New paper, just out of the oven: In 2015, after having successfully passed my PhD, I was invited for an art & science residency named Scientific Delirium, Madness (!!!) in the Silicon Valley, by the Djerassi Foundation and Leonardo / ISATS. I spent one month in a beautiful landscape with the Pacific ocean on the horizon, and with very talented artists and scientists (13). During that time, I worked on a composition involving the body of a dancer as the sonic source, a sculpture inside a tree with a sculptor, and I developed the initial ideas for my very own lab, www.ubqtlab.org. Since then, the project, LASER NOMAD, has traveled over four continents. I finished a paper about the story of this project that can be find here, and it will be published later on print.
In collaboration with nexCafé event, Swissnex in Japan
November 16th, 2022 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM (Kyoto)
1F, 1 Chome-13-22 Sonezakishinchi, Kita Ward WeWork Midosuji Frontier Osaka, 27 530-0002 Japan
The first Japanese edition of LASER NOMAD continues its investigation and critic of the implicit biases found in academic publishing, or the disconnect between work within a university and that going on outside, by decompartmentalizing knowledge, namely by creating bridges, and here asking what is the role of science and technology in art and humanities. The quest relates to interdisciplinarity, and indisciplinarity generated by art and science collaborations. Such pervasive fields are now mostly approached from a techno-scientific and Western perspective, and looking outside well established Western academic methodologies, focusing on the rituals involved within such collaboration through a nomad lab as mobile and multi-sited ethnography might lead to new questions and answers.
We investigate the role of science and technology in art and humanities. We invite Ryuta Aoki, a Tokyo-based artistic director and social sculptor, and Adrian Altenburger, professor for building technology in Lucerne, Switzerland, for an exclusive discussion.
18:00-18:10 Welcome and Intro 18:10-19:00 Presentation 19:00-19:20 Discussion 19:20-21:00 Networking Reception with music performance by Luca Forcucci / The Room Above
Tokyo-based artistic director and social sculptor. I have been creating invisible structures that maximize people’s creativity to explore the form of “society as it could be” that terraforms cultural deserts into cultural forests. I currently plans, designs, directs and implements research projects, exhibitions, and artworks in the interdisciplinary art and science technology field.
Professor and Head of Institute / Course Building Technology and Energy at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts since 2015. Former partner, board member and co-owner Amstein+Walthert AG from 1999-2015. Lecturer and adjunct professor in the field of energy and building services engineering in Switzerland and abroad (ETH Zurich, HTW Chur, Harvard University – Graduate School of Design and Harvard University – Extension School, University of Zurich, Kyoto Institute of Technology).
Laser CYLAND and Laser NOMAD have decided to collaborate based on the field of possibilities and potentials of collective endeavours. The term inception suggests a beginning, after the pandemic and other events having brought some lives to an end, the idea of a new start promotes hope. It may also allude to several layers of ideas, dreams or realities. Humanity finds itself in a peculiar situation, movement is certainly more restricted. The issues the world will experience when life goes back to ‘normal’, whatever that may be, and to which kind of normality, are as yet unknown and unknowable. Globality will probably be reconsidered and reshaped. Nevertheless, it seems that we need to continue to dream and reinvent a new future, one that, it is hoped, will avoid dystopian realities. Transformations in Sound Art and in the Sonic Arts tend to be invisible, but not immaterial. Fermentation processes may also be used as a modification of matter to create something new in visual, digital, and sound art.
Luca Forcucci, artist, scholar and guest professor, observes perceptive properties of the first person experience through large scale installations, compositions, video, photography and writing. The research investigates mental imagery of sonic architectures. The works were held at Ars Electronica Linz, Biennale del Mediterraneo Palermo, Museo Reina Sofia Madrid, Centro Hélio Oiticica Rio de Janeiro, The Lab San Francisco, Rockbund Museum Shanghai, MAXXI Rome, or Akademie der Künste Berlin. His plateform UBQTLAB.ORG develops art and science encounters.
