1. Ellen Esrock: Touching Words & Images


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    Rensselaer professor Ellen Esrock researches the effect that our sense of touch, temperature, body position, and pain has on our perceptions of visual art and literature. In this talk, she explores how spectators and readers use their own body to reshape the boundary between themselves and an imagined fictional world. This softening of boundaries permits readers and viewers to immerse themselves in worlds outside of their own and to locate these worlds within the self. Touch, as part of the somatosensory system, functions along with the viscerosensory and motor systems to deepen our emotions and cognitions of these blended realities. Curator: Emily Zimmerman http://empac.rpi.edu/events/2014/spring/detail-view/ellen-esrock

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    • Seth Lloyd: Programming the Universe


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      385 Plays / / 0 Comments

      In the traditional scientific account, the universe is composed of matter and energy. However, there is another key ingredient: information. Every atom and elementary particle carries with it bits of information, and when two atoms collide, those bits flip. The universe computes. The history of the universe is an intricate dance in which energy and information twirl and entwine. By understanding how and why the universe computes, we gain insight into the nature of reality itself. Dr. Seth Lloyd was the first person to develop a realizable model for quantum computation and is working with a variety of groups to construct and operate quantum computers and quantum communication systems. Dr. Lloyd’s interests include the application of information theory to physical systems, quantum coherence in photosynthesis, and the characterization of complex systems. He is the author of over 100 scientific papers, and of Programming the Universe, (Knopf, 2004). Dr. Lloyd is a professor of mechanical engineering at MIT, and an adjunct faculty member at the Santa Fe Institute. He is currently the director of the W.M. Keck Center for Extreme Quantum Information Theory (xQIT) at MIT. Curator: Emily Zimmerman http://empac.rpi.edu/events/2014/spring/other-words/seth-lloyd

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      • Johannes Goebel: Language and Art and Language


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        255 Plays / / 0 Comments

        A talk about how words and art are bonded and yet separate. The point of departure for this talk: without language there is no art. And: art is not congruent with language. And: certainly art can be made with words. Once there was language, there was religion. Art, any kind of art, was only possible once we had language and were wondering about the meaning of life. Art can be a sword that cuts through language. Art can let us experience that there is something beyond language, beyond right and wrong, beyond yesterday and tomorrow. There is a lot of talking and thinking before art is made. There is a lot of speaking after experiencing art. There is a lot of past and a lot of future outside of an artwork, which in turn shapes how the work appears and approaches us and how we approach it. A work of art can only be alive in the moment when we experience it. Language is always good for past and future. When we talk or write and reflect and ponder on art, we are outside of the experience. Which is just fine – but different. This lecture was written for the exhibition “So to speak”, curated by Emily Zimmerman in the Arts Center of the Capital Region, Troy, NY, USA. It was delivered at the Arts Center on March 21, 2013. This video version was recorded on June 18, 2013 at EMPAC at Renssealaer.

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        • Johannes Goebel: About Differences: Arts, Science, Engineering


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          92 Plays / / 0 Comments

          Engineering, science, and art are often seen as having common ground. This is fed by a romantic view of Leonardo da Vinci, the genius who brought these disciplines together in his mind, life, and practice, and by an enthusiastic view of computer technology that continuously provides new scenarios and tools, which are used in all three fields. This lecture does not go along with the idea of putting everything into one bag and shaking it before deep-frying the mixture, but instead gives a perspective on the differences of the three fields in their motivations, methodologies, and goals. And out of a clear and respectful view of differences, a potential for collaboration and cross-pollination might evolve. April 4, 2013 A talk by Johannes Goebel http://empac.rpi.edu/events/2013/spring/johannes-goebel

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