Corpus Grandiferum by JJ Hastings

Announcing London LASER 11 programme – 20 October

London LASER 11

Tuesday 20 October 2015

6.30 – 9.00pm (registration from 6pm)

C303, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, 1 Granary Square,
Kings Cross, London

The eleventh London LASER event hosts co-directors of Art Laboratory Berlin, Regine Rapp and Christian de Lutz on the fluid boundaries between visual arts, biology and the humanities, and artist/scientist J.J. Hastings on the complexities of our relationship with our biomaterials.

The event is free but please book:

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 will focus 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 will talk 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 – Open Floor programme

London LASER 10 Tuesday 16 June 2015 6.30 – 9.00pm (registration/drinks from 6pm) University of Westminster, Fyvie Hall, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2UW

The next London LASER is the 10th in the series and the last one for this academic year. Since starting the regular art and science talks in 2014 we have hosted a number of wonderful guest speakers, who have hopefully stimulated many thoughts and discussions.

For the next event on 16 June we are opening it to the floor and have invited our eclectic audience to suggest short presentations, provocations, activities and discussions…. 

The event is free but please book:

The evening will start with short presentations followed by smaller round table discussions around the room. This way the audience can get a taste of everything and then can contribute to the conversations as they wish.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie King asks how the study of light and astronomy affect our perception of the universe (Artist)  @MelanieKKing

Programme announced for 19 May 2015

London LASER 09
Tuesday 19 May 2015
6.30 – 9.00pm (registration from 6pm)

C202, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, 1 Granary Square,
Kings Cross, London N1C 4AA

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’.

The event is free but please book:

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 will provide 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 will stress the ’social engagement and/or educational’ aspect of their work as a distinguishing element.

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 will discuss 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.

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 will explore 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.

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 will be talking about blurred lines, communities of practice and the role of metaphors in science’s conceptual models.

LASER is a program of evening gatherings, which bring together eclectic guest speakers working at the intersections of art, science and technology. Running successfully in the US for several years, London LASER is the first of the series to take place in Europe. Free of charge and open to the public, London LASER encourages lively discussion in an informal academic setting. London LASER is hosted by University of the Arts London (Central Saint Martins MA Art and Science and LENS) and University of Westminster (Broad Vision art/science research and learning project and CREAM), and chaired by Heather Barnett. LASER is a project of Leonardo® /ISAST (the International Society for Art, Science and Technology).

Programme announced for 17 March at Central Saint Martins

The eighth London LASER hosts Anna Dumitriu on ethical considerations of artists working with bioscience, Nicola Triscott on recent work by Revital Cohen and Tuur Van Balen, and CUBE London resident artists Ideographic on possible correlations between spikes in cultural evolution and the alliance of art and science.

The event is free but please book at:

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.

Programme announced for London LASER – 17 February, University of Westminster

London LASER 07
Tuesday 17 February 2015
6.30 – 9.00pm (registration/drinks from 6pm)
University of Westminster, Fyvie Hall,
309 Regent Street, London W1B 2UW

The seventh London LASER evening of talks at the intersection of art and science hosts interdisciplinary curator and writer Bronac Ferran, scholar and artist Timothy J Senior, and kinetic light sculptor Paul Friedlander, guest chaired by Laura Plana Gracia.

The event is free but booking is required:

Bronac Ferran is a curator, researcher and writer who works at the interfaces between arts, science, technologies and other disciplines. She set up and led the Interdisciplinary Arts Department at Arts Council England until 2007 and established numerous national and international partnerships and initiatives including the Arts Council England/AHRC Art and Science Research Fellowships Programme and the ACE/RSA Arts and Ecology initiative. She has been on juries for Transmediale (2009) and Ars Electronica Hybrid Arts (2009 & 2010) and a Senior Tutor Research at the Royal College of Art. In 2012 she curated ‘Poetry Language Code’ and in 2015 is co-curating ‘Graphic Constellations: Visual Poetry & the Properties of Space’ at the Ruskin Gallery in Cambridge. Her presentation draws on two texts, ‘Mind Over Media’ commissioned by the RCA, FACT and Liverpool University Press in 2013 and ‘Neuromorphobia’ to be published by Archive Books Berlin (ed.Warren Neidich) later this year based on her talk at the ‘Psychopathologies of Cognitive Capitalism’ conference, Goldsmiths, 2014.   @floatingstones

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 Gracia.   @elektronischeAM

Dates for your diaries in 2015

Announcing the 2015 dates for London LASER evenings of talks and discussion at the intersection of art, science and technology…

