San Francisco, 9 January 2012
c/o University of San Francisco
Fromm (FR) building, Maraschi room
Note: Besides the sister series of the National Academy in Washington DC, in 2011 there were also the first New York LASERs and in 2012 Hong Kong will also have its own LASERs.
Leonardo ISAST and USF invite you to a meeting of the Leonardo Art/Science community. See below for location and agenda.
Like previous evenings, the agenda includes some presentations of art/science projects, news from the audience, and time for casual socializing/networking.
Making music out of sounds, objects and experiences from the polar regions. Composer and instrument-builder Cheryl Leonard has been making music out of sounds, objects and experiences from the polar regions. In 2009 she travelled to Palmer Station, Antarctica on a grant from the National Science Foundation's Antarctic Artists and Writers Program, and this past September-October she participated in the Arctic Circle expeditionary residency program in Spitsbergen (aka Svalbard). Leonard will discuss working with sound at the ends of the earth and share examples of the field recordings, instruments, and compositions that have grown out of her polar adventures.
Building Lynn Hershman's RAW/WAR Installation. Lynn Hershman Leeson (her website) is an award-winning artist and filmmaker who taught at UC Davis and Cornell University and is currently chair of the Film Department at the San Francisco Art Institute. Her works include the first interactive laser artdisk (LORNA), three award-winning feature films (Strange Culture, Teknolust, Conceiving Ada), and interactive installations that use the Internet and artificial intelligence software. "The Art and Films of Lynn Hershman Leeson" was published by the University of California Press in 2005. Women Art Revolution (2010), based on her own archives recently acquired by Stanford University, is a documentary history of the feminist art movement that took 40 years to complete. She was honored by the Digital Art Museum in Berlin with the d.velop digital art award (d.daa), the most distinguished honor for lifetime achievement in the field of new media. Interviews with Lynn Hershman: click here and click here.
The RAW/WAR project is generated from the idea that history is aboutaccess and authorship and that we, as a global digital community, cannow all participate in its creation and change the way history itselfis constructed. Using new technologies, current and future generationscan create their own histories, breaking the cycle of omission anderasure. RAW/WAR takes the form of an interactive, community-curated archiveand an accompanying interactive installation that provide a forum in which userscan come together, share their stories and collaboratively contributeto the history of women's art. The project emerges from the documentary !Women Art Revolution. Whilethe film provides a personal perspective of feminist activism in anational context, RAW/WAR opens up this dialogue to a global audience,connecting women and their histories worldwide. An ongoing partnership with Stanford University Libraries (SULAIR)houses the !Women Art Revolution Collection in a publicly accessibleonline archive for study and research. The collection, acquired in2008, holds the interview footage and transcripts from the film.Because of the retrievability of this information, there are noouttakes, subverting traditional notions of filmmaking. RAW/WAR isabout continuing this ongoing lineage into the future and allowingusers to add, and ultimately, remix, their own stories. The RAW/WAR website (at www.rawwar.org) is self-curated. This is achieved by rating and meta-ratingand is intricately linked to the whole thesis of !WAR: shedding light on who is left out and why. The RAW/WAR installation is a live participatory environment thatallows users to 'bring light' to the lost or invisible histories ofwomen in art with virtual flashlight controllers accessing theinteractive, community-curated archive. Unlike the archive, which is a tool for research and exploration, the installation allows for serendipitous discovery: it presents users with unexpected discoveries, and allows for unusual juxtapositions of found media. The RAW/WAR project was created in collaboration with Alexandra Chowaniec, Brian Chirls, Gian Pablo Villamil and Paradiso Projects.
Street Painting: Creating Community Through Impermanent Art.
In June of 2008, 6,000 people (over 4,000 elementary school children) from Alameda CA, USA worked collaborately over two weeks to create the world largest chalk drawing, setting a new Guinness World Record. Over 90,000 sq. ft. were covered with beautiful colored chalk and a satellite photograph from 423 miles miles high was taken of the artwork.
This spawned DRAWING on EARTH,
whose mission statement reads: "Inspiring Art and Creativity in Youth and Communities around the World". Quote:
"We believe that creativity is a natural renewable energy that when exercised and practiced during youth empowers one to experience an inner resource that is sustainable, long term, and available in all aspects of one's life.
We believe that kids who are nurtured creatively grow up ready and able to more effectively interact with the world, connect to the environment, integrate with technology, and understand the bigger picture.
We believe that art is not just a pretty picture but also a way of being creative that will help to solve some of the world's problems.
We believe that creativity crosses race, economic, gender, and religious boundaries and is the glue that brings communities together that heals personal and collective wounds.
We believe people connected to their creativity consume less, are more comfortable with what they have, are able to generate more of what they want and need, are better at taking care of themselves, are able to help others with their generosity.
We believe that creativity continues to be important later in careers and business, partnership and marriage, community engagement, becoming an elder, and being curious about the end of ones life.
We believe that a creative art education to be the best investment into the future that anyone can give and receive."
Alan Turing and the Programmable Universe. You can download the full presentation with no pictures from here of the full presentation with pictures from Slideshare (the talk will only cover 20 slides or so of this presentation). 2012 is the Alan Turing Year with tributes planned all over the world. In 1936 he conceived the "Turing Machine": a machine whose behavior is determined by a sequence of symbols and whose behavior in turn determines the sequence of symbols. A universal Turing machine (UTM) is a Turing machine that can simulate an arbitrary Turing machine. Every computer built today is a UTM. Your laptop and your smartphone are UTMs (alas with finite memories). Since virtually every progress in other disciplines has been due to the use of computers, they all owe Turing something, from the human genome project to the Hubble Telescope. During World War II Turing broke the Enigma code used by the Germans in their secret messages. Historians credit that breakthrough with giving the Allies a critical advantage over the enemy. Maybe Turing did not win World War II alone, but the outcome may have been different without that breakthrough. In 1950 (when computers were beginning to spread and scientists were beginning to marvel at their potential) Turing published an article in which he proposed that a machine can be said to be "intelligent" if it performs exactly like a human being. That marked the birth of Artificial Intelligence. The computer has become a vital fibre of our society and the debate about how intelligent it can and should become is very much part of our concerns. In 1954 Turing committed suicide. The British government had been trying to "heal" his homosexuality and the cocktail of "medicines" probably caused his depression (not to mention humiliation). His legacy is very much among us and one could argue that the entire 21st century is the Turing Century because every major research program of our time depends on computers. It is interesting to speculate what Turing would say of today's computer technology; and compare with the futures that digital artists are imagining. Robert Horn will display his "Can Computers Think" mural.