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Chicago Humanities Festival Blog

Human Dark With Sugar: A Reading with Brenda Shaughnessy
What’s love got to do with it? If the capacity for Eros is what elevates us from the animal kingdom, it’s also the source of endless suffering. It was Ovid (the proto-advice columnist) who wrote: “Love and dignity cannot share the same abode.”   In Our Andromeda, shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize, Brenda Shaughnessy envisions an alternate cosmos in which the anguish and cruelty of terrestrial life are nonexistent. While her earlier work featured wry... Continue Reading >>
Tracking the Migration of Jennifer Monson
Like other contemporary artists, choreographers use the word “source” as a verb. They source their choreographic materials in different ways. Some tap their own interior spaces, making visible (and visceral) emotions or experiences from their lives. Some are formalists, focusing primarily on framing, composition, and moving bodies through space.  Jennifer Monson finds her inspiration in nature. More specifically, she tracks and internalizes the migration patterns of birds and... Continue Reading >>
Announcing CHF's Performing Arts Lineup for Fall 2013
The Chicago Humanities Festival is known for presenting a scholar’s view on our annual Festival theme—and experiencing a great lecture can certainly be transformative. But we are as deeply committed to presenting the artist’s view. For years, each spring, CHF has showcased fresh, original performances from around the globe in our Stages, Sights and Sounds festival. This year, building on that long standing commitment, we’ve integrated even more performing... Continue Reading >>
Eduardo Kac: Transgenic Art
Eduardo Kac (pronounced “Katz”) is best known as the artist who made GFP Bunny, a project involving a green bunny rabbit named Alba. She was an albino laboratory rabbit that was genetically manipulated at the zygote stage through the incorporation of GFP (green fluorescent protein). In normal light, she was as white as the Easter Bunny. Under a blacklight, she glowed green like the fluorescent jellyfish whose DNA she shared through a synthetic process (though it should be noted that... Continue Reading >>
New Perspectives on Frank Lloyd Wright
Popular publications about architectural history tend to focus on a few male architects who designed big buildings and who possessed equally big egos. Their names are familiar to most members of the general public because their work was so well documented and their lives so well chronicled. They are variously represented as heroic, flamboyant, eccentric, obsessive. If asked to identify just one famous architect, most Americans will utter three names in rapid sequence: Frank. Lloyd. Wright. ... Continue Reading >>
What are Video Games Good For?
Arguing about whether or not video games are art is so passé. The debate peaked a few years ago when the late Roger Ebert made his now-notorious declaration that "video games can never be art." It's a sign of Ebert's great humility that he later acquiesced that he was in no position to make that judgement, having never fully played any video games. The MoMA's recent opening of the exhibition Applied Design, which features a number of video games, sparked another round of articles... Continue Reading >>

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