projects and interviews

This website is mainly intended to document completed work, but here are just a few words about new/ongoing projects. Having recently discovered the magic of state-of-the-art 3D scanning, I’m trying to develop some ideas around ceramics, shape fingerprinting and AI-type algorithms for manifold learning. For my work with the Critical Making Collaborative at Stanford, I’ve also been thinking about the arc from Frankfurt School Critical Theory to Bruno Latour’s notion of the Earthbound. In my conventional science world I am thinking about the structure of instance space for quadratic unconstrained binary optimization in the limit of small (but nontrivial) problem dimension.

I’m trying to develop a practice of keeping dedicated blogs for long-term projects. My Intermateriality:Redox project blog (2019-20) features process documentation from a year-long art+science project, ranging from planting and harvesting indigo to scanning electron microscopy. The Colorspace project blog (2021-22) documents the evolution — from inception to exhibition — of a ceramics joint project with sculptor Judy Pfaff.

I’ve been fortunate to have Stanford University support for interdisciplinary ceramics activities courtesy of our Humanities & Sciences Dean’s Office. In 2017 we hosted an international symposium on the Art & Science of Iron-Bearing Ceramic Surfaces, and in 2018 we installed an exhibition of contemporary Japanese and Japanese-inspired ceramic art in the East Asia Library (see also this Stanford News article).

The good people over at Stanford News have produced several wonderful articles and videos to spread the word about interdisciplinary art and science courses I’ve been involved with. In 2016 they covered a special joint project on replicating museum objects, conducted by students from my ceramic art and science class (APPPHYS100) together with students from a history course taught by Kristen Haring. In 2022 they covered both a wide-ranging course called Japanese Functional Objects (JAPAN126/226) that I co-taught with Ariel Stilerman and Craig Milroy, and a science-of-art-conservation course (APPPHYS189) I taught with lots of help from Juliet Jamtgaard (Stanford Nano Shared Facilities) and conservators Elise Effmann Clifford, Jane Williams and Sarah Kleiner (Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco).

I have occasional opportunities to give interviews on my perspectives as a scientist who also makes art. In connection with my time as a member of the 2018 Leonardo/Djerassi “Scientific Delirium and Madness” residency, I was interviewed both in-person at Djerassi and online for the Leonardo Book Club. In 2019 Stanford News produced a beautiful set of videos on scientist-artist members of the campus community; in 2020 I was profiled as a Distinguished Lecturer of the Pittsburgh Quantum Institute; and in 2022 I was invited to take part in a Union of Concerned Scientists panel on Science as Art. The book What is Research? (Peter Miller, ed., Bard Graduate Center, 2021) captures a 2019 series of panel discussions on that highly interdisciplinary topic, including some thoughts from me on science-art crossover. Speaking more specifically for a ceramics audience I was interviewed in 2021 by The Potters Cast (Episode 792), and in 2022 I sat on a conference panel on “Clay 2.0” that was captured by the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler podcast (Episode 429).

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