Leonardo/ISAST explores Nostalgia and Artificial Intelligence

May 1, 2018 · 6 min read

At the CODAME ART+TECH Festival [2018]

The sight reminds me of our stupid fights. I miss them so much! Nostalgia and other things AI can’t replace.

What are the artistic attributes of Artificial Intelligence? How do they assist, produce, deprive, or mimic human memory, creativity, and the artist’s soul? Artists are using AI in collaboration, but can that replace the necessary growth that comes out of struggle, conflict and failure? How does AI understand nostalgic moments, triggered senses and memory? Can we capture the sounds and music that defined our adolescence through the assistance of neural networks?

Explore this questions June 6th (Wednesday), 1.30pm-2.30pm in a panel at the CODAME ART+TECH Festival [2018], moderated by Danielle Siembieda with Raphael Arar, ✩ evo heyning ∞, Scot Gresham-Lancaster and James Morgan

As the founder of Art Inspector: Saving the Earth by Changing Art, Danielle Siembieda has turned this social practice project into a business acquiring funding from Silicon Valley Energy Watch and working with the City of San Francisco Department of Environment to help artists work healthier and safer. She defines her art at “Alter-Eco Art” bridging Eco-Art practice and New Media focusing on intersection of environment, technology and community. Danielle Siembieda is the Managing Director of Leonardo/The International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology (Leonardo/ISAST). As an active leader in the art, science, and technology community, she has served on the board of the Women Eco Art Dialogue and held the leadership role as Communications Director of Emerging Arts Professionals. She has served the art & tech community with multiple roles including Community Engagement Manager for ZERO1: The Art & Technology Network; Co-Project Manager of the San Jose Climate Clock Initiative; Managing Editor of SWITCH the online Journal of New Media (no longer in publication); and member of the San Jose Public Art Advisory Committee. Siembieda has an MFA in Digital Media Art at San Jose State University at the CADRE Laboratory for New Media with a focus on green technology and sustainable materials.

Raphael Arar is an award-winning artist, designer and technologist whose work seeks to trace the trajectories of interpersonal and intrapersonal interaction in light of progress. These works manifest themselves in a variety of forms encompassing a synthesis of nostalgia and novelty often informed by scientific systems and humanistic research.

His artwork has been shown at museums, conferences, festivals and galleries internationally including the International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA), ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Gamble House Museum, Boston Cyberarts Gallery, and Athens Video Art Festival.

Commercially, he has worked with clients including Apple, Google, The Smithsonian and Children’s Hospital. His design work has been awarded through MITX and The Webby Awards and has been featured in sources including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Communication Arts Magazine and Forbes. Arar holds an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts and a BA from Boston University.

Arar is currently a Designer & Researcher at IBM Research, Adjunct Faculty at San Jose State University’s CADRE Laboratory for New Media and a recent Forbes 30 Under 30 awardee in Enterprise Technology. Previously he was the Lead UX Designer for the Apple + IBM Partnership, Lecturer at the University of Southern California’s Media Arts + Practice Division and an Art & Technology Fellow at CalArts.

A visionary interactive producer, Evonne Heyning (Evo) has worked at the intersection of learning, meaningful media and creative campaigns for 20 years. In social enterprises she designs experiences, community ecosystems and new ventures. As a creative producer she weaves together mixed reality, events, live broadcast, vital impact resources and social media engagement. For the last two decades she has been weaving tech, media and impact for national and local government, major networks, universities and global nonprofits.

Evonne delivers inspiration and insight, opening learning opportunities and access for everyone. With over 30 years experience as an exhibiting artist and programmer Evo has spent over a decade designing tools to connect media, learning and experiences. In 2014 she won the NBCNews hackathon creating RealAction, an app to generate emergency news push reports with maps and vital info to all devices within minutes of any crisis. In the past few years she has focused on gaming including AR and Mixed Reality, serving as CoFounder & Former Chair of Grow Games to blend collaborative play with healthy ecosystems.

Called on as a Magicmaker for New Ventures, Evo is a creative force of nature connecting brilliant visionaries and teams with resources, ideas and opportunities for exponential impact. With 20+ years experience inside major companies, NGOs, media networks, startups and now as a producer Evo brings INTEGRATION, insight and inspiration to new ventures. Current residencies and projects connect VR and Mixed Reality, AI and nanotech R&D with a wide mix of interactive product teams in edtech, personalized product delivery, media, health and impact mapping across fields and sectors.

Scot Gresham-Lancaster is a composer, performer, instrument builder, educator and educational technology specialist with over three decades of professional experience. He is dedicated to research and performance using the expanding capabilities of computer networks to create new environments for musical and cross discipline expression. As a member of The Hub (band), he is one of the early pioneers of “computer network” music which uses the behavior of interconnected music machines to create innovative ways for performers and computers to interact. He has recently performed in a series of “co-located” performances collaborating in real time with live and distant dancers, video artists and musicians in network based performances. For over two decades, he has worked with multimedia prototyping and user interface theory and its relationship to new markets as an independent consultant and at Interval Research, SEGA-USA, and Muse Communications.

He was a student of Roy Harris, Darius Milhaud, John Chowning, Robert Ashley, Terry Riley, “Blue” Gene Tyrany, David Cope among others.

He is currently a Visiting Researcher at CNMAT, UC Berkeley. He is also a Research Scientist at the ArtSci Lab at ATEC. The focus of his current research is on the unrealized potential of sonification.

Since 2006 he has collaborated with media artist Stephan Bull in a series of “cellphone operas”. Cellphonia explores the social, technological, and creative possibilities of cell phones with bias to encourage new applications for cultural growth.

James Morgan is and artist, educator and researcher. He has an MFA in Digital Media Art from the CADRE Laboratory for New Media. He is the director of Ars Virtua and has worked as a curator for ten years, and shown work nationally and internationally at venues such as 01SJ, ISEA, EMAF, Laguna Art Museum. His work revolves around social structures and coded culture in virtual environments. James’ recent works focuses on working with AI as expert collaborators.

The CODAME ART+TECH Festival includes a four-day conference with workshops, talks and nightlife event with immersive, engaging, out of the ordinary experiences. Featuring gallery installations, screenings, and performances @ The Midway, San Francisco, June 4–7, 2018.

Support us, RSVP for CODAME ART+TECH Festival [2018] #ARTOBOTS


Promoting collaboration between artists and technologists.


Written by


We build ART+TECH projects and nonprofit events, to inspire through experience. Join us!



Promoting collaboration between artists and technologists.