Join the Art & Technology Committee for an evening with Shane Smith, founder and CEO of Vice Media. Vice launched in 1994 as a punk magazine distributed on the streets of Montreal, and has since become a global youth media brand with offices in 34 countries. It operates an international network of digital channels, a television production studio, a record label, an in-house creative services agency, a book-publishing house and a feature film division. Shane is also a critically acclaimed journalist. As the executive producer and host of the Emmy nominated news series, Vice, on HBO, Shane has reported from the world’s most isolated and difficult places, including North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan, Kashmir and Liberia. Shane makes no secret of his desire to help bring about the changing of the guard within the media. He believes young people are starting to find a voice, and they are not looking to traditional media to reflect that. With its upcoming launch of a global news channel, Vice is well on the way to becoming that voice. RSVP required at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Graham Hancock To Speak On Exploring Consciousness: From Upper Paleolithic Cave Art to Modern Day Shamanism
Join the Art & Technology Committee for an evening with Graham Hancock as he introduces his new book War God and shares his thought-provoking views on non-ordinary states of consciousness. Graham is a best-selling author, having sold over 5 million copies of his books worldwide, and is recognized as an unconventional thinker who challenges entrenched views of orthodox scholars.
Graham’s research into the ancient Egyptian books of the dead, shamanism, Upper Paleolithic cave art and sacred plants, and his studies of phenomena construed by different cultures at different times as encounters with “gods”, “angels”,”demons” ,”spirits”, “fairies” and most recently as “aliens” have led him to propose that non-ordinary states of consciousness have played a fundamental role in the story of humanity.
Graham will weave a compelling story of these seemingly unrelated phenomena, and will tell us why our culture ignores their significance at its peril.
Please join us Thursday October 9 at 8:00 pm as Graham Hancock returns to speak about exciting
new evidence that supports his controversial thesis that a civilization flourished deep in prehistory and was destroyed.
Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson is widely regarded as the world’s most renowned astrophysicist and science communicator. A graduate of the Bronx High School of Science, Dr.Tyson’s passion for astronomy was evident from his lectures on the subject at the age of 15, which gained him early fame in the community.
Today he is the Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space. His career has been distinguished by Presidential appointments, including the “Moon, Mars and Beyond” commission, which helped develop U.S. space exploration policy. He is the recipient of countless awards, including the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, the highest civilian honor bestowed by NASA. Known for his vibrant character and cheerful
demeanor, Dr. Tyson appears regularly in the media, including PBS NOVA scienceNOW, The History Channel’s “The Universe” and his radio talk show “Star Talk.” He has written more than a dozen books on the mysteries of the universe, and lectures frequently on diverse topics from spirituality to art.On June 27 we honor Dr. Tyson with the Gold Medal of Honor for his contributions as an exemplary educatorand scientist. The night promises to be spectacularcelebration of the man People Magazine calls the “Sexiest Astrophysicist” alive.
In 2010 the Art and Technology Committee hosted a presentation by Dennis McKenna in which he shared his ideas about the origins of the human imagination. We’re pleased to announce that Dennis will return to discuss his new book entitled Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss.
In Brotherhood, Dennis Talks of his life with his late brother Terence, well known as a radical philosopher, futurist, raconteur and cultural commentator. Dennis and Terrence’s ideas advocate strongly for the arts. Terence once proclaimed that
“art’s task is to save the soul of mankind, and anything less is a dithering while Rome burns. Because if the artists who are self-selected for being able to journey into the Other, cannot find the way, then the way cannot be found.”
Dennis will place the roll of art and creativity into historical context, particularly with respect to the development of cognition in our species. And well hear why, in a world dominated by accelerating technological change, art represents an endeavor through which we can maintain our humanness.
Books will be available for purchase, and Dennis will be available to sign them and answer questions. We hope you’ll join us for what promises to be an insightful and fun evening.
Imagination makes us human. Certainly it’s at the heart of all art. Yet we rarely stop to consider where the imagination came from. If evolution endows nature’s creatures with traits that aid in survival and reproduction, what may she have intended when she created the imagination? And from a physiological perspective, how may the imagination have come about.
Please join us as renowned ethnopharmacologist Dr. Dennis McKenna discusses how our ancestors’ interactions with plants over millions of years may have laid the foundation for imagination.
The biochemical co-evolutionary relationship between plants and insects are well-studied. The same principles apply to co-evolution with herbivores which includes humans. Interactions between plant chemical compounds and our complex neural machinery, which can trigger synesthesia- the nexus where sound, vision and symbol come together-may have been the stimulus for the cognitive evolution of the mind. Many have experienced these effects in the form of the psychedelic experience, but their impact on our culture predates the 60’s by several million years. In fact, plants may have given us the ability to understand meaning and abstractions, therefore laid the foundation for language. And with language came the ability to share ideas across continents and centuries, which reacted the very foundation for culture.
Please join us as social media expert and futurist Dennis Mancini shares his vision of the world – a unique take on where we are today, and the consequence of where we’re headed. We’ll hear how social media, virtual worlds, genetics, artificial intelligence, and nano are weaving tomorrow’s reality, together with economics, demographics, culture and human nature. We’ll hear why being part of a community grounds us, and why presence of mind will be essential to navigating tomorrow’s world. Mancini will illustrate the lecture with his unique drawings – visual representations of trends, relationships and phenomenon that define our world.
We experience much of the world through our ears and auditory system, which sense and translate the vibrations around us into the sounds we hear. Although we are immersed in sound nearly ever moment, like a fish that is unaware of the water, we are barely aware of the miracles at work.
Sound’s impact on human culture extends far beyond speech and music. The ancients revered sound as the ultimate source in the universe, and recognized its intricate connection to consciousness. And shamanic societies used sound to perform healing ceremonies at a level that is still beyond our understanding.
Alexandre Tannous, an ethnomusicologist who studied and taught at Columbia University, has been investigating the therapeutic and esoteric properties of sound from scientific, shamanic, historical, practical and theoretical perspectives. This evening, Alexandre will discuss his attempts to bridge the Western scientific understanding of sound with Eastern philosophies and shamanic societal beliefs. He will discuss basic acoustic principles, sound phenomena, music mathematical ratios, the physiological effects of sound on the body and mind, and how sound impacts consciousness, quantum physics and the nature of reality.
With gongs, Tibetan singing bowls, bells, and tuning forks, Alexandre will conclude with a short sound meditation, and will demonstrate how harmonic overtones can help us disconnect from energetic, physical, mental, emotional and psychological habitual patterns.
Join the Art & Technology Committee for it’s inaugural presentation: a discussion with artists Scott Draves and Luke DuBois about the creative process in today’s digital age. Draves will demonstrate his Dreams in High Fidelity, a dynamic digital painting whose subject is evolving artificial life, which recreates the biological phenomena of evolution and reproduction through mathematics. The system is made of man and machine, a collective cyborg mind with 450,000 participant computers and people around the world.
Luke Dubois is a composer, artist and performer who has lectured worldwide on interactive sound and video performance. Dubois is the co-author of Jitter, a music software based on the real time manipulation of matrix data for live musical performance. He appears on twenty-five albums both individually and as part of The Freight Elevator Quartet, an avant-garde electronic group he co-founded.