Komarov Sergeyis a sound artist and curator. In 2003-2005, he curated the Oscillation Works label that published works by experimental musicians. Since 2008, he has worked as a computer programmer and an engineer at CYLAND Media Art Lab; since 2010, he has initiated the Kurvenschreiber Collective. Since 2013, has curated CYFEST International Media Art Festival audio projects and CYLAND Audio Archive (cyland.bandcamp.com(link is external)). Sergey Komarov is a participant of CYFESTs of various years, ArchStoyanie Festival (2014, Kaluga Region, Russia), “The Creative Machine 2” exhibition at Goldsmiths, University of London (2018, UK), exhibitions at Pratt Institute, The National Arts Club, Ca’Foscari University and Experimental Intermedia.
Katherine Liberovskaya is a Canadian intermedia artist based in New York City. Involved in experimental video since the 80s, she has produced numerous single-channel video art pieces, video installations and video performances, as well as works in other media, that have been shown around the world. Since 2001 her work predominantly focuses on the intersection of moving image with sound/music in various both ephemeral and fixed forms (projections, installations, performances), notably through collaborations with composers and sound artists in improvised live video+sound concert situations where her live visuals seek to create improvisatory “music” for the eyes. In addition to her art work she curates events in experimental video/film, sound/music and A/V performance (primarily Screen Compositions since 2005 and OptoSonic Tea since 2006). In 2014 she completed a PhD in art practice entitled “Improvisatory Live Visuals: Playing Images Like a Musical Instrument” at the Universite du Quebec in Montreal (UQAM).
Phill Niblockis an intermedia artist using music, film, photography, video and computers. He was born in Indiana in 1933. Since the mid-60’s he has been making music and intermedia performances which have been shown at numerous venues around the world. Since 1985, he has been the director of the Experimental Intermedia Foundation in New York – www.experimentalintermedia.org– where he has been an artist/member since 1968. He is the producer of Music and Intermedia presentations at EI since 1973 and the curator of EI’s XI Records label. Phill Niblock’s music is available on the XI, Moikai, Mode, Matiere Memoire, Room 40, and Touch labels. DVDs of films and music are available on the Extreme label and Von Archive. He is a retired professor of film, video and photography at The College of Staten Island, the City University of New York. In 2014, he was the recipient of the prestigious John Cage Award from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts.
Moderator: Natalia Kolodzei, an honorary member of the Russian Academy of Arts, is a curator and art historian. Ms. Kolodzei is Executive Director of the Kolodzei Art Foundation (a US-based 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public foundation established in 1991), and, along with Tatiana Kolodzei, owner of the Kolodzei Collection of Eastern European Art, containing over 7,000 artworks (paintings, sculptures, works on paper, photography, kinetic and digital art) by over 300 artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. Ms. Kolodzei has curated over eighty art exhibitions in the US, Europe and Russia. She is an author and editor of multiple publications and organized and contributed to symposiums and panel discussions for universities and museums worldwide, including co-chair Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous (LASER) CYLAND Talks. In 2010 she was a member of Culture Sub-Working Group under the US-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission.
After a year, things have quite changed since the pre- pandemic ‘normal’ life we had. Social behaviours, social injustice, gender and economical inequalities, and psychological effects of the current situation still have to be studied in the human biosphere. However, vaccines were created in a record time, workers and students have moved to the home office, at least some or those who can, and won’t probably easily go back.
What about the earth biosphere’s mutations? What is normal there, what is a network for Gaia? In his books Gaia: Eight Lectures on the New Climate Regime, Bruno Latour insists on climate mutations, and with his book Critical Zones – The Science and Politics of Landing on Earth, he mentions the new revolution that comes when thinking over what it means to be earthly nowadays. These issues will definitely inform our behaviours in the near post-anthropocentric future, but also how we will integrate them in our political opening to our collective future and our interconnected knowledges and cultures. Moreover, at a time when a rover and that some of us are preparing to land on Mars.
<NO-ON>: No-Normalidades. Mutaciones, redes y política de la descolonización.
En tan solo un año, nuestra vida ha cambiado dramáticamente desde aquella vida normal pre-pandémica. Los comportamientos sociales, la injusticia social, las desigualdades económicas o de género, los efectos psicológicos de esta etapa aún tienen que ser analizados dentro de la biosfera humana. Sin embargo, las vacunas se han desarrollado en un tiempo record, los trabajadores y estudiantes se han trasladado a su casa-oficina, al menos aquellos que pueden, y no volverán de allí fácilmente.
