Friday, April 13th &

Saturday, April 14th

New Mexico History Museum

Register here!

Sunday April 15th

Tours of Los Alamos

Featured Speakers

Dr. Victoria Vesna is an Artist and Professor at the UCLA Department of Design Media arts and Director of the Art|Sci center at the School for the Arts and California Nanosystems Institute. She has a background in painting but also has a long history with experimental creative research that spans disciplines and technologies. She has investigated how communication technologies affect collective behavior and perceptions of identity shift in creation to scientific innovation. She also has long-term collaborations with composers, nanoscientists, neuroscientists, evolutionary biologists. Victoria has been essential to growing the Art|Sci Center. This California-based initiative has the goal "to pursue, facilitate and promote research and programs that demonstrate the potential of media arts and science collaborations." The Art|Sci Center is home to the Art|Sci Collective, an international group of researchers and creatives that develops projects, workshops, performances, and exhibitions that address social, ethical and environmental issues related to scientific innovations. Art|Sci Center is home to the Art|Sci Collective, an international group of researchers and creatives that develops projects, workshops, performances, and exhibitions that address social, ethical and environmental issues related to scientific innovations.

Dr. Allison Kudla worked as an artist-in-residence and faculty member at the Srishti School of Art, Design, and Technology in Bangalore, India. She currently lives in Seattle, Washington has been working at the Institute for Systems Biology since 2012. Her work has involved looking at the universe as an operating system, finding algorithms embedded in living biological systems and processes and framing them within an artistic context. The Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) is a nonprofit biomedical research organization based in Seattle, Washington. The Institute takes a big data approach to solving complex problems in human health. Their team includes experts in every organ of the human body as well as cross-disciplinary thinkers from a variety of fields. In addition to its vast research efforts, the Institutes also offers annual training in developmental and systems biology to 1,000 K-12 educators.

John (JD) Talasek is the director of Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences (CPNAS), Washington, D.C., which is focused on the exploration of the intersections between science, medicine, technology, and visual culture. Mr. Talasek is creator and moderator for a regular salon called DASER (DC Art Science Evening Rendezvous) held at the NAS and he organizes a similar salon in Austin, Texas (ATX LASER). Additionally, Mr. Talasek serves on the Contemporary Art and Science Committee (CASC) at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. He is the art advisor for Issues in Science and Technology Magazine (jointly published by the National Academies, University of Texas at Dallas and Arizona State University) and is currently the Art and Design Advisor for the 2015 NAKFI Conference scheduled for November 2015 in Irvine, CA.

Dr. Pierre Comizzoli is a staff scientist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI). He develops new projects on gamete and gonadal tissue cryo-banking for rare and endangered species. His comparative research on fertility preservation in various wild and domestic animal species creates interesting bridges with human reproductive health and medicine. Besides conducting research on cutting-edge approaches in fertility preservation and assisted reproduction, Comizzol is also in charge of conservation projects on wild carnivores and ungulates in Northern Africa and in Southeast Asia. Comizzoli also leads the Pan-Smithsonian Cryo-Initiative (PSCI) which aims at improving the management and use of biomaterial repositories within SCBI.

Comizzoli has worked as a veterinarian in French Guyana and in the African Sahelo-Saharan region. He also has a master’s degree from the University of Paris VI and doctoral degree from the University of Tours on reproductive biotechnologies in bovine and deer species. During his doctoral studies, he described an original effect of the paternal component on early embryo development in both species, and produced in vitro the first transferable embryos in red deer and Japanese sika deer.

Dr. Chris Kempes is a Professor the Santa Fe Institute. Chris generally focuses his work on biological architecture—which may include phenomena ranging from explicit biological morphology to metabolic and genetic network structure—as an intermediate between organism physiology and environmental conditions. Mathematical and physical theories lie at the heart of his methodologies to predict how evolution has shaped architecture and how this, in turn, forms a foundation for reliable predictions of environmental response and interaction. His work spans the scales of genetic information architecture to the morphology of microbial individuals and communities to the regional variation of plant traits and their feedback with climate and available resources. In so doing, he aims to connect these first-order trends to the limitations imposed by environments in order to predict specific evolutionary events and consequences. Several collaborations with experimentalists and theorists have led to models that inform experiments and assimilate empirical data in fields including single-cell experimental biology and forest dynamics.

Miguel A. Tórrez is a Research Technologist at Los Alamos National Laboratory working in Material Science. He earned his BS in Environmental Science from Northern New Mexico College. Tórrez also serves as the administrator of the New Mexico Genealogical Society’s (NMGS DNA Project) DNA project. A few works include:

  • Currently collaborating with UNM and the Pueblo de Abiquiú Library & Cultural Center on a DNA and Ethnography project regarding the Genízaros of Abiquiú.
  • January 2018, was featured in a New York Times article, Indian Slavery Once Thrived In New Mexico. Latinos Are Finding Family Ties To It.
  • Contributor on the forthcoming book, Genizaro Nation: Ethnogenesis, Place, and Identity in New Mexico.

