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.
The power of the voice (s) allied with poetry and (deep) listening are perhaps ways to deal with urgent terrestrial and human problems caused to the biosphere, which have been urgent for a long time now.
The work is a sonic collage, like a surrealist poem based on podcasts conducted since 2018 and available at www.ubqtlab.org. The platform engages with interdisciplinary and transnational collaborations in an attempt to decolonize knowledge. It proposes a unique combination of fields, such as ritual studies, anthropology, phenomenology, cognitive science, technology, poetry and the sonic arts, and allows for the mechanisms of listening and questions about phenomenal consciousness to be addressed from a sonic perspective by fusing theoretical writing with sonic artworks as research-creation. It also counterbalances a dominant visual and Western, techno-scientific perspective.
Luca Forcucci (CH/IT): Distinguished artist and scholar. His research observes the perceptive properties and the field of possibilities of the first-person experience, which is explored as an artwork. Forcucci is interested in perception, subjectivity and consciousness. His installations, performances, electroacoustic compositions, photography and texts have been exhibited worldwide on a regular basis. Since 2009, he has collaborated with scientists in the field of cognitive science. He is particularly fascinated by visual mental imagery and the sonic imagination to explore the conceptual idea of the sonic architecture. www.lucaforcucci.com
With the voices of Jocy de Oliveira (BR), JIll Scott (AU), Pamela Z (US), Jorge Antunes (BR), Stanley Moss (US), Phill Niblock (US), Matt Black (UK), Paulo Bruscky (BR), Eduardo Kac (BR)
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.
director Federico Fellini’s movies were based on his own dreams, and as part of a Jungian psychotherapy with the psychoanalyst Ernst Bernhard.
In the book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? The American author Philip
K. Dick questions realities and perspectives from the machines in a dystopian
science fiction novel.
It seems that the (virtual, augmented and mixed) contemporaneous realities are about to join the fiction. The main question for the current talk observes the different typologies of realities, being in dreams, pathological, from machines or computers. This will be explored through the work and research of an artist and a neuroscientist.
Michael Gaebler / Cognitive Neuroscientist
Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in the Neurology Department’s Mind-Body-Emotion group and the MindBrainBody Institute.
Michael Gaebler studied cognitive and neurosciences in Osnabrück,
Montreal, Paris, and London, before he completed his PhD at the
Charité/Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. In his research at the Max Planck
Institute in Leipzig, he investigates how mental processes (i.e., thinking and
feeling) are neurophysiologically realized. To this end, he also combines
virtual reality with measurements of brain activity.
The mind is situated, that is, mental phenomena depend on an organism’s interaction with the environment. I will discuss why virtual reality (VR) can help the cognitive and brain sciences and present own projects, in which we use VR in neuroscientific and clinical investigations. I will also mention previous work with depersonalization-derealization disorder patients, for whom the real world feels unreal or dream-like.
Mert Akbal / Artist and Researcher in Neuroscience
Saarbrücken Art School and Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in the Neurology Department’s Mind-Body-Emotion group and the MindBrainBody Institute.
Mert Akbal explores as a cognitive artist phenomena from
cognitive science field. He teaches and researches in two institutions:
Academy of Fine Arts Saar in Saarbruecken and Max Planck Institute for Human
Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Berlin. His works are presented on diverse
platforms such as by ZKM in Karlsruhe, Prix D’Arts Robert Schuman, Kunstmuseum
Stuttgart, Kunsverein Ulm, Amber Art and Technology Festival in Istanbul, IEEE
in Boston, ISEA 2016 in Hong Kong and ISEA 2018 in Durban.
I follow my curiosity to observe, understand and question
cognition and consciousness through visual art. I aim to reproduce dream
image and experience in artistic media in order to explore them as models of
conscious experience. I will present some of my current works at the
intersection of art and science.