What to do this week: March 30 – April 5

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Monday, March 30:

Event: Sarah Koenig: Women in Radio
Time: 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Location: Upper Salomon

As one of the final events in celebration of Women’s History Month, the Sarah Doyle Center brings you Sarah Koenig, of recent Serial fame. If you haven’t heard of/binge listened to/had an obsessive phase with Koenig’s podcast Serial yet, you need to re-prioritize your life.  Koenig’s lecture will focus not only on the hit podcast, but her overall career in journalism, including her work at This American Life and The New York Times. No tickets needed, but you should probably get there a little early.

Tuesday, March 31:

Event: GCB Challenge Senior Night
Time: 4:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.
Location: Grad Center Bar

The Senior Class Board is awarding any senior who manages to stick out the full nine hours in the GCB. If you want to participate but don’t want to subsist on popcorn the whole night, don’t worry: there’ll be free food.

Wednesday, April 1:

Event: Fashion, Art and Activism: A Conversation with Cameron Russell
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Location: Hillel

Cameron Russell is a model, writer, and activist, who gave this pretty great TED talk on how looks aren’t everything. All are welcome to this informal conversation and Q&A.

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A recap of cyborg artist Neil Harbisson’s lecture

harbisson adLast night, artist Neil Harbisson visited Brown as the latest featured speaker in the Student Creative Arts Council’s lecture series. Sharing his unique perspectives on sensation, perception, art, and cyborgism, the artist delivered an inspiring and thought-provoking speech.

Harbisson began with an autography of his life and transformation into a cyborg artist. He was born with achromatopsia, a form of colorblindness, meaning he could only see in grayscale. After years of being barred from, but constantly reminded of, the world of color, he began to explore possible solutions. Finally, after deeply researching the relationships between sound and color, he developed his first prototype: an antenna with a sensor that would transduce light wavelengths into sonic frequencies that would be played into headphones. The model and hardware were cumbersome, and the adjustment was difficult for Harbisson; however, after some revision and expansion of the sensor’s library of color-pitch relationships, he began to hear more and more of the distinct colors that others see every day.

In 2004, the artist decided it was time to make his development permanent; after numerous design refinements and a controversial surgery, an antenna was implanted into his skull. Equipped with his new appendage (which came complete with WiFi connection), the artist began life as a cyborg. From there, Harbisson began creating art centered on his deep, personal, and sensory understanding of the relationships between sound and color. His work took the form of “sound portraits,” “color scores” (pictured below), “color concerts,” an exploration of the dominant colors of various capital cities in Europe, and even a “human color wheel,” in which he compiled his list of all of the possible human skin colors.

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What to do this week: March 9 – March 15

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Monday, March 9:

Event: The Lecture Series: Neil Harbisson
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Location: Granoff Center for the Arts

Student Creative Arts Council is hosting this lecture with Harbisson, a British contemporary artist and the first person to have an antenna implanted in his skull. Harbisson was born with achromatopsia, meaning he was only able to see the world in grayscale; the antenna translates color into sound, allowing him experience the colors of the world. He’s also a cyborg activist. Even if you can’t get into this lecture, it’s definitely worth reading up on.

Event: Free Community College for All?
Time: 8:00 p.m.
Location: Salomon 203

Brown Political Forum is hosting this event to debate the recent announcement by President Obama to make higher education more available to the public by providing free community college. BPF, for their part, is providing attendees with free pizza.

Tuesday, March, 10:

Event: Berlin: Art and Memory, an evening with Stih & Schnock
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Location: John Nicolas Brown Center, 357 Benefit St

Renata Stih and Frieder Schnock are Berlin-based artists who have collaborated on work that focuses on the history of Berlin, Holocaust imagery, and collective memory.

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A Cool Thing You Probably Missed: Axolotl Day

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One of the “Axolotl Art Contest” submissions.

Although I was already planning on attending Axolotl Day when one of my editors pressured politely asked me to cover the event, I had not the slightest clue what an axolotl was. But as I exited the Sci-Li elevator and entered the Science Center, I knew I was in my element.

The atmosphere was like that of a second grade birthday party. There were balloons, a face painting station, free pizza, and a raffle to win a real live axolotl (which I later learned was a critically endangered type of salamander). I entered my name into the axolotl lottery and sat down to listen to a short talk about the creatures.

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Nostalgia Trip: Lisa Frank is hiring

I know this is funny, but we aren’t joking.

Do you all remember your first trip? No, I’m not talking about Spring Weekend 2012. I’m talking about 2002, when you got your first Lisa Frank school folder:

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Or what about that notebook?

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In one way or another, Lisa Frank products and the elusive identity of Lisa Frank herself have together crafted our psychedelic fantasies.

If you’re a senior on the brink of a quarter-life crisis, and either have no post-grad plans OR are looking to live the rest of your life in what appears to be a combination of kindergarten and an upper-level MCM and/or VISA class, we’ve found just the thing for you. We’ve got the scoop that CareerLAB doesn’t.

LISA FRANK IS HIRING!

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Evolution through wind and PVC: Theo Jansen at RISD

Theo Jansen demonstrates his Strandbeests' "water feelers," which respond to moisture by rapidly firing leg pistons.

Theo Jansen demonstrates his Strandbeests’ “water feelers,” which respond to moisture by rapidly firing leg pistons to move in the opposite direction.

Theo Jansen, a Dutch polymath engineer-artist extraordinaire and the father of kinetic, wind-powered “Strandbeests,” came to RISD Friday night to deliver a lecture to a packed auditorium Although not a household name, Jansen is somewhat of a rock star at RISD.

His talk was presented by RISD/Brown STEAM, a group dedicated to promoting cross-disciplinary work between STEM fields and the arts. They demonstrated a five-foot tall cardboard Strandbeest of their own. Collaborative partners included RISD Government Relations and the RISD Programming Board.

Jansen is known for merging physics, engineering, biology, and art in large PVC kinetic animals that walk down the beaches in Holland on their own accord. These beasts move their legs with pneumatic PVC cylinders powered by compressed captured air. They have a purely mechanical nervous system that is able to respond to its environment by changing direction once it detects water or shifty terrain, by anchoring itself into the ground when it senses a storm coming, or by sending smaller “scouts” in front to test the surroundings.

In the talk, Jansen ruminated on the evolution of his career, imagination, and the beasts themselves.

Here are some of the most resonant thoughts Jansen shared Friday night, after the jump.

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