Categorically Not! – Transparency

By cjohnson | May 25, 2006 9:27 am

The next Categorically Not! is Sunday 4th June. You may recall my post on the Categorically Not! series of events held at the Santa Monica Art Studios. They’re fantastic, and I strongly encourage you to come to them. Have a look at the last two descriptions here and here.

Here is K.C. Cole’s teaser:

It’s perfectly clear. Or is it? Actually, the notion of transparency is surprisingly murky. The clear night air is opaque to much of the light raining down on us from the rest of the universe. The daytime sky blocks even the light of stars. Your body, on the other hand, is perfectly transparent to radio and TV signals; to a neutrino, you’re not even there—trillions passed through you as you read that sentence. Transparent objects can cast shadows. Perceptive people can see right through you. Institutions—including governments—often try to hide what goes on inside, and it’s the job of other institutions—like the press—to make sure they remain at least reasonably transparent.

For our June 4th Categorically Not! UCLA astronomer Matt Malkan will take us on a tour through the universe as astronomers see it, or try to see it, right back to the beginning of time where (and when) newborn galaxies were just coming into being. The birthplaces of galaxies, stars and planets are shrouded in dust, so astronomers, “like aggressive papparazi,” must go to great lengths to get images. (Having spent 20 hours in a delivery room on two occasions, Malkan says he can “appreciate this cosmic modesty.”)

For an artistic perspective, Melinda Smith Altshuler will show how she uses transparency to create works of art with astonishing mystery and depth in her studio at the Hangar. Melinda has shown locally with Sherry Frumkin and most recently with Sara Lee Art Projects at Bergamot Station—as well as in France, Italy, Korea and Central America. She has taught Studio Arts at Crossroads School in Santa Monica, and is an Associate at the Institute of Cultural Inquiry, Los Angeles.

And finally—accounting! What are credits and debits anyhow? To find out, Zoe-Vonna Palmrose enlisted the help of the 50,000 year old Thog family of mastodon hunters (who will not appear with her) and former Microsoft CFO Mike Brown, (who might) to write the Thog’s Guide to Quantum Economics—which she’ll be giving out Sunday. USC’s PricewaterhouseCoopers Auditing Professor, Zoe-Vonna has been a key player shaping the U.S. financial reporting environment, where transparency is today’s buzzword.

As usual, it is held at the Santa Monica Art Studios, come at 6:00pm for drinks, cookies and a look around the space, and there’s a 6:30 start. For more information, visit the Categorically Not! website.

Hope to see some of you there!


CATEGORIZED UNDER: Arts, Entertainment, Science
  • Moshe

    Oh boy, I finally understand what the paradoxical-sounding “astrobiology” refers to, now I need to ponder “quantum economics”, I guess there is some conservation law in effect.

  • Jeff Nuttall

    I’m going to try to make it this time; having read the reports of the previous Categorically Not!s, I’ve been looking forward to getting to one. How late do these things usually go, though? (I ask because I need to plan my transportation there and back, and the buses run rather infrequently late at night…)

  • Jeff

    Usually they wrap up about 9, 9:30ish at the latest, at least for the 2 I’ve been to. The vibe is so friendly that I even bet it would be easy to meet someone there who could give you a ride back to your part of town.

    Unfortunately/fortunately, I’ll be in Italy that day and will miss it.


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