Institute of Arts and Sciences third LASER talk on Jan. 28

LASER poster-image of moray eel by Rita Mehta
(image of moray eel by Rita Mehta)

UCSC’s Institute of the Arts and Sciences will present its third “LASER” talk on Tuesday, January 28, beginning at 6:45 p.m. in the Digital Arts Research Center (DARC building, Room 108).

The Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous (LASER) is a national program of evening gatherings that bring artists, scientists, and scholars together for informal presentations and conversations.  

The goal of the series is to feature compelling new developments in the arts and sciences, and to attract audiences that would not normally be found at the same gathering.

The January 28 event will include presentations by media artist
 Jeanne C. Finley ("On-Site: The Locus Between Public and Private");
 UCSC assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology Rita Mehta ("When Life Imitates Science Fiction"),
 UCSC professor of film and digital media Warren Sack ("Using Software (Art) to See the World"); and UCSC environmental studies professor Erika Zavaleta ("Conserving Nature's Services in An Age of Extinction").

 “We’ve had very strong attendance at our first two LASERs,” noted John Weber, founding director of UCSC’s Institute of the Arts and Sciences. “There’s clearly a lot of interest here in the exchange of ideas between people working in the arts and others working in the sciences.”

“I’ve been really pleased at the strength of our speakers so far, and in the blend of ideas and images that we had,” Weber added. “This format, with four 20-minute talks, moves along rapidly. It makes for a lively evening.”

Jeanne C. Finley is a media artist who works in experimental and documentary forms including film, photography, installation, Internet, and site-specific public works. Her work has been exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, New York Museum of Modern Art, and the George Pompidou Center.

Rita Mehta, an assistant professor in ecology and evolutionary biology at UCSC, explores morphological, physiological, and behavioral evolution.

Warren Sack, a professor of film and digital media, is a software designer and media theorist whose work explores theories and designs for online public space. His field of expertise is social computing.

Erika Zavaleta, a professor of environmental studies, focuses on the drivers and consequences of changing biological diversity and the role of ecology in guiding effective conservation practice.

Admission is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be available prior to the presentations, which begin at 7 pm.

For more information, contact the Institute of the Arts and Sciences at

This event is presented by UCSC's Institute of the Arts and Sciences and the Division of the Arts.