Kansas State University


Beach Blog


October 20, 2016, 5:30-8pm
Marianna Kistler Beach Museum
Chaired by Carlos Castellanos

The LASERs are a national program of evening gatherings that bring artists and scientists together for informal presentations and conversation with an audience. Leonardo/ISAST, the DX Media Program and the College of Arts & Sciences at K-State invite you to a meeting of the Leonardo ArtScience community. The event is free and open to the public. The agenda includes some presentations of art/science projects, news from the audience, and time for casual socializing/networking.


5:30 – 5:55pm
John Briggs

Division of Biology, K-State

Title of Presentation: Interaction of Art and Science at Konza Prairie Biological Station: A Brief History

Konza Prairie Biological Station (KPBS) is a 3,487 hectare native tallgrass prairie jointly owned by The Nature Conservancy and Kansas State University (KSU). KPBS is operated as a field research station by the KSU Division of Biology. It is best known as a research station, as since its inception in 1971, scientists conducting studies at KPBS have published over 1,580 scientific papers, over 250 graduate students have received their Masters and/or Ph.D. based on KPBS research, and research currently being conducted at KPBS is supported by more than $28 million dollars in active research grants from federal, state and private sources. However, the arts have been instrumental in the establishment, growth and development of KPBS. In this presentation, I will briefly illustrate how artists have helped KPBS become one of the best known field stations in the world.

5:55 – 6:20

Taryn Hampton

Department of Art, Digital/Experimental Media, K-State

Title of Presentation: Cartographic Explorations Between Physical and Virtual Spaces

People arrive, populating space where they then interact with one another, consume the resources available, and eventually leave. This cycle could refer to either physical spaces in terms of colonization, or to virtual spaces like social media. The similarities between virtual and physical spaces raise questions of how the two realms relate. This talk will summarize my attempts to map these relationships; examples of my own work will be used which conceptually explore non-autonomous journeys, depopulation and obsolescence, and subverting both human behavior and machinated efficiency. I will establish driving as performance, tweeting as a cartographer’s tool and cartography as an artist’s method.

6:20-6:35 – BREAK (networking/socializing)
6:35-6:40 – Community Announcements: After the break, anyone in the audience currently working within the intersections of art and science will have 1 minute to share their work. Please present your work as a teaser so that those who are interested can seek you out during social time following the event.


6:40 – 7:05

Michael Veeman

Division of Biology, K-State

Title of Presentation: It’s not a blueprint: linking genomes to the emergence of shape in developing embryos

DNA is often referred to as the “blueprint of life”, but this is a deeply flawed metaphor given that genomes do not encode scaled drawings of plants and animals. Instead, the characteristic shapes of different body plans result from the complex and finely controlled behaviors of cells acting under the control of elaborate gene regulatory networks. Studying these cell behaviors depends on microscopy and is inherently visual in nature. The dance of cells dividing, migrating and changing shape to give rise to new tissues and organs can be remarkably beautiful, and the inherently multidimensional nature of embryonic development raises interesting questions about how it can best be represented in images and video.


7:05 – 7:30pm

Carlos Castellanos

Department of Art, Digital/Experimental Media, K-State

Title of Presentation: Artistic Explorations of Ecology, Technology and Community in Wuhan, China

This Spring I participated in an 8-week artist residency in Wuhan, China. Sponsored by the K11 Art Foundation (KAF) and Videotage, the residency was part of the 22nd International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA 2016 HK), which was held held in Hong Kong in May. The goal of the residency was to use art to explore alternative models of citizen participation in scientific research and civic involvement. I will provide a brief summary of my activities in Wuhan and discuss future directions for the work.


7:30 – 8pm



Speaker Bios

John M. Briggs is Professor of Biology and Konza Prairie Biological Station (KPBS) Director at Kansas State University (KSU). He received his B.S. and M.S. in Biology from Pittsburg State University (Pittsburg, KS.) and his Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, AR. He was the Information Manager for the KPBS Long Term Ecological Research program at KSU from 1984 to 1998 and co-director of the KPBS LTER from 1990-1998. He served as Program Director of Ecology in the Division of Environmental Biology at the National Science Foundation from 1998-1999. In 1999 he relocated to Arizona State University (ASU), Department of Plant Biology. During his time at ASU, he served as Department Chair of Plant Biology, co-director of the LTER Central Arizona Program and was founding director of ASU GIS Certificate Program. He moved back to KSU to become the first full time director of KPBS in 2008. He has chaired or co-chaired eleven graduate student committees and has served on 46 graduate student committees. He has authored or co-authored over 80 peer-reviewed publications, seven book chapters and one book. As either Principal or Co-Investigator, his research grants have exceeded $22,000,000.00.

Taryn Hampton is a second year MFA student in Kansas State University’s Department of Art, Digital/Experimental Media Lab. She received her BA degree from DePauw University in 2015, majoring in studio art with a focus in sculpture, and minoring in computer science. As an undergraduate, she researched intelligent tutoring systems and mobile game design for the National Science Foundation at North Carolina State University

Michael Veeman is a developmental biologist with broad interests in how genomes encode spatial information. He trained at the University of Alberta (BSc), University of Washington (PhD) and the University of California Santa Barbara (postdoc). Veeman has been an assistant professor in the Division of Biology at KSU since 2011. Work in his lab is supported by both the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

Carlos Castellanos is an interdisciplinary artist and researcher with a wide array of interests such as embodiment, cybernetics, ecology, phenomenology, artificial intelligence and art-science collaboration. He has received a National Science Foundation IGERT Fellowship in Interactive Digital Multimedia and was a California State University Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholar. His artworks have been exhibited at local, national and international events such the International Symposium of Electronic Art (ISEA), SIGGRAPH & ZERO1 San Jose. He is also a founding member of DPrime Research, an art-science nonprofit research organization. Castellanos is Assistant Professor and co-director of the Digital/Experimental Media Lab in the Department of Art, Kansas State University. He holds a Ph.D. from the School of Interactive Arts and Technology (SIAT), Simon Fraser University and an MFA from the CADRE Laboratory for New Media, San Jose State University.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *