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IRIS team

I R I S    team

  STEPHEN AUGER    Trans-disciplinary Artist   Stephen has worked as a color theorist, light artist, and painter for over four decades. His current projects involve immersive visceral and kinesthetic experiences of rhythmic light and sound that engage participants in the most astonishing and timeless states of the human sensory experience. This work draws upon the disciplines of chronobiology, cognitive science, neuroscience, psychology, and technology.  Trained at the Center of Advanced Visual Studies at MIT, Stephen’s pieces can be seen in private, corporate and museum collections around the world, including those of Yale University, Andrew Lloyd Webber, the Santa Fe Institute, and the Carnegie Institute.

STEPHEN AUGER

Trans-disciplinary Artist

Stephen has worked as a color theorist, light artist, and painter for over four decades. His current projects involve immersive visceral and kinesthetic experiences of rhythmic light and sound that engage participants in the most astonishing and timeless states of the human sensory experience. This work draws upon the disciplines of chronobiology, cognitive science, neuroscience, psychology, and technology.

Trained at the Center of Advanced Visual Studies at MIT, Stephen’s pieces can be seen in private, corporate and museum collections around the world, including those of Yale University, Andrew Lloyd Webber, the Santa Fe Institute, and the Carnegie Institute.

  MIKEY SKLARR    Visionary Programmer   Mikey has worked with hardware of all sizes and functionalities for the last 25 years, and found his focus in biohacking, circuit board design, CNC machining, and 3D printing. While on Wall Street he was responsible for three of the world’s top one hundred computers, and has contributed to hundreds of open source hardware projects.  He began attending Burning Man in 2001 and got into wearable electronics in order to avoid being hit by hippies on bikes. Since 2006 he has also consulted for Popular Science, Make Magazine, and Adafruit Industries.

MIKEY SKLARR

Visionary Programmer

Mikey has worked with hardware of all sizes and functionalities for the last 25 years, and found his focus in biohacking, circuit board design, CNC machining, and 3D printing. While on Wall Street he was responsible for three of the world’s top one hundred computers, and has contributed to hundreds of open source hardware projects.

He began attending Burning Man in 2001 and got into wearable electronics in order to avoid being hit by hippies on bikes. Since 2006 he has also consulted for Popular Science, Make Magazine, and Adafruit Industries.

  Narrative Development, Writing, Photo + Video Editing   Alejandro is a produced and published playwright, screenwriter, and director with a trans-artistic background that includes training in acting, clown, mask, Butoh, and Shakespeare. His work has been projected and performed in England and the UK, and translated into Russian and Macedonian.  Since graduating from the London Film School with an MA in Screenwriting, he has continued to work as a scriptwriter, creative development consultant, narrative designer, imaginer of story solutions, and language alchemist with a focus on changing perception by challenging the ways we tell stories about ourselves and to each other.

Narrative Development, Writing, Photo + Video Editing

Alejandro is a produced and published playwright, screenwriter, and director with a trans-artistic background that includes training in acting, clown, mask, Butoh, and Shakespeare. His work has been projected and performed in England and the UK, and translated into Russian and Macedonian.

Since graduating from the London Film School with an MA in Screenwriting, he has continued to work as a scriptwriter, creative development consultant, narrative designer, imaginer of story solutions, and language alchemist with a focus on changing perception by challenging the ways we tell stories about ourselves and to each other.

  Eminent Developer/Programmer, Designer of App, Developer of Community Integration Capabilities   Ben worked at Apple a long time ago and was awarded several patents for his work while there (remember the Newton?).  He was also was awarded patents at Starwave for his work on the hit 1995 project Castle Infinity, a massively-multiplayer online community space and game for kids which - thanks to volunteers who took over its management - still thrives on at http://www.castle-infinity.com.

Eminent Developer/Programmer, Designer of App, Developer of Community Integration Capabilities

Ben worked at Apple a long time ago and was awarded several patents for his work while there (remember the Newton?).

He was also was awarded patents at Starwave for his work on the hit 1995 project Castle Infinity, a massively-multiplayer online community space and game for kids which - thanks to volunteers who took over its management - still thrives on at http://www.castle-infinity.com.

  Composer, Soundscape Designer   A Grammy Award-winning producer, Jeff has appeared on over 300 albums - many of them going on to become platinum sellers. Among the impressive roster of artists who have enlisted Jeff’s help are Katy Perry, Beth Hart, Luther Vandross, Celine Dion, Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and many, many others.  His passion, experience, and talent make him one of the music industry’s most sought-after and respected arrangers, programmers, and composers.

Composer, Soundscape Designer

A Grammy Award-winning producer, Jeff has appeared on over 300 albums - many of them going on to become platinum sellers. Among the impressive roster of artists who have enlisted Jeff’s help are Katy Perry, Beth Hart, Luther Vandross, Celine Dion, Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and many, many others.

His passion, experience, and talent make him one of the music industry’s most sought-after and respected arrangers, programmers, and composers.

  Lighting & Effects   Todd is a creative engineer, musician, programmer, and artist living and working in New York City.  His special interests include reinvented ritual, time- based abstraction, experimental theater, and the Uncanny. He was the Associate Creative Director of Special Effects with Blue Man Group from 2012 to 2017, has made electronic music for over 20 years, and electronic + interactive artwork for over 15.

Lighting & Effects

Todd is a creative engineer, musician, programmer, and artist living and working in New York City.

His special interests include reinvented ritual, time- based abstraction, experimental theater, and the Uncanny. He was the Associate Creative Director of Special Effects with Blue Man Group from 2012 to 2017, has made electronic music for over 20 years, and electronic + interactive artwork for over 15.

