Category Archives: Tech/Science

Mitch Altman

Mitch Altman

Mitch Altman is a San Francisco-based hacker and inventor, best known for inventing TV-B-Gone remote controls, a keychain that turns off TVs in public places.  He was also co-founder of 3ware, a successful Silicon Valley startup in the late 1990s, and did pioneering work in Virtual Reality in the mid-1980s.  He has contributed to MAKE Magazine and other magazines, and wrote a chapter for “Maker Pro”, a book about making a living from projects one loves.  For the last several years Mitch has been giving talks, and leading workshops around the world, teaching people to make cool things with microcontrollers and teaching everyone to solder.  He promotes hackerspaces and open source hardware, and mentors others wherever he goes. He is a co-founder of Noisebridge hackerspace in San Francisco, and is President and CEO of Cornfield Electronics.

The book mentioned in the interview is:  “Life Inc.:  How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take It Back“, by Douglas Rushkoff.

Kal at work on our Split Brain Robotics project — a brainwave controlled pair of robots, where participants try to make them kiss each other.

Sidney Perkowitz

sidney-4Sidney Perkowitz was born in New York City, attended college at Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute (now the NYU Tandon School of Engineering), and earned his doctorate in physics at the University of Pennsylvania.

As Charles Howard Candler Professor of Physics at Emory University, he produced over 100 research papers and books. Now as Professor Emeritus, he presents science for non-scientists in books (Empire of Light, Universal Foam and Universal Foam 2.0, Digital People, Hollywood Science, Slow Light, and Hollywood Chemistry) which have been translated into seven languages and Braille; hardcopy and web articles in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, New Scientist, Leonardo, Discover, Encyclopedia Britannica, Aeon, Quo, Los Angeles Review of Books, JSTOR Daily, and elsewhere; and theatrical works produced in Atlanta, New York, and Chicago. His latest book Frankenstein 2018 will be published in 2018, the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s classic story.

He has appeared on CNN, NPR, the BBC and other outlets. He discusses science and art, science in the media, the science of food, and other popular topics at venues such as NASA, Microsoft, the American Museum of Natural History, the High Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Institution, the Atlanta Science Festival, and various café scientifiques. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and in 2015, received a Lifetime Achievement award from the Society for Literature, Science and the Arts.


Kapoor’s application of Vantablack


Vantablack, detail

Michaela Wüensch​

stillpoint1Michaela Wünsch has taught Media Studies at Universität Wien, Freie Universität and Humboldt Universität in Berlin, Universität Potsdam, and University of California Riverside. From 2012-2015 she conducted a research project on repetition in psychoanalysis and television as Marie-Curie-Fellow at UC Riverside, UCLA and Universität Potsdam. She is a founding member of the publishing collective b_books and serves as the president of the Psychoanalytic Library Berlin, a space for psychoanalytic research and practice.

Publications include Im inneren Außen. Der Serienkiller als Medium des Unbewussten (Berlin: Kadmos, 2010), the edited volumes Angst. Lektüren zu Jacques Lacans Seminar X  (Wien: Turia+Kant, 2012) and Techniken angst_coverder Übereinkunft. Zur Medialität des Politischen (Berlin: Kadmos, 2009, with H. Blumentrath, K. Rothe, S. Werkmeister, and B. Wurm); FeMale HipHop. Realness, Roots und Rap Models (Mainz: Ventil 2007, with Anjela Schischmanjan), and Outside. Ein Reader zur Politik queerer Räume (Berlin: b_books 2005, with Matthias Haase and Marc Siegel).

