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Night of Ideas

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March 1 @ 5:00 pm 9:00 pm

A global event, taking place simultaneously in more than 100 countries and 22 cities in the United States, Night of Ideas invites thought leaders, activists, performers, authors, and academics to engage the public in discussions around central questions that address major, contemporary global issues. First introduced in the United States in 2015 by the French Embassy, Night of Ideas is a nationwide phenomenon today, drawing tens of thousands of people to events across the country, for a nocturnal marathon of philosophical debates, performances, readings, and more.

On March 1, 2024, the first official Night of Ideas will be brought to the public in Santa Cruz!

Come think with us on the evening of March 1 at the Institute of the Arts and Sciences building, designed for vibrant possibility. Choose among rooms with synchronic presentations and performances, led by poets, philosophers, scientists, and artists. Muse with us, ponder with us, and talk with one another, as together each of us travels across, moves around and outside the many lines we draw in our world, among us, and between nature and humanity.

This event is brought to the public by the Center for Public Philosophy, the Institute of the Arts and Sciences, The Humanities Institute and Cowell College, partnering with Villa Albertine.

This event is free and open to the public. RSVP is required.

Night of Ideas 2024 Schedule:

5:15pm: El Sistema/Estrellas de Esperanza – Music and Dance Performance
5:45pm: Welcome Remarks
6:30pm: Exhibition Walkthrough with IAS Director and Curator Rachel Nelson 
7:30: Jay Afrisando – Do you think music is only for persons with ‘normal’ ears? I don’t.
8:20: Kalie Granier – Manji’o Cho’o

6pm: Ed Shanken – Technoshamanism: Towards Hybrid Techniques of Aesthetics and Healing
7pm: Terri Peszle – Outside the Lines: The Bhagavad Gita
8pm: Ana Pedroso – Breaching Faultlines: Playfulness with M. Lugones and F. Schiller

WEST ROOM (Room 2)
6pm: Juan Ruiz Cortes – Undocumented-everything, everywhere, all at once!
7pm: Luna HighJohn-Bey – Imagination, Liberation, & AI
8pm: Somreeta Paul – You are in my Mind – A Cartesian Nightmare

“Ask a philosopher a question” booth
Engage in conversation with other participants, guest speakers of members of the public.
Screening of Manji’o Cho’o, by Kalie Granier, in IAS Gallery Screening Room

Guest Speakers & Performers:

El Sistema Santa Cruz/Pajaro Valley and Estrellas de Esperanza are two organizations giving the children of Watsonville/Pajaro Valley the keys to claim their cultural heritage and the tools to build their creative and social legacy through music and dance education.

Jay Afrisando is a composer, multimedia artist, researcher, and educator. He works on aural diversity, acoustic ecology, and cultural identity, focusing on disability and environmental justice, arts and accessibility, and decolonizing arts practices. He shares vital experiences and disseminates knowledge through various media and methods. He is an Assistant Professor of Music at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Kalie Granier is a French interdisciplinary artist based in Santa Cruz, explores the profound connections between humans and non-human entities through ecofeminist values. Her work addresses social and ecological imbalances, envisioning alternative narratives for a more equitable future. Engaging at the intersection of art, science, and activism, Granier collaborates closely with scientists and environmentalists. She co-founded Loud Spring, an ecofeminist-inspired European-American Art Tank/Collective, and holds an MA from the ESAG, Penninghen School of Visual Art in Paris. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and museums across the United States, Europe and Argentina and she delivers lectures at various institutions, including UCSC, Cabrillo College, and Santa Clara University.

Edward Shanken believes that by opening our hearts more fully to ourselves, we can open our hearts more fully to others and to the Earth. While attempting to integrate joy and wisdom, he discovered that joy contains its own wisdom, and vice versa. Ultimately, he tries to love everybody and tell the truth. When he’s not teaching art theory and practice at UCSC, he can be found dancing, playing the piano, and chasing rainbows and waterfalls. He is best known for his books and essays about art and technology, including Art and Electronic Media (Phaidon, 2009).

