Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous of June 12, 2014

Exploring the Frontiers of Knowledge and Imagination, Fostering Interdisciplinary Networking

Stanford, June 12, 2014
c/o Stanford University
Li Ka Shing Center, Room LK101
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, Li Ka Shing Center, Room LK101 (directions)
Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge at Stanford University School of Medicine: room LK101. Good map and driving directions here. 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 4pm.
  • 7:00-7:25: Stacey Bent (Stanford's TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy) on "Shining Light on Energy" By making small changes at the nanoscale, scientists hope to improve solar cells... Read more
  • 7:25-7:50: Soraya Murray (UC Santa Cruz/ Film & Digital Media) on "Games, Connectedness and Radical Empathy Under Globalization" How games can reflect the world as it is, and present tools for imagining what our place in it may be... 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: Danielle Tullman-Ercek (UC Berkeley/ Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering) on "Synthetic Biology: The Challenges and Potential of Engineering Living Systems" The past few decades has seen an explosion in our ability to understand and even manipulate cells... Read more
  • 8:35-9:00: Kiri Rong (Visual Artist, Curator, Computer Scientist) on "The State of the Arts in China" The unique trajectory of China's art world over the last 30 years... Read more
  • 9:00pm-9:30pm: Discussions, networking You can mingle with the speakers and the audience

See also...
  • Stanford events calendar
  • Art, Technology, Culture Colloquia
  • Other LASER series
  • ScienceSchmoozer
  • Previous Art/Science Evenings
    • Stacey Bent is a professor of chemical engineering at Stanford University and the co-director of the Center on Nanostructuring for Efficient Energy Conversion. Her research focuses on semiconductor processing, surface science, nanotechnology, and interface engineering. Her group studies new materials and processes for next generation solar cells, fuel cells and catalysts. Bent has received several awards including the Tau Beta Pi Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2006 and the Allan V. Cox Medal for Faculty Excellence in Fostering Undergraduate Research in 2013, and she is a Fellow of the American Chemical Society and the American Vacuum Society.
    • Soraya Murray is an Assistant Professor in the Film and Digital Media Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is also affiliated with the Digital Arts and New Media MFA Program. Murray holds a PhD from Cornell University in the History of Art and Visual Studies, an MFA from the University of California, Irvine, and a BFA from Occidental College. An interdisciplinary scholar focusing on contemporary visual culture, she has particular interest in cultural studies approaches to new media and contemporary art. She has written on a broad array of topics ranging from the impacts of globalization on art to exploring a critical studies of electronic games. Murray's writings are found in publications such as Art Journal, Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, Flash Art, EXIT Express, PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art, Third Text and she is also a contributor to GamesBeat.
    • Kiri Rong graduated from Beijing Institute of Technology as Computer major and began her career as a Cisco network engineer. Soon after, She studied Fashion Design at Beijing's Central Academy of Arts and began her own design business which soon blossomed into her own designer goods factory. While the factory was a great success, Kiri sensed that her true calling lay in the booming Chinese art scene. Kiri soon became the department manager for Modern and Contemporary Art at the Beijing Googut Auction House. In 2009 Kiri moved to the Bay Area and soon opened an art gallery while practicing Digital Art.
    • 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. His latest book is "Demystifying Machine Intelligence" (2013). He has also written extensively about cinema and literature.
    • Danielle Tullman-Ercek is an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of California Berkeley. Danielle received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering at Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, and her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. She carried out her postdoctoral research at UCSF and the Joint Bioenergy Institute prior to joining Cal in 2009. Her research focuses on building protein-based devices for applications in bioenergy, biomaterials, and drug delivery. She is particularly interested in engineering the cellular machinery that transport materials across membranes. She is a member of the Berkeley Synthetic Biology Institute and the Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center, and was recently awarded an NSF CAREER award for her work on the construction of bacterial organelles using protein membranes.

    Extended abstracts:

    Organisms are inspirational in their vast diversity of functions and products, all created using the blueprint of information encoded in their DNA. The past few decades has seen an explosion in our ability to understand and even manipulate the cells that makes up these powerful, microscopic living machines. For example, we now can use microbes to produce fuels, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals in renewable, environmentally friendly ways. Nonetheless, much of the potential of this technology - known to some as synthetic biology - remains untapped. Prof. Tullman-Ercek will describe what has been accomplished already, the barriers that must be overcome next, and the future inventions that may result.
    Chinese's explosive economy has a counterpart in the arts, which are staging an incredible boom of their own despite a regime that is not always friendly to creative expression. Nonetheless, China now boasts the largest artists' village in the world, just one hour outside Beijing and countless galleries and museums where an exponentially growing number of artists can easily display their work to the general audience. In the space of just three decades modern art has been catapulted to the forefront of China's cultural evolution. Curator Kiri Rong will summarize progress in China's art world over the last 30 years and highlight differences between western and Chinese contemporary art world.
    How can we remake ourselves from the disorienting fragmentation, fraught connectedness and immediacy of our own times? In her major defense of the arts and humanities during an intensely anti-aesthetic neoliberal moment, entitled An Aesthetic Education in the Era of Globalization, Gayatri Spivak points back to the transformational potential of literature. She describes it as a discipline that demands a reader be sustained in the subjectivity of another-by peering into their life, their stories, their ways of seeing things. In other words, it encourages a radical empathy for the "other". Inspired by Spivak's call to embrace alterity and contradiction, this presentation considers how games (as sites of aesthetic expressiveness that suspend us in the stories of others) can reflect the world as it is, and present tools for imagining what our place in it may be.
    Meeting the world's growing energy needs in a sustainable fashion is one of the most pressing problems of our time. One of the best choices for renewable energy is the solar cell, which harnesses the energy of sunlight to make electricity directly. Although solar cells have been around for decades, they still cost too much. By making small changes at the nanoscale, investigators hope to improve solar cells so that they can compete more effectively with other sources of energy.
    Photos and videos of this evening