Technoculture

Dr. Federica Bressan: Fulbright scholar curious about technology and cultur

Technoculture explores how digital technology influences our lives, our experiences, and ultimately what it means to be human today. The host, Federica Bressan, interviews world class experts in the fields of technology, art, and science. Topics range from cybersecurity to film restoration, from virtual reality to audiobooks.

All Episodes

Science as we know it today is an institutionalized social practice, with a mechanism designed to distribute trust and credibility. Trust IN science and trust WITHIN science are two dimentions of the same question that allow the process of investigation and discovery to keep moving forward. If you thought that science doesn't need trust, because it's all about the facts, think again.

Oct 13

37 min 20 sec

Extending the human life with science and technology will re-shape society. It is not just a matter of living longer and healthier. We need to prepare for the consequences of longevity, from the job market to housing and banking, from politics to psychological well-being, Dmitry talks about his vision on the longevity that awatis humanity - very soon.

Sep 15

31 min 34 sec

Space travel may not be an impossible dream anymore. Access to a diverse pool of talents is a great asset, and ESA's new cohort of astronauts reflects this, with the first parastronaut program. With this interview, I wanted to learn more about the selection process, how the requirements are evolving, but also to debunk some of the romanticized views that many of us may have of the astronaut's job.

Jul 26

32 min 7 sec

Yaneer Bar-Yam is the founding president of the New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI) in Cambridge, MA. An MIT-trained physicist, Yaneer combines quantitative foundation in physics, computer science and mathematics with computer simulations and high dimensional data analysis to study collective behaviors and social challenges, with the aim of informing better policies. In the past year and a half, he has single-mindedly focused on COVID-19 with his initiative https://endcoronavirus.org. During this interview, he talks about the science of complex systems and how it can be applied to the current pandemic. He clarifies some very interesting concepts like "lockdown", which he claims was largely misunderstood, the relationship between big data and problem solving, and the variable that matters the most in defeating the pandemic: geography.

Jun 3

41 min 35 sec

Mastering is a crucial step in the production of a music record, but not everybody knows what it is. What does a mastering engineer do? I asked the best of the best, in his studio in Hollywood. Peter explains what mastering entails and where it comes from. And we glance at the future of mastering, with Artificial Intelligence applications.

Mar 17

14 min 44 sec

What does it mean to study the future? Nobody can predict the future. But we can look at emergent signals, signals of change, that reveal where we are today and enable us to be active creators of our collective future. Toshi Anders Hoo is the Director of the Emerging Media Lab (EML) at Institute for the Future (IFTF). The Institute for the Future is about empowering the world "to think more creatively, strategically about the future. And that means everyone."

Dec 2020

33 min 5 sec

John Chowning means FM synthesis to everyone in the audio community worldwide. But the man is no less extraordinary than his discovery. Co-founder of one of the most important centres for music research in the world, CCRMA (Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics) at Stanford University, John speaks about his approach to composition, and a lifelong quest for the "artistic gesture."

Oct 2020

31 min 7 sec

José V. Siles is a radio frequency engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. His research area is known as plantary science, i.e. the study of the celestial bodies that orbit stars, with a particular focus on our own solar system. José and his colleagues are trying to understand the life cycle of stars, how they form, how they die... because stars may hold the answer to the question: where do we come from?

Oct 2020

17 min 38 sec

Robert Margouleff doesn't like to live in history, but "he knows he's made some." After a lifetime of achievements, he still looks ahead and experiments with audio spacialization, new artists, new sounds. An incredible privilege to hear Robert's opinion on technology, pop music, his collaborations, the industry, in his cozy studio on Hollywood.

Sep 2020

29 min 32 sec

Bonus content for episode #37 with Federico Faggin. After our regular interview in English, I decided to interview Federico Faggin again in Italian, as a tribute to our friends and colleagues in Italy. The questions are not the same, but on the podcast website and in the description of the YouTube video, you can find the list of questions (in English.) More info at: www.technoculture-podcast.com

May 2020

27 min 45 sec

It's hard to imagine the world without the microprocessor. And without the touchscreen. We owe both inventions to one man, Federico Faggin. An innovator all his life, he is currently devoting his efforts to the scientific study of consciousness, bringing spirituality and quantum physics together. In this interview, recorded at his house in the Silicon Valley, we talk about his latest work on consciousness. More episodes on: www.technoculture-podcast.com

May 2020

29 min 19 sec

Rick Ruth, Senior Advisor at the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, talks about the importance of investing in face-to-face diplomacy today. "I have thought of everything I can think of, and the one thing that gives me some hope is the ethos that underlies the educational exchange program." This is Senator Fulbright speaking words of wisdom a couple of decades ago. Do they still apply to us?

