Art-Science Calendar of Events NYC


This calendar is an initiative of the Art Science Observatory, in collaboration with SciArt in America, Beautiful Brain, Ligo projects, Dactyl Foundation and other art/science organizations.

How can art and science interact meaningfully?

April 12, 2014

Based on a talk at the Leonardo Art and Science Rendezvous (LASER) meeting in NYC, Victoria N Alexander, PhD discusses how scientists can benefit from interaction with artists. This is the second video in the “Science, Art and Biosemiotics” series, produced and directed by Lucian Rex.
This video features painting, Epiphany, 1998 by James Gilroy

The Science of Making Choices

February 24, 2014

What happens in your body when you choose to go right or left?  What makes your decisions? your Self? What do we mean by the word “choice”?

VN Alexander, PhD discusses the science of making choices from a complexity science-biosemiotic perspective. This is the first in a series of videos “Science, Art and Biosemiotics,” produced and directed by Lucian Rex.

CompostModern Discussion Forum

Thursday, September 27, 2012.  1-3PM

Our popular discussion forum is back! Live online! The CompostModern forum is made up of artists, poets, fiction writers, playwrights, scientists, mathematicians, musicians, actors and any one else interested in joining.  Instead of presenting formal lectures or panels, we open the floor to the community. Featured guests and audience members are able to talk freely and on equal terms about everything from beauty and meaning to pop-culture. As the name implies, the CompostModern forum aims to re-cycle our rich aesthetic history. If the project of postmodernism was to deconstruct traditions, it has left us with a fertile soil out of which new forms may emerge. It is with the belief that all new forms of art must evolve from a history that we approach the guiding question of the forum: What is creativity?

Admission free. Reservation required.  Write to info@dactyl.org for the meeting link.

Support Dactyl When You Make Travel Reservations or Shop Online!

Now you can support Dactyl Foundation’s art-science programs next time you make travel reservations using any one of the major online companies, like Orbitz or Travelocity, or when you make any purchase on Amazon.com. 6% will go to Dactyl Foundation at no extra cost to you. Just use the links below to enter your favorite online site and make your reservation or purchases as you normally would, and Dactyl Foundation will receive a 6% donation. You will see the same low prices as you would if you entered these sites directly.

Next time you make travel reservations online, enter your favorite site through this page Hopetels.com
http://www.hopetels.com/dactyl

Next time you’re buying ANYTHING on Amazon.com, enter through this page
The Biologist’s Mistress: Rethinking Self-Organization in Art, Literature, and Nature

We have an exciting conference and art exhibition on mimicry and crypsis planned for fall 2012. Stay tuned for the call for papers. Thanks for supporting Dactyl.

The Biologist's Mistress

Dactyl Foundation is pleased to announce the publication of Victoria N. Alexander’s The Biologist’s Mistress: Rethinking Self-Organization in Art, Literature and Nature.

Teleology is like a mistress to the biologist; he dare not be seen with her in public but cannot live without her –J. B. S. Haldane

Drawing on her experiences as a complexity theorist, novelist and art-theorist, Victoria N. Alexander examines the history and practices of teleology, the study of purpose, in nature as well as in human behavior. She takes us “inside” paradoxically purposeful self-organizing entities (which somehow make themselves without having selves yet to do the making), and she shows us how poetic-like relationships—things coincidentally like each other or metaphoric and things coincidentally near each other or metonymic—help form organization where there was none before. She suggests that it is these chance language-like processes that result in emergent design and selfhood, thereby offering an alternative to postmodern theories that have unfairly snubbed the purposeful artist. Alexander claims that what has been missing from the general discussion of purposefulness is a theory of creativity, without which there can be no purposeful action, only robotic execution of inherited design. Thus revising while reviving teleology, she offers us a secular, non-essentialist conception of selfhood as an achievement that can be more than a momentary stay against the second law.

The book includes anecdotes about Dactyl Foundation’s artists and history. All proceeds from book sales will be donated to the foundation to help support educational programs and research in art-science.

Biosemiotics Conference June 21-25, 2011

The Eleventh Annual International Gathering in Biosemiotics will be held from June 21 to June 26, 2011 under the auspices of the Dactyl Foundation at the Rockefeller University for Biomedical Research in New York City, USA.  Biosemiotics is an interdiscipline that seeks naturalistic understandings of metalistic phenomena, grounded in biology, and, in turn, seeks understandings of biological processes in terms of a general semiotics.

