Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous of June 5, 2013

Exploring the Frontiers of Knowledge and Imagination, Fostering Interdisciplinary Networking
UC Berkeley, June 5, 2013
Room 110, Barrows Hall (See the Extensions catalog)
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. This event is kindly sponsored by the Minerva Foundation.
Where: UC Berkeley Extensions
Room: Room 110, Barrows Hall - see this page
Campus map
  • 6:30-6:55: Indre Viskontas (Neuroscientist and Musician) on "Music that Moves: the art and neuroscience of effective performance" We are constantly bombarded by a cacophony of sounds and yet music still has the power to influence us, often outside our awareness. Read more
  • 6:55-7:20: Robert Buelteman (Photographer) on "Photography Without the Camera" The application of high-voltage electrical currents and hand-delivered fiber optic light can create fine-art photographs of living plants through a creative process inspired by Japanese ink-brush painting and improvisational jazz
  • 7:20-7:40: 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.
  • 7:40-8:05: Jennifer Dionne (Stanford Nanotechnology Lab) on "Lights, Nano, Action!" Imagine a world where cancer is cured with light, objects can be made invisible, and teleportation is allowed through space and time... Read more
  • 8:05-8:30: Vijaya Nagarajan (USF Hinduist Studies) on "Embedded Mathematics in Women's Ritual Art Designs in southern India" The kolam and the key ideas embedded within this ephemeral ritual... Read more
  • 8:30pm-9:00pm: 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
  • DASERs
  • Art, Technology, Culture Colloquia
  • ScienceSchmoozer
  • Previous Art/Science Evenings
    • Robert Buelteman has published 4 books of photographs and thirteen limited-edition portfolios of his work. He has been honored with three residencies at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, the subject of his monograph Eighteen Days in June (2000), as well as a three year residency at the Santa Fe Institute. He is currently working on a new collection of images as a guest of Stanford's Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve. His work is found in the permanent collections of he Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Santa Fe Institute, Yale University Art Museum, Stanford University and numerous corporate and private collections as well.
    • Jennifer Dionne is an assistant professor in the department of Materials Science and Engineering. Her research investigates metamaterials - engineered materials with optical and electrical properties not found in nature - for applications ranging from high-efficiency solar energy conversion to bioimaging. Jen received her Ph. D. in Applied Physics in 2009 at the California Institute of Technology and B.S. degrees in Physics and Systems & Electrical Engineering from Washington University in 2003. Prior to joining Stanford, she served as a postdoctoral research fellow in Chemistry at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Her work has been recognized with a NSF CAREER Award, AFOSR Young Investigator Award, Hellman Faculty Scholar Award, and MRS Gold Award. In 2011, she was named one of Technology Review's TR35 - 35 international innovators under 35 tackling important problems in transformative ways.
    • Vijaya Nagarajan is is an Associate Professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies and the Program in Environmental Studies at the University of San Francisco. She teaches courses in Hinduism, Religion and Environment, Spiritual Autobiography of Place, among others. Vijaya received her Ph. D. from the University of California, Berkeley in South Asian Languages and Literatures, with an emphasis in Art History and Anthropology, and has been teaching at USF since 1997. Her research focus has been on the South Indian women's ritual design tradition of the kolam, an ephemeral ritual art performed daily in Tamil Nadu with rice flour. She has received numerous grants and fellowships including the Fulbright-Hays Dissertation Fellowship, American Institute of Indian Studies, the NEH Chair in the Humanities and the Davies Chair (at USF). Her forthcoming book, Feeding a Thousand Souls: Women, Ritual and Ecology in southern India-the Kolam (Oxford University Press) will be exploring the kolam through various disciplines: anthropology, art history, medieval Tamil literature, and mathematics.
    • 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). An avid traveler, he has visited 135 countries of the world. His latest book is A History of Silicon Valley, coauthored with Arun Rao, and his first ebook was "A Brief History of Knowledge" (2011), available on Kindle.
    • Indre Viskontas straddles the line between music and neuroscience, holding a Master of Music degree in Voice Performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience from UCLA. An affiliate of the Memory and Aging Center at UCSF, she continues to publish research related to memory and creativity and will join the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music this fall. An active Bay Area performer, she is the co-founder and director of the opera company "Opera on Tap". She is also the leader of Vocallective, a collective of singers and instrumentalists dedicated to the art of vocal chamber music. Recent appearances include the lead role in L'Etoile, an opera by Chabrier, presented by the Lyric Theater of San Jose, and a recital of contemporary chamber music at Stanford's Campbell Recital Hall. Passionate about bringing science to the public, she co-hosted a 6-episode docuseries on the Oprah Winfrey Network called Miracle Detectives, in which she represented the scientific side of a believer-scientist team investigating real claims of miracles. She continues to educate and provoke the lay public as a host of Point of Inquiry (http://www.pointofinquiry.org/), recently named by Business Insider magazine as one of the top 10 podcasts. She has published more than 30 scientific articles and book chapters and edits the journal Neurocase.

    Extended abstracts:

    Embedded Mathematics in Women's Ritual Art Designs in southern India

    This talk will focus first on a brief general presentation on the kolam and the key ideas embedded within this ephemeral ritual such as ritual pollution, auspiciousness, and feeding a thousand souls. Next, it will survey briefly the four ways in which mathematical ideas have intersected with the design geometry of this art form: symmetry, infinity, array grammars and fractals. Finally, it will explore some of the larger questions within the field of ethno-mathematics that it poses and generates.

    Lights, Nano, Action! Imagine a world where cancer is cured with light, objects can be made invisible, and teleportation is allowed through space and time. The future once envisioned by science fiction writers is now becoming a reality, thanks to advances in nanomaterials science and engineering. Materials can now be designed on length scales as small as one-billionth of a meter, with properties very distinct from their macro-sized counterparts. For example, nanoscale semiconductors such as silicon can fluoresce while nanosized clusters of silver and gold can appear colors spanning a rainbow palette. The unique functionalities of nanomaterials are now being utilized for next-generation solar cells, batteries, electronics, optical communications, and medical therapeutics. Here I'll describe my group's effort to design new optical nanomaterials. Unlike most natural materials, these engineered materials strongly interact with both the electric and magnetic field of light. Their optical properties enable applications ranging from highly efficient solar-renewable technologies to optical tweezers that can trap and manipulate single nanoparticles and proteins using light alone.

    Music that moves. We are constantly bombarded by a cacophony of sounds and yet music still has the power to influence us, often outside our awareness. What is it about this art form that draws people in? What distinguishes a performance that is technically accurate but unmusical from one that elicits the chills? We will explore how music engages the brain and why it continues to be a worldwide addiction.
    Photos and videos