The event, free and open to the public, begins at 6:15 with networking, followed by speaker presentations at 6:30, conversations at 7:15, and ending with “Rapid Fire Community Sharing.”
The speakers are Veronika Hubeny, UC Davis professor of physics, who will speak on “Wonders of Black Holes”; Marit MacArthur, lecturer in the UC Davis University Program, “Poetry Reading Performative Speech and Sound Studies”; and Grant Ballard, chief science officer for the Point Blue Conservation Science, headquartered in Petaluma, speaking on “Providing the Scientific Basis for Protection of the World's Last Pristine Ocean.”
Hubeny is a theoretical physicist who explores the fundamental underpinnings of the universe. She focuses her research in the areas of string theory and quantum gravity, exploring the underlying nature of space time. “I am particularly fascinated by holographic qualities which describe higher-dimensional gravitational theory by a lower-dimensional non-gravitational one,” she says. Much of her work involves deeper understanding of black holes within this context, and “the mysterious links to quantum information theory.” (See YouTube video)
Grant Ballard currently leads projects investigating and communicating the effects of landscape-scale environmental stressors on ecosystems and human stakeholders in western North America and the Southern Ocean. He is responsible for shaping and growing Point Blue's multi-investigator scientific research and conservation programs towards the vision that healthy ecosystems will continue to sustain thriving wildlife and human communities in California and beyond, on land and at sea, for decades to come. He will talk about his research on Antarctica's Ross Sea ecosystem, the creation of a large marine protected Area, and climate-smart
The Leonardo Art, Science, Evening Rendezvous (LASER) talks at UC Davis are evening presentations that engage the public as participants in conversations with artists, designers, scientists, and technologists making significant contributions to their fields. The evenings are designed to encourage unexpected juxtapositions between seemingly unrelated projects, facilitating the interdisciplinary conversations that engage the challenges of the 21st century.
Coordinator is Jiayi Young, assistant professor, the Department of Design. Several personnel in the UC Davis Art/Science Fusion Program, including artists/scientists Diane Ullman, professor of entomology, and Anna Davidson, now a postdoctoral researcher at UC Davis, founded the LASER program at UC Davis.
The UC Davis LASERS are sponsored by the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences; Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies College of Letters and Science; and Leonardo/International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology (Leonardo/ISAST),
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or access the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/events/1715690135315290/
DAVIS--"Anatomy of Angels," "Alba, the Fluorescent Bunny," "The Beauty of Disease and Why We Have Trees" and "Art as a Social Practice" will be the topics at the UC Davis L.A.S.E.R. (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous) session, set April 9 in the Plant and Environmental Sciences (PES) Building, UC Davis campus.
The event, free and open to the public, will take place from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in Room 3001 of PES. It will be moderated by organizer Anna Davidson.
LASER is affiliated with the UC Davis Art Science Fusion Program, which was co-founded and co-directed by entomologist/artist Diane Ullman and artist Donna Billick. Ullman is a professor of entomology with the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. Billick, who has a master's degree in genetics, describes herself as a "rock artist," creating mosaic ceramic art.
6:30-7 p.m. Socializing/Networking
Matt Gilbert's current body of work includes small, kinetic, motor-driven sculptures of filament and wire that explore a contemporary understanding of living things as complex systems.
Matt Gilbert is a master of fine arts candidate in Studio Art at UC Davis. His practice includes programming and the fabrication of electronics and 3D printed parts for kinetic sculpture, sound installations, video and animation. He received his bachelor of fine arts in graphic design from the Art Center College of Design.
7:25-7:50. Alison Van Eenennaam. “Alba: the Fluorescent Bunny.”
Abstract: 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.” "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. The artist 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. The main reason is that the GFP gene is expressed, for example, in the skin and cannot be expressed in the hair." Said Stuart Newman, a member of the Council for Responsible Genetics and a cell biologist at New York Medical College: “Art misrepresents reality all the time -- and he's an artist, not a scientist, but I think people are beholden to tell the truth." Are artists beholden to tell the truth about GMOs?"
Alison Van Eenennaam is a genomics and biotechnology researcher and Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Animal Science at UC Davis. She received a bachelor of agricultural science from the University of Melbourne in Australia, and both a master's degree in animal science, and a PhD in genetics from UC Davis. The mission of her extension program is “to provide research and education on the use of animal genomics and biotechnology in livestock production systems.” Her outreach program focuses on the development of science-based educational materials including the controversial biotechnologies of genetic engineering (GE) and cloning. She has served on several national committees, including the USDA National Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture, (2005-2009), and as a temporary voting member of the 2010 FDA Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee meeting on the AquAdvantage salmon, the first GE animal to be evaluated for entry into the food supply. Van Eenennaam received the 2014 Borlaug Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) Communication Award.
7:50-8:10 BREAK. Networking/socializing. During the break anyone can have 30 seconds to share work, announce an exhibition, show, an idea etc.
8:10-8:35 Thomas Gordon. “The Beauty of Disease and Why We Still Have Trees.”
Disease caused by parasitic microorganisms is a universal feature of life on earth. The need for all multi-cellular life forms to co-exist with potentially life-threatening parasites has been a powerful force in shaping the world in which we live.
Thomas Gordon is a UC Davis professor of plant pathology. His responsibilities include maintaining a research program on the biology of fungi that parasitize plants. He teaches a general education course on fungi and how they affect and are exploited by people; an upper division course on fungal ecology: and a graduate course on the principles of plant pathology.
8:35-9 Evan Clayburg & Sally Hensel. “Art as a Social Practice.”
Sally Hensel and Evan Clayburg, two founders of Third Space Art Collective in Davis, will talk about starting an art collective and an ongoing project, which examines authentic connection through artistic co-creation.
Sally Hensel, who was born and grew up in the in the Central Valley, describes herself as a 30-year-old without a bank account or mobile phone. She said she has dropped out of UC Davis twice; the second time with a bachelor of arts degree in film studies. She finds that happiness comes to her when she brings people together.
Evan Clayburg is a multimedia and performance artist. After years of dividing his time between well-lit ad agency boardrooms and poorly-lit DIY experimental / punk music basements in the Chicago area, he relocated to Davis and has been active in art, music and community organizing over the past four years. He received a bachelor's degree in graphic arts from Bradley University in 2003.
Anna Davidson is currently a master of fine arts student in Art Studio at UC Davis. She received her Ph.D. in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis, studying plant ecophysiology. She studies the biological world using both artistic and scientific approaches.
For more information:
Anna Davidson: email@example.com
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.