What can be learned about human semiosis, interpretation, communication, creativity and meaning-making by studying less complex but analogous phenomena in cellular signaling, chemotaxis, zoosemiotics, embryonic development, or the immune system? Can the pervasive metaphoric usages of chemical “message,” genetic “information,” and  ”signaling” in contemporary biology be defined more precisely by taking them literally? While human symbolic representation may be species-specific–or at least unique to unusually big-brained animals–it must have emerged out of less complex semiotic processes and proto-semiotic processes.  What are the antecedents of human semiosis? And how can the exploration of these antecedents help bridge the unnatural gap between body and mind that was imposed centuries ago more for religious than scientific reasons?

All are welcome to attend. For registration information click here.

Want to learn more about Biosemiotics?  Visit the International Society for Biosemiotic Studies website, or listen to ISBS Vice-President Don Favareau on BBC radio.

Call for Papers: 11th Annual Biosemiotics Gathering

Biosemiotics JournalThe Eleventh Annual International Gathering in Biosemiotics will be held from June 21 to June 26, 2011 under the auspices of the Dactyl Foundation at the Rockefeller University for Biomedical Research in New York City, USA. The Scientific Advisory Committee of the Eleventh Annual Gatherings in Biosemiotics welcomes paper proposals from researchers in any academic discipline who are investigating the presence and the role of sign processes in living systems.

What is Biosemiotics?  Listen to philosopher Don Favareau on BBC radio.

The call for papers is now closed.  [continue...]

Creativity and Value: How A NonProfit Art Foundation Can Use Complex Systems Theory

August 2010

Adelphi University
Conference on Social Entrepreneurship
Lecture by Victoria N. Alexander, Director, Dactyl Foundation

The question everyone is interested in and the one I would like to be able to answer, at least in part, is the question of how a non-profit organization can avail itself of complex systems theory to make its complex system work in a complex world. [continue...]

CompostModern Discussion Forum: New Summer Hours

Every Thursday 4:00 – 6:00 PM

Featured Guest Nathan Cabot Hale, Sculptor. July 29.

Nathan Cabot Hale is a sculptor, painter and author of numerous books on art, including Abstraction in Art and Nature, Creating Welded Sculpture, and Exploring the Roots of Human Emotion in Sculpture. Hale will speak about, among other things, how lines of growth and structure, water and liquid forms, weather and atmospheric patterns, luminosity, earth colors, many other elements are shown to be wellsprings of creative abstraction. [continue...]

Cultivator Playreading Series

Friday, June 25, 2010 5-7 pm
Open Readings with Katalina Mustatea

The aim of The Cultivator series is to give breath and voice to dramatic scripts in progress, and to act as a seedbed for new dramatic writing. The Cultivator invites thoughtful experiments with form and language, and encourages spontaneous, organic collaborations between playwrights and performers. Each script presentation will be followed by a salon-style discussion, where participants and audience can talk freely about the work presented, or else consider the broader implications of theater and performance art in our culture. Part of the weekly CompostModern Discussion Forum at Dactyl, this monthly series will follow the forum’s general scope and format. [continue...]

CompostModern featured guest Elisa Perea

Friday, June 4, 2010  4-6PM
Documentary maker Elisa Perea talks about and shows clips from “Nogales aqui es…” (Nogales, this is it… the border city)

A film  presenting the creative experiences of a generation of visual artists in their playground; their field of dreams…Nogales… the city. The one they see and the one they imagine… a bordertown awakened through their work… a journey via their art and testimony… offering an alternative description of a territory that is often misunderstood by both bordering countries. This project was funded by The National Council for the Arts and Culture of Mexico and by the Sonoran Institute of Culture. [continue...]

CompostModern Forum: featured guest Laura Otis

Friday May 21, 2010  4-6PM

Laura Otis began her career as a scientist, earning her B.S. in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale in 1983 and her M.A. in Neuroscience from the University of California at San Francisco in 1988. Before receiving her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Cornell University in 1991, she worked in labs for eight years. Since 1986, she has been studying and teaching about the [continue...]

Cultivator Play Reading Series

Friday, April 30, 2010 5-7 pm
with Katalina Mustatea, Don DiPaolo and Amy Staats

The aim of The Cultivator series is to give breath and voice to dramatic scripts in progress, and to act as a seedbed for new dramatic writing. The Cultivator invites thoughtful experiments with form and language, and encourages spontaneous, organic collaborations between playwrights and performers. Each script presentation will be followed by a salon-style discussion, where participants and audience can talk freely about the work presented, or else consider the broader implications of theater and performance art in our culture. Part of the weekly CompostModern Discussion Forum at Dactyl, this monthly series will follow the [continue...]