Pero ¿cuáles son las mutaciones inflingidas en la bioesfera terrestre? ¿Cuál es su normalidad? ¿Cuál es la red en Gaia? En su libro “Facing Gaia: Eight Lectures on the New Climatic Regime”, Bruno Latour insiste sobre las mutaciones climáticas, y con la edición del libro “Critical Zones – The Science and Politics of Landing on Earth” advierte sobre la revolución que aparece al analizar los significados de la actual condición terrestre. Todos estos conflictos definen nuevas rutas para identificar comportamientos e identidades de nuestro futuro post-antropocéntrico, pero también para integrarlas como vías políticas que abran un futuro colectivo definido por conocimientos y culturas interconectadas. Más aún cuando, en paralelo, los rovers y algunos de nosotros se preparan para colonizar Marte.
Panel 1: Archeology, Science or Fiction. Time to interpret and re-understand science.
Elisa García Prosper (UCV)
Short Bio: Elisa García Prósper, PhD in Archaeology from the University of Valencia (UV), Specialist in Forensic Anthropology from the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM), Associate professor of Criminology at the Catholic University of Valencia (UCV), and director of the research group Grupo Paleolab® (Funerary Archaeology, Paleopathology, Physical and forensic Anthropology).
Theme: Forensic archaeology and anthropology. Two tools for the future.
Archaeology is a science that has traditionally been considered as belonging to the area of knowledge of the humanities. For its part, forensic anthropology derives directly from osteoarchaeology, or explained in another way, from classical physical anthropology, the science in charge of bioanthropologically identifying the skeletons discovered by Archaeology. Both disciplines are inseparable, the information they offer is of great value for history since it allows us to reconstruct the past through its protagonists. For years both disciplines have also been perfectly combined in the field of forensic sciences and human rights, constituting a fundamental tool for the investigation of missing persons and their restitution to society.
Anyely Marín Cisneros (UAB)
Short Bio: Anyely Marín Cisneros combines a commitment to decolonial and black feminist methodologies in pedagogical spaces with her academic research on the relationship between a politics of the body and the historical racial logics of science. She has a master’s degree in Critical Theory and Museum Studies, and is currently a student at the UAB History of Science doctoral program, where she teaches in the History, Gender and Medicine seminar. Since 2014 she has co-run the artistic research collective @Criticaldías.
Theme: Deracialise the eye
In this talk race and racism will be situated throughout history as an affective algorithm of difference and indifference, while paying attention to the distinctive set of socio-technical conditions that give rise to 21st century racism. Departing from an introduction to the historical Spanish ‘Black Codes’, a few tools will be proposed towards the deracialising of the eye in the present.
Abelardo Gil-Fournier (FAMU)
Artist and researcher, he holds a PhD from the Winchester School of Art and is a postdoc at the School of Film and TV in Prague where he is working with theorist Jussi Parikka on a book on vegetal archaeology of the contemporary image. His artistic practice approaches the materiality of media from a wide variety of techniques and formats, and has been shown at international festivals and exhibitions.
Theme: Excavating the vegetal image. A media archaeological approach
The use of early photographic and moving image techniques in the context of the scientific analysis of plant growth unveils a space of transfers between the living and the animate. This entwining can be observed too in other domains such as agriculture and landscape management. An experimental media archaeological excavation of this transfer, presented as a form of artistic research, brings in additional dimensions to the nuances of this entanglement. Its links to a wider cultural context will be emphasized, including science fiction and speculative design.
Panel 2: Interdisciplinary tools and resources. Caring to the network, to the knowledge and to the media.
Paula Fernández Valdés
Short Bio: Graduate in Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage from the Complutense University of Madrid and Master in Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage (2017-2019) from the Universitat Politècnica de València. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Art: Production and Research with a Predoctoral Grant (FPI-UPV) at the same University and is part of the MICIU I+D+i EShID Project. Her research focuses on the preservation of technological art and copyright.
