Lita Albuquerque - Pasadena Now

Pasadena Arts Council, ArtCenter College of Design Presents Pasadena's Inaugural Leonardo Art-Science Evening Rendezvous


The Pasadena Arts Council and the ArtCenter College of Design’s Williamson Gallery will present Pasadena’s inaugural LASER (Leonardo Art-Science Evening Rendezvous) event on Thursday, November 9, from 7 to 9 p.m.

LASER: First Light is organized by the Leonardo/International Society for the Arts, Sciences, and Technology (Leonardo/ISAST) and is part of an international program of evening gatherings that bring artists and scientists together for informal presentations and conversations.

The name came from the journal “Leonardo” — inspired by Leonardo da Vinci, whose work epitomized to the public the melding of science and art. Kinetic artist and aeronautical pioneer Frank Malina founded “Leonardo” in Paris in 1968, after recognizing the need for a journal that would serve as an international channel of communication with emphasis on the writings of artists who use science and developing technologies in their work.

Malina received his Ph.D. from Caltech in 1936 and directed the WAC Corporal program that put the first rocket beyond the Earth’s atmosphere. He co-founded the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and was its second director. He also co-founded the Aerojet General Corporation and was an active participant in rocket-science development in the period leading up to and during World War II.

Pasadena’s LASER event will feature the following presenters and conclude with a networking wine/beer/cheese reception in the gallery’s current exhibition, Mars: Astronomy and Culture.

The presenters are:

 Simon Penny, an artist, theorist, curator, and professor in the field of Digital Cultural Practices at UC Irvine where he founded the Arts, Computation and Engineering (ACE) graduate program.

• Lita Albuquerque, an internationally active installation artist, sculptor, and painter acclaimed for her ephemeral and permanent artworks focusing on astronomical relationships and alignments.

• Robert Hurt, a physicist, and member of the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC) at the California Institute of Technology. Since 2006, he has hosted a video podcast called The Hidden Universe and often speaks on the subject of using new media to communicate science and astronomy.

• Christopher O’Leary, a photographer and media artist living in Los Angeles. His current research project Cloud Chambers studies the aesthetics of cosmology through documentary photographs, and algorithmically generated visualizations.

• Sarah Rara, a Los Angeles-based artist and poet working with video, sound, and performance, whose practice includes a focus on human-technology relationships. Her work in progress is SYZYGY, an astronomical term used