- Bio-micrometeorologist Ian Faloona, associate professor in the Department of Land, Water and Air Resources, who will speak on “The Universality of Our Fluid Motions: An Experiment in Geophysical Dance”
- Artist Chris Fraser of San Francisco, whose topic is “The Tethered Image”and
- Visual artist/filmmaker Alison O'Daniel of Los Angeles, who will discuss “Quasi-Closed Captions: The Tuba Thieves.”
The event, free and open to the public, takes place from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in Room 115 of the Music Building. A reception begins at 5:30, with the speaker presentations booked at 6 p.m., followed by conversations and rapid fire sharing at 6:45. Reservations are recommended; see ucdlaser03.eventbrite.com.
The LASER events engage the public as participants in conversations with artists, designers, scientists and technologies making significant contributions to their fields, according to coordinators Jiayi Young, assistant professor, Department of Design; and Diane Ullman, professor of entomology, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology.
Faloona, who holds a doctorate in meteorology from Pennsylvania State University, studied physical chemistry at UC Santa Cruz and conducted research in computational chemistry at Los Alamos National Lab before earning his doctorate. He served as a postdoctoral researcher in the Advanced Study Program at the National Center for Atmospheric Research before joining the UC Davis faculty.
Alison O'Daniel works across film, sculpture, performance and music, inviting audiences and collaborators "to navigate, de-construct and re-imagine sound." Her current film, “The Tuba Thieves,” is comprised of narrative film, performance and sculptures based on commissioned musical scores made in response to an epidemic of tuba thefts occurring in Los Angeles high schools. Her solo exhibitions have included Art In General, New York, and Samuel Freeman Gallery, Los Angeles. Among publications showcasing her work: The New York Times, Artforum, Los Angeles Times, and ArtReview. O'Daniel received her bachelor's degree in fibers and material studies from the Cleveland Institute of Art; a post-graduate diploma, fine arts, from Goldsmiths College, University of London; and her master's degree in studio art from UC Irvine.
Chris Fraser, who teaches photography at Mills College, Oakland, is an artist who makes perceptual apparatuses and environments modeled on historic image-making technologies. To Fraser, photographs are unbound by the time and place of their origin and able to meet anyone, anywhere at anytime. “Although much is gained through this freedom, distance is placed between the objects of the world and the images we make of them,” Fraser says. Through his work with apparatuses such as the camera obscura, Fraser says he puts “objects and their images back in dialogue with each other, sacrificing broad distribution for an experience of image that is local and ephemeral.” He will focus his talk on the relationship between objects and images, and how images are regarded when they are physically tethered in space and time to their object and the shifts that occur when the two drift apart. His talk will be accompanied by a live demo in a dark theatre.
The LASER events at UC Davis were launched by the UC Davis Art/Science Fusion Program, co-founded and co-directed by entomologist/artist Diane Ullman of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, and self-described "rock artist" Donna Billick of UC Davis. Artist/plant scientist Anna Davidson of the UC Davis Art/Science Fusion Program recently moderated and coordinated the LASER events.
The LASER, free and open to the public, will begin with socializing and networking from 6:30 to 7 p.m. Each speaker will deliver a 25-minute presentation. "This possibly may be the last LASER event on the UC Davis campus," said coordinator and moderator Anna Davidson.
Ian Pollock, assistant professor of art who directs the Graduate Multimedia Program at California State University, East Bay, will speak on his work from 7 to 7:25. His creative work with communications technologies is featured in several anthologies of digital media art. In addition to fruitful collaborations in Guerrilla Grafting, he is involved in mapping prejudice and developing an after-school program in neuroscience and game making. He holds a master of fine arts degree from UC Berkeley.
Ciera Martinez, a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow at UC Berkeley where she researches comparative genomics in fruit flies, will discuss “The Concealed Beauty of Plant Architecture” from 7:25 to 7:50. Her presentation will revolve around her doctorate work, which focused on plant development. As a biologist, she is interested in how organisms evolve and get their shape.