Theme: Preservation of technological art: the curator as a mediator of collective knowledge
Works of art produced at the art-science intersection are increasingly present in the so-called Art World, both in the private sphere and in public institutions, and have undoubtedly become part of our collective culture and memory. Moreover, the restrictions imposed during the covid-19 pandemic have caused a massive digital transition of the cultural industry, which has been forced to seek new ways for the commercialization and dissemination of artistic production. In this context, the curator must pursue new strategies to ensure, on the one hand, the preservation of technological devices, which are fragile and obsolescent in nature, and, on the other hand, the community’s access to its own culture, mediating between the work of art and its collective implications.
Núria Vallès Peris (UAB)
Short Bio: Phd. Sociologist, she is a researcher in the Barcelona Science and Technology Research Group (STS-b) at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Her main research work is focused on the ethical and social controversies in social robotics, from the study of imaginaries and the ethics of care.
Theme: In her presentation she will propose an approach to the robotics of care, based on the alignment between the ethics of care and STS. From this approach, artefacts can be understood as materialised morality, which opens up new controversies in the introduction of these artefacts in the service of good care and good living.
Short Bio: Lissette Lemus is technology transfer manager at the Artificial Intelligence Research Institute of CSIC and co-director of the ARTIFICIA platform. She is committed to digital transformation from a social and ethical perspective promoting the use of Artificial Intelligence research results to social challenges such as social integration, citizen participation, mental health and the development of more open and collaborative models in areas such as education and creativity. Born in Havana, she has developed her career as a computer engineer in research centers, startups and in her own entrepreneurship projects.
Theme: We are constantly shaping our present and future with a systematic innovation that changes our behaviors’ nature. One of the most sophisticated and complex human behaviors is creativity, and we are redefining it by implementing new advances in science and technology, particularly through Artificial Intelligence. In this intervention, we will focus on how AI is configuring creativity. What is augmented creativity, how artists and other collectives use AI to analyze from a critical point of view the social and political powers. Can democracy, participation, civic action be more powerful with AI?
Guillermo Muñoz Matutano (UV)
Short Bio: Senior researcher in the Institute of Materials Science (ICMUV), Universitat de Valencia. PhD in physics, in the field of condensed matter, semiconductor physics and quantum optics. Principal Investigator (PI) of the project “Two-Dimensional Semiconductor Photonic Dots – 2D SPD” funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation. Student of the Master’s Degree in Philosophy for Contemporary Challenges (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya).
Theme: Decolonizing quantum technologies. Narratives, metaphors and critical thinking from the quantum world.
Quantum physics and quantum technologies are revolutionizing our understanding and our mutual relations in the world/universe. There is an increasing interest in developing key research areas, usually divided into quantum computing, quantum communication, quantum metrology and quantum simulation. However, new possible exploitation of the quantum features arises when including arts and humanities as possible allies. Quantum technologies offers a new paradigm to build new narratives and explore powerful metaphors for critical thinking and empowering our communities.
Sergio Lecuona (UPV)
Artist and PhD fellow from the research group “Laboratorio de Luz” Universitat Politècnica de València, he is currently investigating the conjunction of data, sound art, music and new technologies, towards the upcoming ways of sound performance and composition.
Theme: Beyond the sound practices of Artificial Intelligence. Artificial Intelligence technologies are slowly getting introduced in every corner of our living, so is sound art and music practices. But these implementations don’t lead just to a higher level of automatization. With the new methodologies and concepts that these technologies unfold, ideas such as authorship, creativity and collaboration become susceptible to mutation.
Machines, algorithms and data are increasingly entering the landscape. They are already present in our intimate spaces. During the current pandemic situation, algorithms and data are omnipresent due to our online presence. Further, our landscape is indeed becoming monasterial, because the pandemic forces populations to self-isolate. The utopian landscape is perhaps within oneself then ?
Ticino is the Italian speaking and southern part of Switzerland. In term of transit (cultural and economic), it plays a role as a geographical articulation between North and South of Europe. Inside, deep inside, in the entrails of the landscape of Ticino, the new world longest 57 km long railway San Gottardo tunnel was recently achieved. A utopian invisible landscape made by men and machines. On the surface, the Ticino architecture school is widely acclaimed worldwide since the 1960’s, an architecture, which has been described also as an architecture of resistance. In addition, since the early 1900’s the artistic avant-garde was indeed present in Ticino with the Dadaists for example, and Bauhaus architecture emerged there too between the two world wars. What to expect from an architecture when insights from augmented intelligence, cognition, data and machines are applied to it ? What kind of utopian landscape shall emerge in a not so distant future ?
