Karl Sims (Digital Media Artist)
Digital media artist, computer graphics research scientist, and software entrepreneur. He is the founder of GenArts, Inc. of Cambridge, Massachusetts, which creates special effects software for the motion picture industry. He previously held positions at Thinking Machines Corporation, Optomystic, and Whitney/Demos Productions. Karl studied computer graphics at the MIT Media Lab, and Life Sciences as an undergraduate at MIT. He is the recipient of various awards including two ARS Electronica Golden Nicas and a MacArthur Fellowship Award.
Lee Cronin (University of Glasgow, UK)
The focus of Cronin’s work is understanding and controlling self-assembly and self-organisation in Chemistry to develop functional molecular and nano-molecular chemical systems; linking architectural design with function and recently engineering system-level functions (e.g. coupled catalytic self-assembly, emergence of inorganic materials and fabrication of inorganic cells that allow complex cooperative behaviours). Much of this work is converging on exploring the assembly and engineering of emergent chemical systems. One target is the development of ‘inorganic biology’ i.e. a biological system beyond the naturally occurring ‘organic biology’ found on planet earth. Not only does this have ramifications for the origin of life on earth, elsewhere in the universe, the realisation of a living system assembled from the bottom up would also lead to a range of new technologies. To achieve his aims, Cronin and his group regularly collaborate with Physical, Theoretical, Organic, Materials, and Biological Chemists as well as Scientists in Chemical and Electrical Engineering, Physics and Medicine. It is also worth pointing out that the expertise in the Cronin group is unique bringing together chemists, chemical engineers, reaction modelling, complex system modelling, evolutionary theory, synthetic biology, robotics and AI.
Jessica Rosenkrantz (Nervous System)
(More keynotes TBA)