© Clifford Owens. Courtesy of the artist.


A Medley: 5 Performance Art Scores

By Clifford Owens

Duration: 30’

Clifford Owens’ A Medley: 5 Performance Art Scores is an audience-sensitive presentation composed of five performance art scores drawn from his project “Anthology,” a longer work comprised of scores solicited from a select multigenerational group of African-American artists.

Cultural Services of the French Embassy, 2nd Floor, Marble Room, 3 am



Body Text

By Trisha Bauman

Duration: 15’

Trisha Bauman has performed as a dancer and actor with international companies in France and the U.S. This piece creates a dialogue between the performing body and a recorded discussion with Jacques Derrida and Maurizio Ferraris.

Cultural Services of the French Embassy, 2nd Floor, Marble Room, 10:55 pm



From Walden to Space – Chapter II / The Hut

By Stéphane Thidet

Duration: 12 hrs

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, 7 pm




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




By David Colosi

Duration: 20’

Artist in residency at Pioneer Works.

David Colosi investigates the character of Leshonky- child of the Ukrainian and Slavic mythological character Leshy- a shape-shifter who can shrink to the size of a blade of grass and grow to that of a tree and tickles his victims to death. Young Leshonky, still learning his trade, can’t yet control his own laughter. This performance follows in the tradition of Diogenes of Sinope, the father of the “philosophy of the comic”.

Ukrainian Institute of America, 2nd Floor, Concert Hall, 3:50 am



Philosophy in the Boudoir

Performed by Ben Beckley, Chris Ghaffari, Jed Peterson, Laine Rettmer and Jeremy Xido

In English.

Duration: 5 hrs

A full reading of the book by the Marquis de Sade (1795), in the first unexpurgated English translation by Richard Seaver & Austryn Wainhouse published in the US by Grove Press in 1965. No other writer has so scandalized proper society as the Marquis de Sade, but despite the deliberate destruction of over three-quarters of his work, Sade remains a major figure in the history of ideas. His influence on some of the greatest minds of the last century–from Baudelaire and Swinburne to Nietzsche, Dostoyevsky and Kafka–is indisputable. Philosophy in the Bedroom (1795) is a major work that presents the clearest summation of his political philosophy. It’s a dialogue set in a boudoir exploring and experimenting through language the links between total freedom of thought and total freedom of manners and bodies. The text is adapted for five actors who give their voice to a relentless Marquis de Sade proposing a radical thought experiment.

Explicit content.

Ukrainian Institute of America, 3rd Floor, Oval Room, 12 am



P is Not Dead

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

Duration: 12 hrs

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


David Copenhafer, Indeterminacy, 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 Task, PPP10 pm

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

Manuel Cirauqui, Discothèque 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

Specially composed for A Night of Philosophy in New York by Thibaut de Ruyter et Damien Cadio from Berlin.


Rising Awareness

By Eve Bailey

Duration: 20’

Could one succeed in raising the level of awareness by sharpening one’s perception rather than raising awareness, quote that has become the motto of an ever growing raising-money industry that fails to improve our condition in a substantive way? Eve Bailey will assemble a kinetic structure made of large wooden beams and ladders that she will then balance on, 8 feet off the ground. Bailey’s sculpture-performances speak of risk-taking and express finite moments of equilibrium.

Cultural Services of French Embassy, 2nd Floor, Marble Room, 8:55 pm




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



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



Untitled (Stay), Part 1 & Part 2

By Julien Bismuth

Duration: 50′ each part

With the support of Simone Subal Gallery, New York and the artist

The performance Untitled (Stay) is structured in relation to latent states of being such as waiting, idleness, and boredom. Rather than seek to produce these states, the performance instead aims to address them, by means of the gradual composition of a text, performed for the duration of the work. Julien Bismuth will perform his act of writing in two parts. He will produce two texts, two variations on the same text, like two parentheses installed at both end of the night. Subtle events or rather processes will be staged alongside this action, using inanimate or barely animate objects such as a plant, a glass of water, or even the performer’s chair.

Ukrainian Institute of America, 3rd floor, East Room, 8:30 pm and 5 am




By Ofri Cnaani

Duration: 1h

With the support of Ostrovsky Family Fund (OFF) and Residency Unlimited, Brooklyn.

Ofri Cnaani’s performance reflects on the notion of Ecstasy, the practice and idea of being or standing outside oneself, through the form of a guided tour. How does ecstasy as an otherworldly, trancelike experience transcend out of religious zones and into the streets of a modern city?

Meeting point at the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, Albertine Books, 2nd Floor, 9:30 pm