Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Who are these guys?

Easily the most intriguing event scheduled as part of IndyTalks is the collaboration between the Library and Big Car on February 24, "7 Simultaneous Lecturers: Indy Arts and Globalization." The Big Car Collective, one of Provocate's favorite groups, developed an off-beat and creative partnership with the Central Library in fall, providing improv music for showing of classic silent films such as "The Cabinet of Dr Caligari" and "Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde," lectures by experts on screwy topics such as Sasquatch and more. Here's the Library's description of the IndyTalks event:

As part of the community-wide "IndyTalks" dialogue series and IMCPL's own "Made for Each Other" interactive series of programs, seven prominent names representing the city's arts community will discuss the future of Indianapolis arts in the face of globalization. However, there's a twist - the lecturers will be speaking at the same time. Audience members will be able to arbitrarily raise or lower the volume of each speaker as the talks progress, creating a frantic, unstructured whirlwind of words and ideas. Following the lectures, the audience will be encouraged to express ideas and feelings generated by this surreal presentation in a facilitated discussion period. The "Made for Each Other" series is presented by Big Car Gallery and Know No Stranger.
OK, perhaps this isn't the most off-beat approach ever to a serious discussion of globalization. In the mid 1990s the short-lived "Paula Poundstone Show" aired this bit: "Paula ... sends a group of economists to the Santa Cruz boardwalk and asks them business questions while they're spinning in the teacup ride." Still, this sounds pretty damn cool, and Provocate's John Clark will be in the audience to crank up the volume on Big Car's John Clark (even if he doesn't dance).

Provocate knows Big Car, Provocate aspires to have an impact on the community comparable to Big Car's. But who are these other guys? What's up with "Made for Each Other" and "Know No Stranger"?

Made for Each Other is a very exciting project between Big Car and several artists and community groups large and small, intended to draw residents of Indy neighborhoods into collaborative exercises of creativity. You can read more about the plans here and here.

As always, when I hear about these great ideas from Big Car it makes me wish Provocate had thought of it first. Learn about how you can be part of Made 4 Each Other's projects here.

How about the other new name on the schedule for the "7 Simultaneous Lecturer" IndyTalks event, Know No Stranger? According to the website, "KNOW NO STRANGER is a collective group of friends, students and artists set on making the city they live in a more enjoyable place by giving the community a good time with inexpensive, local entertainment." And the goodies you'll find on the website are worth the visit.

Teaser for Optical Popsicle DVDs coming soon from KNOW NO STRANGER on Vimeo.

A good piece about Know No Stranger is at the excellent arts blog, Outposts from the Material World.

As always, getting sucked into the gravity well of Big Car reveals many cool initiatives and projects happening around Indy. More on the February IndyTalks event as details emerge from the spontaneous and surrealist caldron.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The basic IndyTalks schedule for 2010

Want more details? Visit

Jan. 13, 12 noon
WFYI Radio Interview with Richard Longworth, author of Caught in the Middle: America’s Heartland in the Age of Globalism

  • Location: N/A (on air)
  • Organized by: WFYI
  • Contact: Gail Thomas Strong (Outreach Director),, 317-636-2020, ext. 0451

Feb. 24, 7 p.m.
7 Simultaneous Lecturers: Indy Arts and Globalization
Seven prominent names of the city’s art community join in panel to discuss the future of Indianapolis arts in the face of globalization. However, there’s a twist—the lecturers will be speaking at the same time. Audience members will be given the power to arbitrarily raise or lower the volume of each speaker as the talks progress, creating a frantic, unstructured whirlwind of words and ideas. After the lectures, audience members will be encouraged to express the ideas and feelings generated by this surreal presentation in a facilitated discussion period.

Mar. 18, 7 p.m.
Backyard Pundits: Public Leadership & Ethical Questions for Indiana’s Future
In a world where immediate access to information is the expected norm and the Internet and cable news dominate, it is often hard to hear the experts in our local communities. Not quite the same as the television pundits we’ve grown familiar with, these public intellectuals – backyard pundits – have an important role to play as communities struggle to balance global concerns with local realities. This panel discussion and public conversation focuses on how public leadership should be guided by ethical inquiry and by increased engagement with the community. We will ask: “What role should the Indiana public intellectual serve in engaging ethical issues that affect all Hoosiers?” and “What are some ethical concerns specific to the character of Indiana and Indianapolis now and for the future?”

  • Location: Allison Mansion, Marian University, 3200 Cold Spring Road, Indianapolis
  • Organized by: Marian University
  • Contact: James Norton, Ph.D. (Dean, Liberal Arts) or Vickie Carson (Administrative Assistant) or 317-955-6132

Apr. 21, 6:30 p.m.
When Did I Get Old?
The 21st century will not only be a time of a growing global economy, but also a time when aging Baby Boomers will retire. How can this generation deal with the aging process in the age of globalization? A local video production crew travelled Indiana to explore the lives of older adults in a wide variety of settings and situations. These stories, along with insightful conversations with a panel of leading experts, make up the DVD “When Did I Get Old?” The audience will have the opportunity to watch one segment of the DVD and participate in a thought provoking discussion about minimizing the rough spots in the aging process and maximizing the opportunities unique to our older selves. Participants will be coached on how to use the DVD and Discussion Guide to facilitate future discussion within their own significant groups and organizations.

May 4, 6-8 p.m.
Food for Thought
Eat, think and talk with both neighbors and strangers about issues central to Hoosiers, many of which are inspired by Richard Longworth’s book Caught in the Middle. Each table will have a specific question to
spark conversation and a table leader will help guide you through a thoughtful discussion while dining on a delicious meal. In addition to face-to-face conversations, we will investigate digital options for during the event, and afterwards to continue the conversation.
  • Location: Various restaurants around Indianapolis, including locations in Broad Ripple, Irvington, Fountain Square, etc. The Indiana Humanities Council will also host an event at 1500 N. Delaware Street, Indianapolis. At the Indiana Humanities Council, we will invite people to a “pot luck” dinner and host our own conversations.
  • Organized by: Indiana Humanities Council
  • Contact: Nancy Conner (Director of Grants) or 317-638-1500, ext. 128

June 15, 7 p.m.
Is It Good to Be a Hoosier?
What is a “Hoosier?” Where did Hoosier traits and notions come from and how has Indiana been shaped by them? Noted Indiana historian James Madison (The Indiana Way, Lynching in the Heartland) will facilitate a conversation on traditional Hoosier viewpoints and, through the lens of history, explore whether these traits are an asset or challenge to Indiana in the 21st century.

July 22, 6-8 p.m.
What the Arts Mean to Indianapolis
  • Location: Indianapolis Arts Center, 820 East 67th Street, Indianapolis
  • Organized by: Arts Council of Indianapolis
  • Contact: Janet Boston (Director of Regional Services & Community Relations) janetb@indyarts.orgor 317-631-3301, ext. 214

Sept. 30, 7 p.m.
An Evening with Anthony Bourdain & Eric Ripert
Two chefs. Two unlikely friends. Two very different careers and philosophies. Hear them share stories and muse on the place of food in our personal, community, and global life.
About Anthony Bourdain   –   About Eric Ripert

Oct. 7, 7 p.m. (CTS) or Oct. 14, 12 noon (IUPUI)
Hoosier Values: Can we reconcile independence and the common good?
Hoosiers value their independence and self-reliance, but they also value their families and communities. A provocative panel will engage the participants in conversation about where these values intersect, where they compete, and how “Hoosier values” and ethics should (or should not) help shape Indiana’s future.