Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous of 15 July 2024

Exploring the Frontiers of Knowledge and Imagination, Fostering Interdisciplinary Networking
Stanford, 15 July 2024 at 7pm
LiKaShing building - Room LK102
Chaired by Piero Scaruffi and prof. Curtis Frank
Free and open to everybody

The LASERs (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous) are an international program of evening gatherings that bring artists and scientists together for informal presentations and conversation with an audience. See the program for the whole international series and the dates for the Bay Area. Send an email to "scaruffi at stanford dot edu" if you want to be added to the mailing list for the LASERs.
Where: Stanford University, LiKaShing building - Room LK102
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.
Stanford Events calendar
Program (the order of the speakers might change):
  • Patricia Alessandrini (Stanford) on "Ada's Song: Artistic Research in Robotics from a (Cyber)Feminist Perspective"
    Alessandrini will speak about her work as a composer/sound artist, from the design of interfaces and instruments for inclusive performance to the development of the Piano Machine, a system that mechanically excites piano strings using Machine Learning processes in response to live performance. She will also discuss her new project employing soft robotics in a cyberfeminist, futurist installation and performance.
    If you missed this presentation, you can view it by clicking on the image:
  • Joon Park (Stanford) on "Smallville: Illustrating Our Lives with Generative Agents"
    Generative agents are computational software agents that simulate believable human behavior. We instantiate generative agents to populate an interactive sandbox environment inspired by The Sims, where end users can interact with a small town of twenty five agents using natural language. These agents represent a new medium of expression. (click here for more)
  • Rohini Devasher (Media Artist in India) on "Between Wonder and the Strange"
    Devasher will share work that maps the complexities of ecology, cosmology, and technology viewed through the twin lenses of wonder and the strange. The theoretical grounding of her work draws from the history of science, astronomy, philosophy and speculative fiction.
    If you missed this presentation, you can view it by clicking on the image:
  • Discussions, networking You can mingle with the speakers and the audience

  • Rohini Devasher, based in India, is a media artist who works with video, painting, printmaking, drawing and installation. Her expansive projects create worlds that emerge from deep research and scientific explorations, illuminating and complicating the subjects at hand. Her work has been shown at the Minnesota Street Project Foundation, San Francisco (2024), Gallery Wendi Norris, San Francisco (2024), Kunsthalle Bern, (2024), Museum Catharijneconvent Utrecht, Netherlands (2024), Tai Kwun Contemporary (2023), Macao International Art Biennale (2023), Collegium Helveticum, Zurich (2023), Warehouse 421, Abu Dhabi (2023), Rubin Museum of Art in New York (2021–22); the Sea Art Festival in Busan, South Korea (2021); the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts (2021); Kunst Leuven City Festival in Belgium (2021); Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber in the United Arab Emirates (2019); Kaserne Basel (2019); the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (2018); 7th Moscow International Biennale of Contemporary Art (2018); Spencer Museum of Art in Lawrence, Kansas (2018, 2016); Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum (2018, 2016); Lisbon’s Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT) (2016); ZKM Karlsruhe (2016); Singapore’s ArtScience Museum (2016); London’s Whitechapel Gallery (2016); 5th Fukuoka Asian Art Triennial (2014); and the first Kochi-Muziris Biennale in Kerala, India (2012). Devasher is the first Indian artist to be honored by Deutsche Bank as 'Artist of the Year' for 2024. She was recently a 2023 dual resident in Arts at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) in Geneva, Switzerland, and at the International Centre for Theoretical Sciences (ICTS-TIFR) in Bengaluru, India as part of Connect India, a collaboration between Arts at CERN and the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia. Devasher’s past residencies include Cove Park, in Cove, Scotland (2022); London’s Open Data Institute (2021–22); Spencer Museum of Art in Lawrence, Kansas (2016); the Anthropocene Campus at Berlin’s Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HWK) (2016); the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum (2014); the Glasgow Print Studio (2014); and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin (2012). In 2018, she spent 26 days as an artist-in-residence on an oil tanker traveling from Fiji to Singapore as part of The Owner’s Cabin Residency Program.
  • Patricia Alessandrini teaches composition, sonic arts and computer music at Stanford's Department of Music/CCRMA. She is a composer/sound artist, educator and researcher actively engaging with notions of canonicity, representation, interpretation, perception and memory, often in a social and political context, through work which is for the most part interactive and/or intermedial. She performs research on embodied interaction - including instrument design for inclusive performance - as well as on digitally-mediated performance and computer-assisted composition. Her works have been presented in numerous festivals, in the Americas, Asia, Australia, and over 15 European countries. She has also toured extensively as a performer of live electronics. She studied composition with electronics at the Conservatorio di Bologna and Ircam, holds a diploma in composition from the Conservatoire de Strasbourg, a PhD from Princeton University, and a second PhD from the Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC), Queens University, Belfast. She previously taught Computer-Assisted Composition in the alto perfezionamento programme of the Accademia Musicale Pescarese, and served as a Lecturer in Composition with Technology at the University of Bangor and in Sonic Arts at Goldsmiths, University of London.
  • Joon Sung Park is a computer science PhD student in the Human-Computer Interaction and Natural Language Processing groups at Stanford University. His work introduces the concept of, and the techniques for creating generative agents -- computational agents that simulate human behavior. His work has won best paper awards at UIST and CHI, as well as multiple best paper nominations and other paper awards at CHI, CSCW, and ASSETS, and has been reported in venues such as The Times, The Guardian, NBC, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Forbes, Wired, Science, and Nature. Joon is recognized with the Microsoft Research Ph.D. Fellowship (2022), Terry Winograd Fellowship (2021), and Siebel Scholar Award (2019).
  • 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.


Believable proxies of human behavior can empower interactive applications ranging from immersive environments to rehearsal spaces for interpersonal communication to prototyping tools. In this work, we introduce generative agents--computational software agents that simulate believable human behavior. Generative agents wake up, cook breakfast, and head to work; artists paint, while authors write; they form opinions, notice each other, and initiate conversations; they remember and reflect on days past as they plan the next day. To enable generative agents, we describe an architecture that extends a large language model to store a complete record of the agent's experiences using natural language, synthesize those memories over time into higher-level reflections, and retrieve them dynamically to plan behavior. We instantiate generative agents to populate an interactive sandbox environment inspired by The Sims, where end users can interact with a small town of twenty five agents using natural language. We propose that these agents represent a new medium of expression. Just as paintings provide believable proxies of our likeness, these agents tell stories that resonate with us. This capability allows us to re-examine human experiences and helps us design our future by creating counterfactual stories of what could be possible in various multiverse scenarios.

Photos and videos of this evening


The Stanford LASERs are sponsored by the Stanford Deans of: Engineering; Humanities & Sciences; and Medicine; by Chemical Engineering and by Continuing Studies.