A Night of Philosophy is a FREE, 12-hour marathon of talks, performance art installations, film screenings and music performances in two historic NYC mansions. It’s the first NYC version of similar annual events in Paris, Berlin and London attended by thousands.
It’s presented by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, from dusk until dawn Friday, April 24th to Saturday April 25th, and more than 70 philosophers, artists, musicians and filmmakers are participating. And FREE coffee and croissants will be provided at dawn.
A Night of Philosophy is designed to explore how philosophy informs everything, from current affairs to contemporary arts, in a playful and entertaining way. Philosopher and stage director Mériam Korichi, who created and organized the event in other cities, will once again stage the event in New York City.
It’s all happening at two iconic Upper East Side mansions, both at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 79th street: the Gilded Age Payne Whitney Mansion, the home of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and Albertine Books in French and English, and the Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion, a National Historic Landmark that is home to the Ukrainian Institute of America.
Here’s part of the schedule:
- “Do We Really Want to Be Equal?” with Florent Guénard (Université de Nantes, France)
- “Must Intellectual Life Be Boring?” by Pascal Engel (University of Geneva, Switzerland)
- “I Think, Therefore I Can” by Barbara Montero (City University of New York)
- “Suicide” by Simon Critchley (New School for Social Research), the editor of NYTimes.com’s The Stone
- “Freedom of Speech” by Monique Canto-Sperber (CNRS – French National Center for Scientific Research)
- “Honor Now” by Kwame Anthony Appiah (New York University)
Simultaneously, guests will encounter specially commissioned art installations, live performances, and film and video screenings exploring philosophy in playful and provocative ways.
These events include:
- A live reading by actors of Philosophy in the Boudoir by Marquis de Sade
- Sculptor and performance artist Eve Bailey will balance on her kinetic, 8-feet high sculpture made of large wooden beams and ladders
- A mix of artists, DJs and poets that will provide the soundtrack for the entire event, including a “Discotheque philosophique”.
- A wooden replica of the Mercury Seven space capsule serves as the stage where artist Stephane Thidet performs homemade modular synthesizers in a piece exploring the collision between Walden or Life in the Woods (1854) by Henry David Thoreau and man’s first journey into space (1959).
- Pianist Karol Beffa improvising on themes suggested by the audience – from philosophers names to anecdotes from the history of philosophy
The new Albertine Books, named the “Best French Bookshop” by New York Magazine (March 2015), will also be open from 7pm to 3am for perusing and purchases.
More information, including the hourly event schedule, on the Night of Philosophy website.
A Night of Philosophy is co-presented by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, FACE Foundation, the and the Ukrainian Institute of America.