Sarah Strand will cover “The Evolution of Religion” in her talk from 8:35 to 9 p.m. Strand teaches psychology classes at California State University, Sacramento. She holds a doctorate in behavioral neuroscience and has lectured on neurobiology topics (including religion, morality and love) for six years.
In her abstract, Strand says: “Darwin's theory of natural selection provides a spring board for a discussion about the evolution of ideas, including religion. From this perspective, the biopsychological origins of religion and atheism are discussed. Concluding statements focus on evidence of how religion has ‘survived' by expanding and adjusting to changes in culture, a.k.a. it's ‘environment.'”
The series of LASER events on the UC Davis campus are affiliated with the UC Davis Art/Science Fusion Program, co-founded by entomologist/artist Diane Ullman, professor of entomology, UC Davis Department of Entomoogy and Nematology, and self-described "rock artist" Donna Billick.
For more information, contact Anna Davidson at email@example.com or access the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/events/1715690135315290/
The event, free and open to the public, takes place from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in Room 3001 of PES. It begins with socializing and networking from 6:30 to 7 p.m. It is sponsored by the UC Davis Art/Science Fusion Program, co-founded by the duo of entomologist Diane Ullman of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology and self-described rock artist Donna Billick (retired).
The LASERs are a international program of evening gatherings that bring artists and scientists together for informal presentations and conversation with an audience, according to UC Davis moderator/organizer Anna Davidson.
Wes Modes, a Santa Cruz artist and candidate for a masters of fine arts degree at UC Santa Cruz, in its Digital Art and New Media Program, will speak on “A Secret History of American River People” from 7 to 7:25 p.m.
“Secret History is a journey to discover, present, and connect the lost narratives of people who live and work on the river from the deck of a recreated shanty boat,” Modes said. With help from numerous people who work and live on the river, he is creating a growing digital archive of personal histories — "the lost stories of river people, river communities, and the river itself, including the personal chronicle of the artist's adventure.”
Modes has exhibited his new media work and sculpture regionally since 1996. He worked in the tech industry for 25 years as a software engineer, systems administrator, and systems architect. His website is modes.io
Alison Van Eenennaam, a genomics and biotechnology researcher and Cooperative Extension specialist in the UC Davis Department of Animal Science, will speak on “Alba: the Fluorescent Bunny” from 7:25 to 7:50.
In her abstract, she explains that Eduardo Kac, a professor of art and technology at the Chicago School of Art Institute, produced a picture of a green fluorescent protein (GFP) transgenic bunny called “Alba." The so-called "GFP Bunny" was realized in 2000 and first presented publicly in Avignon, France. The artist proposed that “transgenic art” is a new art form based on the use of genetic engineering to transfer natural or synthetic genes to an organism, to create unique living beings.
Kac came under considerable criticism for the picture which some consider to have been fabricated. "The picture itself is a construction," said Reinhard Nestelbacher, a molecular biologist at the University of Salzburg. "The rabbit could never look like that," he said. "The main reason is that the GFP gene is expressed, for example, in the skin and cannot be expressed in the hair." Stuart Newman, a member of the Council for Responsible Genetics and a cell biologist at New York Medical College, said that “Art misrepresents reality all the time -- and he's an artist, not a scientist, but I think people are beholden to tell the truth. Van Eenennaam wonders if “artists are beholden to tell the truth about GMOs.”
Van Eenennaam received a bachelor's degree in animal science from the University of Melbourne, Australia. At UC Davis, she received a master's degree in animal science and a doctorate in genetics. She defines the mission of her extension program as: “to provide research and education on the use of animal genomics and biotechnology in livestock production systems.” Van Eenennaam's outreach program focuses on the development of science-based educational materials including the controversial biotechnologies of genetic engineering (GE) and cloning. Van Eenennaam has served on several national committees including the USDA National Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21stt Century Agriculture, (2005-2009), and as a temporary voting member of the 2010 FDA Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committeemeeting on the AquAdvantage salmon, the first GE animal to be evaluated for entry into the food supply. Van Eenennaam was the recipient of the 2014 Borlaug Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) Communication Award.
Following her talk, a networking/socializing break will take place from 7:50 to 8:10. Anyone can share work, announce an exhibition or a show, or share an idea.
