI.
    • 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.

    Extended abstracts:

    Stephen Hawking ahd his Extended Body

    These days, the idea of the cyborg is less the stuff of science fiction and more a reality, as we are all, in one way or another, constantly connected, extended, wired, and dispersed in and through technology. One wonders where the individual, the person, the human, and the body are-or, alternatively, where they stop. These are the kinds of questions Hlne Mialet explores in her book "Hawking Incorporated: Stephen Hawking and the Anthropology of the Knowing Subject", as she focuses on a man who is permanently attached to assemblages of machines, devices, and collectivities of people: Stephen Hawking. Drawing on an extensive and in-depth series of interviews with Hawking, his assistants and colleagues, physicists, engineers, writers, journalists, archivists, and artists, Mialet reconstructs the human, material, and machine-based networks that enable Hawking to live and work. She reveals how Hawking-who is often portrayed as the most singular, individual, rational, and bodiless of all-is in fact not only incorporated, materialized, and distributed in a complex nexus of machines and human beings like everyone else, but even more so.

    Labyrinth of Infinite Doorways .
    Possibilities for expanding consciousness and its relationship to time, parallel realities, and other dimensions have been the driving forces for almost every creative project of mine since I was a child. My current body of work "Labyrinth of Infinite Doorways" is a visual point of access for places and times I have envisioned within our current frame work of knowledge about the universe and evolution. Through painting I am able to create conjectures for unanswered questions such as how life and consciousness came into existence, how we resolve our current sociological, economic, and environmental issues, what other life forms are possible both biological and technological, how will life, including humanity, continue to evolve and how can we influence it, how will the universe change in the distant future, how significant is the relationship between physics and biology, and does a link between science and spirituality exist that can absolve the distinction between them? I feel that clear and precise imagery can communicate the possibilities for these questions, therefore I spend a great deal of time including detailed visual information in my paintings in order to accurately represent what I imagine as these possibilities. It has become evident that a common thread between all of my paintings is revealing itself. A story about the history of the future is being unveiled which I am now working toward communicating in written form. I'm developing the idea that life could be interwoven across our perceived boundaries of time, and that a delicate balance exists that the universe depends on to function and evolve. I realize that I'm working within the current human condition's limited scope of knowledge and sensory awareness, and understand that there is only so much that anyone can imagine in our current level of development. However, I continue to seek new ways to push those limits of perceptions through visualizing the possibility that life will continue to prevail and to permeate the universe for billions of years until all matter with in it has transformed into living and conscious interconnected tissues and atmospheres.

    Superhuman Artificial Intelligence.
    Technological revolutions shape our world more than anything else, and superhuman AI will be the most transformative technological revolution of all. But will this revolution be positive or negative? Will it be more like modern medicine or the atom bomb? Several considerations suggest that superhuman AI will, by default, have negative effects on humanity. To ensure that superhuman AI impacts us positively, we should invest in AI safety research today, so that AI safety research outpaces AI capabilities research.

    Cinematic shadows and stereoscopic objects.
    Shadows are as old as the sun, ubiquitous and each of us possess our own. Used as a tool for storytelling- giant cinematic shadow theater is a form that is both ancient and appealing to modern theater going audiences. I will discuss how this expressionist form draws us in to complete its simple gestalt. I will show examples of how the form has been utilized to communicate stories that appeal to the psyche and/ or communicate ontological or phenomenological themes. I've invented a light that casts 30' 3D stereoscopic images and am working to find meaning in the form and to create an intimacy with the image beyond the novel or gimmick use of 3D. I will demonstrate the light and discuss immersive theatrical events in which I am using it.

    Photos and videos