Winter 2019 LASER @ UC Davis - Conversations in Art and Science

Winter 2019 LASER @ UC Davis - Conversations in Art and Science

Event Date

Art Annex 107 Main

LASER (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous) Talks

Winter 2019 LASER @ UC Davis - Conversations in Art and Science


The Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous (LASER) talks at UC Davis are presentations that engage the public as participants in conversations with artists, designers, scientists, and technologists making significant contributions to their fields. The talks are designed to encourage unexpected juxtapositions between seemingly unrelated projects, facilitating the interdisciplinary conversations that engage the challenges of the 21st century.


7:30 pm Door

7:45 pm Speaker Presentations

8:30 pm Conversations followed by Rapid Fire Community Sharing (Please bring projects to share.)

(Open and free to the public; Reservations recommended

Scheduled Presentations

Place and/as Music //

Colin Tucker

PhD, Music Composition

University at Buffalo (SUNY)

Independent Curator

Colin Tucker is a curator who works at intersections between music, embodiment, location, and social practice. He develops place-based music events, in which artists attempt to bring musical techniques into conversation with the particularities of a specific location, in order to reveal unexpected perspectives on this place, as well as stretch received musical techniques in unexplored directions. Tucker holds a PhD from the University at Buffalo (SUNY), and has produced events in collaboration with partners including Princeton University, Art Institute of Chicago, Canadian Music Centre, New Music USA, Art Bridges Foundation, and Arts Council Norway.


Dermal Abyss //

Katia Vega

Assistant Professor, Design Department

College of Letters and Science, UC Davis

Katia Vega is an Assistant Professor of Design at UC Davis. She completed a post-doctorate at the MIT Media Lab. Using biosensors, she transforms traditional body modification techniques into interactive skin interfaces. Her project, Dermal Abyss, extends the possibility of biosensors as a Tatooed interface. This project is an award-winning interdisciplinary collaboration with MIT researchers Nick Barry, Viirj Kan and Xin Liu, and Nan Jiang and Ali Yetisen at the Harvard Medical School. Vega is one of the CNET’s 2017 Top 20 Most Influential Latinos in Technology and the winner of the Interactive Innovation Award at the 2018 South by Southwest (SXSW).


Drones and Beans //

Travis Parker

Ph.D. Candidate, Plant Biology Graduate Group

College of Biological Sciences UC Davis

Travis Parker is a biologist and geneticist, Parker uses drones to study what makes a crop competitive against weeds. He has also used drones to evaluate high-yield, disease-resistant bean varieties that can thrive on organic farms. Under the guidance of Professor Paul Gepts, a geneticist at UC Davis, Parker’s work aims to improve the performance and profitability of organic farms by improving legumes like pinto, black and kidney beans, as well as heirloom-like varieties with high culinary quality. Parker’s team recently received a grant from Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, a U.S. Department of Agriculture program that funds innovative projects in agriculture.


Organizer of LASER Talks 08 at UC Davis:  Jiayi Young and Timothy Hyde

Sponsors:  HArCS, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, University of California, Davis 

LASER (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous) Talks is Leonardo's international program of evening gatherings that bring artists and scientists together for informal presentations and conversations. LASER Talks were founded in 2008 by Bay Area LASER Chair Piero Scaruffi and are in over 20 cities around the world. To learn more about how our LASER Hosts and to visit a LASER near you please visit website