The Festival of Ideas: Keynote by Jaron Lanier and more

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The Festival of Ideas starts tomorrow with events at the New Museum, Cooper Union Great Hall, Bowery Poetry Club, and other venues around the city. Here are a few highlights from a rich program of events that address urban development, art, architecture, and technology. Many downtown organizations are working together to imagine the future city:

The Networked City
Thursday, 7:00pm
Keynote Address: Jaron Lanier
$10. The Great Hall at Cooper Union, 7 E. 7th St. (between 3rd and 4th Aves.)
Author of the best-selling You Are Not A Gadget: A Manifesto, Jaron Lanier has long been associated with Virtual Reality research and founded VPL Research, the first company to market VR products. He has served as Chief Scientist of Advanced Network and Services and as Lead Scientist of the National Tele- immersion Initiative, a coalition of research universities studying advanced applications for Internet2. He has recently served as Scholar at Large for Microsoft and currently acts as their Partner Architect. Purchase Tickets.

Swiss Institute
Sunday, 12:00pm
Does Innovation Ask for Destruction?
495 Broadway, between Spring & Broome Streets
Tickets: $7. Limited capacity, please make a reservation beforehand at RSVP@swissinstitute.net
The special talk, in conjunction with the exhibition “Under Destruction,” sheds light on the role of destruction in urban planning. The exhibition features twenty international contemporary artists contemplating destruction in today’s art.

Of course we are biased, but the Rhizome-hosted event with Aaron Koblin at the New Museum on Saturday and Sunday is also worth checking out:

Rhizome Saturday and Sunday, 11:00am – 5:00pm
Aaron Koblin: SMS Amsterdam
New Museum Theater, 235 Bowery btwn Stanton & Rivington Sts
With Museum Admission ($12)
SMS Amsterdam (2007) is a dynamic visualization of the volume of text messages transmitted during one night across Amsterdam, revealing the city’s social and economic structures. Screened in a loop.

Sunday is the last day to catch these ongoing events:

Cuchifritos Project Space
Dust To Settle
120 Essex Street, Essex Street Market between Rivington & Delancey
Eight artists present dynamic works responding to the Essex Street Market as an ambiguous time capsule, in an exhibition curated by artist Diana Shpungin. Supported by The New York State Council on the Arts, The Greenwall Foundation, and The New York City Economic Development Corporation.

Invisible-Exports
Robert Melee: This is For You
14A Orchard Street, between Hester & Canal Sts
A looped screening shows five dancers interpreting nine physical acts including “imitate a chicken” and “lick your biceps” for Melee’s 2003 performance at Judson Church in an ode to a new era of performance art.

Performa
The Collaborative City
New Museum lobby, 235 Bowery, btwn Stanton & Rivington Sts
“The Collaborative City” is an online project that brings together the Performa Consortium to create a visual portrait of downtown New York, both past and future. An ongoing collaborative reel of images, video, drawings, sound and text highlights the extraordinary composite of the creative concentration that is our town. In partnership with Tumblr, this site will be linked throughout the social network as a preview project for Performa 11 (November 2011).