Davide Macullo (b. Giornico, CH, 1965) is a Swiss architect. His international design studio, Davide Macullo Architects, based in Lugano, Switzerland, was founded in 2000.
The ethos of the studio is one that promotes an open and cultural exchange with architects, artists and collaborators coming from different backgrounds. The diverse contributions promote a dialogue between the specificity of the project, the universality of the contexts and the psychology of space. This ‘drawing from context’ encourages and helps sustain a local-meets-global, embracing approach to architecture, spanning from the theoretical to the practical and detail level, to territorial analysis, pedagogy and sustainability in construction.
The work of the studio includes graphic design, branding consulting and custom designed furniture, and spans to the creation of contemporary art collections for clients. They have also recently produced a customized collection of rugs for the new Chenot Palace Weggis, and a large series of Davide’s drawings (ca. 400nr.) is included in its art collection.
In Rossa, Canton Grisons, he is a founding member of the Rossarte foundation which promotes public and private interventions in situ by international artists to influence daily life through contemporary art.
The first building is the Swisshouse XXXII (Sinusoïde) created in collaboration with Daniel Buren and Mario Cristiani of Galleria Continua.
Prior to the foundation of his own studio, he was project architect in the atelier of Mario Botta with responsibility for over 200 international projects worldwide (1990-2010).
We are living in an historical moment of epochal change, where the attitude to inhabit the earth, built over millennia, does not reflect the current and future conditions. With the advent of new technologies, unimaginable scientific discoveries and the doubling of the world population, man faces, (with no way back), a completely new universe, in which he must affront from all points of view, taking care of all ecologies. Our generation has the urgent duty to prepare this new territory to allow new generations build on solid foundations and above all for our psychological health, manage an environment that has become extremely complex and potentially hostile.
The development of think tanks and laboratories focused on social sensitivity, inclusive of historical and scientific knowledge, are the terrain on which we move to respond to the call as citizens. The Rossa project in Valle Calanca seeks solutions that go beyond the economic revival of a region, bowing to the principle expressed by Bruno Munari, that a civilized people lives in the midst of their art.
Carole Haensler, born in Lausanne in 1974, was appointed curator of the Museo Civico Villa dei Cedri in Bellinzona in 2013, with the task of conserving and enhancing the artistic heritage of the Museum, redefining and strengthening the identity of the institution, developing the offer of cultural mediation as well as synergies with other city and regional cultural institutions. She also accompanied the creation of the Ente autonomo di diritto pubblico Bellinzona Musei – the new administrative structure created in 2017 that manages the Museo Villa dei Cedri – of which she is director since 1.01.2018.
Holder of a master’s degree in art history and archaeology from the University of Neuchâtel (1999), she has worked for various private and public collections in Switzerland, as well as the Thyssen-Bornemisza Foundation in Lugano and Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary – TBA21 -, Vienna, the Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern and the Centre for Contemporary Art in Geneva. She is mainly specialized in modern and contemporary art, in particular in French art and literature of the second half of the 19th century and in French and German art of the period 1900-1950, and focussed her programme at Museo Villa dei Cedri on the renewal of art language and expression after Second World War. She has introduced thematic exhibitions of contemporary art in Bellinzona seeking to reflect the concerns of art and contemporary society: “Dimensione Disegno. Posizioni contemporanee” (2016), “In(de)finiti luoghi. Utopie architettoniche e realtà artistiche” (2017), “Memoria del Sublime. Il paesaggio nel secolo XXI” (2019) e “Icone vegetali. Arte e botanica nel secolo XXI” (to come in 2022).
The Museo Villa dei Cedri is an interesting starting point to understand how to connect artistic, architectural and natural heritage. Starting from the considerations that led to the thematic exhibitions “Memoria del Sublime. Il paesaggio nel secolo XXI” (2019) and “Icone vegetali. Arte e Botanica nel secolo XXI” (to come in spring 2022), the presentation will also explore the role of the museum in its own ecosystem, which is that of art, and its ability to position itself as a place of critical reflection on contemporary society. Does the Museum have a role to play in building the future of society? And can it be an active role?
