Categorically Not! – Imagine

yossi_govrin_sculptureThe next in the Categorically Not! series the series of events is tomorrow, Sunday 18th April. It is, as usual, held at the Santa Monica Art Studios. It’s a series – started and run by science writer K. C. Cole – of fun and informative conversations deliberately ignoring the traditional boundaries between art, science, humanities, and other subjects. I strongly encourage you to come to them if you’re in the area. Here is the website that describes past ones, and upcoming ones. See also the links at the end of the post for some announcements and descriptions (and even video) of previous events. (At the right is an image of a beautiful sculpture by artist Yossi Govrin, who is on this week’s program.)

The theme this month is Imagine. Here’s the description from K. C. Cole:

Artists and scientists, Frank Oppenheimer used to say, are the official noticers of society—those who notice what others have either never learned to see, or have learned to ignore. But the creation of novelty requires noticing what isn’t there, hasn’t happened, hasn’t yet been done. In other words, imagining. What are the possibilities? It is both art and science to translate these imaginings into worlds made of words, music, theories, virtual spaces and paint, plaster, bronze.


From a cosmological perspective, Dartmouth Professor of Physics and Natural Philosophy Marcelo Gleiser will ponder whether scientists discover universal truths or invent them. For millennia, natural philosophers and modern scientists have searched for Nature’s “Hidden Code,” what Hawking and others call the “mind of God,” the mathematical blueprint of Creation. But is it all a huge fable, the result of monotheistic tendencies in scientific thought? In his new book, A Tear at the Edge of Creation (already a best-seller in Marcelo’s native Brazil), Marcelo argues that we are being misled by centuries of monistic thought and that Nature is telling us a different story.

Nonny de la Peña, Senior Research Fellow in Immersive Journalism at the USC Annenberg School, imagines that we will soon lose the divide between audience and character using virtual technologies. She will show how “immersive journalism” affords participants unprecedented access to the sights and sounds, and possibly feelings and emotions, that accompany the news. De la Peña has written for Newsweek, the New York Times, the L.A. Times and many others publications. Her feature length documentary films have been seen on national television and screened at theatres, festivals, and special events in more than fifty cities around the globe.

The purest idea of all is the one which has never been thought of, and therefore never realized, says Yossi Govrin, co-director of Santa Monica Art Studios. The moment a concept is born, it loses the ideal state of nonexistence and keeps losing it as it moves further from its origin. In existence, the constructive element and the destructive are equally shared. Yossi works in multiple media and has exhibited around the world. His monument honoring the late Yitzhak Rabin is installed in Tel Aviv at the site of the Israeli Prime Minister’s assassination. His recently completed monument to Donald W. Douglas can be seen next door at the Santa Monica Airport.

This program will take place at the series’ usual home, Santa Monica Art Studios. (Santa Monica Art Studios, 3026 Airport Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90405 map) Come at 6:00pm for refreshments and wander the studios. Program begins at 6:30pm. For more information and directions, please visit the website. Consider sending an RSVP to 310-397-7449 or Sabine [at] santamonicaartstudios [dot] com (but if you forget, don’t let that stop you from coming!!) They ask for a $5 donation to cover expenses.


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