Vitale says he has explored the sounds and symbols of Bali all his life. He is now creating “Mikrokosma Bali,” a suite of pieces that will be performed by the 12 percussionist-composers of the Lightbulb Ensemble, led by Brian Baumbusch in collaboration with live media artist Ian Winters. Played on a newly created instrumentarium based on Balinese gamelan, Mikrokosma Bali will premiere May 1-2 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, alongside works from the mainstream gamelan tradition performed by Gamelan Sekar Jaya. Mikrokosma Bali, supported by a Gerbode Music Commissioning Award, is Vitale's second large-scale multimedia work in a triptych that began with Makrokosma Bali in 2011, and will conclude with Buana Agung-Buana Alit in 2016.
“All examine various facets of the sound worlds, musical forms, and Hindu cosmologies of Bali, particularly in dialog with outside, that is Western, conceptions,” Vitale says. “This LASER presentation will delve into the microcosms of sound in the new work, touching on the tunings, timbre, and spectra of both traditional Balinese gamelan and the newly created instruments.”
Vitale has worked with many of Bali's greatest musicians, extensively documenting their work, and has led myriad projects, bringing them together with diverse artists and audiences. His works for Bronze Gamelan, spanning a stylistic range from traditional to experimental/ multimedia, have been performed by noted Gamelan orchestras in Bali, and have directly influenced the evolution of Balinese music. His website is gsj.org.
Siembieda's art practice intersects social practice, institutional critique, intervention and new media. Most of her work emphazises the environment and technology. She began her most recent project, “The Art Inspector,” in 2009 as a method to reduce the carbon footprint of art. "This project has been funded by Silicon Valley Energy Watch to conduct energy assessments on artist studios and take them through an eco-art makeover," she said. Siembieda is an artist in residence at the TechShop, San Jose, where she creates a body of work around cyborg politics and the anthropocene. Some of her other roles: digital marketing specialist for ForestEthics, affiliate program manager for Leonardo/ The International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology (ISAST), a board member of the Emerging Arts Professionals and Women's Environmental Art Directory; and art consultant for the San Francisco Department of the Environment.
Siembieda holds a master of fine arts degree in digital media art from San Jose State University. She works with the CADRE (Computers in Art, Design, Research, and Education) Laboratory for New Media at San Jose State University, where students, faculty, and visiting artists gather to explore the future of technology and art. Her focus is on green technologies and sustainable materials. Her website is siembieda.com.
The moderator/organizer of UC Davis/LASER is Anna Davidson, a master of fine arts student in Art Studio, UC Davis. She received her doctorate in 2014 from UC Davis, studying plant ecophysiology. Davidson studies the biological world using both artistic and scientific approaches.
Why is there a gap between computational and artistic models of movement?
How does vegetation respond to microclimate?
When science and medicine change, how does that affect us?
The event, free and open to the public, takes place from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. in Room 3001 of the Plant and Environmental Sciences Building, UC Davis campus.
The event begins with socializing and networking from 6:30 to 7 p.m. A break is planned from 7:15 to 8:10 p.m. to allow the audience to share their work intersecting art and science (30 seconds each), said moderator/coordinator Anna Davidson, a Ph.D. candidate in the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences and a teacher with the UC Davis Art Science Fusion Program.
The speaker schedule:
- Gene Felice, graduate student, at the University of California Santa Cruz, will speak on "Justice in a More Human World" from 7 to 7:25.
- Michael Neff, associate professor in Computer Science and Cinema and Technocultural Studies at UC Davis, will speak on "The Gap Between Computational and Artistic Models of Movement"
- Danielle Svehla Christianson of the Berkeley Center for New Media, will discuss "The Gap Between: Computational and Artistic Models of Movement, “A Digital Forest: 01100110 01101111 01110010 01100101 01110011 01110100” from 8:10 to 8:35 p.m.
- Joe Dumit, director of Science and Technology Studies and professor of anthropology at UC Davis, will speak on "Haptic Creativity: Seeing, Scaling and Storymaking with the KeckCAVES" from 8:35 to 9 p.m.