Nov 2019

33 min 43 sec

Bonus content for episode #35. I challenged Bibhushan to explain some complex concepts of physics in simple terms. The first concept is supersimmetry (at minute 00:53); the second is the cutest expression I've ever heard in physics: "a baby universe in a black hole" (well, the baby part is cute at least - at minute 6:47); and the third is "space can travel faster than light" and even more precisely: "there is nothing in our equations that prevents space from traveling faster than light" (at minute 10:18).

Nov 2019

13 min 19 sec

When we ask questions about ourselves, our place in the universe... we are also asking questions about the universe: we are part of it and made of the same stuff. Conversely, to investigate the nature of the universe means also to ask questions about ourselves. That's why I went to CERN to talk to a particle physicist about life, research, and everything.

Nov 2019

29 min 28 sec

Technoculture inaugurates its second season with an episode that might seem outside the scope of the podcast. Why travel back in time? What do the Vikings have to do with Technoculture? Well, think about it this way: we are the Vikings of the people that will live on earth in a 1000 years. Technoculture is interested in this topic because Heidi's approach starts from the assumption that adopting a technology, wearing a technology, changes the way you perceive the world around you.

Sep 2019

31 min 17 sec

Do you know the difference between virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality? Hear Ward Peeters, pioneer of spatial computing, explain why he thinks we will soon no longer need street signs. (And how a cat can walk through a wall.)

Aug 2019

48 min 58 sec

Serge Lemouton is an expert in the preservation of the electroacoustic music produced at IRCAM, the renowned art and research center in Paris where he works as senior computer music designer. During this interview, he talks about the music repertoire at IRCAM since 1977 and how it is being documented in their Sidney system. He also shares no less than four excerpts from historical compositions produced at IRCAM. Get your peek behind the scenes at the legendary IRCAM!

Jun 2019

44 min 3 sec

Will robots steal our job? Seriously, come on. Sci-fi is cool, but unemployment affects real people. If you are a person, or know someone who is a person, you will love this episode. Andrea Glorioso is policy officer at the European Commission and an expert on the future of work, how it affects workers, training and retirement programs - and he has a very good answer to the question: will robots steal our jobs. What the world needs is more educated, informed, and intelligent leaders like Andrea Glorioso.

May 2019

1 hr 11 min

Science is foremost a human activity. The celebration of "heroes" like Einstein and Marie Curie gives the false impression that scientific discoveries are done by isolated individuals. Brigitte van Tiggelen explains why science is a process in which every person counts. We need narratives about science, but we need to be careful what implications they have. Another brilliant conversation with this historian of science, also my guest on episode #7.  More info at: www.technoculture-podcast.com

Apr 2019

1 hr

Maximilian Schich's research work combines hermeneutics, information visualization, computer science, and physics to understand art, history, and culture. Sounds complex? Hear him explain the ideas behind the achievement of a "systematic science of art and culture," and watch his amazing video featured on Nature. You will go "Wow!"  More info at: www.technoculture-podcast.com

Apr 2019

38 min 1 sec

Aleš Vaupotič is a literary comparatist and a curator. His work is in the Digital Humanities and is concerned with the building, managing, and studying digital collections of cultural data. Aleš is also a creative artist with a fascination for today's technology, and he experiments with data visualization techniques as well as electronic microscopy.  More info at: www.technoculture-podcast.com

Apr 2019

1 hr 26 min

Ubiquitous Music is a new area of research that encompasses ubiquitous computing, mobile and networked music, eco-composition and cooperative composition. Victor Lazzarini and Damián Keller are two of the fathers of this new movement, which has not only artistic and technological applications, but social implications, and educational ambitions.  More info at: www.technoculture-podcast.com

Apr 2019

47 min 47 sec

Cybersecurity is fascinating and scary at the same time. Right? Patrick Wheeler, expert in cybersecurity and technology, explains how cybersecurity is not only a concern of banks and hackers, but of every citizen like you and I. We have to be aware of the risks without getting paranoid, and we can exercise due diligence without being nerds. Cybersecurity is about data protection on social media and cyberwars, but especially about social awareness.  More info at: www.technoculture-podcast.com

Apr 2019

1 hr 2 min

Did you know that your writing style can give away your identity? Mike Kestemont is an expert in authorship attribution, a field of study that applies artificial intelligence algorithms to linguistics and text analysis. A self-declared enthusiast of the Deep Learning movement, Mike explains very complex concepts very easily. Worth a listen! I've learnt a lot. Including about a shocking spinoff of the Harry Potter novels...

