Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous of 10 March 2020

Exploring the Frontiers of Knowledge and Imagination, Fostering Interdisciplinary Networking
10 March 2020, 7pm
c/o University of San Francisco
Fromm Hall - Berman Room
2130 Fulton Street, San Francisco
Chaired by Piero Scaruffi and Tami Spector

The LASERs 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 series and the dates for the Bay Area.

Leonardo ISAST and USF invite you to a meeting of the Leonardo Art/Science community. The event is free and open to everybody. Like previous evenings, the agenda includes some presentations of art/science projects, news from the audience, and time for casual socializing/networking.
See below for location and agenda.
Email me if you want to be added to the mailing list for the LASERs.
See also...


Program (the order of the speakers might change):
  • 7:00-7:25: Suyash Joshi (Author and Magician) on "S.T.E.M. Magic" Abstract forthcoming... Read more
  • 7:25-7:50: Bruno Olshausen (Director of the Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience at UC Berkeley) on "Perception as Inference" Our subjective experience is a mostly correct hallucination about the external world... 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: Fabio Barry (Stanford/ Art History) on "The Illuminating Origins of the Marble Roof" The Acropolis was an anomaly... the Greeks strove to build in light... Read more
  • 8:35-9:00: Yoon Chung Han (SJSU) on "Biometric Data Arts using Fingerprint and Iris Data" Biometric data artworks that prompt the audience to explore their own identities... Read more
  • Discussions, networking You can mingle with the speakers and the audience

Bios:
  • Fabio Barry is Assistant Professor in the Department of Art and Art History and, by courtesy, Assistant Professor in the Department of Classics at Stanford University. Originally trained as an architect, his research and teaching still gravitates to this art form, although he is deeply interested in painting and sculpture of all periods as well as archaeology. Much of his published research has concentrated on artistic production in Rome, particularly Baroque architecture, treating themes from liturgy to light metaphysics. His most recent work, published or in press, has been on medieval and antique subjects, particularly sculpture. An ongoing interest, the subject of his PhD, is the imagery of marble in the visual arts and literature from antiquity until the age of enlightenment, in which he attempts to identify the evocative qualities of materials (the "Material Imagination") before the era of mass production and standardization distanced materials from the realm of nature and myth.
  • Yoon Chung Han is an interactive media artist, award-winning interaction designer and educator. Over the past ten years, she has created a wide range of interactive 2D/3D audiovisual art installations including biologic art, data visualization and sonification, generative art, and audiovisual interface design. Her recent research focus was on multimodal interactions using body data, in particular on creating a personalized experience in media arts using biometric data visualization and sonification. Her works have been presented in many international exhibitions, conferences and academic journals such as ACM SIGGRAPH Art gallery, Japan Media Arts Festival, London Science Museum, Media City Seoul, ZKM, NIME, ISEA, ACM Multimedia, ACM SIGCHI, IEEE Vis, and Leonardo Journal. She earned her bachelor and the first Master degree at the Seoul National University, and her second Master degree at Design | Media Arts, University of California, Los Angeles. She worked at Samsung Electronics in S.Korea as a graphic designer and was a visiting researcher/data visualization specialist at SENSEable City Lab, MIT in Cambridge, MA. She holds Ph.D. in Media Arts and Technology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is currently an assistant professor in the department of design in the San Jose State University.
  • Bruno Olshausen received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in Computation and Neural Systems from the California Institute of Technology. He did his postdoctoral work in the Department of Psychology at Cornell University, and at the Center for Biological and Computational Learning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He joined the faculty at the University of California at Davis in 1996, and in 2005 joined UC Berkeley, where he is currently Professor of Neuroscience and Optometry. He also directs the Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience, a multidisciplinary group focusing on building mathematical and computational models of brain function.
  • 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.

Extended abstracts:

Han
Every biologic organism has a unique body pattern such as fingerprints, irises, palm prints, and faces. These distinct biometric patterns on the body represent a person's unique signature and identity. In this digital era, the main problems with the use of biometric data are the misuse of personal data and privacy issues. As more digital applications request people to input their biometric data as a more convenient and secure method of identification, the possibility of losing their personal data and identities may increase. The phenomenon of biometric data abuse causes one to question what the notion of "real" identity means and what methods can be used to define identity and hidden narratives. The questions of identification and the insecurity of biometric data have become my inspiration, providing artistic approaches to the manipulation of biometric data and having the potential to suggest new directions for solving the problems.


Barry
We take for granted that the ancient world was teeming with brilliant white temples. But we have forgotten that the Acropolis was an anomaly, that the marble temples derived from monumental statuary, and that the Greeks strove to build in light.


Olshausen
Our subjective experience of the visual world is nothing like the 2D images sensed by our retinae. We experience a stable world full of well-defined geometric shapes and object boundaries, 3D surfaces with continuous shading and reflectance along with their material properties, yet the retinal image is highly unstable, discretely sampled by a highly non-uniform lattice of retinal ganglion cells, and relayed to the cortex via punctate spike trains. How do we explain this? or is it even something that needs explaining? I shall present the point of view that our subjective experience is a mostly correct hallucination about the external world which the brain works very hard to achieve. This may be understood in mechanistic terms by expanding upon Helmholtz's notion of `perception as inference' in a rigorous, mathematical manner. The inferential framework shifts us away from thinking of `receptive fields' and `tuning' of individual neurons, and instead toward how populations of neurons interact via horizontal and top-down feedback connections to perform collective computations. I shall describe an example of this approach to account for how the cortex may achieve high-acuity visual representations from fixational drift motion.


Photos and videos of this evening