Pioneers at the edge(s) of the world

Autumn has just started needling us shamelessly with cold rain, battering with this-is-not-a-breeze-look-for-a-shelter, but in other respects this October has been developing surprisingly well.

Slowly but stubbornly my dearest series Pioneers go global. Yeah, it’s a quiet percolation rather than a brute invasion, and it won’t win anyone an Oscar, but that’s not the point of the series. The point is to make people think how thrilling the process of deepening our understanding of the world might be – and what fascinating people, outstanding thinkers often neglected by the ratings oriented media, are engaged in this adventure.

Centre for the Meeting of Cultures in Lublin is launching a series of meetings titled PIONEERS – talks about the boundaries of imagination: “We invite you to the Screening Room of the Centre for the Meeting of Cultures in Lublin to film projections and accompanying discussions with journalists from the POLITYKA weekly as well as artists and scientists. As part of the project, you will also be spectators of an experiment combining art and science”. Come over, if you’re around!

Six episodes of the series will be presented there. The grand opening, organized in cooperation with the Avant project, will be crowned with Daniel C. Dennett’s presence (the philosopher will also meet our readers in Warsaw, a day before). Virginia and Greg Chaitin, Julian Barbour, Charles H. Bennett, Freeman Dyson, and Artur Ekert – they all are going to be in Lublin too. Slightly disembodied – but who cares about bodies in this digital age. They’re so overhyped.

Pioneers take New York City as well. The series (exemplified by the Freeman Dyson’s episode) has just been featured in the NYC based SciArt Magazine, a bimonthly which motto I couldn’t agree more with: “Art and science have long shared a common ground; the ground of boundless inquiry about the nature of our existence”.

Julia Buntaine, founder, editor-in-chief, and a science-based artist herself, says: “While science-based art has a growing presence, the movement at large remains scattered. I want to fix this.” Thank you, Julia!

Don’t forget to check out the magazine. You can read free some of the articles. And if you happen to be in New York City, look for SciArt Center events. It’s a must.

A screening of Julian Barbour’s episode (followed by a discussion about nature of time) has become an element of the second edition of the Abstract Thought Festival, a fresh and refreshing Warsaw festival which name speaks for itself.

And finally – Russia. Yes, Pioneers will explore the vastness of this paradoxical country again. Firstly – FANK Science Film Festival in Moscow and Tobolsk (two episodes will be screened alongside such fascinating doc experiments as Lake Vostok. At the Mountains of Madness by Ekaterina Eremenko). And secondly – Eurekafest in Novosibirsk.

Ah, one more thing – all episodes of the series are now available in the US and in Canada (and elsewhere too) via online system of the Alexander Street publishing house, the leading American provider of media for learning and research. Pioneers are in a good company (to mention the Criterion Collection films, also distributed by the Alexander Street). Visit your university or local library, Pioneers might be already there.

Remind me not to complain for some time, not this October.