LASER Talks: Adaptation and Bodies in Context

Laser Talks Helsinki Espoo Aalto University

In this Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous (LASER) talk organized in Aalto University, the discussants will relate to the theme of ADAPTATION / BODIES with critical questions concerning human evolution and the future of the planet.

Presenters: Pauliina Ilmonen, Adam Zaretsky and Cristina Zaga 28.1.2021 18:00 – 20:00 EET. Check your timezone! The event will be moderated by Laura Beloff, Associate Professor of Visual Culture and Artistic Practices at Aalto.

Some of the questions to be discussed are:

  • In what ways are we (humans) as a species able to adapt to the changes in our habitat and environment? And what does that imply?
  • Are there ways to devise positive strategies (artistic, scientific or other) to transform the acute “shocks” and chronic “stresses” in the global system to not only adapt, but redirect its trajectory?
  • In which situations adaptation becomes problematic and leads to unexpected consequences?
  • How are pandemics affecting societies and changing our relation to bodies; own and others’? 

Presentations will be followed by a discussion between the speakers, and the Zoom audience can ask questions. We invite everyone to join, who are interested to share projects, discuss issues, network, and collaborate together. The LASER Talk is always free and open to the public. Please note that the event will be recorded.

Partners: Aalto University and Leonardo/The International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology (Leonardo/ISAST)

Pauliina Ilmonen Assistant Professor in Statistics

About the speakers

Pauliina Ilmonen, Assistant Professor in Statistics, Aalto University

Pauliina Ilmonen is a researcher from the field of mathematical statistics and member of COVID-19 scientific expert groups.

Her talk addresses humans, senses, and the messages that we send and receive. 

Ph.D. Adam Zaretsky

Dr. Adam Zaretsky, Professional Lecturer of Media Arts

Adam Zaretsky has been long working with microbes, insects and plants as creative agents.

In his presentation, he will consider Contagion, Cures, Containment and Contact – from an uncanny perspective. 

Assistant professor Cristina Zaga from University of Twente, the Netherlands

Cristina Zaga, Assistant professor, University of Twente, the Netherlands

Cristina Zaga, working at the intersection of robotics and responsible design. Cristina was selected as Google Women TechMaker Scholar 2018 for her research quality and her efforts to make STEM more inclusive to women and children.

She is going to speak on how the body is becoming robotic by virtue of communicating through screens, and the implications of using robotic technology in a pandemic.

Aalto University joined the list of LASER Talks hosts in 2020. During COVID-19, we will convene online, and the programme of the future talks will be announced in 2021. The aim is to organise 2-4 LASER Talks every year at Aalto. If you are interested in giving a LASER Talk at Aalto, please send an abstract to [email protected]i.

LASER Talks series at Aalto University is organised by:

  • Laura Beloff, Professor of Visual Culture and Artistic Practices
  • Pia Fricker, Professor of Practice, Computational Methodologies in Landscape Architecture and Urbanism
  • Ksenia Kaverina, Doctoral Candidate in the School of Arts, Design and Architecture
  • Kirsi Peltonen, Senior University Lecturer in the Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis
  • Nitin Sawhney, Professor of Practice in the Department of Computer Science, and
  • Koray Tahiroğlu, Academy Research Fellow in the Department of Media.

The mission of LASER is to encourage contribution to the cultural environment of a region by fostering interdisciplinary dialogue and opportunities for community building to over 40 cities worldwide.

International LASER Talks series will start January 28, 2021

LASER Talks are an initiative launched by Leonardo/The International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology. Aalto University joined the list of LASER Talks hosts in 2020, and the January event will be the first-ever held in Finland.

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LASER Talks at Espoo/Helsinki. Leonardo Arts Science Evening Rendezvous
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