Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous of 13 June 2019

Exploring the Frontiers of Knowledge and Imagination, Fostering Interdisciplinary Networking

Stanford, 13 June 2019
LiKaShing building - Room LK130
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, LiKaShing building - Room LK130
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.
Program (the order of the speakers might change):
  • 7:00-7:25:
  • Kimford Meador (Stanford/ Neurology) on "How does the brain damage affect how we think?" Abstract forthcoming... Read more
  • 7:25-7:50: Irving Weissman (Stanford) on "How normal stem cells regenerate the body but sometimes lead to cancer" Abstract forthcoming... 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: Jessica Feldman (Stanford/ Biology) on "TBA" Abstract forthcoming... Read more
  • 8:35-9:00: Dasha Ortenberg (Designer/Artist) on "Transformative Potentials of Speculative Mapping" The potentials of data visualization to represent and promote a highly-textured interpretation of human existence... Read more
  • 9:00pm-9:30pm: Discussions, networking You can mingle with the speakers and the audience

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See also...
  • Other LASER series
  • Archive of past LASERs
  • Leonardo ISAST
  • Art, Technology, Culture Colloquia
  • ScienceSchmoozer
  • LAST Festival
  • Other recommended events
    • Jessica Feldman is Assistant Professor of Biology at Stanford and leads her own laboratory. She originally studied the genetic regulation of centrosome structure, function, and positioning and the mechanisms dictating internal cellular organization using the unicellular alga Chlamydomonas. She went on to characterize the role of the centrosome during epithelial polarization in C. elegans, working as a postdoctoral fellow at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. She started her Stanford lab in the Biology Department in 2014. Her lab studies structural changes that occur at the cellular level during normal development and in disease. In particular, they are interested in understanding how microtubules become spatially organized in different cell types during cell differentiation.
    • Kimford Meador is a Professor of Neurology and Neurosciences at Stanford University, and Clinical Director of the Stanford Comprehensive Epilepsy Center. He was the Chair of Neurology at Georgetown University (2002-2004), the Melvin Greer Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience at the University of Florida (2004-2008) where he served as Director of Epilepsy Program and Director of the Clinical Alzheimer Research Program, and Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics at Emory University (2008-2013) where he served as Director of Epilepsy and of Clinical Neurocience Research. He joined the faculty of Stanford University in 2013. Dr. Meador has authored over 350 peer-reviewed publications. He has served as the PI for a long running NIH multicenter study of pregnancy outcomes in women with epilepsy and their children. He has served on the editorial boards for Clinical Neurophysiology, Epilepsy and Behavior, Epilepsy Currents, Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology, Neurology, Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology, and Epilepsy.com. He has received numerous awards and honors. He is the past Chair of the Section of Behavioral Neurology of American Academy of Neurology; past President of Society for Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology; past President of the Society for Behavioral & Cognitive Neurology; past President of the Southern EEG & Epilepsy Society; and was ranked in the top 10 experts in epilepsy worldwide by Expertscape.
    • Dasha Ortenberg believes deeply in design's ability to stimulate critical thought, highlight the weirdness of individuals, and the reveal uncanny overlaps of (sub-)cultures. Her cross-scalar and cross-media approach to space is the result of a perpetual fascination with modes of human communication, collaboration, and cohabitation. Having emigrated from the Soviet Union as a child, she is driven by a deep gratitude to the United States for having provided the opportunity to pursue her passions and understand her heritage, and works to promote and propagate such opportunities for others. Dasha holds degrees in Art History and Linguistics (UC Berkeley), and Architecture (Harvard GSD). Her formal education is supplemented by a variegated work experience, which includes radio, dance, and archival conservation. In her conceptual projects, pedagogical pursuits, and work for art and architectural practices she strives to combine traditional and contemporary technologies to transform individual narratives and historic cross-currents into socially-impactful spatial experiences. She leverages the media of documentation, representation, and fabrication to highlight juxtapositions and create conversations that encourage mutual understanding. Her project, A Franchise of Difference, transformed documentation of interviews and sites from a 7,000-mile road trip into architectural concepts. She works as a designer at Anderson Brule Architects. As an artist with the ZERO1 American Arts Incubator in March 2018, she developed, taught and administrated the "Rhetorical City" program at L'Uzine in Casablanca, Morocco. She is also developing and directing the 2018 events cycle "Structures of Power," -- which explores the structures of traditional power and methods of empowerment -- for the Women in Architecture group of Silicon Valley.
    • 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.
    • Irving Weissman is a Professor of Pathology and Developmental Biology at Stanford University, where he is the Director of the Stanford Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine along with Michael Longaker. His awards include election to the National Academy of Sciences in 1989, being named California Scientist of the Year in 2002, the Robert Koch Prize in 2008 the Rosenstiel Award in 2009 and the Max Delbrueck Medal in 2013. He developed methods to identify stem cells, and has extensively researched stem cells and progenitor cells.His research focus is "the phylogeny and developmental biology of the cells that make up the blood-forming and immune system." Weissman is widely recognized as the "father of hematopoiesis" since he was the first to purify blood forming stem cells in both mice and humans. His work has contributed to the understanding of how a single hematopoietic stem cell can give rise to specialized blood cells. Weissman is also a leading expert in the field of cancer stem cell biology, where his work sheds light on the understanding of the pathogenesis of multiple human malignancies. He is also known for transgenic research in which human brain cells are grown in the brains of mice.

    Extended abstracts:


    Borges’s “On Exactitude in Science” at first appears to be a work satirizing a quasi -medieval obedience that drives a given technique to the absurd. Yet, as its title suggests, the passage is also an allegory of the human tendency, across the sciences, to pursue explanations or “truths” through infinitely detailed representations and deconstructions of our perceived environments and experiences. The greater the level of detail, the more convincing the science. Yet, this pursuit of and faith in detail risks both a misperception of “reality” and a myopic focus on the illusion of fact. The two collections of work I will present in this talk, A Franchise of Difference and Rhetorical City, recognize mapping as data visualization and question which data is selected for representation and how. They simultaneously engage in methods of data collection and dissection and react to these by considering individuals and human interactions both as quantifiable parts and as irreducible wholes. With today’s ability to generate a continuous spectrum of scaled mapping from Global Information Systems (GIS) or Google Earth to genetic sequencing, scale is synched and linked and individuality dissolves into a sea of data points. The reconstruction of the individual through socio-spatial data analysis claims a level of objectivity as it embeds assumptions ever-more deeply in an echo-chamber of meta-interpretation of fragmented information. Rhetorical City postulates that psycho-geographies and global information systems should engage with and inform one-another. A Franchise of Difference considers the opportunities for discourse offered by spaces represented and/or perceived as voids and questions visual value-judgements. Both collections speculate on the methods by which culture and power are manifested through drawn, built, and virtual cartographies. They consider some of the potentials of data visualization were it to seek to represent and promote a highly-textured and conflicted interpretation of human existence rather than one that is simplified and transactional. Finally, they propose that speculative ideological and idiosyncratic mapping have the capacity to critique, and thereby transform, the political and fiscal speculation embedded in pseudo-objective standardized systems-mapping.

    Abstract forthcoming

    Abstract forthcoming.

    Photos and videos of this evening


    The Stanford LASERs are sponsored by the Stanford Deans of: Engineering; Humanities & Sciences; Medicine; and Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences; Continuing Studies; and the Office of Science Outreach.