An All-Day Springtime Wonder Cabinet

About "An All-Day Springtime Wonder Cabinet"

On Saturday April 16, 2011, for the third time in as many years, the New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU will delve back into the roots of the modern Humanities in the sixteenth century’s Age of Marvels, when the sorts of disciplines that would eventually separate out into distinct Arts and the Sciences, as currently understood, still comingled promiscuously and sometimes well nigh deliriously.  For, as the curator of the day-long event, Lawrence Weschler (director of the Institute and the author, among others, of the Pulitzer-nominated Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonders, about LA's Museum of Jurassic Techonology) suggests, what with the expansion of the Web, the Net, and other such proliferating technologies, our current era is witnessing a similarly happy debauch of interpenetrating categories, a time when scientists and artists, fictioniaros and filmmakers and historians and digital innovators all have a whole lot to say to each other.

Saturday April 16, from 10:45 am till 9:30 pm
Cantor Film Center at NYU, 36 East 8th Street, off University Place
Free and Open to the Public




10:45 am
COLIN STETSON, the circular breathing master saxophonist (veteran of collaborations with Arcade Fire and The National) will offer the opening fanfare, doing that uncanny double-voiced thing of his.

11:00 am
An Outer vs Inner Space Slapdown, pitting image archivists MICHAEL BENSON (Beyond: Visions of the Planetary Probes and Far Out: A Space Time Chronicle, and curator of the celebrated recent show at the Smithsonian’s Air & Space Museum in Washington, DC) and CARL SCHOONOVER (Portraits of the Mind: Visualizing the Brain from Antiquity to the 21st Century) against each other, image for mind-boggling image, in a duel which may end up being decided by legendary film editor WALTER MURCH, who will be present by way of a short film in which he calculates which emits more energy, on a per volume basis: the brain or the sun?

12:00 pm
Artist and nerd-magus TOM SACHS, perhaps most famous for his exquisitely exacting foamboard, plywood, and hardware-store claptrap recreation of the Moon Landing at the Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills a few years back will preview his latest venture, in collaboration with engineers from the Jet Propulsion Lab: a Mars Rover landing slated for the Park Avenue Armory in 2012.

12:45 pm

DANIEL CROOKS, one of the most celebrated of the new generation of Australian video artists, offers a selection of work (recently highlighted in Wholphin #12) in which he veritably slices and dices the entire world.

1:00 - 1:30 pm lunch break

1:30 pm
A pair of short films: “Miracle,” one of LA artist ED RUSCHA’s first films (1975), and “Lurch” (“Lizard”) from Berlin filmmaker BORIS HARS-TSCHACHOTIN, the former celebrating a Southern California car mechanic’s increasing obsession with a Mustang’s balky carburetor, the latter chronicling a gnomish lab assistant’s increasing obsession with the reptiles and amphibians bottle-preserved in the bowels of Berlin’s Natural History Museum.

2:45 pm
Vancouver-based novelist and fabulist BARBARA HODGSON (The Sensualist, The Tattooed Map, The Lives of Shadows) unveils what may be her most sublime work yet, Wundercabinet, a deluxe limited edition artist’s book, created in collaboration with Claudia Cohen for Canada’s Heavenly Monkey Press, a Cornell-like box invoking the very origins of the modern museum in the celebration of all that is marvelous.

3:45 pm
LAWRENCE WESCHLER, the curator of this entire event, explores some of the rationale behind it, as, drawing out from his NBCC Award-winning Everything that Rises: A Book of Convergences, he lays out a taxonomy of leapfrogging convergent effects: everything from apophenia (the tendency of humans to see patterns where there are no patterns) through coincidence and cocausation, past influence and allusion, by way of cryptomnesia (the improbably frequent appropriation of other people’s work by creators who don’t even realize they are doing so) on out to outright plagiarism.

5:00 pm
MARGARET LIVINGSTONE, Harvard Professor of Neurobiology and author of Vision and Art: The Biology of Seeing, evokes the neurology of art and artists (what each can teach about the other) and in particular explores the surprisingly high incidence of poor to nonexistent stereovision among painters (including Rembrandt!).

6:15 pm
CHANDLER BURR, the New York Times’s first ever perfume critic (until his recent retirement to become founding director of the Center of Olfactory Art at the Museum of Arts and Design) on “How Fruitflies Smell” and other recent cutting-edge breakthroughs in the science of olfaction, elaborations, in part, off his book, The Emperor of Scent (about the controversial theories of renegade scientist Luca Turin).

7:00 - 8:00 pm dinner break

8:00 pm

Cellist ERIK FRIEDLANDER closes out the day with a performance of his celebrated album, “Block Ice & Propane,” in which he riffs (by way of both words and music) on the American road trip imagery of his celebrated photographer father LEE FRIEDLANDER and avant-garde filmmaker (and creator of "Decasia") BILL MORRISON.

no tickets or reservations

PLEASE NOTE:  Times listed above are approximate at best. 
Any updates to the schedule will be posted at www.NYiHumanities.org. 
For further information contact nyih.info@nyu.edu or 212.998.2101.

Nearest Subway Lines to Cantor Film Center
located at 36 East 8th Street, between University Place & Greene Street
{with caveat to check MTA's weekend service advisories prior to heading over!}
A, C, E, B, D, F, V to West 4th Street (6th Ave.)
R, W to 8th St.--NYU (Broadway)
6 to Astor Place

The New York Institute for the Humanities at New York University was established in 1976 for promoting the exchange of ideas between academics, professionals, politicians, diplomats, writers, journalists, musicians, painters, and other artists in New York City--and between all of them and the city. It currently comprises over 220 fellows. Throughout the year, the NYIH organizes numerous public events and symposia. For further information, please visit www.NYiHumanities.org or call 212.998.2101.

Saturday, April 16, 2011 - 10:45am to 9:30pm

An All-Day Springtime Wonder Cabinet

curated by Lawrence Weschler


Cantor Film Center
36 East 8th Street


Click here to download press release

Click here to download the event poster