2018 KEYNOTE AND SESSIONS

Saturday, December 1, 2018 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM

FREE

The New Orleans Jazz Museum at The Old Mint 400 ESPLANADE AVENUE | New Orleans, LA 70116

Keynote and sessions are free, with first-come, first served seating. To guarantee access to programs, we recommend that you pre-register.

LITERARY IMPROV

9:00AM

Randy Fertel (author of A Taste for Chaos: The Art of Literary Improvisation) and Rob Wallace (author of Improvisation and the Making of American Literary Modernism) essay to frame the weekend’s conversation, exploring the role of improvisation in the history of culture, especially in the 20th century. Why did improvisation become such a cultural force in modern life? What was New Orleans’ role in improv’s coming to the forefront of culture?


Violinist Stephen Nachmanovitch, with instrument in hand, will explore the theme of how, with our artistic tools, we learn to think as nature thinks. From Thomas Aquinas to John Cage, people have said that art should imitate nature in her manner of operation. Not imitate nature in appearance, but in the ways nature functions, the organic process by which patterns accumulate, interconnect and grow in relationship. What is it to behave in a natural, spontaneous way? What is it to live and create in the context of a world of nature and culture that is interdependent and co-evolving? What are the ethical and social dimensions of our seemingly personal improvisations?

THINKING AS NATURE THINKS

10:30AM


EXPERIMENTAL THEATER: LONG-FORM IMPROV

11:45AM

Actor, writer and director Chris Kaminstein of Goat in the Road Productions demystifies improvisational process in theater, working with a performance partner, pointing to the structures that allow the magic to happen.


L u n c h B r e a k


Zarouhie Abdalian, Courtney Bryan, and Jenna Sherry - three New Orleanian artists of the same generation working in Jazz, Classical, and Visual Art/Sound Collaboration – explore the intersections of improvisation across their work and lives.

DIALOGUE & DEMONSTRATION: A MULTI-DISCIPLINARY EXPLORATION

2:00PM


Internationally-acclaimed conceptual visual artist Mel Chin in dialogue with Theo Eliezer of Momma Tried explore improvisation’s invitation to the audience to “finish” the work of art, and how “augmented reality” has taken the audience’s role to a new level. Moderated by Ham Fish.

VISUAL ARTS/AUGMENTED REALITY

3:30PM


Politico’s cartoonist Matt Wuerker, Music Inside Out’s Gwen Thompkins, and Slow Food USA’s Richard McCarthy will explore improv’s suddenly-quite-evident and impossible-to-ignore, dark side.

THE DARK SIDE OF IMPROV: POLITICS

4:45PM