Weaving New Webs of Art, Science and Innovation: Inaugural Essinova Salon Explores Neural Insights in Multiple Dimensions

October 10, 2016 § Leave a comment

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Written by: Timothy McCormick

Essinova’s inaugural salon and popup gallery on Sept 29 was a great success! A capacity crowd of over 100 guests from widely varied backgrounds gathered at SAP’s AppHaus in Palo Alto, to see the groundbreaking work of neuroscientist/artist Greg Dunn, and to hear talks by Dunn and by Janaki Mythily Kumar, SAP’s VP and Head of Design & Co-Innovation Center.

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Greg Dunn’s original artworks on display at Essinova Salon and Popup Gallery at SAP Labs. Click to view event photo album.

We were honored to share with new audiences the extraordinary work of Greg Dunn, PhD, Philadelphia-based neuroscientist and leading art+science pioneer, who explores novel and visually stunning methods to depict and explain brain structure and functioning. The salon featured a variety of original works and prints by Dunn, including his latest and perhaps most ambitious work to date, “Self Reflected,” which the artist describes as the most detailed and complex artistic depiction of the brain ever been created .”Self Reflected” was funded by National Science Foundation and is on permanent display at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.

BeiBei Song introducing Essinova Salon and the evening’s program

The event program was led of with an introduction by BeiBei Song, Founder of Essinova interdisciplinary creativity agency, in which she described a recent serendipitous encounter in Finland with “lights hunters” who travel to view and record Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) displays. Describing a scientist, adventurer, executive coach, artist and photographer she befriended there, Song suggested how science, art, design and innovation are driven by related mixtures of passion, curiosity, delight, and a determination to question, understand and explain. Understanding these diverse and mingled drives and roles can open us to richer discoveries across all fields, personally and as a society; and give us the more holistic understandings needed for both business and society to evolve sustainably and creatively, she suggested. « Read the rest of this entry »

Essinova首届“创意沙龙暨快闪画廊”在SAP Labs举行:以神经学洞见艺术、科技与创新之跨界探索

October 9, 2016 § Leave a comment

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Essinova的首场跨界沙龙暨快闪画廊在硅谷SAP实验室的AppHaus成功举办

撰文:李汭璇 Ruixuan Li 

9月29日晚,Essinova创灵升畅创意经纪公司主办、SAP Labs 承办的一场跨界活动 “艺术、科技与创新:神经连接 (Art, Science and Innovation:a Neural Connection)” 在位于帕罗奥图市的SAP AppHaus举行,为硅谷的人们带来了一个趣味无穷的艺术与创意的夜晚邀请工程师、科学家、艺术家、设计师、和创业家齐聚一堂。活动中最大亮点来自神经学家、艺术家格雷格·邓恩(Greg Dunn)博士在现场展示的他最新的微蚀创作。Essinova创始人宋贝贝、邓恩博士以及SAP Labs副总裁贾纳基·库马尔分别在活动中做了精彩的演讲。湾区本土的科技初创公司Spire为当晚的抽奖活动赞助了可穿戴的冥想装置作为奖品。此外,当晚的来宾还参与了SAP Labs精心策划的互动游戏。

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邓恩的原创镀金微蚀作品在Essinova沙龙和快闪画廊展览。点击观看艺术家的更多作品。

邓恩是Essinova旗下的一位签约艺术家。他以神经科学的博士学位毕业于宾夕法尼亚大学,现居费城,全职进行艺术创作。在读研究生的时候, 邓恩就从自己的艺术实验里发现了神经形态与亚洲极简美学(尤其是水墨画与金箔画的表现形式)的惊人相似性。邓恩和另一位同为科学博士的布莱恩·爱德华合作, 发明出了一种叫作“反射微蚀法 (Reflective Microetching)”的革命性技术, 并运用该技术在金箔表面进行动态图像的创作。当晚,邓恩带来的作品都是基于这一项曾经获得过美国国家科学基金会奖金的技术。 « Read the rest of this entry »

The Big Picture, V – China’s Creative Economy, Beijing’s Creative Spaces and a Robot Monk

August 19, 2016 § Leave a comment

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China’s Creative Economy, through the lens of creative spaces, is the subject of the last installment of our Big Picture series.

It was a few days before New Year 2016 when I first heard the word 融合业态 (Rong He Ye Tai)- fusion or convergence of industries – as a latest trend in China. The son of my father’s friend visited San Francisco with his newly-wed wife during the holidays, and I entertained them. I was trying to explain what kind of work I do (or am doing in recent years), and instead of an awkward silence which I thought would ensue, he was unexpectedly turned on by my “explorations between art and science, culture and technology, nature and lifestyle”, a concept I had thought would be too esoteric, convoluted or impractical for anyone in China to care. “融合业态!” He declared, “It’s the ‘in’ thing now!” He went on to tell me how high tech parks are passé now, replaced by creativity and design parks, and cultural incubators; how a real estate or tourist project would get funding more easily, if it had a cultural theme. He urged me to collaborate with the association he was working for, affiliated with the Ministry of Culture.

