Leonardo Art & Science Evening Rendezvous (LASER) is an international program bringing together artists, scientists, and scholars for presentations and conversations. LASER talks are a program of the Leonardo International Society for Art, Science, and Technology (ISAST). On March 12, LASER will be coming to Rio Theater and will feature stimulating performances and presentations by theater and opera director Marianne Weems, astrophysicist Alexie Leauthaud, poet Ronaldo Wilson, and documentary filmmaker Jennifer Maytorena Taylor.
Rio concessions opens at 6:30 pm. Come mingle with speakers before talks begin at 7 p.m. This event is FREE and open to the public.
Marianne Weems, "'Liveness' in a digital world"
Alexie Leauthaud, "Journey to a Universe of Darkness"
Ronaldo Wilson, "Persona, Melody, Mask"
Jennifer Maytorena Taylor, "Beyond Red and Blue, Documentary Storytelling in Polarized Times"
Marianne Weems is a director of theater and opera and the artistic director of the Obie award-winning New York-based performance and media company The Builders Association, known internationally as a leader in theatrical innovation, interdisciplinary stage performance, and the use of digital technology. In addition to twenty years of work with her company, she has collaborated with other artists including Diller+Scofidio, Taryn Simon, the Wooster Group, David Byrne, Susan Sontag, and many others. She is a professor in Theater Arts at UC Santa Cruz, where her new multi-media theater production, STRANGE WINDOW: The Turn of the Screw had its West Coast premiere in the fall of 2018 before opening at the Brooklyn Academic of Music last December in the Next Wave Festival.
Alexie Leauthaud is an observational cosmologist and professor in the Astronomy and Astrophysics Department at UC Santa Cruz. The core of her research focuses on understanding the interplay between the dark and bright universe. Her research areas include dark matter and galaxy formation; the distribution of dark matter in the universe; and the evolution of dark energy. Her primary area of expertise is weak gravitational lensing: the deflection of light from distant galaxies by intervening gravitational potentials. She is a Packard Fellow and an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, and has received fellowships at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and the Kavli Institute for Physics and Mathematics of the Universe in Toyko. Her work is also supported by the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy Office of Science Early Career Research Program Award.
Ronaldo V. Wilson, PhD, is the author of Narrative of the Life of the Brown Boy and the White Man (University of Pittsburgh, 2008), winner of the 2007 Cave Canem Prize., Poems of the Black Object (Futurepoem Books, 2009), winner of the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry and the Asian American Literary Award in Poetry in 2010. His latest books are Farther Traveler: Poetry, Prose, Other (Counterpath Press, 2015), a finalist for a Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry, and Lucy 72 (1913 Press, 2018). Co-founder of the Black Took Collective, Wilson is also a mixed media artist, dancer, and performer. He is Associate Professor of Creative Writing and Literature at U.C. Santa Cruz, serving on the core faculty of the Creative Critical PhD Program, and co-directing the Creative Writing Program.
Jennifer Maytorena Taylor’s new, in-progress, feature documentary, The Gut (working title), follows the lives of several intersecting but very different characters in a small rural, New England town struggling to emerge from the opioid epidemic as it also deals with Syrian refugee resettlement. What does, and doesn’t, change when white, rural Americans see themselves in “the other?” Taylor’s award-winning work has shown at the Sundance, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Locarno Film Festivals, among others, at the New York Museum of Modern Art, and been broadcast on PBS, Sundance Channel, Al Jazeera, and NHK-Japan. She is an Associate Professor of Social Documentation and Film and Digital Media, and Director of Graduate Studies of the Social Documentation MFA Program at UC Santa Cruz.