Films: (Monday and Wed evenings)
- An Ecology of Mind: A Daughter’s Portrait of Gregory Bateson – by Nora Bateson
- Historical footage of Bateson, Heinz von Foerster and others
- Carol Wilder
- “In Honor of Gregory Bateson” February 1979. 28 minutes. Toasts to Gregory Bateson by Jerry Brown, Heinz Von Foerster, John Weakland, Paul Watzlawick, and Kenneth Burke.
- “Paradigmatic Conservatism” February 1979. 30 minutes. Gregory Bateson speech, published in Rigor and Imagination (Praeger, 1982).
An Ecology of Mind is a film portrait of Gregory Bateson, celebrated anthropologist, philosopher, author, naturalist, systems theorist, and filmmaker, produced and directed by his daughter, Nora Bateson.The film includes footage from Bateson’s own films shot in the 1930s in Bali (with Margaret Mead) and New Guinea, along with photographs, filmed lectures, and interviews. His youngest child, Nora, depicts him as a man who studied the interrelationships of the complex systems in which we live with a depth motivated by scientific rigor and caring integrity. Through contemporary interviews, along with his own words, Bateson’s way of thinking points us in the direction of insight and creativity in the ways we deal with the challenges confronting the human race and the natural world.
This film hopes to inspire its audience to see our lives within a larger system – glistening with symmetry, play, and metaphor. It is presented as an invitation to ask the kinds of questions that could help thread the world back together from the inside.
Carol Wilder is Professor of Media Studies and film at The New School in New York, where from 1995-2007 she was Associate Dean and Chair of Media Studies and Film. From 1975-1995 she served on the Communication Studies faculty at San Francisco State University, including as Professor and Chair. She has also served on the faculties of Oberlin College and Emerson College. She is author of a many of articles and essays on communication theory, politics and the media, and the rhetoric of the Vietnam/American war. Her film Puttin’ on the Dog screened at many venues and festivals. She received (with John Weakland) the National Communication Association Golden Anniversary Book Award for Rigor & Imagination: Essays from the Legacy of Gregory Bateson(Praeger 1982). In 2007-2008 she was a Fulbright Senior Scholar at Hanoi University, where she created a Media Lab and lectured throughout Vietnam on media education for the 21st century. She is currently a Fulbright Senior Specialist. Her book Crossing the Street in Hanoi is forthcoming from Intellect Press/University of Chicago. Carol will be presenting two films:
ASC in Performance: (Tuesday evening)
- Kathleen Forsythe and Madeline von Foerster
- Paul Pangaro
- Jeff Glassman and Lisa Fay
- Susan Parenti
An artist, published poet and writer, Kathleen Forsythe has a lived commitment to imagination and innovation as antidotes to war and conflict. Kathleen Forsythe is one of the first knowledge architects in the world and combines her knowledge in cybernetics and systemic thinking to generate practical strategies and projects that open new directions for the civil society. Most recently she has been involved with the development of the award winning SelfDesign Learning Community, a unique online learning environment and Class 1 independent school. With her colleagues at SelfDesign, she is a 2006 award winner of the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence. Her current orientation is to work with families with children on the Autistic Spectrum. At this venue she will be reading poetry inspired by the paintings of Madeline von Foerster.
Madeline von Foerster (who will not be able to attend) is the grand daughter of Heinz von Foerster. Through her application of the techniques of the Flemish masters to modern subject matter she challenges the ironic detachment of much contemporary art in favor of intimacy,knowledge, and connection. Although linked stylistically to the past, her paintings are passionately relevant to the present, as such timely themes as deforestation, endangered species, and war find expression in her work. Madeline’s artworks are in collections around the world and have been featured in numerous publications. She was named as one the “Top Contemporary Surrealists” by Art and Antiques magazine. Born in San Francisco, von Foerster studied art in California, Germany and Austria, and currently resides in New York City. Website: http://www.madelinevonfoerster.com.
Paul Pangaro presents a multi-persona composition on the notion of recursion. Pangaro is a software designer, performer and entrepreneur. He has been an active member of the ASC since the 1980s and is currently chair of the trustees and an ASC fellow. In the Interaction Design program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City he teaches a course on the cybernetics of design, co-developed and co-taught with Hugh Dubberly at Stanford University for six years. Active in musical theatre and cabaret for much of his career, his recent professional publications and presentations have focused on “designing for conversation”. His Ph.D. with Gordon Pask included the development of personalized hypermedia environments, including authoring, an extension of THOUGHTSTICKER. His new venture, General Cybernetics Inc., develops conversation software to increase velocity of insight and reliability of agreement.
Lisa Fay and Jeff Glassman have been making densely packed compositions for theatre together as a duo since 1991, touring nationally and internationally, and appearing frequently at ASC conferences. The duo is known for applying complex composed structures to ordinary daily human behavior and originating the performance techniques required for these compositions to manifest in the medium of live theatre – embodied composition. Each performed theatre piece builds a compositional technique into portrayals of daily life; twists, reversals, sudden juxtapositions and transformations induce cracks in the veneer of consistency. In order to handle complexity, graphic notations and scores accompany the development of their work. The results, ranging from humorous and disarming to mesmerizing and disorienting, arise as metaphors for social processes. Theatre offers itself as a shared social stomping ground. With this frame, Fay and Glassman work to make explicit the implicit relationship between second-order cybernetics and live theatre.
Susan Parenti is a composer and playwright, and teaches at the School for Designing a Society.
- Stephen Nachmanovitch
Stephen Nachmanovitch performs and teaches internationally as an improvisational violinist, and at the intersections of music, dance, theater, and multimedia arts. He is the author of Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art (Penguin, 1990). Born in 1950, he studied at Harvard and the University of California, where he earned a Ph.D. in the History of Consciousness for an exploration of William Blake. His mentor was the anthropologist and philosopher Gregory Bateson. He has taught and lectured widely in the United States and abroad on creativity and the spiritual underpinnings of art. In the 1970’s he was a pioneer in free improvisation on violin, viola and electric violin. He has presented master classes and workshops at many conservatories and universities, and has had numerous appearances on radio, television, and at music and theater festivals. He has collaborated with other artists in media including music, dance, theater, and film, and has developed programs melding art, music, literature, and computer technology. He has published articles in a variety of fields since 1966, and has created computer software including The World Music Menu and Visual Music Tone Painter. He lives with his wife and two sons in Charlottesville, Virginia. He is currently performing, recording, teaching, and doing new writing about Bateson and about improvisation. www.freeplay.com.