Science and Psychoanalysis: Entropy from Freud to Lacan

The aim of this project is to analyse the status of science, and especially of physics and mathematics, in psychoanalysis. The project argues that the use of sciendiss_covertific models and theories by the psychoanalysts Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) and Jacques Lacan (1901-1981) did not constitute an effort to establish psychoanalysis as a science, but has to be considered a reflection of the scientific discourses prevalent during their respective lifetimes and furthermore as an intervention into science which aimed to modify the concept of ‘science’ itself. Psychoanalysis has always been situated at the margins of the sciences and humanities: its status was questioned from the beginning; the speculative character of Freud’s and Lacan’s writings violate and provoke scientific norms while deliberately risking failure within disciplinary boundaries. Nonetheless, the project wagers that Freud’s and Lacan’s interest in science and especially in the notion of entropy in thermodynamics offers a possibility to think the real. As Geneviève Morel suggests, science ‘is concerned with the real, and even more precisely, with finding some knowledge in the real’. What is called ‘entropy’ in thermodynamics as well as in information theory promises a possibility for measuring contingency and probability and is therefore of interest for a psychoanalytic approach to what is called the ‘real’ in psychoanalysis. The question is not if there is anything scientific about the ‘babbling practice’, but if psychoanalysis uses formal science, its calculative thinking, in form of scientific-style formalizations, topology and algebra to discover logic in the illogical (Adrian Johnston), to develop a materialist theory of subjectivity, or to grasp the moment in the singular analytic experience where the subject evades scientific logic.

Erich Knoespel

11707858_10153467579079192_785273633255116875_nErich Knoespel has been around the foundry since he was very young. As of November 2013 he has been working full time at the family business Artcast Inc. as the Special Projects Coordinator. Artcast has been around for over 50 years.

Starting in 1964 as Mid-Canadian Investment Castings their focus was on precision and quality lost-wax industrial castings. In 1979 Artcast Inc. split off from the original business and focussed solely on Investment casting for the fine-art industry. Artcast is considered Canada’s Premier Art Foundry. Today, Artcast still produces high-quality castings for the fine-art industry as well as architectural elements, 3D printed applications, and restoration work.

Lynn Gamwell

LynnGamwell-photoLynn Gamwell teaches the history of art, science, and mathematics at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Her books include Dreams 1900-2000: Science, Art, and the Unconscious Mind (Cornell, 2000), which was awarded the Gradiva Prize (for “Best Historical Writing”) by the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis.

She has described the impact of science on modern art, Exploring the Invisible: Art, Science, and the Spiritual (Princeton, 2002), which was an Editor’s Choice of Scientific American and named a “Book of the Year” by George Steiner for The Times Literary Supplement.

Her most recent book is Mathematics + Art: A Cultural History (Princeton, 2016).

Oron Catts

ocOron Catts is the Director of SymbioticA, The Centre of Excellence in Biological Arts, School of Anatomy, Physiology and Human Biology, The University of Western Australia.

He is also a Visiting Professor of Contestable Design, Royal College of Arts, London, and a Visiting Professor at the School of Art, Design and Architecture, Aalto University, Helsinki.

He is an artist, designer, researcher and curator whose pioneering work with the Tissue Culture and Art Project (established in 1996) is considered a leading biological art project. In 2000 he co-founded SymbioticA. Under Catts’ leadership SymbioticA has gone on to win the Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica in Hybrid Art (2007) the WA Premier Science Award (2008) and became a Centre for Excellence in 2008.

In 2009 Catts was recognised by Thames & Hudson’s “60 Innovators Shaping our Creative Future” book in the category “Beyond Design”, and by Icon Magazine (UK) as one of the top 20 Designers, “making the future and transforming the way we work”.

Catts interest is Life; more specifically the shifting relations and perceptions of life in the light of new knowledge and it applications. Often working in collaboration with other artists (mainly Dr. Ionat Zurr) and scientists, Catts have developed a body of work that speaks volumes about the need for new cultural articulation of evolving concepts of life.

Catts was a Research Fellow in Harvard Medical School, a visiting Scholar at the Department of Art and Art History, Stanford University. Catts’ ideas and projects reach beyond the confines of art; his work is often cited as inspiration to diverse areas such as new materials, textiles, design, architecture, ethics, fiction, and food.