Feb 2019

52 min 36 sec

Giovanna Fossati is Chief Curator at the Eye Filmmuseum in Amsterdam and Professor of Film Heritage and Digital Film Culture at the University of Amsterdam. I asked her about film preservation and restoration: how it is done, how much of the process is digital, what are the main challenges. On the Youtube channel of Eye, you can see some detailed demonstrations of the process. 

Feb 2019

50 min 14 sec

Margaret Schedel is Associate Professor of Music at Stony Brook University in NY, and a creative force of nature. I've recently nominated her my Woman Hero in MusicTech and when I grow up I want to be like her! Meet a brilliant mind and let her lead you into her synaesthetic world of sounds.

Feb 2019

47 min 51 sec

Everything has its consequences, including digitality. But what are they? Are they positive or negative? Robin Boast is Professor of Cultural Information Science at the University of Amsterdam, and author of the book "The Machine in the Ghost: Digitality and its Consequences". He certainly has something to say about our society, media, and their history.

Feb 2019

1 hr 10 min

As both a popular mass medium and a platform for underrepresented voice, podcasts have cultural significance and scholarly value. But will they endure? Mary Kidd works at the New York Public Library and is involved in "Preserve This Podcast!", a grant-funded project that will help podcasters make sure their work doesn’t disappear.

Feb 2019

53 min 48 sec

Chris Salter is an artist, Concordia University Research Chair in New Media and the Senses, Co-Director of the Hexagram Network and of the Milieux Institute, and Associate Professor of Computation Arts at Concordia University, Montréal, Canada. He moves between high profile cultural venues, high profile scholarship, and a range of academic disciplines that bridge Science and Technology Studies, Anthropology of the Senses, Computational Arts and Design, and Techno-cultural studies. 

Jan 2019

1 hr 3 min

Jürgen Hagler is the head of the research group "Playful interactive environments" at the Upper Austria University of Applied Sciences. He studies Virtual and Augmented Reality installations, and is involved with Ars Electronica and expanded animation.

Jan 2019

51 min 24 sec

Richard Romaniello is a Grammy® award-winning audio engineer and producer, with numerous nominations for engineering and producingRichard Romaniello is a Grammy® award-winning audio engineer and producer, with numerous nominations for engineering and producing audiobooks. Richard talks about the "behind the scenes" of audiobooks, with anecdotes of his recording sessions with Christopher Plummer, Michael Moore, JFK Jr. and many more. 

Jan 2019

57 min 47 sec

Brent Lee is first and foremost a Canadian musician and an art maker. He has some of the most fascinating - and useful, which is important - theories on the boundary between installations and performances, the use of technology in music/multimedia.

Jan 2019

59 min 16 sec

Bruno Jehle is the embodiment of an extraordinary range of talents: trained as a photo lithographer, he embraced and mastered the revolution in digital imaging, never losing a clear vision on where we should stand concerning cultural heritage and human values in the digital age.

Jan 2019

1 hr 24 min

Steven Laureays leads the Coma Science Group at the GIGA Consciouness Centre of the University of Liège in Belgium. He applies the scientific method to problems that historically have been prerogative of religion and philosophy: what is consciousness? Are near death experiences just fantastic stories, or there's something more to them? Can patients in a coma recover and how? How do you measure consciousness? And finally: what effects will this podcast episode have on your mind? :) 

Dec 2018

58 min 24 sec

Hans Tammen's music performance has been called "a killer tour de force of post-everything guitar damage". I asked him why, and the response is a summary of why I like Hans: clever, honest, and engaging at intellectual as well as practical level. The interview covers Hans work, the concepts behind his experimentation with science data and difference music genres, his own "hybrid" profile of musician-programmer, with a special treat: three music excerpts from his published compositions. 

Dec 2018

1 hr 4 min

Sabina Leonelli is an expert in Open Science, a movement that promotes 'openness', transparency, participation, and innovation in science. She is professor of philosophy and history of science at the university of Exeter in the UK, and her research focuses on big data for discovery, the challenges involved in the extraction of knowledge from digital infrastructure, and the role of the open science movement within current landscapes of knowledge production.