2015: 17 February / 17 March / 19 May / 16 June / 20 October / 17 November (6-9pm)

More info on speakers to follow, but we kick start the new year on 17 February at Central Saint Martins with a great line up: Bronac FerranPaul Friedlander and Timothy Senior (guest chaired by Laura Gracia). [Booking will open mid January]



Programme for London LASER 06, 18 November, Central Saint Martins

London LASER 06
Tuesday 18 November 2014
7.00 – 9.00pm (registration from 6.30pm)
D115/117, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, 1 Granary Square,
Kings Cross, London

The sixth London LASER evening of talks at the intersection of art and science hosts microbiologist Joanna Verran talking about interdisciplinary collaborations, artist Jennifer Crouch on the abstraction and representation of knowledge, and a self-organising open discussion on cross-disciplinary ‘Transactions’ led by Heather Barnett, artist/educator and London LASER Chair.

The event is free but booking is essential:

Joanna Verran is Professor of Microbiology at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her research focuses on the interactions occurring between microorganisms and inert surfaces. This interdisciplinary work highlighted differences in language and understanding between researchers in different subjects, and encouraged Jo to explore how microbiology and microorganisms are used in their work by colleagues and students from the Manchester School of Art. Jo also encouraged her undergraduate science students to utilise their own creative talents, using arts and the humanities as a vehicle for their own ‘microbiology messages’. Jo’s presentation will describe her learning journey through these various collaborations. @JoVerran

Jennifer Crouch presents ‘A Commentary on Illustrated Models of the Cosmos and the Metaphorisation of Nature’. Having studied Physics and Illustration separately at university Jennifer works as a practicing artist, arts educator and workshop provider. She is a member of the Jiggling Atoms project, a multi-disciplinary project exploring the wonders of physics. Jennifer will talk about representation and abstraction in the process of knowledge creation, i.e. mathematics, simulations, experiments and of the subsequent forms that we use to describe discoveries in turn (from mathematics to metaphors), fostering relationships between the extraordinary cosmology (science) and cosmologies (mythological) that humans think up by virtue of the fact that there is structure as well as mystery and ambiguity in the universe.,

London LASER Chair, Heather Barnett, will lead a self-organising discussion forum on cross-disciplinary ‘Transactions’, stimulated by questions raised by the audience (attendees will be invited to pose questions for discussion prior to the event). The aim of the discussion will be to tease out individual and collective experiences and ‘value’ of working outside of disciplinary bounds. @HeatherABarnett

Please note this event starts slightly later than usual. Registration will be open from 6.30pm, starting at 7pm.

Programme announced for next London LASER, 21 Oct

London LASER 05
Tuesday 21 October 2014
6.30 – 9.00pm (registration/drinks from 6pm)
University of Westminster, Fyvie Hall, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2UW

The next London LASER focuses on people, processes and play, with Anaïs Tondeur and Jean-Marc Chomaz reflecting on their collaboration ‘Lost in Fathoms’, Sally Annett presenting an interactive contemplation, and Liane Fredericks facilitating interdisciplinary interactions. Be prepared to participate!

The event is free but booking is essential:

Lost In Fathoms: A conversation on art and science collaborations at the dawn of the Anthropocene.’ Anaïs Tondeur and Jean-Marc Chomaz will reflect on a year of collaboration which led to the project Lost In Fathoms, an art and science investigation around the disappearance of an Island. This series of installation is exhibited at GV Art Gallery, from October 16th to November 29th, 2014. In one year of research involving the oceanographic international community as well as scientists from the hydrodynamics and geophysical fluids laboratories of Ecole Polytechnique, Ecole Normale Superieure (FR), and Cambridge University (UK), this project set out to investigate the causes that lead Nuuk Island to disappear from the horizon line. Anaïs Tondeur is a visual artist who works and lives in Paris. Jean-Marc Chomaz is Director of Research at the CNRS, Professor at École Polytechnique. ‪@AnaisTondeur

Sally Annett presents ‘Meta-representation, contemplation seats and consciousness – the still small voice’. In speaking and writing we make manifest in the external world an internal concept or comprehension. Human consciousness in its ‘normal’ state can be neurochemically altered and our perceptions of the outside world may change radically. This is a sensory and cognitive illusion, it is not the outside world, which changes, but the chemistry of our brains. We construct our world with languages of different kinds, from an MRI scanner image to a Tarot card, we attempt to create systems and pictures to predict and explain the outside world. This presentation explores the results of a series of arts interventions, which, mirror this process, and through contemplation, explore the use of symbol and number to structure a process of self-reflection. Sally Annett is an artist/producer based in the UK with a specialist interest in the (intercultural) intersections between art, science and religion. ‪@SalAnnettSandL