Sensing my skepticism, he handed me a document a few days later, on red letterhead. It is the State Council 2014 [10] Gazette, on promoting “the integration of cultural creativity and design services with the development of industries”.

I was blown away.  The central government is recognizing that the culture industry has the desirable attributes of “high knowledge intensity, high value-add, low energy consumption, and low pollution”, as the country’s economy goes through much-needed transformation.  It is encouraging the “deep integration” of culture industries with ‘real’ economy industries such as technology, manufacturing, real estate and retail, as new sources of growth, competitiveness, employment, consumption diversity and higher standard of living. It knows that without culture leading the way, there would be no “Created in China”.

A couple of trips to China in the ensuing months gave me the opportunity to investigate and see with my own eyes. Below I share with you several creative spaces I visited as part of this reconnaissance. It is not a conclusive report on whether the government’s policy is working – much more time and resources would be needed for that – but rather an observation of the physical (and in some cases, business and cultural) environments that creativity is being pursued, along with anecdotal stories. They are not necessarily born out of the Directive – some of these places predated the Gazette by a decade; and the people I spoke to at these places did not necessarily know anything about the policy; but in a uniquely characteristic Chinese way, the Visible Hand of the Government and the Invisible Hand of the Market are certainly at interplay, with the former sometimes directing the latter, while other times shrewdly taking clues and multiplying the latter.
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The Big Picture, IV – How about a 21st Century Florence? Or for that matter, a new Hangzhou?

June 10, 2016 § 1 Comment

Athenian bowl, Chinese Song Dynasty compass, Michelangelo drawing, image of brain as circuit

“Silicon Valley’s continued success depends, ironically, not on some shiny new gizmo but on learning the lessons of history.”

“What jumpstarts a golden age is not necessarily what keeps it going. The good ones manage to change fuel sources midstream. The Renaissance was initially powered by the recovered ancient texts, but the Humanists who discovered them soon generated their own ideas, their own intellectual momentum. Silicon Valley, if it is to survive, needs to find alternative energy sources, new ways of being creative and not simply new creative products.”

– Eric Weiner, Geography of Genius

“History is a mirror for the future!”

– My parents. Or maybe Chinese axiom?

So it appears that the Bay Area has an art scene undergoing transformation, with exodus and influx both at play. My roundup in the last installment of the Series didn’t even include the Stanford Arts District — the one-stop, four-institution arts compound at Stanford University that is quickly ascending in national significance, with three new buildings in three years (at a cost of $235 million), adding to the existing Cantor Arts Center.

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Beauty and Brains. The Nerd Wears Prada. My “Smart Jewelry” Reconnaissance.

January 16, 2016 § 2 Comments

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The first week of 2016 found me in Las Vegas, to attend CES, the giant annual Consumer Electronics Show, for the very first time.  In the sea of gadgets large and small, I wandered in the area designated for “wearables”.

Wearables have not, before now, really grabbed me, in spite of my coverage of health technology for years, and enthusiasm for the category in the tech world and beyond.  I tried out a Fitbit last year for a few days initially, then in a few more short stretches of heightened self-motivation, but have let it collect dust on my night stand ever since.

Just around New Year’s I learned of “smart jewelry,” and we featured two collections — Ringly and Tyia — in our Lifestyle gallery.  They made me realize why I had stopped wearing the Fitbit – many times I had been embarrassed by the unsightly plastic on my wrist, compromising my outfit.

With no better plans for my last afternoon at CES (my presumed primary mission having proven a bust the day before), I decided to just take it easy and see if I could find anything else like Ringly and Tyia that may actually be, well, “wearable”.  I’m glad I did – these last few hours made the whole trip worthwhile.

I now share with you my review and stories of five “smart jewelry” makers, including my picks from CES; as well as my thoughts about this new generation of “wearables”. « Read the rest of this entry »

Science & Technology Artisan Gifts for the Holidays

December 22, 2015 § Leave a comment

Whether you are kicking back having completed your holiday shopping, or are still in need of last-minute ideas, here is something fun you may want to do – take a survey on these science and technology-inspired artisan collections we are featuring this season, as unique, special gifts that are both delightful and educational!

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Survey-buttonHappy Holidays!

Haute Couture et Nature Sublime. Magnified and Magnifique.

August 18, 2015 § Leave a comment

August is for vacation.

Also for photography!

As I gather my gear for some amateur photo action on my upcoming holiday in the Caribbean, I would like to leave you, in this month’s newsletter, with three amazing bodies of photography works I recently came across, from three ingenious photographers around the world:


Fashion and Nature

Valentino pre-fall 2015 | "Pillars of Creation" through the eyes of Hubble telescope (photo by NASA)

Valentino pre-fall 2015 | “Pillars of Creation” through the eyes of Hubble telescope (photo by NASA).  Pairing by Liliya Hudyakova.

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