Iván Navarro, 2015. Traffic


From Walden to Space – Chapter II / The Hut

By Stéphane Thidet

Duration: 12h

Commissioned by Mériam Korichi for A Night of Philosophy in New York. Produced by the CNAP, Paris, France. Built by the Ateliers Jean Barbéris, Brooklyn, NY. Production in partnership with Laurence Bernard Gallery, Geneva, Switzerland; Galerie Aline Vidal, Paris, France; France Culture (Les Ateliers radiophoniques) and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York.

This project stages a collision between the book Walden or Life in the Woods by Henry David Thoreau (1854) and NASA’s Mercury Seven project (launched in 1959) that aimed to send a group of seven American astronauts to space. Stéphane Thidet presents a polymorphic work in several chapters, raising questions of autonomy, isolation, solitude, but also contemplation and enlarged perspectives through music and live performance. This chapter, specially commissioned for A Night of Philosophy in New York, is designed for live sound performance and auto-generated music. It will present a scale replica of the Mercury spacecraft made of wood, referring to Walden’s hut. The artist will perform insidethe spacecraft, playing homemade modular synthesizers (Ciat-Lonbarde from Peter Blasser, Grendel Drone Commander from Eric Archer…. Within the sound environment created by the artist and the capsule, excerpts from Walden will be randomly selected and played. The sound landscape will evolve during the night.

Ukrainian Institute of America, 1st floor, Board Room, 7pm




By Karol Beffa

Duration: 30’

Karol Beffa, pianist and composer, will improvise on themes suggested by the audience: words, notions, philosophers’ names, anecdotes from the history of philosophy, such as “solitary walks in Königsberg”, “being and nothingness”, “joy”…

Ukrainian Institute of America, 2nd floor, Concert Hall, 10:30 pm



Spinoza in Kiev

Text by Mériam Korichi based on Bernard Malamud’s novel The Fixer, with Karol Beffa and Trisha Bauman and Mimi Cohen

Duration: 45’

A melodrama for two actresses with piano improvisations. Kiev 1911. Yakov Bok decides to leave the Shtetl (a small, exclusively Jewish town), to learn more about the world. After he manages to find a real job in Kiev, he is un­justly accused of the ritual murder of a 12 year old boy. When Bok is imprisoned, a book by Spinoza is found in his possession. B. A. Bibikov, the Investigating Magistrate for Cases of Extraordinary Importance, is intrigued by this…

Ukrainian Institute of America, 2nd floor, Concert Hall, 1 am



P is Not Dead

By a mix of artists, curators, DJs, and poets providing a 12-hour soundtrack to A Night of Philosophy in New York City.

Duration: 12h

Cultural Services of the French Embassy, 1st floor, Albertine Books


David CopenhaferIndeterminacy, 7 pm

Thoughts on John Cage‘s landmark 1959 recording “Indeterminacy” will be interrupted, at random intervals, by excerpts from the recording itself. The lecturer is free to comment on Cage’s textual interruptions, or not.

Dj Zenon Marko with Simon Critchley, 7:30 pm

Collective TaskPPP10 pm

PPP is for poetry, philosophy, and performance. Collective Task, a collective of poets, animates un-dead philosophy.

Manuel CirauquiDiscothèque philosophique feat. Iván Navarro12 am

Manuel Cirauqui’s Discothèque philosophique is a listening room for music and recorded lectures, a stage for aural transmission and “critical dancing”. Expanding his concept of transmusic as recently developed at HEAD Geneva, and pursuing the investigations of his radio program §ympo§ium, Cirauqui presents this time a collaboration with artist and sound producer Iván Navarro. Occupying, like a dream of an afterlife, the French embassy’s Librairie Albertine for one night, the Discothèque philosophique will be a nightly exhibition of sound lit by Navarro’s sculpture—a dialogue of record collections in a temporary night club—a mirage at the heart of P is not Dead.

Special playlist, 5 am-7 am




By Matthew Caws

Duration: 40’

Matthew will play handful of new and old songs by Nada Surf and Minor Alps, and read a text by his philosopher father called The Book of Hylas. The songs will open the perspective on the possible philosophical essence of popular music, as Deleuze suggested: “A song is made by its refrain, the handful of words that creates its music.” Caws proves, however, that a refrain is not pure music but a hybrid of poetry, thought, melody and rhythm.

Ukrainian Institute of America, 2nd floor, Chandelier Room, 6:10 am