Release Date: April 23, 2012
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Since 2009, Buffalo's Science & Art Cabaret series has delighted crowds by bringing scientists and artists together to investigate topics from magic to black holes.
Now, for its milestone 10th event, taking place on Wednesday, April 25, the cabaret's organizers have chosen the theme "The Photographic Holographic Universe." The event begins at 7 p.m. April 25 at the Ninth Ward at Babeville, at 341 Delaware Ave., Buffalo.
Like prior cabarets, "The Photographic Holographic Universe" will be free and open to the public, featuring a night of entertaining presentations by artists and scientists.
The conversation at each cabaret tends to be freewheeling, with plenty of opportunities for audience members to chime in. The atmosphere is casual. There's a cash bar, and the usual venue is a basement club.
The series' longevity -- with 10 events over 2 1/2 years so far -- is a testament to its popularity. Planned by Hallwalls, the Buffalo Museum of Science and the University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences, the cabarets draw crowds of about 50 attendees.
The goal is to entertain and illuminate -- to engage people with complex ideas, but to do it in a fun and exciting way.
"Inspired by the international Cafe Scientifique movement, Science & Art Cabaret was born out of a desire to re-imagine the way science is presented to the public," says UB Associate Professor of Physics Will Kinney, a lead organizer.
"We aim to show that, like art, science is fundamentally a creative, and very human, thing," Kinney says. "The cabaret is all about connections, and we try to make those connections by throwing out an idea like magic, or reductionism, or the end of the world, and let a diverse collection of creative people run with that idea any way they like. The result is sometimes strange, frequently funny and always engaging."
Besides Kinney, the cabaret's organizers include Gary Nickard of UB's visual studies department, John Massier of Hallwalls and Doug Borzynski of the Buffalo Museum of Science.
Past cabarets have tackled such tantalizing themes as "Invisible Worlds," "The Man Machine" and "The End of the Universe and the Future of Life." An event this February asked the question, "Are We Special?" Last November, at "The Prestige," a psychology professor discussed perceptual illusions, and a magician gave a prestidigitation demonstration.
Caitlin Crowell, a teacher and Hallwalls board member, says she has attended several cabarets and found each one fascinating.
Each time, she departs feeling like she has learned something new and possibly exotic: how black holes trap their prey, for instance, or how artists are exploiting science in their work.
"Nobody is just lecturing. Everybody's got cool stuff that they're putting up on the screen, and there's cool music," she says. "This great, weird mix of people come. They're people I don't otherwise see in the same room, and it's terrific to go to an art event and see so many new faces."
Video about the Science & Art Cabaret: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnRX315XnyE
List of past Science & Art Cabaret events: http://www.hallwalls.org/science-art.php