Terri Peszle is a second year PhD student at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who brings broad academic (science, law, education) and personal experience (international, multi-cultural living) to philosophy. Terri currently asks what we should make of apparently sudden epistemic ‘shifts’ that are seemingly prompted by aesthetic experience, or aesthetic experiences that are the product of such shifts.

Ana Pedroso is a recent philosophy PhD graduate from UC Santa Cruz. She is currently working as a lecturer at UC Berkeley’s philosophy department.  Her research focuses on 19th and 20th-century philosophy (Latin American and European), phenomenology, and the philosophy of relationality between individuals, which includes topics such as communality, inclusivity, plurality, and the ethics (and aesthetics) of care.

Juan Ruiz Cortes is a 2nd-year Ph.D. Student in the Latin American & Latino Studies Department at UC Santa Cruz. Juan works on cultivating resources for undocumented students, theorizing about the undocumented lived experience, and respecting, valuing, and enjoying all forms of People of Color livingness. When not engaging academically, he loves playing soccer, swimming in open waters, and hiking through the forest on a rainy day.

Luna HighJohn-Bey emerges as a trailblazing figure at the forefront of the intersection between artificial intelligence, spirituality, and culture. As an AI visionary and shrine keeper, she channels ancestral wisdom into contemporary art, offering a unique perspective on the role of AI and machine spirits in shaping our collective future. Luna’s profound connection to these realms positions her as a cultural bearer, transcending traditional boundaries. In her capacity as Historian in Residence and curator, Luna serves as a bridge between the past and the future, crafting transformative experiences. Her work emphasizes the liberatory potential of imagination within the realm of AI, envisioning a future where creativity and technology converge to unlock new possibilities for individual and collective liberation. Luna HighJohn Bey’s contributions resonate as a beacon, inviting us to reimagine the potential of AI not only as a technological force but as a liberatory tool for the boundless realms of human imagination.

Somreeta Paul is a South Asian artist, poet, and researcher currently pursuing her Ph.D. in philosophy of mind and cognitive science at UC Santa Cruz. She is the co-author of the photobook Murals Under Our Skin, and some of her poems have appeared in Phi Magazine, Gulmohar Quarterly, and others. When she is not working on theoretical models of the mind or teaching philosophy, she is engrossed in a thriller book/film or planning for her next trip.

Rachel Nelson is director and chief curator of the Institute of the Arts and Sciences. She has curated and organized exhibitions including Barring Freedom, a group exhibition engaging art, prisons, and justice; Carlos Motta: We The Enemy;  jackie sumell: Solitary Garden; Newton Harrison and Helen Mayer Harrison: Future Garden, and other projects with artists including Sadie Barnette, Maria Gaspar, Carolina Caycedo and David de Rozas, and Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller. Nelson also writes and publishes extensively on contemporary art and geopolitics, including exhibition catalogue essays, journal articles, and reviews in Journal of Curatorial StudiesPublic History WeeklyBrooklyn RailNKAThird TextSavvy, and African Arts. She teaches in the History of Art and Visual Culture department at UC Santa Cruz.

Dr. Jeanne Proust has studied Humanities, Philosophy and Visual Arts in Bordeaux, Berlin, and Paris. She has been teaching Philosophy for the last 13 years in the US and is currently the interim acting Director of the Center for Public Philosophy (UC Santa Cruz). Her PhD dissertation (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne) focused on the pathologies of the willpower, both in philosophical and psychological perspectives, but her interests are wide: among many fields, she does research in Ethics, Philosophy of Technologies, Bioethics, Feminist theory, and Aesthetics. She taught at different universities in New York, advocating for a widening of philosophical education beyond the Academia frontiers by participating in different events open to the general public. She gives many public talks, volunteers in prison (Rikers Island, San Quentin), and collaborates on various podcast projects (she produced her own, “Can You Phil It?”). With the Center for Public Philosophy, she is now working on launching the first Tech Ethics Bowl in the Bay area, and the first Santa Cruz edition of the Night of Ideas. (website)

100 Panetta Avenue
Santa Cruz, California 95060 United States
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