Dr. Amanda Barry is a Scientist in Bioscience Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Within the Bioenergy and Biome Sciences Group, Dr. Barry’s primary research focus is in algal biochemistry and the genetic manipulation of algae for economical biofuel production. Her current research program is funded through a LANL Laboratory Directed Research and Development Early Career Research award.

In 2015 and 2016, Dr. Barry served as a Technology Development Manager in support of the Advanced Algal Systems program in the Bioenergy Technologies Office within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the Department of Energy (DOE). At DOE, she helped to inform governmental research strategies and co-authored the National Algal Biofuels Technology Review. Dr. Barry continues to serve as Technical Lead for the verification of BETO-funded project technical performance.


Andrew Thomas is a contemporary Dineh (Navajo Nation) flute player. He gives thanks to his extended family: Haltsooí Diné’e (maternal)—Meadow People Clan, Bit’ahníí (paternal)—Folded Arms Clan, Kin Yaa’áanii (maternal grandparents)—Towering House Clan, and Tsé Nahabilnii (paternal grandparents)—Over Hanging Rock Clan. He was born and raised in Rock Spring Chapter near Gallup, New Mexico. He is self-taught, and plays music composed from the heart. He has chosen the flute’s voice to express his way of life, heritage and culture.

The flute provided him the opportunity to create the music and narration for a video documentary about male Navajo weavers entitled Men Who Weave. He feels fortunate that his music has allowed him to travel widely, both nationally and internationally. He has performed all over the United States, including the Indian Summer Festival in Milwaukee, the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Ute Mountain Casino, and over 10 years at the American Indian Powwow Gathering in Hawaii. He has performed in Mexico, Peru, South Korea, and throughout Europe, including Sweden where he had a story published in the book, They Call Us “Indians”. He was also the first Native American artist to play at the World Performing Arts Festival in Lahore. He was honored to perform for the president of Pakistan, as well.

Dr. Patrick Neher will perform a digital/acoustic musical hybrid at I Love Life.

Patrick grew up in Los Alamos then traveled the world for 40 years performing and teaching. For 28 years, he was Professor of Music at the University of Arizona. He has received numerous awards for his musical compositions which focus on chamber, orchestral, and modern dance music. Patrick is a highly innovative music teacher and collaborator, and has been awarded two diplomas from the Rabbath Institute in Paris, France. Patrick Neher presently serves as the Executive Director of the Los Alamos Arts Council.

Roundtable Guests

Amy Pilling is a permaculture designer, educator and artist living in Santa Fe. She is creating the Life Arts Laboratory (LAL), a mobile and modular biology laboratory for artists and researchers who work with or are inspired by biological organisms and processes. LAL will reside in a pop-up trailer small enough that it can be towed into the field, or driven inside of buildings and used for research, exhibition, or education. LAL sprung from the need for ready access to facilities normally only available in limited fashion through universities or private laboratories. Upon completion, Amy will use LAL for collaborative projects and artworks incorporating fungal mycelium, slime molds, red harvester ants, honeybees and other organisms that live or function in collectives or eusociality, or are superorganisms. LAL will be available to other artists for research or exhibition. The idea for LAL emerged during the 2017 Santa Fe Art Institute’s water rights residency program in association with The Myco-planning Network, a collaboration with Stephanie Rothenberg using agent-based modeling and the problem-solving abilities of slime mold to examine hunger, equity and food distribution in New Mexico. LAL was funded by The Fulcrum Fund of 516 ARTS in partnership with The Regional Regranting Program of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Additional Speakers and Events

LASER Santa Fe

Friday, April 13th 6:30pm

Santa Fe Art Institute

1600 St Michaels Dr, Santa Fe, NM 87505

Ana MacArthur will present her work at Santa Fe Art Institute and will be featured at our evening of science and art--LASER Santa Fe. This is part of an international series of talks sponsored by Leonardo/ISAST.

Ana MacArthur’s history of working with light, light-based technologies, and biological fieldwork aims to understand key functions of light as utilized by organisms and to integrate those observations as ecological and metaphorical transformers while increasing the human/ non-human co-mingling. Based in Santa Fe but traveling for research, her cross-disciplinary practice-based research has collaboratively engaged scientists in solar innovation, photonics, behavioral biology, ceramic/ glass engineering, and materials science.

She is a pioneer in dichromate (DCG) holography and co-founder of a DCG lab for 20 years located in Santa Fe, NM. A 2008 - 2012 exchange with Dr. Pete Vukusic, a physicist at the University of Exeter, UK, culminated in a residency at his lab to research and produce artistic outcomes from the nano-architecture on the wings of several species of blue morpho butterflies. In 2017 she was awarded a fellowship with Dr. Markus Buehler at MIT, an international expert in multi-scale modeling and properties of spider silk, and she continues collaborations with his PhD’s exploring the biomimetic properties of specific organisms. In early 2000’s, Sandia National Laboratories hired her as part of the New Mexico Optics and Photonics Education Ladder, the first in the world, with intent to educate from middle school to university about unfolding photonics technologies.


Public Schedule