We explore the links between art and science through an exhibition, a talk and a concert. The 2020s of the 21st century have apparently wrecked our experience of the normality. Invisibility and Omnipresence refers here, among other possibilities, to organisms / parasites / viruses, perceptions (virtuality, augmented or not), social and territorial prejudices (racisms), or our biosphere for example. What are the major challenges waiting for us in such context ? What will be the new normality ? Where is the reality, is it a virtual construction ? Which is the role of consciousness in such context ?
Pictures: Xavier Voirol
Jeremy Narby Indigenous people mention since a long time ago, the existence of an invisible world supporting the world we perceive, establishing it to a certain extent, and with which we needs to negotiate. Science, on the other hand, tell us about DNA molecules and virus, which are actually visible, and influencing our life. We know now that all the living beings of the planet, including viruses, are integrally part of the ecological web of the planet, and altogether we are part of a planetary mega entity fully interconnected: the biosphere. This delicate layer of life surrounding the planet is self regulated on multiple levels, but its scale is so broad that we struggle to perceive it. Could a dialogue between science and Indigenous knowledge extend our way of dealing with the world, and help us to conceive the biosphere too ?
Biography In charge of Amazonian projects for « Nouvelle Planète », Jeremy Narby is an anthropologist, who supports Indigenous amazonian people initiatives since thirty years.
Al Comet / Alain Monod / Mahadev Cometo In dialogue/interview with Luca Forcucci about his career as a musician with The Young Gods, his experiments with electronic music and lately his study in India of the sitar instrument. Moreover, Al Comet is a trained military pilot, who continues to fly.
Biography Member of The Young Gods during more than twenty years, Alain has contributed to define the industrial sound of the 1980s. In 2014, Al Comet leaves the Young Gods et focuses his energies on his very own self development under the name Mahadev Cometo. Always looking for new sonorities, he studies classical music in Benares. and publish a sitar record in 2017. Today, with his new generation modular sampler, he works on the elaboration of a new sitar album more revolutionary that ever “ the futur is now”.
The environment shapes our experience of space in constant interaction with the body. Architectonic interiors amplify the perception of space through the bodily senses; an effect also known as embodiment. The interaction of the bodily senses with the space surrounding the body can be tested experimentally through the manipulation of multisensory stimulation and measured via a range of behaviors related to bodily self-consciousness. Through the association of egocentric, first-person view of a dancer to a virtual point of view, the choreography creates a virtual architecture. Isabella Pasqualini is an architect (ETHZ 2000) and a scientist with a PhD in architecture and cognitive neuroscience (EPFL 2012).
Biography Her works explore the mutual and intimate relationship between body and space using immersive and interactive multimedia, with a particular interest in the multisensory enhancement of the user’s horizon. For her post-doc project Visual Touches, touching Views at the Center of Neuroprosthetics EPFL, she received the prestigious fellowship grant from the cogito foundation in 2013. Currently, she is a faculty member of the >> LeaV at the École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Versailles and of the NAAD Master class at IUAV University of Venice. She has been a guest researcher at the Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience EPFL. Isabella has planned a new City in Angola and built a temporary bank building in Luanda. She is a scientific reviewer, and works as an expert for Innosuisse as well as other innovation platforms.
Bruno Herbelin Our body is our anchor in the world. Neuroscience of bodily self-consciousness investigates how this primitive subjective experience emerges into consciousness and, thanks to recent developments using new technologies for evaluating the impact of artificially mediated disruptions of this subjective experience, is now providing the first pieces of evidence of its complexity and multisensory aspects. Virtual Reality is particularly suited for this experimental research on bodily consciousness but, in parallel, it follows a massive industrial development that neglects the impact it can have on our experience of the self. Self-body representation is, for technical reasons, simply ignored in most VR experiences, although in effect this means providing the user with the strong and uncanny experience of invisibility. What I question and propose to discuss here, is if it makes sense to consider VR as the ultimate technology of telepresence (and omnipresence) if in practice it abstracts us and removes our body from the world.
