Bio+Hacker+Art-Space Tour California 2012

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Los Angeles


Los Angeles, 71km x 41km, 80 districts and neighborhoods. A huge flat grid. You need to get into the network to understand. We spent most time in Westwood (UCLA), Silver Lake (hipster and creative space), Venice (where the locals hang).

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

UCLA is the largest UC campus in terms of enrollment, and one of the few public research universities located in a major city. UCLA is located in Westwood, West L.A.

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The UCLA campus (like your brain) is divided in south campus (nano, engineering, life science) and a north campus (art and the more social stuff). The south is crowded with buildings and labs while there are parks and trees in north campus.

California NanoSystems Inštitute - CNSI

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The NanoSystems Institute is a research facility at UCLA. Its mission is to encourage university collaboration with industry and to enable the rapid commercialization of discoveries in nanoscience and nanotechnology. The new complex built in 2007 is equipment with electron microscopes, atomic force microscopes, X-ray diffraction microscopes, specialized optical microscopes, high throughput robotics for molecular screening and class 100 and 1000 clean rooms.

The Art|Sci Center

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The Art|Sci Center is dedicated to pursuing and promoting the evolving “Third Culture” by facilitating the infinite potential of collaborations between (media) arts and (bio/nano) sciences. Victoria Vesna is a media artist and director of UCLA Art|Sci center. Her work can be defined as experimental creative research that resides between disciplines and technologies.

Sci|Art NanoLab Summer Institute

The Sci|Art Center hosts the Sci|Art NanoLab Summer Institute for high school students by introducing them to the vast possibilities in the quantum field (infinite number of degrees of freedom) of art|science for the present and future generations.

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Hackteria Microscopy Workshop as part of the ArtSci Summer School

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Field Trip to the Botanical Garden, looking at collected samples

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CNSI Workshop on "Interaction" by Magan Daalder

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Report on "Brain Storming: neuroscience discussion" by Victoria Vesna in Marseilles

ArtSci Gallery

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The Art | Sci gallery is located on the 5th floor of the NanoSystems Institute. It is a small space dedicated to work that is in progress and allows for a dialogue.

UCLA Media Arts Fablab

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Kind of a well equipped FabLab at the UCLA Department of Design Media Arts (DMA). However the lab is not really open access...

Oblong Industries, inc

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Oblong Industries, inc. is remaking the world of computers... These include turnkey products for enabling collaborative and distributed workspaces.

Null Space Labs

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Null Space Labs, a place for people who do interesting things with tech to save the world. Null Space Labs is located in downtown Los Angeles (look for a laser cutter exhaust tube looming out of a window).

Machine Project

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Machine Project is a storefront space in the echo park neighborhood of Los Angeles that hosts events about all kinds of things – scientific talks, hackteria workshops, wine tasting with artists, group naps, cheese tastings and so forth.

The Museum Of Jurassic Technology

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A museum that demonstrates unusual or curious technological qualities..something between a natural history museum and a freak-show. Ex. Theories of Forgetting and the Problem of Matter by Geoffrey Sonnabend (who's wife Madelena Delani had no short term memory): Forgetting, he believed, not remembering is the inevitable outcome of all experience and leading to true memory.

The Vapor Spot

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While exploring technology and society we found the amazing Vapor Spot. A lovingly designed and run store for Electronic Cigarettes, Herbal Vaporizers. How to turn a soldering iron into a vaporizer?

Independent Art Space

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Visit to some garage style independent art space with nice people and young musicians jamming.

SCI-arc - Southern California Institute of Architecture

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SCI-Arc is an independent architecture school with studies in urban and emerging systems & technologies. Located in a quarter-mile-long former freight depot in Downtown Los Angeles, SCI-Arc is widely regarded as one of the most avant-garde architecture and design schools in the US. This is why Magan Daalder is trying to push theirs limits and dances with the robots.

SCI-arc - Robot House

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Accelerating SCI-Arc's pace (of course already at the leading edge of digital design and rapid prototyping) the new SCI-Arc Robot House creates the next generation platform for experimentation and speculation on the future of architecture.

Noise Bridge, SF

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A "noise bridge" performs useful services by injecting noise into a system. Noisebridge is a space for creation, collaboration, research and learning. Noisebridge is also a community with roots extending around the world.


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The Exploratorium isn't just a museum, it's an ongoing exploration of science, art, and human perception. They believe that following curiosity, asking questions and pressing buttons can lead to awareness and to confidence to understand the world. Having fun is important.

Open Tinkering Studio @ Exploratorium

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Mechanical Workshop @ Exploratorium

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Bio Lab @ Exploratorium

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Langton Laboratories

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Langton Laboratories is an ongoing experiment in creating and living, an institute for future living, Or more simple, a local residential community of HiPos of Stanford University and other. Now and then a new bio-tech start up emerges from here...

Tristan @ LangtonLab

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Tristan Ursells bug collection and salt lamps.


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BioCurious: a hackerspace for biotech. With people who believe that innovations in biology should be accessible, affordable, and open to everyone. Experiment on genetic engineering with friends... The lab is well equipped with gears donated by institutions and DIY equipment: PCR Machines, Fluorescent Microscope, Gel Electrophoresis, Micro-centrifuges and so on.


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TechShop is perfect for inventors, makers, hackers, tinkerers, artists, families, entrepreneurs and anyone else. TechShop is a membership-based workshop that provides access to tools and equipment, instruction, and a community of people. Tools including milling machines, welding stations and a CNC plasma cutter, sheet metal working equipment, drill presses and band saws, industrial sewing machines, hand tools, plastic and wood working equipment, ShopBot, electronics design and fabrication facilities, Epilog laser cutters (5+), tubing and metal bending machines, Dimension 3-D printer and more.

DIYBio Lab in a Container

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Mackenzie Cowell got a 12k$ container to set up a mobile BioLab. Let's get this thing booted up soon!

Oron Catts @ University of San Francisco

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An evening on BioArt with Oron Catts of Symbiotica, first research laboratory enabling artists to engage in "wet biology". Followed by a panel on BioArt with Chemistry professor and art specialist Tami Spector (USF), Art historian and artist Meredith Trumble (San Francisco Art Institute), Cultural historian Piero Scaruffi (, Bioartist Phil Ross, Plant scientist Anna Davidson (UC Davis).