Scroll down to see the full archive of all 2015 London LASER events with details of speakers and links to video recordings of talks.

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2015: In brief…

London LASER 12: Silent Signal project (Bentley Crudgington / Eric Schockmel / boredomresearch (Vicky Isley & Paul Smith) / Paddy Brock) and Paddy Hartley

London LASER 11: Regine Rapp and Christian de Lutz (Art Laboratory Berlin), and J.J. Hastings

London LASER 10: Christina Fuentes Tibbitt / Joey O’Gorman / Béa Kayani / John Smith / Veronica Ranner / Crow Dillon-Parkin

London LASER 09: Iain Biggs / Shelley James / Helen Pynor / Simon Read / Brett Wilson, guest chaired by Barbara Hawkins.

London LASER 08: Anna Dumitriu / Nicola Triscott / Ideographic

London LASER 07: Timothy J Senior / Paul Friedlander, guest chaired by Laura Plana Gracia. 

2015: In full…

London LASER 12
Tuesday 17 November 2015
University of Westminster

Bentley Crudgington, scientific advisor on Silent Signal, introduced the central themes running through the project. Eric Schockmel discussed his collaboration with immunologist Dr Megan MacLeod, Immunecraft; a fictional game which gives users agency over a real life cell culture to compete against opponent players, and explores the parallels between popular gameplay mechanics and human immunity in the age of DNA building blocks, printable organic electronics and biohacking, raising questions about bioethics. boredomresearch (Vicky Isley & Paul Smith) in discussion with Dr Paddy Brock, mathematical modeller at the University of Glasgow, presented their research from AfterGlow, a collaborative project combining a contemporary artistic use of computer simulation with current research from ecology and epidemiology. This talk considered the importance of abstraction in both art and science and the potential for artistic expressions to extend current scientific representation. Silent Signal is Wellcome Trust funded and produced and curated by Animate Projects. @AnimateProjects

Bentley Crudgington, project scientific advisor, is a biomedical scientist currently working in veterinary virology focusing on engineering viruses to manipulate the host immune system into fighting other more deadly pathogens. @Incidentallyb

Eric Schockmel is a London based moving image artist and director from Luxembourg. His work spans a personal practice and commissions, as well as freelancing in the creative industries. He creates expressive artworks for digital and physical environments. @Schockmel

boredomresearch are fascinated by the mechanics of the natural world and are internationally renowned for creating artworks which explore extended time periods; exhibiting their work widely in Europe, America & Asia. @boredomresearch

Paddy Brock trained as a field biologist with interests in animal behaviour, evolution and ecology. His current research, at the Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine applies quantitative approaches to investigate disease transmission. @PaddyBrock


Paddy Hartley presented his new work, Papaver Rhoeas, lambs-heart biotissue Poppy sculptures which were exhibited across 10 London cultural venues throughout November 2015. Produced in collaboration with Dr Ian Thompson, Professor Malcolm Logan (King’s College London) and Mr William Edwards, Curator of the Gordon Museum of Pathology, Paddy discussed the inspiration prompting the creation of the work, the process arrived at to facilitate the preservation and ‘vanishing’ of the work and the cultural phenomenon of remembrance. ‪@patrickihartley


London LASER 11
Tuesday 20 October 2015
Central Saint Martins

Regine Rapp is an art historian and curator working in the fields of image/text theory, artist books, installation and art & science collaborations. Christian de Lutz is a visual artist and curator interested in technology and science. They are the directors of Art Laboratory Berlin which, co-founded in 2006, has produced over 35 exhibitions and numerous conferences, seminars, performances and workshops. Their talk The Biological Sublime in 21st Century Art focused on the fluid boundaries between visual arts, biology and the humanities with specific examples of art/science collaborations and new hybrid forms.               @ArtLaboratoryB