  Project Management Audience Engagement Logistics   Kyle has spent three decades exploring the frontiers of culture from the arts and healing to leading-edge technologies. Her capacity to recognize, organize and rally talent has resulted in legacy projects such as a US Green Building Council Chapter in Central California and multi-million-dollar residential design projects on the east coast and France.  These diverse expressions of her skills share the central focus of creating synergy and context for the purposes of enhancing quality of life. Her newest venture-Urban Art Tripping- leverages the transformational power of art, healing, technology and travel to provide perception-shifting, multi-sensory experiences for art enthusiasts and adventurers across the globe.

Project Management
Audience Engagement Logistics

Kyle has spent three decades exploring the frontiers of culture from the arts and healing to leading-edge technologies. Her capacity to recognize, organize and rally talent has resulted in legacy projects such as a US Green Building Council Chapter in Central California and multi-million-dollar residential design projects on the east coast and France.

These diverse expressions of her skills share the central focus of creating synergy and context for the purposes of enhancing quality of life. Her newest venture-Urban Art Tripping- leverages the transformational power of art, healing, technology and travel to provide perception-shifting, multi-sensory experiences for art enthusiasts and adventurers across the globe.

  Medical & Psychiatric Advisor  President Heffter Research Institute    Dr. Greer is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and the past President of the Psychiatric Medical Association of New Mexico.  He conducted over 100 therapeutic sessions with MDMA for 80 individuals from 1980 to 1985. Their review of this work remains the largest published study of the therapeutic use of MDMA.

Medical & Psychiatric Advisor
President Heffter Research Institute

Dr. Greer is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and the past President of the Psychiatric Medical Association of New Mexico.

He conducted over 100 therapeutic sessions with MDMA for 80 individuals from 1980 to 1985. Their review of this work remains the largest published study of the therapeutic use of MDMA.

  Behavioral Advisor Ph.D. Neurobiology and Behavior   Dr. Smarr studies the temporal structures that biological systems make as they move through time. Currently an NIH research fellow at UC Berkeley, his work focuses on understanding how physiological dynamics like sleep, circadian rhythms and behavior are shaped by the brain, and how disturbances to those cycles caused by contemporary society can give rise to disease.  His work explores developing personalized and predictive tools for future medicine and future education, though his skills extend to the fields of Life Sciences, Microscopy, Neuroscience, Sleep Science, and Computational Analysis.  He holds a Ph.D. in Neurobiology and Behavior from the University of Washington.

Behavioral Advisor
Ph.D. Neurobiology and Behavior

Dr. Smarr studies the temporal structures that biological systems make as they move through time. Currently an NIH research fellow at UC Berkeley, his work focuses on understanding how physiological dynamics like sleep, circadian rhythms and behavior are shaped by the brain, and how disturbances to those cycles caused by contemporary society can give rise to disease.

His work explores developing personalized and predictive tools for future medicine and future education, though his skills extend to the fields of Life Sciences, Microscopy, Neuroscience, Sleep Science, and Computational Analysis.

He holds a Ph.D. in Neurobiology and Behavior from the University of Washington.

  The Livingstone Lab, Harvard Medical School   Dr. Livingstone is the Takada Professor of Neurobiology in the Department of Neurobiology and Director of The Livingstone Lab at Harvard Medical School.  Author of the book  Vision and Art: The Biology of Seeing,  Dr. Livingstone has mentored Stephen Auger’s exploration of perception and his current work with hallucination and entrainment.

The Livingstone Lab, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Livingstone is the Takada Professor of Neurobiology in the Department of Neurobiology and Director of The Livingstone Lab at Harvard Medical School.

Author of the book Vision and Art: The Biology of Seeing, Dr. Livingstone has mentored Stephen Auger’s exploration of perception and his current work with hallucination and entrainment.

  Linguistic Interface Advisor Santa Fe Institute Fellow   Vanessa holds a PhD in Language Evolution Studies from the University of Edinburgh, the place where she came to appreciate that culture itself evolves and may do so beyond the direct influences of genetic control. Her experience has demonstrated to her that cultural artifacts - such as language, music, or technology - survive and replicate by passing from mind onto mind, and that this makes cognition the locus of cultural change.  Currently she is working on appropriate baseline models of drift in culturally evolving systems and exploring the co-evolutionary dynamics of culture and cognition.

Linguistic Interface Advisor
Santa Fe Institute Fellow

Vanessa holds a PhD in Language Evolution Studies from the University of Edinburgh, the place where she came to appreciate that culture itself evolves and may do so beyond the direct influences of genetic control. Her experience has demonstrated to her that cultural artifacts - such as language, music, or technology - survive and replicate by passing from mind onto mind, and that this makes cognition the locus of cultural change.

Currently she is working on appropriate baseline models of drift in culturally evolving systems and exploring the co-evolutionary dynamics of culture and cognition.

  Complex Systems Advisor Santa Fe Institute Fellow   Artemy studies how information is organized and processed in biological, neural, and physical systems. He is also attempting to use statistical physics to define a notion of semantic information, i.e. information that doesn't simply reflect correlations but rather the amount of meaningful content for a given system.  He holds a PhD from Indiana University, with a specialization in Complex Systems and a minor in Cognitive Science.

Complex Systems Advisor
Santa Fe Institute Fellow

Artemy studies how information is organized and processed in biological, neural, and physical systems. He is also attempting to use statistical physics to define a notion of semantic information, i.e. information that doesn't simply reflect correlations but rather the amount of meaningful content for a given system.

He holds a PhD from Indiana University, with a specialization in Complex Systems and a minor in Cognitive Science.