dorkbotsf:   dorkbotSF #12


People doing strange things with electricity


video clips:
Rudy Rucker talk (1mb mpg)
Spot Draves (2.1mb mpg)

7:30pm Wednesday
7 April 2004

132 Eddy St (between Mason & Taylor)
San Francisco


Free Admission
any donations to our hosts rxGallery would be much appreciated



Rudy Rucker - The Lifebox, the Seashell and the Soul

The talk is about a book Rudy is writing called The Lifebox, the Seashell, and the Soul. The book is about computation taken in the broadest possible sense. You can usefully regard all sorts of things as computations: plants and animals, political movements, the weather, your personal shifts of mood. Computations are everywhere, once you begin to look at things in a certain way. At the very least, computation is a metaphor with an exceedingly wide range of applicability. Rudy will discuss some of his basic ideas, demo a few cellular automata programs, and ask for questions.

Rudy Rucker the Elder is a writer, a mathematician and a computer scientist. Born in Kentucky in 1946, Rucker moved to Silicon Valley when he turned 40. Rucker has published twenty-five books, primarily science-fiction and popular science. He was an early cyberpunk and an editor at Mondo 2000. He often writes SF in a style is characterized as transreal. His most recent novel (April, 2004) is Frek and the Elixir, a far-future epic about a boy.s galactic quest to restore Earths ecology. In 2002 he published a historical novel, As Above So Below, based on the life of the sixteenth century painter Peter Bruegel the Elder. As a professor of computer science at San Jose State Univeristy, Rucker has created a number of freeware programs relating to chaos, artificial life, cellular automata, and higher dimensions. He is presently working on The Lifebox, the Seashell and the Soul, a nonfiction book about computers and the nature of reality. Rucker's website can be found at , and Dorkbot regular Rudy Rucker the Younger runs among other things. Last year the two Rudys wrote a satifical SF story about Jenna Bush together; although unpublishable in print, it's online at

Spot Draves - Spotworks

With the spiked eye candy and fractal arabesques of Spotworks, Scott Draves has significantly raised the bar on digital psychedelia and the broader category of abstract animation. His electric sheep are the fluttering Gaian spawn of networked computers and genetic algorithms, while his visual dubs of Ernst Haeckel's fin-de-siecle scientific lithogrpahs add a resonant historical dimention to trippy visuals. Mind melting stuff, and refreshingly devoid of the usual fungal kitsch. - Erik Davis author of Techgnosis and contributing writer to Wired

Scott Draves a.k.a. Spot is a visualist and programmer residing in San Francisco. In 1993 Spot received an honorable mention from the Prix Ars Electronica in Linz Austria for "Flame #149", and in 1995 he started developing the Bomb, a visual-musical instrument which four years later won the prix du public at Vida 2.0 in Madrid. In 1997 he received a PhD in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University for a thesis on metaprogramming for media processing. He then migrated to the San Francisco Bay Area to do tech start-ups including the Transmeta Corporation and FastForward Networks. He began the Electric Sheep project in 1999. It was featured in Wired Magazine in May 2001, the International Symposium of Electronic Art in Nagoya Japan in 2002, and most recently at the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference in Februrary 2004. All of Draves' software artworks are released as open source and distributed for free on the internet.

His first gig as a VJ was in 1994. Today he regularly projects live video for underground parties and at clubs and his VJ singles are published by Light+Rhythm Visuals. Last summer he was a guest VJ in the main room at the Sonar music festival in Barcelona, and at the Resonant Wave festival in Berlin. He just released SPOTWORKS, a solo DVD of abstract animation with original soundtracks by ABA Structure, Spool, and other electronic musician

Many thanks to rxGallery for hosting this month's dorkbot.

If you would like to speak at a future dorkbotsf, please contact Karen Marcelo

If you would like to speak at a future dorkbotSF let Karen Marcelo know

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