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A Night of Philosophy and Ideas: Houston

The Moody Center for the Arts and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy will present A Night of Philosophy and Ideas 2019, a unique event bringing philosophers, musicians, artists, and authors from around the world together with the Houston community through a series of conversations and performances from 7 pm to 1 am on January 26, 2019, at the Moody Center for the Arts, Rice University.

In honor of the Paris Climate Accord and the leadership of the French government in addressing climate change, the theme of the event will be ecology, with a keynote presentation by philosopher and Rice professor Timothy Morton and internationally renowned multi-media artist and performer Laurie Anderson. Known around the world for his thought leadership and publications on issues facing the global environment, Morton will launch the evening of debate with a talk titled, “It’s Not the End of the World. That Was a While Ago.” A Night of Philosophy and Ideas 2019 will explore how collective dialogue and cultural insights can prompt environmental action and motivate national and international change.

Participants will also enjoy musical performances, film screenings, and interactive performance artworks. NASA oceanographer Josh Willis will perform as Climate Elvis, addressing the science of climate change through popular performance. Artist Jae Rhim Lee will demonstrate the benefits of committing our bodies to a greener Earth through a special burial suit seeded with mushrooms. Open Dance Project will perform periodically in the galleries throughout the night. The evening will culminate in an exuberant midnight performance by Bayou City Brass Band.

An exhibition of new work by French artist Michel Blazy (b. 1966) will be on view in the Moody’s Brown Foundation Gallery, with the support of the FACE Foundation – Etant donnés Contemporary Art program. Exhibiting for the first time in Texas, Blazy is known for working with live and mutating materials in projects that bring attention to the natural transformation of matter over time, often with elements of poetry and humor.

The acclaimed documentary film, Living in the Future’s Past, will play in the Lois Chiles Studio Theater. This beautifully photographed original work, created by Susan Kucera and narrated by Academy Award winner Jeff Bridges, asks the question, “What kind of future do we want to live in?” and brings new insights into the environmental challenges confronting the modern world.