Fall 2012 | Dr. Bruce J. Nelson '74 Distinguished Speaker Series
Art, Science and Technology:
Between the Studio and the Lab
Highlighting contemporary art inspired by and created with science and technology.
The 2012 Nelson Series will feature presentations by acclaimed artists and educators and will celebrate art that explores science and technology’s aesthetic, creative, cultural and political dimensions. Free and open to the public, all talks will be held on the HMC campus in Galileo Hall. A Q&A session and reception follows each lecture.
Tuesday, September 25, 7:30 p.m.
Co-founder and Director, Institute for Figuring, Los Angeles
Margaret Wertheim is a science writer and co-founder of the Institute For Figuring in Los Angeles. Her recent exhibitions, The Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef and Physics on the Fringe, visualize the beauty of math and physics.
"Reefs, Rubbish and Reason: An Unlikely Yarn about Global Warming and the World's Biggest Art+Science Project"
In 2006, as an aesthetic response to global warming, twin sisters Margaret and Christine Wertheim began crocheting a coral reef. Today their Crochet Coral Reef project is perhaps the largest art+science endeavor on the planet, with more than 6,000 active participants and more than three million exhibition visitors worldwide. In this talk, science writer and curator Margaret Wertheim will discuss this unlikely conjunction of art, science, environmentalism and geometry. Tracing a line from sea slugs to general relativity and ocean acidification, Wertheim will raise the possibility that the nexus of art and science may have the power to shift our consciousness about humanity's role in the ecological future of planet earth.
Thursday, October 18, 7:30 p.m.
Astronomer and Executive Editor, Leonardo Publications
A leading international thinker on the intersections of art and science, astronomer Roger Malina serves as executive editor of Leonardo, the journal of the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology, which was founded in 1968 by his father, Frank Malina, kinetic artist and rocket scientist.
"Beyond Creativity: Collaboration between the Arts and Sciences Today"
Roger Malina will discuss the growing international movement to enable new forms of collaboration between the arts and sciences. He will describe why these developments will have a growing importance in science and engineering.
Tuesday, November 6, 7:30 p.m.
Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies, UC Santa Barbara
A native of Slovenia and a theater and radio director by profession, Marko Peljhan founded the arts and technology organization Projekt Atol and cofounded one of the first media labs in Eastern Europe, LJUDMILA, during the 1990s. Peljhan has also worked on the Makrolab, a unique, 10-year-long project that focuses on telecommunications, migrations and weather systems research in an intersection of art and science. Currently, Peljhan is coordinating with transdisciplinary artist Matthew Biederman on the Arctic Perspective Initiative art/science/tactical media project, which explores the global significance of the Arctic geopolitical, natural and cultural spheres. Peljhan holds joint appointments with the Department of Art and the Media Arts and Technology graduate program at UC Santa Barbara and is co-director of the UC Institute for Research in the Arts.
"Two Polar Visions and a War"
Slovenian radio and theater director Marko Peljhan organizes collaborations between artists, scientists and technologists and investigates the geopolitics of the Arctic, art in microgravity and communications networks during the Bosnian War.
Tuesday, November 13, 7:30 p.m.
Composer and Professor, Department of Information Media, Chukyo University, Japan
Carl Stone is one of the pioneers of live computer music, and has been hailed by the Village Voice as "the king of sampling" and "one of the best composers living in (the USA) today." He has used computers in live performance since 1986. Stone divides his time between San Francisco and Japan. He studied composition at the California Institute of the Arts and has composed electro-acoustic music almost exclusively since 1972. His works have been performed in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia, Australia, South America and the Near East. He is on the faculty of the Media Department at Chukyo University in Japan.
"Musical Time in the Age of New Media"
Computers and music are both about time and about memory. Historically, musical instructions concerning tempo have been constrained by the limits of human ability and instrumental mechanics. However, in the current digital age these limits no longer apply, for today we often encounter music played at a tempo faster and with more precision than generally possible without computer intervention. A counter trend is now emerging, where familiar pieces of music are being slowed down to a monumental, almost geological pace. Stone will discuss the implications of media technology on our perception of time and of memory, and will also share some paradoxes of music in the age of new media.
Tuesday, December 4, 7:30 p.m.
Professor of Visual Studies, State University of New York at Buffalo
A founding member of Critical Art Ensemble, Steven Kurtz stimulates audiences to consider the political and environmental implications of biotechnology, bioweaponry and nuclear energy by using hands-on demonstrations, websites, books and installations.
"It Looks Like Science, but It’s Art"
Steven Kurtz will present an examination of the origins of public suspicion and fear regarding new initiatives in biological investigation, such as assisted reproduction, the Human Genome Project, transgenic production and biological warfare, and the rhetoric used to contain or deflect public concerns. Kurtz also will consider the means by which art can act as a mediator in this awkward cultural exchange between specialists, non-specialists and marketers.