They say that there is no such thing as a free lunch and maybe that’s true but John Boylan has cooked up an awful lot of free and provocative dialogues over the years.
Boylan started producing public panel discussions back in ’94 when he was the editor of Reflex and kept the conversations going after Reflex shut in 97 by partnering with SAM’s Contemporary Arts Council. The conversations have evolved from panels to his now popular round table format that he hosts independently, purely for passion, in addition to his web publishing gig at Microsoft.
John’s best guess is that he’s hosted 400 to 450 speakers over the years – an amazing number, even to him.
His roundtable conversation series is kicked off last week. Join the stimulating discussions this fall with Boylan at Vermillion the third Tuesday of each month from 7-9pm.
Here’s what on tap:
This one is the latest in a long series (Death, Making Sense of the Handbasket…) looking at the urge to make sense of the craziness that surrounds us, and what role art can play in that, if any. This summer has seemed exceptionally strange, as the right flexes its muscle, the new normal drags drearily on, and a world of difficult weather suggests that something out there really is changing. Where do we turn to make sense of it all? Politics? Religion? Economic theory? Science? Art? Or is any attempt to make sense of it all doomed? Are we better off if we stop making sense and embrace the nonsense?
Temporary Cities, Imaginary Cities—Tuesday, October 18
More and more I notice the urge to build cities that only last for a day or a weekend. Burning Man’s Black Rock City is a prime case, rising from the dust of an old lakebed and then disappearing again, not long after. Then there’s the Oregon Country Fair, where a beautiful village exists year round, but only comes to life for few days in July. Closer to home, Seattle’s somnambulant Broadway comes into its own with the Gay Pride Festival, completely transformed as a new place, a city from another life, but only for a day. And then there are the ubiquitous farmer’s markets, village squares for a village that only exists as dream, also for a day. These are the places that we love, but we make them for such small stretches of time. Wouldn’t it make more sense to make cities that are like this all the time? Or would we go mad living in such places, the mental equivalent of eating too much birthday cake? What can we learn from our temporary cities and the way we create them?
Installation—Tuesday, November 15
A conversation about installation art: places transformed, objects juxtaposed and repurposed, art installed. Theater sets for plays that don’t exist. Miniature worlds that both envelope and challenge. Installations made with craft, and those made for some all-encompassing effect. Installation art.
Museums or Food—Tuesday, December 13
I still can’t make up my mind whether I want to do a conversation on museums, how they’re faring, what roles they play in this digital age, and what sort of secular cathedrals they can be. Or do I want to do another discussion of food, to celebrate again the season of gluttony?
For more information go to http://boylanconversation.wordpress.com/