Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous of 8 May 2023

Exploring the Frontiers of Knowledge and Imagination, Fostering Interdisciplinary Networking
Stanford, 8 May 2023 at 7pm
LiKaShing building - Room LK101
Chaired by Piero Scaruffi and prof. Curtis Frank
Free and open to everybody

The LASERs (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous) are an international program of evening gatherings that bring artists and scientists together for informal presentations and conversation with an audience. See the program for the whole international series and the dates for the Bay Area. Send an email to "scaruffi at stanford dot edu" if you want to be added to the mailing list for the LASERs.
Where: Stanford University, LiKaShing building - Room LK101
There should be ample parking in the structure on corner of Campus Drive West and Roth Way. (Stanford map)
Parking is mostly free at Stanford after 6pm.
If you cannot attend in person, you can watch it on Zoom. Click here to register or here. Note that the quality of the stream will be approximate (and may not work at all). We do our best but there are physical limitations in the classroom.
Program (the order of the speakers might change):
  • Ravi Majeti (Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine) on "Stem Cells and Reprogramming in Human Acute Leukemia" Leukemia stem cells reside at the apex of a cellular hierarchy... Read more
    If you missed this presentation, you can view it by clicking on the image:
  • Thomas Haakenson (California College of the Arts) on "Kurt Schwitters and the Space, Sound, Sexuality of Dada Resistance" The year 2023 marks roughly the centennial of some of the avant-garde’s most radical revisions of Western art and culture... Read more
    If you missed this presentation, you can view it by clicking on the image:
  • David Stork (Visiting Lecturer, Stanford University) on "Rigorous computer-assisted lighting analysis of the works by Johannes Vermeer" Computer vision techniques provide a powerful and enhanced view into the lighting in Vermeer's paintings... Read more
    If you missed this presentation, you can view it by clicking on the image:
  • Paige Emery (Media Artist) on "On Divinatory Ecologies for More-Than-Human Time" A poetics of divination for how humans might relate to more ecologically-conscious futures through sensing alongside space for otherness... Read more
    If you missed this presentation, you can view it by clicking on the image:
  • Discussions, networking You can mingle with the speakers and the audience

  • Paige Emery is an artist exploring the ecological body and ritual interactions that weave worlds. Her work bridges poetics and praxis, mysticism and theory, healing rituals and critical ecology. This has taken shape recently through art installations for more-than-human divination systems at Biosphere 2, Arizona, and Mt. Wilson Observatory, Los Angeles, and performances with gardens as places of nonlinear time at ZK/U Center for Art and Urbanistics, Berlin and Biennale Gherdëina, Italy. Paige has a dedicated practice with gardens and land stewardship and her writing on plants and ritual praxis has been published by Ignota Books, Are.na, and Daisyworld Magazine.
  • Thomas O Haakenson is Associate Professor in the graduate Critical and Visual Studies Program, as well as in the undergraduate Critical Studies Program and the Visual Studies Program, at California College of the Arts. He is co-editor of the series German Visual Culture. He has been published widely, including in New German Critique, Cabinet, Rutgers Art Review, German Studies Review, and the anthologies Legacies of Modernism and Memorialization in Germany Since 1945. He has received awards and fellowships from the United States Fulbright Program, the Social Science Research Council, the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, and the Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies, among others.
  • Ravi Majeti is Professor of Medicine (Hematology) and Director of the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He completed post-doctoral training in the laboratory of Irving Weissman, where he investigated acute myeloid leukemia (AML) stem cells and therapeutic targeting with anti-CD47 antibodies. With Dr. Weissman, he developed a humanized anti-CD47 antibody, initiated first-in-human clinical trials, and in 2015, co-founded a biotech start-up, Forty Seven Inc, which, along with the lead anti-CD47 antibody magrolimab, was acquired by Gilead in 2020. Dr. Majeti directs an active NIH-funded laboratory that focuses on the molecular characterization and therapeutic targeting of leukemia stem cells in human hematologic disorders, particularly AML, and has published >100 peer-reviewed articles. He is a recipient of the Burroughs Wellcome Career Award for Medical Scientists, the New York Stem Cell Foundation Robertson Investigator Award, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Scholar Award.Dr. Majeti is a member of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Task Force on Hematologic Malignancies. He also serves of the editorial boards of "Blood, Cell Stem Cell, and Cancer Discovery".
  • David Stork is a graduate in Physics from MIT and the University of Maryland, and also studied Art History at Wellesley College. He has held faculty positions in Physics, Mathematics, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Statistics, Computational Mathematical Engineering, Neuroscience, Psychology, and Art and Art History variously at Wellesley and Swarthmore Colleges, Clark, Boston, and Stanford Universities, and the Technical University of Vienna. He is a Fellow of seven international technical societies and his eighth book, Pixels & paintings: Foundations of computer-assisted connoisseurship will be released next month by Wiley.
  • Piero Scaruffi is a cultural historian who has lectured in three continents and published several books on Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science, the latest one being "The Nature of Consciousness" (2006). He pioneered Internet applications in the early 1980s and the use of the World-Wide Web for cultural purposes in the mid 1990s. His poetry has been awarded several national prizes in Italy and the USA. His latest book of poems and meditations is "Synthesis" (2009). As a music historian, he has published ten books, the latest ones being "A History of Rock and Dance Music" (2009) and "A History of Jazz Music" (2007). His latest book of history is "A History of Silicon Valley" (2011). The first volume of his free ebook "A Visual History of the Visual Arts" appeared in 2012. His latest book is "Intelligence is not Artificial" (2013). He has also written extensively about cinema and literature. He founded the Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous (LASER) in 2008. Since 2015 he has been commuting between California and China, where several of his books have been translated.

