Art is not about communication. It's about communion. - Raphael Lozano-Hemmer, IdeaFestival 2013
In this IdeaFestival story, Transylvania University professors and artists Kremena Todorova and Kurt Gohde talk about their work on "Discarded," say the Lexington Tattoo Project is a "love letter to the city," and share a quick story from their lives about what inspires them to make public art.
While not quite as dramatic as the encounter they describe in the first half of the video - really, just listen! - I've always been amazed at the fortuitous meetings and interesting ideas that people describe as having occurred at the IdeaFestival. Anne Shadle, for example, got rid of cable. One long time fan and supporter, Jan Winter, started a thriving non-profit focused on child health that reaches every elementary school student in the commonwealth.
In the workaday world where it's all too easy to fall into ruts and routines, and the media, sadly, affirms rather than informs, the IdeaFestival succeeds by going a different way. It emphasizes the new connections. It gently challenges. And as Kremena says near the end of the video, the first step toward any new idea or person takes an act of will. The goal of the IdeaFestival in particular and worthwhile art in general is to expand our sympathetic imagination. It's not to win any of us to a particular idea, but to ask, rather, if we can still be won.
Two-thirds of the way through the video, a loud crash, which Kurt and Kremena described as a telescope falling over, changed the space time continuum the lighting in the room they were in. I edited out the noise, but you may see what I mean when you watch.
Magic and mathematics. Ninjas, NASCAR and neuroscience. Dance, design, pop culture and pop cuisine. If it can possibly go together, it goes together here. ideafestival is a gathering of speakers, thinkers and doers, held annually in Louisville. To experience this nearly unimaginable display of the best the human imagination has to offer, visit www.ideafestival.com for tickets and schedule.
Saying that the craft has taught him how easily we are deceived in our day to day lives, magician Alex Stone argued during his IdeaFestival 2013 talk for an intellectual modesty. We often know a lot less than we think we do.
The lovely thing about magic, as well as theater, poetry and the arts in general, is that they have always worked a subterfuge, exposing, in exchange for our willing participation, our shared presumptions and intuitions. "Being fooled," Stone said during his talk, is a way of experiencing something deep.
And science is now plumbing those depths, gaining new insight into how the human psychology works.
The mind, for example, remembers the final act in any drama. I think it explains why the experience of close-up magic in the Bomhard Theater in the Kentucky Center or being waived ahead in a crowded grocery queue is so powerful. It's as if our minds have been read. And in truth, they have. Having been pulled outside ourselves, the magic, if only for a moment, is that we can encounter ourselves anew.
Look for the release of the full 2014 IdeaFestival agenda soon!
Featuring a multitude of incredible speakers, affiliate events like Thrivals and IF Water, brain-tingling, spine-straightening presentations on the nature of time, the allure of glamour, immortality, "the end of average," "moral tribes," the hunt for life beyond our solar system and the coming zombie apocalypse, IdeaFestival 2014 promises to be the best ever.
Creative Capital will once again return with a lineup of artists who will make you think anew about the everyday.
Please don't forget to add your affiliate event tickets. The wonderful Janelle Monae will once again host Thrivals. Fabien Cousteau, grandson of the legendary explorer Jacques Cousteau, will present at IF Water.
Festival Pass prices will go up on September 2, so don't wait. Get you pass today.