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Leonardo/ISAST LASER Talks are a program of international gatherings that bring artists, scientists, humanists and technologists together for informal presentations, performances and conversations with the wider public. The mission of LASER is to encourage contribution to the cultural environment of a region by fostering interdisciplinary dialogue and opportunities for community building.

Aalto University joined the list of LASER Talks hosts in 2020. During COVID-19 pandemic, we will convene online, and the program will be announced continuously throughout 2021.


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, Visual Culture
Kirsi Peltonen, Senior University Lecturer in the Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis
Nitin Sawhney, Professor of Practice in the Department of Computer Science
Koray Tahiroğlu, Academy Research Fellow in the Department of Media

Aalto University | 
Leonardo/ISAST | 

Laser Talks banner in pink and red with geometric artwork behind the Laser logo
Graphic design: Aliina Kauranne

LASER in 2021: Adaptation

The cross-cutting theme of 2021 is Adaptation: it is approached in every LASER Talk at Aalto through a new constellation of questions and participants. The presenters that we have so far invited were artists, researchers, practitioners and entrepreneurs, working in disciplines like mathematics, visual arts, urban geography, machine learning, robotics, architecture etc. In line with the original idea of the LASER Talks as international and transdisciplinary gatherings, panelists are encouraged to speak to wider audiences, and to be provocative in their 10-15 minute presentations. 

LASER Talks Archive

Adaptation and Bodies in Context

January 28th, 2021 | 18:00–20:00 (Finland)
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A poster with a pink background with text stating the three speakers and moderator for Adaptation and Bodies in Context LASER talk
Graphic design: Aliina Kauranne

Critical questions concerning human evolution and the future of the planet were at the center of the first LASER Talk at Aalto: 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? How are pandemics affecting societies and changing our relation to bodies; own and others’? 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?

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Adaptation and Bodies in Context – Speakers

Adaptation and Space

April 29th, 2021 | 18:00–20:00 (Finland)
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Banner for Adaptation and Space, second laser talk. Speakers names are in a black font in front of a geometrical image in pink and red tones
Original image: Sensual Mathematics, final exhibition of the course Crystal Flowers in Halls of Mirrors. Henri Vogt, Aalto University. Graphic design: Aliina Kauranne

What is space - in a time marked by massive environmental, societal, political challenges and technological development? Can we agree on what space is? And what does it mean to adapt? The panelists in this talk discussed different views on the concepts, definitions and interpretations of space and of spatiality, as well as the means to intervene into that world with our day-to-day practices.

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Adaptation and Space – Speakers

Adaptation and Interconnected Agencies

September 9th, 2021 | 17:00–18:30 (Finland)

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Original photo: Laura Beloff. Graphic design: Federico Simeoni

Presentations and an interactive discussion about the transformation of the Arctic imposed by climate change on geopolitical and environmental levels with the artist Kaisu Koivisto, researcher in Arctic identities and politics Ingrid A.Medby, designer and doctoral researcher Emilia Tikka, and Jukka Tuhkuri, professor of ice mechanics at Aalto University.

Part of Garden LEONARDO LASER: [Anti]disciplinary Topographies in Ars Electronica and Designs for Cooler Planet program, Helsinki Design Week

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Adaptation and Interconnected Agencies - Speakers

General information and speaker proposals

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