Extended abstracts:

Johannes Vermeer is widely celebrated as a master in rendering the effects of light, as evident in masterpieces such as Girl with a pearl earring, View of Delft, and The art of painting, among others. For many decades, humanist art scholars studied the master's works in this regard subjectively, informally, and sometimes inconsistently. Rigorous computer vision techniques provide a powerful and enhanced view into the lighting in Vermeer's works, answering questions and opening new interpretative methods beyond those of traditional art scholarship. You will never see Vermeer's works the same way again. This talk was an invited presentation at the International Vermeer Symposium at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam in March, part of the largest ever exhibition of Vermeer's works.

This talk proposes a poetics of divination for how humans might relate to more ecologically-conscious futures through sensing alongside space for otherness. With deep ecology as a point of departure, this inquiry problematizes epistemological givenness, questions how current predictive technologies compromise our senses and abilities to imagine more-than-human futures, and explores divination as a conduit for undoing conservative determinisms through practices of sensing. I am using divination as a lens not so much to look outwards towards the future, but inwards towards our relationship with the future amidst ecological crisis.

Evidence of human acute myeloid leukemia stem cells (AML LSCs) was first reported nearly 2 decades ago through the identification of rare subpopulations of engrafting cells in xenotransplantation assays. These AML LSCs were shown to reside at the apex of a cellular hierarchy that initiates and maintains the disease, exhibiting properties of self-renewal, cell cycle quiescence, and chemoresistance. This cancer stem cell model offers an explanation for chemotherapy resistance and disease relapse and implies that approaches to treatment must eradicate LSCs for cure. More recently, a number of studies have both refined and expanded our understanding of LSCs and intrapatient heterogeneity in AML using improved xenotransplant models, genome-scale analyses, and experimental manipulation of primary patient cells.

The year 2023 marks roughly the centennial of some of the avant-garde’s most profoundly significant revisions to and destructions of Western art and culture. The Hanover-based Dadaist Kurt Scwhitters’s work is both the exemplar and the exemption in this sense. His aesthetic contributions collectively amounted to a one-person war on habituated and complacent sensory perceptions. The acoustic radicality of his quasi-musical Ursonate, his architecturally adventurous Merzbau projects, and his efforts to create a “Cathedral of Erotic Misery” all give us reason to review at its centenary the space, sound, and sexuality of Schwitters’s unique brand of Dada resistance.

Photos and videos of this evening


The Stanford LASERs are sponsored by the Stanford Deans of: Engineering; Humanities & Sciences; and Medicine; by Chemical Engineering and by Continuing Studies.