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Daily Archive: September 22, 2018

Sep

22

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A sign your hypnotist is doing something wrong.

Remember those bizarre “PERFORMANCE” flyers that went up around campus in the first week? On Thursday, new Bwogger Chenoa Bunts-Anderson headed downtown to solve the mystery of “Text, Magic Performance”: a play written by a Columbia student and a recent alumnus for the Anthropology class of the same name. She gives her thoughts below.

Have you ever wondered what spending 90 minutes performing a three act show about performance might be like? Because, apparently, two Columbia students thought up exactly that. The interesting, bizarre, and surprisingly hilarious show Text, Magic, Performance explores the boundaries between deep contemplation and classic slapstick fun.

Text, Magic, Performance was written, directed by, and stars Nathaniel Jameson and Alex Saltiel, two Columbia students who apparently had trouble saying goodbye to class. Although originally written for Text, Magic, Performance (ANTH UN3947), an Anthropology class at Columbia, the play aims to present the relationship between states of mind and methods of presentation to a larger audience. As a Columbia University student, it proved to be an engaging project very relevant to topics explored in CU’s Core, while also being vaguely reminiscent of watching Black Mirror at 3 am.

While Text, Magic, Performance doesn’t necessarily provide any breakthroughs in thinking or deliver a long, heartfelt moral, it is an intriguing topic. Act 1 proved overly reliant on PowerPoint slides, and the actors’ motives were unclear. But Jameson and Saltiel were both clearly passionate and involved actors who were able to bring the quotes they read to life.

This Gentleman was very opinionated.

Much of the show was held up by the actors’ remarkable knack for humorous delivery and willingness to fall on the ground at any moment. The cast consisted of three characters, only two of whom were listed in the night’s billing. By providing scant information at the door and on posters, they created a surprising experience. Additional audience participation and a “silent” non-automated character in the form of a baby doll added those elements of pure weirdness often attributed to drama majors. The venue of The Tank, a small not-for-profit theater, aided in the creepy atmosphere of a room with a group of men wearing white, faceless masks.

Live accompaniment by “The Butler” featured music by Simon Broucke (CC ‘19), who also composed for the 124th Annual Varsity Show last Spring. Though music was present, the play largely relied upon a never-ending stream of dialogue. Text, Magic, Performance was clearly written from the limited perspective of two male college students, and relied too heavily on the mimicking of WikiHow steps displayed by projector. The shortcomings in the presentation of Act 1, the lack of depth for certain aspects discussed, and a generally inconclusive plot marked this as a classic student-written and performed piece. Nonetheless, the audience had a good time, laughing for almost all of the show’s 90 minutes. The show proved to be worth a short trip downtown and $5 admission price.

To enjoy philosophical concepts drawn out a little too much and incredibly engaging humor, go see Text, Magic, Performance’s last show tonight at 10:30 pm.

Images via Chenoa Bunts-Anderson

Sep

22

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A small piece of Minaya’s sprawling and evocative mural.

New Bwogger Flor Hodge walked one block to attend the Creative Conversation with Joiri Minaya concerning her new site-specific mural in the lobby of Miller Theatre Redecode II: La Dorada. Like Minaya, she is also Dominican-American.

The people above age 21 spread across the lobby awkwardly. They do not seem to understand how this conversation will take place – where the seating will be, where Minaya will stand when she speaks. In the meantime, they make sure to take advantage of the free wine. The mural covers the wall on the north side of the lobby, and continues onto the wall perpendicular to it on the eastern side. These two walls are separated from the south side by an arch and on the other side of the western wall are the stairs where people could go up and treat themselves to snacks and wine. The mural also covers the western wall located across from the stairs, also on the other side of the arch . Ultimately, they crowd near the doors in order to see the piece in as much fullness as they can.

I see a woman who looks like she could be my aunt’s daughter, but I don’t talk to her just yet. She ends up being Joiri Minaya, the Dominican-Artist whose mural is displayed in Miller Theatre lobby. Two or three people are at her heels and make small talk. They try to be as welcoming as possible. They praise the humble artist; she accepts it and treats them all warmly.

I bet you $1 your Art Hum professor hasn’t told you about her. After the event, I have a conversation with Minaya. She has been creating art for as long as she can remember, and she’s never had any doubts that that is the career she wanted to pursue. Her mother was worried about her becoming a starving artist and hoped she would pursue a more “normal” career in something like anthropology, but art was it for her. And her dedication has paid off.

Minaya talks about the significance of her project after the jump!

Sep

22

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caution, yikes

Columbia University very own Crime Blotter details the scoop of what is REALLY happening on campus. This week’s edition features Bwogger Leo Bevilacqua’s truly horrifying discovery. 

On May 20th, one resident of Wien 4 opened his door to a truly heinous sight. On either side of his door, two identical pools of vomit lay equidistant. Bemused, bothered and bewildered, this poor resident experienced something similar to what most contestants on the ill-fated game show on Nickelodeon: Legends of the Hidden Temple must have felt. With Indiana Jones-like stealth, the self-proclaimed “Wien-er” made his way to the shared bathroom where lo and behold another pool of tangerine, chunky vomit leaked out of a urinal.