J.J. Hastings’ work focuses upon the intersection and interplay of art and science – from philosophy to praxis – merging scientific and artistic research. She holds advanced degrees in both Biology and Bioinformatics, and an MA Art & Science from Central Saint. Recent residencies include the Khoj Workshops in Delhi, SymbioticA in Perth, the Lumen Residency in Atina, Italy, and Ausstellingsraum Klingental in Basel. J.J. is also co-founder of the bio-creative consultancy The Kitchen with fellow CSM alumna and materials designer Amy Congdon, as well as a member of both the Lumen and London Alternative Photography Collectives. JJ talked about her work on the body as a contested space, focusing on the unique biological trace of our corporeal being through time.     @photopoiesis


London LASER 10
Tuesday 16 June 2015
University of Westminster

For the tenth London LASER we opened the floor and invited our eclectic audience to suggest short presentations, provocations, activities and discussions…. The evening started with short presentations and provocations followed by smaller round table discussions around the room.

Veronica Ranner discussed the applications and implications of reverse engineered silk (Designer) @vroniranner

Joey O’Gorman lead a discussion about environmental responsibility (Researcher)

Béa Kayani explored perception and ambiguity in vision (Artist) @BeaKayani

Crow Dillon-Parkin invited us to reconnect with our bodies, anchoring sensation (Artist) @actual_vortex

Christina Fuentes Tibbitt presented plans by the British Science Association to introduce a new ‘art + science’ section (BSA Engagement manager) @BritSciAssoc

John Smith explored the ethical limitations of forensic science research (Forensic Imaging Scientist)

London LASER 09
Tuesday 19 May 2015
Central Saint Martins

The ninth event in the London LASER series presents a group of Art/Science practitioners talking about their work, how they became interested in transdisciplinary research and how they go about working in collaborative ventures. The event has been organised by Brett Wilson and will be chaired by Barbara Hawkins, both founder members of the transdisciplinary research group ‘Project Dialogue’ and co-editors of the publication ‘Art, Science and Cultural Understanding’.

Shelley James completed her PhD last year at the Royal College of Art in London, before which she studied printmaking at the University of West England, Bristol and textiles at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Decoratifs in Paris. She is currently teaching at the Institute of Making at UCL and has collaborative projects running with the mathematician Sir Roger Penrose and the crystallographer Professor Brian Sutton, supported by Arts Council England as well as a patient engagement programme with Moorfields Eye Hospital. The Gordon Museum of Pathology at King’s College London holds a permanent installation of her work exploring DNA. Shelley discussed recent projects exploring the role of materiality in science-art collaboration.

Helen Pynor is an artist with a scientific background and whose practice has focused on philosophically and experientially ambiguous zones such as the life-death border and the spatial/material basis of consciousness. Her work is informed by in-depth residencies in scientific and clinical institutions such as the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden where she is currently Artist-in-Residence. Helen’s work has been exhibited internationally, most recently at the National Centre for Contemporary Art (Russia), National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Science Gallery Dublin, Australian Centre for Photography and Wellcome Collection.

Brett Wilson is a recently retired scientist and a founder member of Project Dialogue, a research group bringing together artists and scientists to explore commonalities across research in the arts and sciences. Over the last six years he has acted as a “scientist in residence” in the faculty of art and design at the University of the West of England and is co-editor of the recently published book ‘Art, Science and Cultural Understanding’. Brett talked about blurred lines, communities of practice and the role of metaphors in science’s conceptual models.

Iain Biggs is a Visiting Research Fellow at Bath Spa University and UWE, Bristol, and an independent teacher, researcher and artist who publishes regularly on a variety of topics. He is a co-ordinator of PLaCE International, an arts-led research network, and of the Mapping Spectral Traces international network. At present he is working with NOVA on a hydro-citizenship project in Bristol. His talk provided a general context for thinking about particular projects involving five artists – Christine Baeumler, Cathy Fitzgerald, Antony Lyons, Perdita Phillips, and Deirdre O’Mahony – who all work in different ways in the Art/Science field. Iain stressed the ’social engagement and/or educational’ aspect of their work as a distinguishing element.

