- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
LASER, an acronym for Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous, engages the public with artists, designers, scientists and technologists who are making significant contributions to their fields.
The event, free and open to the public, begins at 6 with networking, followed by speaker presentations at 6:30 p.m., and conversations at 7:15, followed by “Rapid Fire Community Sharing” when audience members share some of the projects they're working on. Registration is recommended: access http://ucdlaser02.eventbrite.com.
The speakers are:
- Fiamma Montezemolo, an associate professor in the UC Davis Department of Cinema and Digital Media and a scholar in border studies who works with installation and video.
- Lillian Cruz-Orengo, an assistant professor at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine-Anatomy, Physiology and Cell Biology whose research focuses on the impact of environmental exposure and sexual dimorphisms on blood-brain barrier function and neuroimmune interaction, particularly the central nervous system autoimmunity
- Cy Keener, a lecturer at Stanford University and an interdisciplinary artist focused on creating field recordings of natural phenomena and experiential representations of these recordings
UC Davis LASER is funded by a UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CA&ES) Programmatic Initiative that Ullman wrote. Faculty and graduate students from CA&ES, Humanities Arts and Cultural Studies and College of Biological Sciences are working to support LASER. This year the directors are Jiayi Young, UC Davis Department of Design faculty; Timothy Hyde, Art Studio faculty; and Breanne Sparta, doctoral candidate, UC Davis Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology.
LASER is described as the “only speaker series on campus that is truly interdisciplinary across multiple colleges” and “is designed to encourage unexpected juxtapositions between seemingly unrelated projects, facilitating interdisciplinary conversations that engage the challenges of the 21st century.”
Montezemolo, who works mainly with installation and video, will discuss her work in art and anthropology with a special emphasis on border-related methodologies. She is both an artist (master's degree at the San Francisco Art Institute) and a cultural anthropologist (doctorate at the Universita' degli Studi Orientali di Napoli). She exhibits her work nationally and internationally; she is represented by the Magazzino Gallery in Rome. Montezemolo has authored or co-authored several articles and books, including “Tijuana Dreaming: Life and Art at the Global Border” (Duke University Press), and “Here Is Tijuana” (Black Dog Publishing).
Keener will share reflections on the role of data collection in art through the context of recent projects. He is an affiliate resident at Autodesk's Pier 9 workshop, where he creates buoys to capture wave dynamics and sea surface temperature in the Pacific Ocean. He holds a master's degree in art practice from Stanford University and a master's degree in architecture from UC Berkeley. “My installations coax strings of numbers into immersive environments of light, space and sound,” he says. Keener completed commissioned installations for Stanford University, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Rubin Center for the Visual Arts at the University of Texas, El Paso.
Cruz-Orengo said she will share “some provocative glimpses about the triad of sexual dimorphism, autoimmunity, and multiple sclerosis.” In her research, she asks: “Do sexual dimorphisms matter to human health? For centuries, biomedical research was ‘androcentric.' The extensive focus on women's health, which roughly began in 1990, brought forward new scientific questions and ideas for research in the field.”
“We expect a range of efforts to emerge from LASER that will include innovations in instruction and research building on the synergy from connecting art and science,” Ullman wrote in the proposal.
LASER is the public outreach component of Leonardo International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology (Leonardo ISAST), an international organization that represents innovative discoveries at the cross section of art, design, science, and technology. MIT Press publishes its peer-reviewed journal, book series, and online presence. The UC Davis Art/Science Fusion program, that Ullman has directed with Donna Billick, is the official Leonardo-Affiliated Program that brings LASER to the UC Davis campus.
For directions to the Art Annex Building, see http://ucdlaser02.eventbrite.com. The Art Annex is located south of the Art Building and about halfway between the Memorial Union and Mrak Hall on the UC Davis campus. The building was formerly known as the TCS Building.
The UC Davis LASER Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/laser.ucd.