Liane Fredericks will facilitate a short workshop called ‘Connecting People for Effective Participation’. The original session, presented at Subtle Technologies Festival earlier this year, was based on the premise that there’s a lot of talk, but not enough practise of the adaptive skills needed for effective collaborations. Together, we will touch upon simple and experiential ways of fostering human connections. The aim being to support meaningful innovations – emerging from intentional human interactions, in this case art and science collaborations, and that cannot be created by individuals alone. Liane Fredericks is a facilitator of participatory leadership processes, co-creating experiences that build our capacity to understand and adapt. @lianefredericks

Dates for 2014/15

The London LASER series of art/science talks continues into 2014/15.

The programmes of speakers for October and November events will be confirmed shortly but if you want to get dates in your diaries these are the scheduled dates for the next year:

21 October
18 November
17 February 
17 March 
19 May 
16 June

Events will run on these Tuesday evenings at Central Saint Martins or University of Westminster – venues to be confirmed.

London LASER 04 programme announced

London LASER 04
Tuesday 17 June 2014
6.30 – 9.00pm (registration from 6pm)
University of Westminster, Fyvie Hall, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2UW

The fourth London LASER for 2014 hosts Rob La Frenais in conversation with Los Ferronautas, Cristina Miranda de Almeida on the Internet of Things, and Chris Freemantle on art and science collaborations in medicine and ecology.

The event is free but booking is essential:

Los Ferronautas (Ivan Puig and Andres Padilla Domene) will be in discussion with Rob La Frenais, curator, about their project SEFT-1 Abandoned Railways Exploration Probe: Modern Ruins 1:220. Between 2006 and 2011, the artists travelled across Mexico and Ecuador in the SEFT-1 (Sonda de Exploración Ferroviaria Tripulada or Manned Railway Exploration Probe) exploring Mexico’s abandoned railways: This iconic railway infrastructure now lies in ruins, much of it abandoned due to the privatisation of the railway system in 1995, when many passenger trains were withdrawn, lines cut off and communities isolated. They will discuss how the SEFT-1 vehicle, coming to London in June, works as a ‘transmitter of stories’ about people lives and the way the are affected by infrastructure. The Arts Catalyst and Furtherfield present the project in Finsbury Park opening June 20, more details here:

Cristina Miranda de Almeida holds a European PhD in Art (UPV/EHU, 2005), is Lecturer at the Department of Art and Technology, University of the Basque Country and a Visiting Scholar and external researcher at the Research Programme on Medi@ctions # Digital Culture Group (IN3/UOC), Barcelona.  She is collaborating with SEAD network and Project T₂EIA – Transdisciplinary Telematic Environment for Interactive Arts, with the University Federal of Rio de Janeiro/NANO, with the International Journal of McLuhan Studies and NoemaLab Journal. Her presentation in London Laser will focus on art and the impact of Internet of Things on the production of hybrid materialities and identities.

Chris Fremantle will focus on two current collaborations between arts and sciences: Nil by Mouth is a project involving emerging artists toggling between food producing communities and the Scottish Government’s Strategic Research Programme Environmental Change, Food, Land and People (2013 ongoing).  The second is the residency programme between the MFA Art, Space and Nature at Edinburgh College of Art and the Cardiovascular Sciences Research Group at the Queen’s Medical Research Institute in Edinburgh (2009 ongoing). Chris works as a producer and researcher working with artists (and designers and architects) working in public.  In addition to the projects above, his current work is strategic: working on Scotland’s national public art development programme, and on Design in Action, an AHRC KE Hub, and on the ground: producing the Therapeutic Design and Arts Strategy for the New South Glasgow Hospitals.

LASER is a program of evening gatherings, which bring together eclectic guest speakers working at the intersections of art, science and technology. Running successfully in the US for several years, London LASER is the first of the series to take place in Europe. Free of charge and open to the public, London LASER encourages lively discussion in an informal academic setting.

London LASER is hosted by University of the Arts London (Central Saint Martins MA Art and Science and The Lens) and University of Westminster (Broad Vision art/science research and learning project and CREAM), in association with Leonardo/ISAST (the International Society for Art, Science and Technology). LASER is a project of Leonardo® /ISAST.