Scroll down to see the full archive of all 2018 London LASER events with details of speakers and links to video recordings of talks.

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2018: In brief…

For 2018, London LASER runs as London LASER Labs – a student-led take over, exploring themes at the intersection of art and science through an evening of interactivity, talks and discussion. LASER Labs are supported by UAL Teaching and Learning Fund for staff/student collaboration and digital learning and is organised by MA Art and Science postgraduate students at Central Saint Martins with support from Heather Barnett.

London LASER 26: exploring ‘Re:Thinking Space’ with Ceri Brenner and Cham Ghag, artist Susan Ayre and cosmologist Thomas Kitching compered by the Arts Catalysts’ Nicola Triscott, plus Playlab

London LASER 25: exploring ‘Liminal Bodies’ with Tobias Revell, Silvia Casini, and Stephen Oram, compered by Simon Ings; plus BioBento in the Playlab

London LASER 24: exploring ‘Virtual Imaginaries’ with Adam Kampff, Dylan Yamada-Rice, and William Latham, compered bySimon Ings;  plus Playlab


2018: In full…


London LASER LL26 Lab #3 Re:Thinking Space
Wednesday 7th November 2018
Central Saint Martins

Part 1 Re:Thinking Space Playlab:

The PlayLAB workshop imagined the universe through interactive investigations with Dr Natasha Almeida, Curator of Meteorites at the Natural History Museum and artists Lisa Pettibone, Lois Bentley and Olga Suchanova.

Part 2 Re:Thinking Space Talks: 7.00pm – 9.00pm

Talks by interdisciplinary luminaries in the field, physicists Dr. Ceri Brenner and Dr. Cham Ghag, artist Susan Ayre and cosmologist Dr. Thomas Kitching compered by the Arts Catalysts’ Nicola Triscott.

DR. THOMAS KITCHING, COSMOLOGIST
Thomas Kitching is the Science Co-Lead for the ESA’s Euclid Mission launching in 2021 to map the geometry of the Dark Universe by observing thousands of millions of galaxies. He discussed the mission and where the search for Dark Matter and Dark Energy might be headed in the next few years.

DR. CERI BRENNER, PLASMA PHYSICIST
Dr Ceri Brenner is a senior application development scientist for the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory’s Central Laser Facility. She is a plasma physicist and innovator who uses the most powerful lasers in the world to study what happens when extreme bursts of light come into contact with matter. She is using this knowledge to design new X-ray technology that can see through steel with micro resolution.

SUSAN EYRE, ARTIST
Susan Eyre is interested in the unseen activity of matter in the universe and intangible phenomena which cannot be explained in terms of materiality, such as the aura of place and the dream of paradise. She is led by a curiosity about how we encounter the physical and the spiritual world and the structures that we put in place to facilitate an escape from reality.

DR CHAMKAUR GHAG, PHYSICIST
Dr Chamkaur Ghag is an associate professor of physics at University College London where he leads the direct dark matter research group. Chamkaur is an expert in rare-event searches using noble gas time projection chamber technology and in low-background techniques, using them to conduct research in the hunt for dark matter and other rare physics processes for over 15 years.

PANEL DISCUSSION


London LASER LL25 Lab #2 Liminal Bodies
Wednesday 27th June 2018
Central Saint Martins

London LASER LL25 (Lab #2) delved into ‘Liminal Bodies’ exploring the intersection of the body and technology, ideas of the cyborg and speculative future narratives. The evening traversed Body as Im/material, Body as Interface, Body as Conceptual Space, Body as Place.

Joining us in the Liminal Bodies Playlab were…

BODY AS IM/MATERIAL WITH BENTO BIO
A hands-on session lead by Bento Bio involving the extraction of DNA molecules from living tissue to create your own liminal samples, contributing to a discussion around our material/ informatic body.
Who owns this material? How are new technologies transforming its meaning? How would you manipulate this material if you could?

With creative consultation lead by Julie Light, Jill Mueller, Reggy Liu and Allison Barclay.

Joining us in the Liminal Bodies Talks were …

Part 1:

STEPHEN ORAM: BODY AS CONCEPTUAL SPACE

Stephen Oram is an author of near-future fiction. Over the course of the evening, Stephen traversed worlds unknown and explored speculative scenarios and potentials of the Liminal Body. A body that finds itself in an immense space where old cultural norms become obsolete.

TOBIAS REVELL: BODY AS INTERFACE

Tobias Revell, artist and designer, whose recent work has looked at the idea of technology as a territory and expectations of the future, discussed our assumed relationship with nature in the advent of Synthetic Biology. He is Course Leader of MA Interaction Design Communication at the London College of Communication and Senior Lecturer in Critical and Digital Design for Information and Interface Design and Interaction Design Arts and a founding member of research consultancy Strange Telemetry.

Part 2:

SILVIA CASINI: BODY AS PLACE

Silvia Casini considers the body as a place to be explored, a geographical space and our perception of it. Casini takes us on a journey to consider how neuroscience-art projects represent our body in stereoscopic vision. She considers the maps we use to navigate, how we visualise bio-medical data and the implications for our life and health, particularly in the case of emerging technologies. She is Lecturer at the Faculty of Film and Visual Culture, at University of Aberdeen, a place where the first MRI scanner was manufactured. She works with medical scientists and her research is focused on the Visual Culture of Science and Medicine.

Part 3: Panel discussion chaired by Simon Ings, ending with a reading by Stephen Oram.


London LASER 24 Lab #1 exploring ‘Virtual Imaginaries’
Thursday 26 April 2018
Central Saint Martins

Joining us in the Virtual Imaginaries Playlab were…

See and feel the unknown with Dark Matter VR by Bushra Burge
Bushra Burge creates multi-sensory, wearable experiences. Come and experience a ‘virtual unreality’ with Dark Matter VR, “The thing about reality is that it’s part interpretation and part physics and mostly unmeasurable. We can only observe about 5% and the rest we name Dark Matter and Dark Energy.”

Experience digital evolution in action with William Latham
Artist William Latham alongside mathematicians Stephen Todd and Lance Putnam present Mutator VR, a project with roots in the late 1980s where Latham and Todd first developed Mutator and FormGrow to evolve organic forms by a process of evolution by aesthetics.

Contribute to a participatory artwork with Olga Suchanova
MA Art and Science Postgraduate researcher Olga Suchanova’s practice has evolved from analogue photography to digital media exploring three dimensional images as a means of going “beyond” the two dimensional picture plane. Contribute to a collective, procedurally generated world using pre-digital materials.

See the world through the eyes of an Egyptian god with Nye Thompson
Nye showed work in progress from her new project. “The Seeker” is an AI that travels the world virtually and describes the things it sees. Named for Ptah-Seker, the artist/technologist god of the Ancient Egyptians who created the world by speaking the words to describe it, this project is an exploration of the nascent machine gaze. It asks how this act of description might change the world for machines and humans alike.

Joining us for Virtual Imaginaries Talks were…

Dr Adam Kampff, scientist at the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre shared an intimate insight into his research surrounding how the brain makes sense of information, our current relationships with technology – what we know and what is still to find out…

Dr Dylan Yamada-Rice is Research Manager at kids entertainment brand Dubit and a Senior Tutor at the RCA. Her research interests include digital play and multimodal communication practices. She shared details of the MakEY project that looks at how makerspaces can provide opportunities for children to create in Virtual Reality (VR).

Computer artist, game designer, known internationally for his pioneering Organic Art, Professor William Latham took us on a journey through procedurally-generated worlds exploring future reality as well as possible applications for this radical technology.

Compered by novelist, science writer and Arts Editor of New Scientist, Simon Ings