"The question of who or what the Me is, is not a simple one at all."
Join us in Ithaca January 18-20 as science and art intersect to explore the many facets of "Identity". Superheroes and superstars will intermingle with robots and poets, all examining the questions of who we are, where we came from, and where we are going. The festival will be held in beautiful (and brainy) Ithaca, New York and events will occur at a number of locations throughout town. Tickets are available at www.lightinwinter.com.
University of Chicago biologist Michael LaBarbera, University of Minnesota condensed matter experimentalist Jim Kakalios and noted comic book writer Roger Stern will hold an illustrated panel discussion focusing on the "whys" and "hows" of superheroes. Why can Superman fly, when we cannot? How fast can The Flash really run? With tongue firmly in cheek, these three experts will turn the scientific method on these questions and examine these imagined identities as no one ever has. (1/19/08, 1:30 PM, Statler Hotel, Cornell)
Hugh Masekela is a true music legend, a rare world music and jazz crossover success who has had several pop hits, including "Grazin' in the Grass" and "Bring Him Back Home", an homage to Nelson Mandela which became the anthem of the anti-apartheid movement. In concert, Hugh Masekela takes the musical route in exploring identity, using his trumpet and his band of Chissa All-Stars to find the places where jazz and world music meet, where flugelhorns and drums are the weapons of love, and where hatred can be eradicated with a single sweet note. (1/19/08, 8:00 PM, Bailey Hall, Cornell)
Neal Conan, host of NPR's "Talk of the Nation", is a leading expert on the cultural identity of Americans and how we, a nation of immigrants and explorers, came to be. His fascination of exploration led him to create a program entitled "First Person - Stories from the Edge of the World". With a multimedia presentation which includes the music of the world-renowned Ensemble Galilei, Neal Conan will read first-person accounts of travelers and explorers. These journeys changed the world, and shaped who we became. (1/18/08, 7:30 PM, State Theatre, Downtown Ithaca)
What do Robots Dream of? We create them and give them identities - simple or complex - but will they ever become independent beings or are they simply extensions of ourselves? Cornell engineer Hod Lipson is on the cutting edge of robot research and believes that thinking robots are not too far off. Ithaca College professor of philosophy Lee Bailey has written books on the potential moral dilemmas of creating these beings who are not us. With a performance by the League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots - real robots who perform real music - this program promises both hilarity and poignancy, and will perhaps illuminate where we are going. (1/19/08, 3:30 PM, Statler Hotel, Cornell)
Composer and public radio personality Bruce Adolphe explores the artist's identity and how it intersects with music in his multimedia presentation "Red Dogs and Pink Skies", a celebration of the work of Paul Gauguin. Performed by a fantastic lineup of Ithaca College School of Music faculty musicians, pieces of music that were inspired by the colorful tropical works of Gauguin will be highlighted and narrated by Adolphe himself, with stories of Gauguin's life and how he finally found his artistic voice in the South Pacific. (1/20/08, 1:00 PM, Ford Hall, Ithaca College)
Additional presentations will include a musical dim sum - the Ying Quartet performs a selection of pieces by Chinese-American composers, an exploration of digital identities with Cornell communication professor Jeffrey Hancock, the polyethnic percussion and performance ensemble Cyro Baptista and Beat the Donkey, a traveling exhibit titled "THEM" from the Jim Crow Museum which explores images of hatred and separation, a performance and presentation Composer Michael Gandolfi and the Ithaca College Symphony Orchestra which will examine how, by shaping nature, we shape ourselves, poetry workshops with Tompkins County Poet Laureate Paul Hamill, and additional art, science, sociology, and music workshops throughout Ithaca.
Carl Sagan once said, "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known". Join us in Ithaca January 18-20 to find that spark of knowledge, that fantastic "a-ha!" moment, that childlike wonder in the unknown. See www.lightinwinter.com for more information.