Biography Bruno Herbelin is senior researcher in virtual reality and cognitive neuroscience in the laboratory of Prof. O. Blanke at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL, Switzerland). From 2012 to 2019, he was deputy director of the EPFL Center for Neuroprosthetics. From 2005 to 2009, he was Assistant Professor at Medialogy Department of Aalborg University, Denmark. He obtained his PhD from EPFL School of Computer and Communications in 2005 for his research work on virtual reality exposure therapy under the supervision of Prof. D. Thallmann (Virtual Reality Laboratory).
Artists explore sound in its pure state, simultaneously bridging and muddling barriers between sound, noise, and music in the contemporary or historical sense. Others investigate the political and cultural implications of certain sounds, using their work to bring human rights to the fore. This event puts spotlight on yet another group of artists who connects Sonic Arts with Neuroscience, attempting to unveil the mystery of human brain and consciousness by playing with the frequency and wavelength of a soundwave.
The sixth edition of Laser Nomad at the Fine Arts School of the University of Porto explores contemporary issues of migration. The focus is about the sense of place from a cognitive perspective. Neuroscientists have already proposed the existence of a grey zone around us named peripersonal space, which is an extended boundary of our body. From a technological perspective, mobile devices and gps helped war migrants, for example, to stay in touch with their families and share migration routes. What is the relation between embodiment and borders?
CHAIRED BY: Luca Forcucci
Rosemary Lee (ITU Copenhagen) Rosemary Lee will speak about themes from her PhD research on the influence of algorithms on notions of the image. Several consequences arise from the formalisation of the image as sets of instructions to be executed, including variability, a turn toward non-opticality, and increased automation by machines. In this way, machine learning not only affects the image on an ontological level, affecting what an image may be considered to be, but also its aesthetics and its symbolic relation to the real. Rosemary Lee is an artist and PhD fellow at the IT-University of Copenhagen, where she is researching how notions of the image are impacted by algorithmic media. Her PhD project analyses and contextualises artistic and technical examples in terms of their earlier precursors and considers what this means for what an image is today. Lee’s research and artistic work have been shown in international contexts including SCREENSHOTS: Desire and Automated Image, machines will watch us die, a new we, and her book, Molten Media, which was published in the context of the transmediale Vilém Flusser Archive Residency for Artistic Research.
Rui Penha (ESMAE)
Existence and Extension / Lenses and Lentils
Rui Penha was trained to see the world through the
lenses of musical composition and media art. He is a father of two, a
professor of a few more, a thinker and a tinkerer. He is currently
employed as an assistant professor at ESMAE and as a senior researcher
at INESC TEC. More info at http://ruipenha.pt
Miguel Carvalhais (FBAUP)
Miguel Carvalhais teaches design and computational media at FBAUP.
When asked for a short bio he normally presents himself as a designer
and a musician, two activities that he finds closely connected and
central to his practice. In this talk Miguel will explore how his work
hinges on space: on using it as canvas, on manipulating or transforming
it, on creating entirely new spaces. http://carvalhais.org
We explore Consciousness, Representation and Embodiment with the contribution of researchers from the University of Palermo. These keywords are observed through the lenses of human cognition. Why and how do I know that I am experiencing something ? Moreover artificial systems are pervasively entering multiple aspects of our life, what if instead of artificial we focus on extended ones ? Does embodiment applies to artificial forms ?
The research field of conscious AI systems concerns the computational models of consciousness. The talk will outline the current state of research of conscious AI systems and it will discuss its relationships with creativity, with particular emphasis to musical creativity. The field of conscious AI systems is tightly related with topics as information integration, embodiment, adaptation, emotions, which are all of interest in order to model musical creativity. On the one hand, facing the problem of consciousness could be a decisive move towards the design of effectively creative systems, on the other hand the study of models of creativity could be helpful in order to better understand human consciousness.
Antonio Chella is a full professor of Robotics at the Department of Engineering of the University of Palermo, where he is the founder and director of the Robotics Laboratory. He coordinated several Social Robotics projects including Cicerobot, a museum robot guide at the Archaeological Museum of Agrigento; Robotics and Autism, in collaboration with the Child Neuropsychiatry of Palermo; Robotics and ALS, in collaboration with the ALS Center of the University General Hospital of Palermo; RoboDanza, in collaboration with the cultural association Tavola Tonda; Robot Orchestra Conductor in collaboration with the Alessandro Scarlatti Conservatory of Palermo. In 2017 he was awarded the “James Albus Medal” by the BICA Scientific Society (Biologically Inspired Cognitive Architectures). He is a member of the Academy of Sciences, Letters and Arts of Palermo. His main research concerns the study of consciousness in robots and machines; he is the co-author of the main reference text in the field. He is the author of more than 200 international publications.
