Radical Vision

Co-curated with Brian Tate | The Tate Group and New York Live Arts in partnership with The Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities at Bard College

April 18-22, 2018
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Radical Vision is informed by a desire to find the temerity to change the things we cannot accept.  How do we not simply protect democracy, but make it stronger?  What are new (radical) ways forward—ways that go to the roots of our current democratic crisis?  The festival will present five days of activity around the idea of an open society, to imagine its future and understand its past.  Through public forums, performances, readings and workshops, we will conduct a forward-looking, critical appraisal of key democratic institutions including the press, technology corporations, criminal justice, electoral process.  

Live Ideas is an annual humanities festival of arts and ideas, exploring the ideas, controversies and thinking informing a different bodily-oriented theme each time out. Past festivals have included The Worlds of Oliver Sacks, James Baldwin, This Time!, SKY-Force and Wisdom in America Today, curated by Laurie Anderson, and MENA/Future-Cultural Transformations in the Middle East North Africa Region.

View video of the past festivals on our youtube channel.

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Monday, April 16th, 2018
@ Irving Plaza, New York, NY
2018 Live Ideas Gala: Radical Vision


APR 18, 6:30PM
@ New York Live Arts Theater
Contents Under Pressure: Democracy In Crisis

OPENING KEYNOTE CONVERSATION Democracy is “the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”  – Winston Churchill. Liberal Democracy has always been tested, but today the threats seem especially serious and the stakes higher than before – particularly in...

APR 19-20, 4PM | APR 21, 11:30AM
@ New York Live Arts Lobby
Public Reading on Democracy

Artists will read seminal texts on democracy by such radical visionaries as Hannah Arendt, James Baldwin, Cesar Chavez, Frederick Douglass, Audre Lorde, Harriet Tubman, Yuri Kochiyama, Gloria Anzaldúa, Berta Cáceres, Grace Lee Boggs, Abraham Lincoln, Harvey Milk, Henry David Thoreau, Alexis de Tocqueville, and others.  

APR 19, 5:30PM
@ New York Live Arts Studios
Bending Towards Justice?

It is widely known that the United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. The criminal justice system disproportionately affects people of color and effectively keeps the poor in poverty.  Despite differing motives and proposed solutions, conservatives and liberals have increasingly agreed on the need for...

APR 19, 8PM
@ New York Live Arts Theater

In Spiritrials, addiction, religion and the law intersect in a court-ordered drug rehabilitation program.  A timely exploration of the American criminal justice system, this multidimensional play blurs the line between hip-hop and dramatic performance. Writer/performer Dahlak Brathwaite weaves through the autobiographical and the fictional,...

APR 20, 5:30PM
@ New York Live Arts Studios
The Press + The Resistance

Thomas Jefferson wrote that if forced to choose between “a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.” A free press was so important to the Founding Fathers that they included its protection in the First Amendment, alongside...

APR 20, 8PM
@ New York Live Arts Theater
The End of Journalism

A monologue by Mike Daisey. The End of Journalism explores how journalism in America ended, peeling back layers of “real” and “fake” news to find the darkly hilarious truth about the world we’ve made. Daisey is hailed as the pre-eminent monologist in the American theater...

APR 21, 1PM
@ New York Live Arts Studios
Hands-on Politics

Tocqueville argued in Democracy in America (1835-40) that Americans showed how democracy in the modern world might look: when they want something done, they form democratic associations to accomplish it. Just fifty or sixty years ago, one in four people held leadership positions in local politics. Today, most of us...

APR 21, 3:15PM
@ New York Live Arts Studios
By the People?

Are free and open elections at odds with the democratic process? In the face of gerrymandering, voter suppression, campaign finance abuse, election tampering, and a disillusioned electorate, is now the time to reinvigorate our electoral system, or get rid of it?  What are the alternatives? Join us for...

APR 21, 5:30PM
@ New York Live Arts Studios
Has Democracy Been Hacked?

Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple: Big Tech has a hand in everything we do: what we think, what we buy, how we vote… And as seen by the last presidential campaign, the tech companies that wield such tremendous influence over our lives are themselves subject to interference and manipulation....

APR 21, 8PM
@ New York Live Arts Theater
Resistance & Friends

An evening of cutting-edge performances hosted by Drag King Elizabeth (Macha) Marrero from the Bronx.  Featuring Portland based extended technique vocalist, composer, and performer Like a Villain (Holland Andrews), multi-octave and multi-genre singer Joseph Keckler, Drag Queen/performance artist Ragamuffin, poet and performer Saul Williams, performance artist and educator Marguerite Hemmings,...

APR 22, 11AM
@ New York Live Arts Lobby
Cynthia Hopkins: Learn A Song of Resistance

Throughout human history, communal singing has served as a source of both solace and empowerment for societies in crisis. Voices raised together in song can energize and propel through uplifting expressions of solidarity and resistance. Drawing on legacies of protest songs that have fueled social justice movements of...

APR 22, 12:30PM
@ New York Live Arts Studios
The Secret Court

Co-presented with the Abingdon Theatre. This staged reading is of a new play based on the 1920 ad hoc disciplinary tribunal of five administrators at Harvard University formed to investigate charges of homosexual activity among the student population that began with the suicide of a student. The affair went unreported until...

APR 22, 3:30PM
@ New York Live Arts Studios
How Do We Prepare For Trump's Second Term?

In a remarkably short span of time, President Donald J. Trump has transformed our culture. His achievement is not measured in his ability to build a border wall, heighten mass incarceration, impose a travel ban, or launch a military strike against North Korea. It is that these ideas...

APR 22, 6PM
@ New York Live Arts Theater
Prayers of the People

A secular liturgical performance of Martin Luther King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail 2018 marks the 50th Anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr, a Radical Visionary.  This participatory ritual/performance appropriates the structure of an Episcopal liturgy and brings to life the...

APR 22, 7:30PM
@ New York Live Arts Theater
Democrazy Ball

Shake off the current doom in celebration and acts of resist-dance with festival-goers and participants. High energy layered dance music by DJ JLMR and special guest performance by spitfire cabaret artist Daphne Always.