Saturday, October 24, 2009

Wanna go to an opening tomorrow?


How and where do art and science - two seemingly disparate disciplines of intellectual inquiry - overlap? And, at that confluence, what can practitioners of both disciplines learn to expand their unique fields of knowledge and to affect consciousness?

SOFAlab on Nov. 5, 2009.

SOFAlab's keynote speaker, Tod Machover - Professor of Music and Media at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab, the inventor of Hyperinstruments, a trained-Juilliard musician, and, the man Los Angeles Times deemed, “America's Most Wired Composer” - will bring his boundless knowledge of creative technology to the discussion. With each of Machover's innovations, such as his Hyperinstruments, Hyperscore, Brain Opera, Toy Symphony and MMH (Music, Mind and Health), he has intentionally explored the space where science and art collide and in doing so challenged traditional perceptions of both fields.

Expanding the discussion further, SOFAlab's panelists will include Maria Barbosa, Professor of Biology and a DC-based installation artist, Ernesto Barreto, Associate Professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy and the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study at George Mason University, and Brandon Morse, Professor of Digital Media at the University of Maryland and a DC-based video installation artist specializing in 3-D environments and animation software.

SOFAlab takes place on Thursday, November 5th, 2009 - 6pm reception, 7pm keynote address & panel at the Carnegie Institute of Washington, 1530 P Street, NW, Washington, DC. Free and Open to the Public.

For more information please contact the organizers: Helen Frederick, Shanti Norris, or Paul So, or view the event website at /

The Reconquista of Lisbon

Alfonso I of PortugalToday is the anniversary of the fall of Lisbon in 1147 to the siege Crusade armies of Alfonso Henriques, who eight years earlier had become Alfonso the First of the new kingdom of Portugal, which up to then was a troublesome county that was part of the legendary Kingdom of Leon.

The new king not only achieved independence from Leon, but also doubled his new country's size by reconquering lands in Moorish control. Surrounded on its borders by the huge kingdoms that would eventually become Spain three centuries later, Portugal looked to the ocean for exploration and trade and Portuguese explorers sailed all over the world. At one point, the imperialistic tiny kingdom had more colonies around the planet than any other European country and today Portuguese is the sixth most widely spoken language in the world, just a few million speakers behind Arabic.

Happy anniversary to beautiful Lisbon and the nation of Portugal.

PS - Today was also "Black Thursday" in 1929.