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.
Program (the order of the speakers might change):
Ellen Peel (SFSU/ Literature) on "Imagining the Constructed Body: From Statues to Cyborgs"
From electro-acoustic music to computer network music... Read more
Dasha Ortenberg (Designer/Artist) on "Transformative Potentials of Speculative Mapping"
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.
Laura Splan (Media Artist) on "TBA"
Abstract forthcoming... Read more
- Discussions, networking
You can mingle with the speakers and the audience
- 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.
- Ellen Peel is Professor in the Department of Comparative and World Literature at San Francisco State University. She teaches and conducts research in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century fiction (French, English); twentieth- and twenty-first century fiction (English, U.S.); literary theory and criticism (especially narrative, feminist, psychoanalytic, reader response, rhetorical); women's literature; science fiction and utopian literature; and surveys of Western and world literature. Her publications include Politics, Persuasion, and Pragmatism: A Rhetoric of Feminist Utopian Fiction (Ohio State University Press, 2002). "Imagining the Constructed Body: From Statues to Cyborgs" appeared in the MLA volume Teaching World Literature (2009). Recent publications include "Narrative Causes: Inside and Out" (in Narrative Theory Unbound: Queer and Feminist Interventions) and "The Conundrum of Feminism in Doris Lessing's Fiction" (in Feminine Issues: In the Writing of British Female Authors). She is working on a book about the constructed body in literature and film.
- 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 and the Life Art Science Tech (LAST) festival in 2014. Since 2015 he has been commuting between California and China, where several of his books have been translated.
Address and directions:
University of San Francisco
2130 Fulton Street
SF, CA 94117
University Center 4th Floor Lounge
2130 Fulton Street, San Francisco, CA 94117-1080
Fromm Hall is behind the church, best accessed from Parker Ave.
A space represented by a void is not necessarily empty. A space replete with information is not necessarily accurate. Information can be left out. Information can be filled in. The proliferation of information - through data and mapping - has the twin potentials of giving voice to individuals and disempowering through lack of access, misrepresentation, and obfuscation. However, research into the systems by which these are constructed can yield a better understanding of when and how to become activists within and without them, thus transforming the criticality that sometimes seems external to societal structures into something that is intrinsic and inherent to societal growth and development. In this networked era, when many individuals have access to a level of global information systems (GIS among them), data, and technology once only available to governments and corporations, there is also a profound opportunity to create narratives across media based in the personal rather than statistical data. Using projects including A Franchise of Difference and Rhetorical City, I will interrogate the potentials of mapping at different scales - data visualization, sensory quantification and translation, architectural design, and geographic representation - to question and subvert prejudiced perceptions and cultural complacency and to highlight and promote engagement with complexity. Ultimately, I hope to start a conversation asking : Is it possible to leverage infrastructures of homogeneity to embrace and encourage diversity?
Photos and videos of this evening