Victimless Leather- A Prototype of Stitch-less Jacket grown in a Technoscientific “Body”, Artists: The Tissue Culture & Art (Oron Catts & Ionat Zurr) Medium: Biodegradable polymer skin and bone cells from human and mouse, Dimension of original: variable, 2004

semi living steak01

‘Tissue Engineered Steak No.1’ 2000 A study for “Disembodied Cuisine” Artists: The Tissue Culture & Art (Oron Catts, Ionat Zurr & Guy Ben-Ary), Medium: Pre-Natal sheep skeletal muscle and degradable PGA polymer scaffold. 2000 Explanatory information: This was the first attempt to use tissue engineering for meat production without the need to slaughter animals.

Jeff Talman

jtInternational artist Jeff Talman has created installations with the sound of the stars and the Sun, with the polymetric rhythms of pulsars, the hum of the Earth, the sound of the ocean’s depths, and that of a single kiss. His installations, often collaborations with scientists, have been presented in Cathedral Square, Cologne, Germany; the MIT Media Lab, The Kitchen, St James Cathedral in Chicago, Eyebeam and others including four installations in the Bavarian Forest. Recent installations were in Marc Straus Gallery, NYC (2013), at St Paul’s Chapel at Columbia University (2014), and in Rothko Chapel, Houston (2014) in collaboration with Dr. Daniel Huber, an astrophysicist with NASA.

Cited by Intute at Oxford University as a ‘pioneer of the use of resonance in artworks,’ his major achievement is the +15 year exploration of reflexive resonance, a process he developed in which ambient resonance of an installation site becomes the installation’s sound source. Talman’s installation Vanishing Point 1.1 (1999) first used this process and The New York Times, Wired Magazine and other publications soon noted the installations. Awards include artist residencies internationally and New York Foundation for the Arts and Guggenheim Foundation fellowships.

Listen to samples of his sounds here.  Watch videos with sound by clicking here.  The Rothko Chapel mini-doc examines the production of the installation, watch it here.

Come to the upcoming sound installation, When Soaring Sings.

Joe Davis

vitruvian_joe_recropJoe Davis  is a research affiliate in the Department of Biology at MIT, and a scientist/artist at  George Church Laboratory at Harvard Medical School. His research and art includes work in the fields of molecular biology, bioinformatics, “space art”, and sculpture, using media including but not limited to centrifuges, radios, prosthetics, magnetic fields, and genetic material. Davis’ teaching positions have been at MIT and the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).

Davis’ works include the sculpture Earth Sphere, a landmark fog fountain at Kendall Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts, near the MIT campus; RuBisCo Stars, a transmission of a message to nearby stars from the Arecibo Observatory radiotelescope in Puerto Rico, carried out in November 2009; New Age Ruby Falls, a project to 2013create an artificial aurora using a 100,000 watt electron beam fired into the magnetosphere from a NASA space shuttle (which has not yet been carried out); and Microvenus, a piece of symbolic art involving engineering the genetic code of a microbe.

His work has further significance in documenting and critiquing early attempts at steganographic encoding of culturally important messages and images for future generations or extraterrestrial cultures. Additionally, Davis has contributed to projects associated with the DIYbio movement of 2008.

Tyler Barstow


Tyler is the Co-Founder of Vinyl Me, Please a vinyl record club, and spends his time listening to way too much music and searching for the perfect sandwich.

Twitter account @vinylmeplease and @tylerbarstow.

Learn more by listening to the interview and understanding how this relatively new Vinyl club works and what makes Tyler do what he does.

Barbra Drizin

Barbra demystifies social media for the “not-so-tech-savy.” Her goal is to make you comfortable and competent in the virtual world.

Start From Scratch Social Media focuses on education, implementation, and social media management. Barbara especially enjoys working with artists and authors.

To learn more about her services and how to reach her, click here.