CompostModern Forum: featured member Victoria N Alexander

Friday April 2, 2010, 4-6 PM

Victoria Alexander will give a 30 min talk at 5PM

Secular Teleology for the 21st Century

In a teleological narrative, all the events depicted, or at least the key ones, are chosen and included because of the way they reflect, refract, or prefigure a general theme of the story or the end of the story, the resolution of a problem. There is usually progression or development.  Events exist in the story because of the purpose they serve. Critics of  ”teleological” narratives may claim that “realistic” representation should capture a world in [continue...]

Cultivator: Play Reading Series

Friday, March 26, 2010 5-7 pm
The Beauty of Fragments: Talks with and about the NYC performance group Radiohole

The aim of The Cultivator series is to give breath and voice to dramatic scripts in progress, and to act as a seedbed for new dramatic writing. The Cultivator invites thoughtful experiments with form and language, and encourages spontaneous, organic collaborations between playwrights and performers. Each script presentation will be followed by a salon-style discussion, where participants and audience can talk freely about the work presented, or else consider the broader implications of theater and performance art in our culture. Part of the weekly CompostModern Discussion Forum at Dactyl, this monthly series will follow the forum’s general scope and format. [continue...]

CompostModern Discussion Forum

ghostEvery Friday in 2010 4:00 – 6:00 PM

The CompostModern forum is made up of artists, poets, fiction writers, playwrights, scientists, mathematicians, musicians, actors and any one else interested in joining. We meet every Friday, and at least once or twice a month, we have a featured guest or two. Instead of presenting formal lectures or panels, we open the floor to the community. Featured guests and audience members are able to talk freely and on equal terms about everything from beauty and meaning to pop-culture. As the name implies, the CompostModern forum aims to re-cycle our rich aesthetic history. If the project of [continue...]

Featured Guests, Tyler Volk and Dorion Sagan, authors of Death & Sex

Friday, February 19th, 2010
4:00-6:00 PM
CompostModern Discussion Forum

Meet the authors of the critically acclaimed Death & Sex
a great excuse to talk about your favorite subjects in public…
Dorion Sagan has written and co-authored twenty-three books on evolution, cooking, and sex, translated into eleven languages. Sagan is the son of astronomer Carl Sagan and biologist Lynn Margulis.
Tyler Volk is a professor of biology at NYU who has written extensively on the Gaia hypothesis and life and death in the ecosystem. He is the author of four books and is affiliated with space life support research at NASA. [continue...]

Compost-Modern Forum featured guest Michael Schippling, robotics artist

S_IMG_1674.JPGNov 20th 4:00-6:00 PM

Why Are They Fighting?

Michael Schippling is an artist who builds robots designed to act creativity. He notes that most independent artists working in robotics have succumbed to building fighting machines for TV audiences. Michael will be a featured guest at our Compost Modern discussion forum, giving us what he calls a “quirky history of Machine Art with a proposal for the future.” [continue...]

CompostModern Discussion Forum

Spring / Summer 2009

Every Wednesday 2:30-5:30

“CompostModern,” a salon-style discussion forum, revolutionizing the way we present the work of poets and writers to the public. We have opened the floor to the community, bringing you in to participate in the planning, discussion, and hopes for the future of art, poetics and science. As the name implies, the CompostModern forum aims to re-cycle our rich aesthetic history. If the project of postmodernism was to deconstruct traditions, it has left us with a fertile soil out of which new forms may emerge. It is with the belief that all new forms of art must evolve from a history we approach the guiding question of the forum: What is creativity? At each weekly meeting, Dactyl members, noted artists, poets, [continue...]

Support and Awards: because science is sometimes too important to leave just to scientists

Ongoing

Essay Awards Dactyl Foundation offers a $1,000 award for essays on literary theory, aesthetics, or poetics, which are grounded in science. The award is given periodically only when a suitable recipient is found. Awards are determined by the board. We are no longer accepting unsolicited entries. (The award amount was formerly $3,000 1997-2001)

Travel Award & Research Support Dactyl Foundation currently offers partial support (in the form of small cash awards, travel to conferences, and a think tank environment) for several scholars. We provide researchers with the opportunity to invite scientists and artists working in relevant fields to visit Dactyl Foundation in order to consult or collaborate.

Wendy Wheeler, 2009 essay award recipient

“Creative Evolution: A Theory of Cultural Sustainability,”

forthcoming in Communications, Politics and Culture. Dactyl Foundation is please to award Wendy Wheeler this year for her essay which helps to bring the sciences back into the arts.

