LASER Boston: Future_Data

Starting out this new year, our first LASER of 2021 will address the vast world of data and its future.

Quantum Memories - NGV from Refik Anadol (Refik Anadol Studio)

Event Details




January 22, 2021 from 12:00pm - 1:30pm EST | 6:00pm - 7:30pm CET


Free, RSVP below.

Starting out this new year, our first LASER of 2021 will address the vast world of data and its future. Over the past two decades, big data has become indispensable and is increasing exponentially in amount. What are the issues that result from our unquenchable thirst for collecting and creating data? What are the possibilities that it provides us? And what are the challenges we face now, and will in the future? Three impressive speakers from the arts and sciences will share their work and thoughts around this topic. Join us on January 22nd to discuss these questions and more.

LASER Boston: Future_Data will feature Dr. Robert Grass (Titulary Professor at the Functional Materials Laboratory at ETH Zurich), Refik Anadol (globally-known media artist and director), and Christine Choirat (Adjunct Lecturer on Biostatistics at Harvard and the Chief Innovation Officer at the Swiss Data Science Center). 

Presented by swissnex Boston and SciArt Initiative.

Watch the event recording here!


In Boston (EST)

12:00 pm – Welcome Remarks
12:15 pm – LASER Talk by Robert Grass
12:30 pm – LASER Talk by Christine Choirat
12:45 pm – LASER Talk by Refik Anadol
01:00 pm – Q&A and Closing Remarks with questions from the audience
01:30 pm – End of Event

In Switzerland (CET)

06:00 pm – Welcome Remarks
06:15 pm – LASER Talk by Robert Grass
06:30 pm – LASER Talk by Christine Choirat
06:45 pm – LASER Talk by Refik Anadol
07:00 pm – Q&A and Closing Remarks with questions from the audience
07:30 pm – End of Event


  • Dr. Robert Grass – Storing digital data for the future in DNA
  • Christine Choirat – Big Problems, Big Data (And Vice Versa)
  • Refik Anadol – Art In the Age of Machine Intelligence


Dr. Robert Grass, Professor, Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences ETH Zurich

Robert Grass is Titulary Professor at the Functional Materials Laboratory at ETH Zurich. He studied Chemical Engineering at ETH with a stay at CASE Western Reserve University Cleveland in 2003 after which he pursued a Ph.D. at ETH Zurich. Robert Grass is involved in several areas of teaching chemistry, involving courses for small children, high-​school chemistry education, process control education of chemical engineers at ETH Zurich, and is a member of the advisory board of the ETH Student Project House. His research encompasses nanomaterial science, surface chemistry, and nucleic acid research and has resulted in over 110 research papers, 11 patents, and 4 book chapters.

Refik Anadol, Media Artist and Director, Visiting Researcher & Lecturer at UCLA’s Design Media Arts Department

Refik Anadol is a media artist, director, and pioneer in the aesthetics of data and machine intelligence. His body of work locates creativity at the intersection of humans and machines. In taking the data that flows around us as the primary material and the neural network of a computerized mind as a collaborator, Anadol paints with a thinking brush, offering us radical visualizations of our digitized memories and expanding the possibilities of architecture, narrative, and the body in motion. Anadol’s site-specific AI data sculptures live audio/visual performances, and immersive installations take many forms while encouraging us to rethink our engagement with the physical world, its temporal and spatial dimensions, and the creative potential of machines.

Christine Choirat, Chief Innovation Officer, Swiss Data Science Center

Christine Choirat is the Chief Innovation Officer of the Swiss Data Science Center (SDSC), an initiative to accelerate the use of data science and machine learning techniques within academic disciplines and the industrial sector, in Switzerland and internationally. She was trained as a statistician (PhD 2003, Paris Dauphine) and, before joining SDSC, was a Senior Research Scientist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Her research interests are health data science and high-performance computing, reproducible research, and environmental policy and health policy.  Recently published works include the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, and Science.

Watch Now

LASER Boston is co-organized by swissnex Boston and SciArt Initiative. LASER is a program of Leonardo/the International Society for the Arts, Sciences, and Technology. LASER Boston meets four times per year, featuring local and visiting artists, scientists, technologists, and creative professionals.