Dec 2018

45 min 28 sec

Dr. Frederick Baker is Research Associate at the Centre for Film Studies at Cambridge University. But he is also the author of the Virtual Reality Experience "Klimit's Magic Garden", created on the centenary of the death of G. Klimt. I interviewed Dr. Baker at the opening of the exhibition "Beyond Klimt" at BOZAR in Brussels, asking him about the vision behind the installation, his ideas about VR, and "art in terms of technology". Enjoy your journey into Dr. Baker's Magic Garden!

Dec 2018

1 hr 10 min

Zoltan Istvan is the "global leader of the transhumanist movement" (The Mirror). The "embodiment of the Californian, libertarian, start-up culture tech-utopian dream" (BBC), Zoltan talks about what transhumanism stands for today and what awaits us in the near future if the right money is put in the right place.

Dec 2018

31 min 22 sec

Richard Hess is a walking encyclopedia on everything related to sound and audio, from live recording to the restoration of historical collections of magnetic tapes. He is the author of the number one repository of knowledge on magnetic tape restoration, a reference for the audio community worldwide. During this interview, following our first meeting face to face at the Library of Congress in Summer 2018, he tells us about his remarkable career path and life stories. All about audio! 

Nov 2018

1 hr 2 min

Europeana is the largest digital repository of cultural data in the world. Listen to Harry Verwayen, Executive Director of the Europeana Foundation, talk about the vision behind Europeana, its services and initiatives, during the celebrations for Europeana's first 10th anniversary.

Nov 2018

52 min 10 sec

A giant of computational linguistics, Mark Liberman has participated in the evolution of research in this field towards a model of quantitative, replicable studies based on published datasets. I asked Mark how the marriage between linguistics and computer science works today, what skills are young students equipped with, and what applications computational linguistics has today. More info at: www.technoculture-podcast.com

Nov 2018

57 min

Technoculture celebrates the legendary Madame Curie on her birthday (Nov. 7th, 1867) with a special episode on her life and her legacy in conversation with Brigitte Van Tiggelen, historian of science with a specific training in physics and chemistry.

Nov 2018

56 min 1 sec

Godfried-Willem Raes is a polymath of our times. He is the founder of the Logos Foundation based in Ghent, Belgium, which celebrate 50 years of activity this year. Logos is a unique research and production centre for experimental musics, musical robotics and sound art. Learn more at: http://technoculture-podcast.com/

Nov 2018

1 hr 17 min

Thorsten Ries is a Marie Sklodowska Curie program fellow at the Sussex Humanities Lab / HAHP at the University of Sussex, UK, and a senior postdoctoral researcher (FWO) at the Institute of Modern German Literature at Ghent University, Belgium. He is especially interested in born-digital philology, digital forensics and preservation of personal digital archives.

Oct 2018

53 min 34 sec

Ray Edmondson is a pioneer of film and sound archiving, and an international leader in preserving, restoring, interpreting and presenting audiovisual media. I have had the pleasure to have a conversation with him just a few days before the 2018 World Day of Audiovisual Heritage promoted by UNESCO. More info at: http://technoculture-podcast.com/

Oct 2018

1 hr 21 min

Angelo Vermeulen is a space systems researcher, biologist, artist, and keynote speaker. In 2009 he co-founded SEAD (Space Ecologies Art and Design), an international transdisciplinary collective of artists, scientists, engineers, and activists. Its goal is to reshape the future through critical inquiry and hands-on experimentation. Biomodd is one of their most well-known art projects and consists of a worldwide series of interactive art installations in which computers and ecosystems coexist.

Oct 2018

58 min 38 sec

2018 is the European Year of Cultural Heritage (EYCH). Lorena Aldana is part of the task force in charge of the implementation of the Year. Lorena tells us about the behind the scenes of the Year, the massive organization, the selection process, the Year in figures and anecdotes of some of the most interesting initatives she has witnessed. More details at: http://technoculture-podcast.com/

Oct 2018

49 min 32 sec

Welcome to the first episode of Technoculture!  My first guest is Michael Matlosz, Distinguished Professor of chemical engineering at the University of Lorraine and a member of the National Academy of Technologies of France. We discussed EuroScience, its mission and impact on the lives of every researcher and citizen in Europe, why it's important to join and to let your voice be heard. Check out more details at: http://technoculture-podcast.com/

Oct 2018

50 min 7 sec