‘Under the name of something called postmodernism, or of a condition called postmodernity, the idea of the artist as someone possibly doing something special has been derided as romantic [continue...]

John Allen Paulos, discussion

Thursday, November 6, 6:30PM

Wine & conversation with John Allen Paulos: Discussion Forum

Co-hosted by The Center for Inquiry

Paulos has written on the vagaries of the stock market in A Mathematician Plays the Stock Market, arguments for God in his most recent book, Irreligion, and the mathematical and philosophical basis of humor in Mathematics and Humor and I Think, Therefore I Laugh. [continue...]

Jennifer Michael Hecht, discussion

Monday Sept 8th


TRUTH UNCORKED: Where Wine Flows Like Conversationa discussion Forum with Jennifer Michael Hecht

Join the Center for Inquiry and the Dactyl Foundation for the Arts & Humanities for a Truth Uncorked event, with author, poet, and intellectual historian Jennifer Michael Hecht. Our main event, featuring a salon conversation over wine and light hors d’oeuvres, begins at 6:30 p.m. An optional, intimate dinner with the speaker will follow. [continue...]

Phillis Levin with Ciaran Berry, poetry salon

Wednesday, Sept 24, 2008
POETRY SALON 6:30 – 8:30PM

Featuring Phillis Levin with Ciaran Berry: Poetry Salon
Seating is limited rsvp@dactyl.org, suggested donation $10 [continue...]

Marie Ponsot with Kevin O'Sullivan, poetry salon

Friday, June 6th, 7:30-9:00

POETRY SALON
Marie Ponsot, Award-winning Poet and Mentor to Generations

with Kevin O’Sullivan Dactyl Foundation’s Emerging Poet of the Year [continue...]

Maggie Jackson, discussion

Thurs., Jan. 15, 6:30 PM

wine & conversation with Maggie Jackson: Discussion Forum

Cohost: Center for Inquiry

CFI’s next Truth Uncorked wine and conversation event will take place on Thursday, January 15 with Maggie Jackson. Jackson is an award-winning author and journalist known for her penetrating coverage of U.S. social issues. She writes the popular “Balancing Acts” column in the Sunday Boston Globe, and her work has also appeared in The New York Times, Gastronomica and onNational Public Radio. Her latest book, Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age (Prometheus Books, 2008) [continue...]

Dorion Sagan, reading and magic

Friday Oct 12, 2007 7:00-9:00 PM

Notes from the Holocene: A Brief History of the Future

In a thought-provoking, humorous, and engaging style, Dorion Sagan, the eldest son of Carl Sagan and evolutionary biologist Lynn Margulis, combines philosophy, science, magic, an understanding of illusion, and the fantastical writings of Philip K. Dick to probe the deep questions of existence. Operating on the precept that the universe if far [continue...]

Society for Literature Science and the Arts

November 9-12, 2006
EVOLUTION: BIOLOGICAL, CULTURAL, AND COSMIC
New York Art Science Festival
20th Annual Conference for the Society for Literature, Science and the Arts

Plenary Speaker: Lynn Margulis
Keynote Panel: Dorion Sagan and Eric Schneider
Special Presentation: Neil deGrasse Tyson
Site Chair: Victoria N. Alexander, Dactyl Foundation for the Arts & Humanities
Program Chair: Bruce Clarke, Texas Tech University [continue...]

Lecture, ‘Homage to Guido Llinas’

Thursday, November 3, 2005

6:30 p.m.

“Homage to Guido Llinas” Lecture & Discussion. Sponsored by Cuba Art NY. To view Guido Llinas’s work, check out www.cubaartny.org.

Walter J. Freeman and Jennifer Ruth Hosek, 2005 essay award recipients

2005 Award Recipients for “Osmetic Ontogenesis, or Olfaction Becomes You: The Neurodynamic, Intentional Self and Its Affinities with the Foucaultian/Butlerian Subject,” Configurations 9 (2001): 509-541. Published by The Johns Hopkins University Press and the Society for Literature and Science. The authors will present at Dactyl Foundation’s Poetics-CogSci Colloquy in September 2005. Walter J. Freeman, UC Berkeley, is a Professor of the Graduate School in Biophysics, Graduate Group in Bioengineering. See The Freeman Laboratory for Nonlinear Neurodynamic. Jennifer Ruth Hosek is a Fellow in the Humanities at Stanford University. She received her doctorate in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Berkeley in December 2004, for a dissertation entitled: Cuba and the Germans: A Cultural History of an Infatuation. In addition to work in cultural, gender, postcolonial and film studies, Jennifer is interested in representations of selfhood in scientific and literary texts.