Prof. Davide Rocchesso
Designing Sound with Vocal Primitives
What are the fundamental elements of sound? What is the best framework for analyzing existing sonic realities and for expressing new sound concepts? These are long standing questions in sound physics, perception, and creation. In everyday life, it is our body that helps establishing bridges between distal (source-related) and proximal (sensory-related) representations of sound. In particular, it is our vocal apparatus that offers body-based representations of sound, so that vocal imitations can be used as probes into the world of sound at large.
Davide Rocchesso received the Ph.D. degree from the University of Padova in 1996. He is professor of computer science at the University of Palermo. He was the coordinator of EU FET projects SOb (the Sounding Object) and SkAT-VG (Sketching Audio Technologies using Vocalizations and Gestures). He had been chairing the COST Action on Sonic Interaction Design. His main research interests are sound modelling and synthesis, interaction design, evaluation of interactions.
Can Beauty be Translated? A Journey between Mathematics, Music, and Nature
Contemplating the majesty of a tree, listening to an orchestral piece, and studying a mathematical equation might not be too far activities. Mathematics can constitute a bridge to compare objects and transformations between them, as well as to map them from a domain to another one. In particular, musical structures, with their themes and transformations, can be investigated through the language of mathematics (and categories in particular). The same formalism can be applied to nature, comparing shapes and their variations. I present methods of investigation and examples, including trees, ammonites, and flowers. They can be analyzed and translated into music, keeping some essential features and considering specific cognition criteria. From organized musical structures to the sound itself, the presentation includes some hints of how the quantum mechanics formalism can be applied to the analysis of human voice. Might a melodious soprano voice be not too far from the Schrödinger equation’s solutions?
Maria Mannone (Ph.D.) is a theoretical physicist and a composer. She graduated in Italy, France (IRCAM-Paris VI Sorbonne), and in the US (University of Minnesota). Her research involves mathematics, music, and images. Author of books, she gave talks and invited lectures in America, Europe, and Asia, where she is collaborating with the Tohoku University for the development of a new musical instrument, the CubeHarmonic. Currently, she is a subject expert (‘cultore della materia’) at the Department of Mathematics and Informatics in Palermo.
Prof. Salvatore Tedesco
Aesthetics and Embodiment
Construction of form, emotions and aesthetic appreciation can usefully be rethought in the context of an interaction between philosophical knowledge, theoretical computer science and new technologies for production and control of images and sounds. The short report proposed seeks to clarify the terms of reference and to suggest some interpretations.
Salvatore Tedesco teaches Aesthetics at the University of Palermo, and coordinates the Dams course of studies. His main research projects deals with Morphology, evolutionary aesthetics, history of aesthetics, contemporary theories of literature. He has published 11 monographs on various aspects of modern and contemporary aesthetics, more than 80 papers, and is currently editing (with Federico Vercellone) a “Glossary of Morphology”.
Perceptual Grammar of Sounds
Music cognition complies with the perceptual grammar which consists of the properties of sounds as units and the grouping factors as preferential rules. The units have emerged through the interaction with the environment as crucial features in conveying information. The rules are the heuristics that enable the cognition of the environment in the forms of the auditory modality by solving problems of ordering and structure derivation. The specialization of the perceptual grammar of sounds plays a foundational role for music cognition. It provides composers and listeners with shared capacities to build and extract meaning from musical shapes and their relevant qualities in space and time. Musical examples will be presented to argue that the specialization of the perceptual grammar is consistent with historical and geographical variability of musical systems and styles, which draw from the expressive potentialities it affords with a high degree of freedom.
Carmelo Calì is associate professor at the University of Palermo. His main research interests are theories and models of visual, auditory and tactile perception, cognitive foundations of aesthetics, human-robot interaction and industrial design.