March 9 – Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous (LASER)

LASER is a monthly series of lectures and presentations organized by Piero Scaruffi on behalf of Leonardo/ISAST

Please RSVP to p (at) scaruffi (dot) com to attend. Admission is free but limited.

Schedule for March 9, 2009:

6:15pm-6:45pm: Socializing/networking.

6:45pm-7:10pm: Wayne Vitale of Gamelan Sekar Jaya on “The Planets: Balinese Music Meets 21st Century Astronomy.”

A century ago, composer Gustav Holst brought together contemporary conceptions of the solar system, mostly from astrology, with the universe of the symphony orchestra. Now, I and visual designers from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory are engaged in an elaborate updating of this project, which may end up as remote from Holst’s “Planets” as the newly discovered exoplanets are from the Hindu temples of Bali, Indonesia. I’ll focus on the creative and conceptual arc of the project, touching on the tuning systems of Balinese gamelan, the end of the universe, and why the two might have more in common than is apparent prima vista.

7:10pm-7:35pm: Richard Rinehart, Curator of the Berkeley Art Museum, on “Artists and Subversive Metadata”

Information design as a form of contemporary artistic practice and how artistic and philosophical concepts such as the “performative utterance” operate at the edges of metadata and large-scale technology projects like the semantic web.

7:35pm-7:50pm: BREAK

7:50pm-8:15pm: Irene Chien of Berkeley’s Center for New Media on “Embodied Gaming from Dance Dance Revolution and Wii to Biofeedback Gaming”

Embodied Gaming from Dance Dance Revolution and Wii to Biofeedback Gaming Video games have been traditionally pathologized for turning players into passive thumb-twiddling zombies sucked into the virtual space of the computer screen. But video game interfaces from Dance Dance Revolution to Guitar Hero to Wii Fit now urge players to get up and move. They direct us away from the screen and toward player’s real bodies, calling unprecedented attention to the curious ways our bodies occupy both digital and physical space.

8:15pm-8:45pm: Ruzena Bajcsy, Director of the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS), on “Digital Choreography – The Road to Information Technology Creativity”

Dance choreography is a system of techniques used to create new dances. Creating a new dance requires choreographer/dancers to engage with inner motivations to express feelings as well as to dialogue with the external environment, whether that be visual, aural, tactile, or kinesthetic environmental stimulus on a stage or in a laboratory. Imagine a moment when a dancer enters into a 3D tele-immersive (3DTI) room surrounded by multiple 3D digital cameras and displays, where internal and external cues for creative movements come not only from physical objects in the 3DTI room, but also from a remote dancer who is placed in geographically-remote 3DTI room and appears in a joint virtual space with our dancer. Suddenly the choreographer has exponentially more options to create new body movements in the new dance since the 3DTI technology offers an array of visual stimulations called Digital Options which will influence this movement making process. The hope is that random, nondeterministic behaviors found within this new dance-making process will interact with the distributed 3DTI system causing different functional and data configurations and compositions

This LASER is sponsored by: ZKM|Center for Art and Media

More information about previous LASERS, see: http://www.leonardo.info/isast/laser.html