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May 17th, 2015
How would you suspend a billion pounds of water in the air with no visible means of support? Or store a lifetime’s worth of documents? Build a cloud, of course! Clouds can seem insubstantial--nothing but floaty, fluffy airheads. But they have the power to destroy, delight, sadden, obscure and inspire.
Matias Jaskari sees clouds from all angles. As an airline pilot, clouds define his work, signaling weather, even danger. They obscure vital information and restrict senses, requiring technology to operate safely. At the same time, clouds fill his world with indescribable beauty, displaying nature’s power and filtering light in innumerable arrays and patterns—magnificence he captures with his camera. He’ll speak about his deep appreciation for clouds from, well, both sides now.
These days, we store photographs in computer-based clouds—also deceptively ephemeral but in fact cleverly constructed with powerful software and mall-sized servers. Bhaskar Krishnamachari is a USC computer engineer praised as one of the top 35 innovators under 35 who develops algorithms for communication networks; he’ll discuss their evolution, future and security. He integrates math, music, art and "truthiness" in his blog, "An Academic's Freedom.”
Society is connected by “the Cloud” but also lost in a fog of oppression and traumatic inequality. Brent Blair uses Theatre of the Oppressed (TO) techniques learned from the late Augusto Boal and developed through his work in Rwanda, Afghanistan, Iran, South Africa and Mozambique to help communities navigate this new interconnected but isolating human experience. Founding Director of USC’s Applied Theatre Arts, he’s a new foster father to 8-month old Obi.