Hot Spots: Science & Art Cabaret tackles toxicity and the landscape

Poster for event featuring names of speakers and the event title, "hot spots.".

Popular local event series opens its 10th season with a theme that’s close to home

Release Date: October 4, 2018

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“Toxicity is an extremely localized phenomenon in Western New York, the home of Love Canal and one of the nation’s leading cancer institutes. At the same time, we have the decades-old tale of Ant Farm’s art piece, the Citizens Time Capsule in Lewiston, and the story of why it remains buried so many years after it was intended to be unearthed. ”
John Massier, visual arts curator
Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Buffalo’s popular Science & Art Cabaret will open its 2018-19 season on Oct. 11 with a theme that’s hauntingly familiar to many in Western New York: “Hot Spots,” a reference to pollution and toxicity in the landscape.

The cabaret will tackle this topic in classic fashion for the event, featuring a diverse group of presenters who will address the subject from various vantage points, ranging from physics to environmental activism to artists’ responses.

“After dozens of cabarets, it’s surprising we have not yet dealt with the issue of toxicity and the landscape, so it’s great to be addressing it from such diverse directions,” says co-organizer John Massier, visual arts curator at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center. “Toxicity is an extremely localized phenomenon in Western New York, the home of Love Canal and one of the nation’s leading cancer institutes. At the same time, we have the decades-old tale of Ant Farm’s art piece, the Citizens Time Capsule in Lewiston, and the story of why it remains buried so many years after it was intended to be unearthed.”

“Hot Spots” marks the debut of the Science & Art Cabaret’s 10th season.

The event series was established in the fall of 2009 with the goal of digging into compelling themes from a diversity of perspectives. Founders included Massier; Will Kinney, University at Buffalo professor of physics; Gary Nickard, UB clinical associate professor of art; and Douglas Borzynski, who was then at the Buffalo Museum of Science.

Each individual cabaret features a string of entertaining, intellectually provocative presentations by artists, scientists and others on a common topic. (The final event of the 2017-18 season, for instance, featured an author, an artist, a historian, an electronic musician and a former pastor discussing “Death.”) The series’ underlying premise is that intellectual pursuits that appear distinct actually cross paths far more often than presumed and share spheres of interest and meaning.

The “Hot Spots” cabaret will begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 11 in Hallwalls' cinema space at Babeville, 341 Delaware Ave., Buffalo. Admission is free.

The line-up includes:

  • Jennie Lamensdorf, director and curator of Time Equities Inc.’s Art-in-Buildings program. With Joan Linder, Lamensdorf curated, “Hot Spots: Radioactivity and the Landscape,” which is on view from now until Dec. 8 at the UB Art Gallery in the Center for the Arts on UB’s North Campus. Lamensdorf’s presentation at the cabaret is titled, “Hot Mess! Artists Scrutinize Nuclear Industry.”

  • Salvatore Rappoccio, UB associate professor of physics, who will present on the topic, “How Many Bananas is a Trans-Atlantic Flight?”

  • Michael Beam, artist, author, curator, educator and public speaker, and curator of exhibitions and collections at the Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University. Beam’s cabaret presentation is titled, “Nothing to see Here… Move Along… (Ant Farm’s Citizens Time Capsule 1975 AD to 2000 AD).”

  • Adele Henderson, UB professor of art, whose work is also featured in “Hot Spots: Radioactivity and the Landscape.” Henderson’s cabaret presentation is titled, “The Stink! Again! Really?”

  • Adam Rome, UB professor of history and an American environmental historian, who will present on the topic, “Elixir of Life, Rays of Death.”

Media Contact Information

Charlotte Hsu
News Content Manager
Sciences, Economic Development
Tel: 716-645-4655
chsu22@buffalo.edu
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