Simon Read is a visual artist who works closely with the processes and dynamic of environmental change. At present he holds an Associate Professorship in Fine Art at Middlesex University and is an associate member of the Art and Environment Network of the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management. Using case studies from his work on intertidal infrastructure projects with coastal and estuarine communities on the Suffolk Coast, Simon explored the importance of the links between a speculative approach to experience as an artist, a firm understanding of the scientific and engineering principles of a project on the ground and a broad conceptual basis for research afforded by interdisciplinary academic networks.

London LASER 08
Tuesday 17 March 2015
Central Saint Martins

Anna Dumitriu works at the forefront of art and microbiology collaboration, with a strong interest in the ethics of emerging technologies. Her installations, and performances use a range of digital, biological and traditional media including live bacteria. She has a strong international exhibition profile including The Science Gallery (Dublin), The Picasso Museum (Barcelona) and MOCA Taipei, and is Artist in Residence on the Modernising Medical Microbiology Project at The University of Oxford. She will discuss her projects “Sequence” investigating whole genome sequencing of bacteria and “Trust Me I’m an Artist” which considers the ethical implications of artists working with bioscience.  @AnnaDumitriu

Nicola Triscott is the founder and Director of The Arts Catalyst, one of the UK’s most distinctive arts commissioning organisations, distinguished by ambitious artists’ commissions that experimentally and critically engage with science. For more than 20 years, The Arts Catalyst has commissioned more than 100 artists’ projects and produced numerous exhibitions, events, performances and publications, collaborating with many arts, science and academic organisations internationally. Underpinning The Arts Catalyst’s commissions and exhibitions are its extensive research strand and its programme of critical discussion events, talks and workshops. Nicola will talk about their recent commission by Revital Cohen and Tuur Van Balen, which recently premiered at the Schering Space Berlin. Sterile / Sensei Ichi-gō explores the ambiguous identity of animals designed as products.  @nicolatriscott  @TheArtsCatalyst

Ideographic is a residency with the Cube London (a curated, interdisciplinary community). Comprised of six artists and scientists, the ideographic team aims to answer a question: Is there a correlation between spikes in human evolution and cultures with an alliance of art and science? They aim to uncover the relation between interdisciplinary behaviour in social organisms, and periods of change, innovation and growth. Looking at biological, cultural and technological evolutions in historic societies and contemporary ones, they are trying to identify shared principles for periods of social dynamism and progress. They will make a short presentation of the research and art forms of the residency so far, and host a discussion. This will address the impact of this correlation on our lives today, as we live through a turbulent period of social evolution.

London LASER 07
Tuesday 17 February 2015
University of Westminster

Dr Timothy J. Senior is a scholar and artist, currently serving as a Knowledge Exchange Researcher for the Arts and Humanities Research Council. His work asks how contemporary forms of practice in the arts, sciences and humanities might be opened up to new collaborative influences. Following his D.Phil. in Systems Neuroscience (Oxford 2008), he has explored these issues through an artist residency at Duke University (US) and visiting lectureships at Jacobs University Bremen (Germany) spanning the arts, neuroscience, digital humanities, and the social and political sciences. In 2012 he was awarded a Junior Fellowship at the Hanse Institute for Advanced Study, concluding with an internationally-oriented conference and exhibition on performative methods in scientific practice. Tim will be taking up this theme in his talk, exploring how performance-based methods may revolutionize the study of complex systems and our understanding of disciplinary research.

Paul Friedlander is an independent kinetic light sculptor and scientific artist based in London. He will give a telescopic talk on his career spanning more than 40 years from his early influence by Cybernetic art, his involvement with stage lighting for avant-garde music and subsequent development of his unique artistic media. The talk will be followed by a performance with hand held kinetic sculptures and chromastrobic light, a form of light he invented. Paul studied physics and mathematics at Sussex University and fine art at Exeter Art College. His youthful ambitions to become a cosmologist have continued to influence his art, exploring mathematical and scientific ideas in light. Some of his earliest work was based on catastrophe theory and chaos. He has a continuing interest in waves, creating many kinetic works using their mathematics in custom software he writes as part of his hybrid art.

Guest chaired by researcher and curator, Laura Plana @elektronischeAM