Gene Felice, a graduate student at UC Santa Cruz, is enrolled in the DANM (Digital Arts and New Media) program and is currently working with OpenLab and the Mechatonics Research Group to develop his project Oceanic Scales. He divides his research between art, design and education. He says this split allows him to develop balance between interactive art, living systems, and the latest available technology for new media. Felice maintains a hybrid practice at the intersection of nature and technology,developing symbiotically creative systems as arts/science research.
About his talk, Felice says: "We, as humans, are enmeshed in multiple and complex interactions within the more-than-human world." He and colleagues Sophia Magnone and Andy Murray, as individuals, "find problematic the ways in which these relationships are so often exploitative or taken for granted. In our independent work, we each address from a different perspective the ways in which humans and nonhumans are intertwined: Sophia inquires into the worlds of animals, cyborgs, objects, and other nonhumans in speculative fiction, tracing unexpected forms of agency, liveliness, and interaction. Gene explores the relationships between living systems and contemporary technology in an attempt to find balance and grace through interactions of art, science and education. Andy focuses on bioengineering, the creation of new complex collaborative relationships, and the effective discard of others. We have come together to merge our work around these topics and produce a shared set of provocative questions. We hope to use these questions as a jumping-off point for an event that will engage a broader community and generate awareness, reflexivity, and affinity."
The UC Davis Art Science Fusion Program was co-founded and is co-directed by two people: UC Davis entomologist/artist Diane Ullman, professor and former chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, and a former associate dean with the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, and self-described "rock artist Donna Billick of UC Davis.
Ullman and Billick began teaching classes in the mid-1990s that led to the formation of the Art/Science Fusion Program. The program today includes design faculty, science faculty, museum educators, professional artists and UC Davis students. “Participants see and feel art and science, hold it in their hands, hearts and memories—in ceramics, painting, photographs, music, and textiles,” Ullman said.
The program, developed initially in the Department of Entomology and Nematology, is "an innovative teaching program that crosses college boundaries and uses experiental learning to enhance scientific literary for students from all disciplines," Ullman said. The program promotes environmental literacy with three undergraduate courses, a robust community outreach program, and sponsorship of the Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous (LASERs).
For more information:
- UC Davis Art/Science Fusion Program
- Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous (LASER)
- Upcoming Programs, LASER
- Plant and Environmental Sciences Building (map)
Contact information: Anna Davidson, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The event is free and open to the public, said Anna Davidson, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Plant Sciences who is organizing and chairing the LASER speaker series. This is the first of five LASER events, made possible by Leonardo International Society of the Arts Sciences and Technology and the UC Davis Art Science Fusion Program.
Among the speakers on Oct. 3 will be Diane Ullman and Donna Billick, co-founders and co-directors of the UC Davis Art/Science Fusion Program. Founded 12 years ago, the program includes design and science faculty, museum educators, professional artists and UC Davis students, using a novel experientially based paradigm for learning.
The mission of the LASERs is to provide the general public with a snapshot of the cultural environment of the Davis/Bay area and to foster interdisciplinary networking with an emphasis on art and science through a series of lectures and presentations, according to the Leonardo website. LASER events have already taken place at the University of San Francisco, Stanford University, UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Santa Cruz, a New York studio “and now we’re coming to UC Davis,” she said.
The schedule for the Oct. 3 program:
6:50-7:00 Welcome, opening remarks on the Davis inaugural LASER by Anna Davidson
7:00-7:25: Diane Ullman and Donna Billick, co-founders and co-directors of the UC Davis Art/Science Fusion Program, speaking on “Fusion and Perception”
7:25-7:50 Bob Ostertag, professor of technocultural studies at UC Davis (title of his talk to be announced)
7:50-8:10 Break. (During the break anyone in the audience currently working within the intersections of art and science will have 30 seconds to share their work (a teaser/commercial)
8:10-8:35 Meredith Tromble, San Francisco Art Institute School of Interdisciplinary Studies, and Jordan Van Aalsburg, research programmer for the UC Davis Complexity Sciences Center, Department of Physics, speaking on “The Vortex Touches Down”
8:35-9 James Crutchfield, UC Davis physics professor and director of the Complexity Sciences Center, speaking on “Hidden Fragility and the Data Deluge”
Billick is an eight-year member of the board of directors of the Tile Heritage Foundation, and is involved in many other regional and national organizations. She founded Todos Artes in Baja Mexico and the Heaven On Earth educational series. As the co-founder and co-director of the UC Davis Art/Science Fusion Program, Billick partners with Ullman in teaching the undergraduate course: “Entomology 1: The Art, Science and the World of Insects,” as well as a series of freshmen seminars covering widespread topics.