The Wien community, not known for a luxurious accommodation despite the extra chandelier in its lounge, was shaken by the disturbance. Other residents shuddered as they carefully made their ways around the pools of puke. Desperation and dread seized the community, a dread far surpassing that when most of them learned of their housing assignments for the academic year.

Intrigued? Want the rest of the saga?

Sep

22

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we love space!

Astronomer and Linguist Mihir Kulkarni, a graduate student at Columbia University, spoke in Pupin Hall for the first big event hosted by Columbia Astronomy Outreach this academic year called “Clocks of the Universe.” The night consisted of a lecture, a 3D virtualization, and stargazing, which was unfortunately canceled due to weather. New Bwoggers Michael Beltz and Mary Clare Greenlees covered the event.

When walking into Pupin Friday night, there were signs directing us to the fourth floor, where we were told the lecture part of the program was going to be held. We were greeted by a graduate student, handing us a small survey to provide data for the Astronomy Outreach Program. Questions varying from how old you are, your occupation, and whether you learned anything from the lecture. We sat in the fifth row, in the middle for a perfect viewing experience. The audience is what shocked the most, there were young children there, groups of university students, and older adults. One of us is a potential Astrophysics major, while the other is potentially majoring in Civil Engineering. Having both come from STEM backgrounds, we thought that the event would be a lot of fun and teach us something new. The event began with a 45-minute lecture by Kulkarni about time. This lecture, which he called“Clocks of the Universe,” focused on how our concept of time has changed throughout history and how we can create a timescale by looking at the sky. We have 3 astronomical tellers of time: the day, the month, and the year. The day is represented by the time it takes for the earth to fully rotate: about 24 hours. The month is represented by the time it takes the moon to complete a lunar orbit around the earth. The year is commonly defined as about 365 days, represented by the time it takes the earth to orbit the sun.
Want to know more about what amazing time facts we learned?

Sep

22

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You wished you looked like this in 7th grade.

New York City is packed with amazing culture and inspiring art, but sometimes it’s difficult to break the Morningside-bubble and experience it all first-hand. “Where Art Thou” is a weekly guide to interesting and notable lectures, events, and performances for the literary/musically/theatrically-inclined on campus.

On Campus:

  • This Wednesday and Friday, head to the Miller Theater for the New York premiere of Proving Up, a new opera by Missy Mazzoli and Royce Vavrek. Proving Up is the harrowing tale of a family in post-Civil War Nebraska pursuing the American Dream. Check the event page for ticket pricing.
  • Love films, but think they could be a little more? (I know, I miss Shrek 4D too.) Next Saturday, Sep 9, check out Raba at the Lenfest Center: a collection of cinema pieces performed with live musical accompaniment, described by textura as “a multi-dimensional presentation that feels expansive and inviting.”

Off Campus:

  • Quick! What was your favorite phase you went through as a teenager? If you said your pop punk/Avril Lavigne phase in 7th grade, you’re objectively right. Head downtown to Le Poisson Rouge to see Pop Punk High, an original musical comedy featuring skateboards, excessive eyeliner and the ghost of Avril Lavigne. Tickets from $25, check the site for dates.
  • Monday at 7pm, everyone’s favorite feminist bookstore Bluestockings is hosting Get On The Stage: an open mic showcasing the voices of trans, nonbinary and queer people of color. Check out the Facebook event page to become a speaker or attendee (free!)

She’s not dead, though? via Wikimedia Commons

Sep

22

img September 22, 201810:21 amimg 1 Comments

the fancy general assembly

Happening in the World: A Kenyan high court lifted the ban on ‘Rafiki’, which focuses on a same-sex relationship between characters Kena and Ziki. The film was banned “due to its homosexual theme and clear intent to promote lesbianism in Kenya contrary to the law” as stated by the film board. The film was originally screened at the Cannes Film Festival because it was not allowed to be screened in Kenya. But it will be screened in Nairobi this week, making it eligible for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film.

Happening in the US: Earlier this month, The Sunspot Solar Observatory in Sacramento Peak, New Mexico was closed for 11 days for seemingly unknown reasons Many conspiracy theorists claimed that UFOs, aliens, and extraterrestrial activity were the cause of the closure. Unfortunately, it was discovered that the Observatory was closed because the FBI was investigating an individual using the Observatory’s internet to download and distribute child pornography.

Happening in NYC: The 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly began on Tuesday, causing a slew of street closures around Lower Manhattan in order to provide security and limit public interactions with the nearly 200 dignitaries that are expected to attend. Police have stated that they are aware of at least 60 protests that are occurring in the two weeks while the United Nations General Assembly will be in session.

Happening on Campus: Climate Week NYC is being kicked off on Monday with a panel called ‘Fighting Back Against Attacks on Climate Science.’ Panelists will discuss climate science’s relation to current policy debates. The event is on a registration basis, however, due to popular demand will also be live-streamed.

Documentary of the Week: NOVA: Treasures of the Earth (Gems), although all of the episodes in the Treasures of the Earth series are interesting, gems are super weird in how they are created and diamonds actually aren’t that rare (it’s just that one company has the monopoly over diamonds), but opal is! They are also pretty to look at.

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image via Bwog Archives

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