Of her talk, Billick says: “I would like to map how fusion or the unity of knowledge, includes cross-discipline, cross culture, cross generational exploration and discovery. An experiential, hands-on approach to education, as with Art/Science Fusion, is to access perception and grow new associations and build life force or fusion energy.”
Bob Ostertag, a professor of technocultural studies at UC Davis, is a musician, author and movie producer. He has published 25 music CDS, two movies, two DVDs, four books and dozens of articles and essays. His writings on the Central American revolutions of the 1980s have been published on every continent and in many languages. Ostertag has performed at music, film and multi-media festivals around the globe, and many of his instruments he designed himself. His diverse collaborators include the Kronos Quartet, avant garder John Zorn, heavy metal star Mike Patton, jazz great Anthony Braxton, transgender chanteuse Justin Bond, Quebecois film maker Pierre Hébert, and the media guerrilla group, The Yes Men.
Meredith Tromble is an artist, faculty member of the San Francisco Art Institute School of Interdisciplinary Studies, and serial collaborator. Under the auspices of James Crutchfield, she and colleagues Dawn Sumner and Jordan Van Aalsburg are creating an immersive, interactive 3D vortex of dream elements called Take Me to Your Dream (Dream Vortex).
Jordan Van Aalsburg, who describes himself as “a recovering physicist,” is a research programmer for the UC Davis Complexity Sciences Center. He co-founded the Davis Makerspace, builder tools and resources for the local community.
James Crutchfield, a UC Davis professor of physics, teaches nonlinear physics, directs its Complexity Sciences Center, and promotes science interventions in nonscientific settings. He says he is mostly concerned with what patterns are, how they are created, and how intelligent beings discover them (see http://csc.ucdavis.edu/~chaos/).
Anna Davidson is studying the ecophysiology of fruit trees for her doctorate. She also makes bioart using fungus and other living materials as a medium. As a teacher for the UC Davis Art/Science Fusion Program, she leads the found object and sculpture studio section of the class, “Entomology 1, Art, Science, and the World of Insects.”
“I am very interested curriculum development and teaching at the intersection of biology and the arts,” Davidson said.
Upcoming LASER events at UC Davis:
Dec. 2, 2013
Amy Franceschini, artist and designer, Bay Area
Art Shapiro, professor of evolution and ecology, UC Davis
Mary Anne Kluth, artist, Bay Area
Justin Schuetz, biologist and artist, San Francisco Art Institute
Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014
Phillip Benn, artist and digital artist, Oakland
Terry Nathan, UC Davis Department of Atmospheric Sciences and the Art/Science Fusion Program
Genevieve Quick, artist, Bay Area
Maciej Zwieniecki, UC Davis professor of plant sciences
Monday, April 7, 2014
Christina Cogdell, UC Davis professor of design and art history
Jesse Drew, UC Davis professor of technoculutural studies
Michael Neff, UC Davis professor of computer science and program of cinema and technocultural studies
Wendy Silk, professor in the UC Davis Department of Land, Air and Water Resources and the Art/Science Fusion Program
June 2, 2014
Joe Dumit, UC Davis director of Sciences and Technology Studies and professor of anthropology
Evan Clayburg, performance/visual artist, Davis
Danielle Svehla Christianson, ecologist, fiber artist, Bay Area
Leonardo community members interested in presenting work at an upcoming LASER should contact LASER chair Piero Scaruffi email@example.com com for details. To RSVP to attend an upcoming LASER event, email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for the Davis LASERS.