For the past three years, Stuart Smithers (of the University of Puget Sound) and I have co-hosted a series of late-summer lectures in a barn about an hour north of Seattle, capped off with a great dinner by a notable Seattle chef. Past speakers have included Stranger people (Tim Keck, David Schmader), Stranger Genius Award-winners (Sarah Rudinoff, Marya Sea Kaminski), Black Panthers, MacArthur Genius Award-winners, architects, ecologists, philosophers, journalists, and many others.
Between the talks, people take walks around the big property, drink wine, swim in the river, and sometimes play badminton. Some people bring tents and stay the night, which you're welcome to do.
The full announcement for this year's Symposium is below. We hope you'll join us.
Each year in the late summer, scientists, activists, scholars, artists, journalists, and others gather at Smoke Farm, a picturesque former dairy farm an hour north of Seattle, for its Symposium—a weekend of lectures and conversation, capped off with a lively dinner by an accomplished Seattle chef.
Past speakers have included a MacArthur Genius grantee, members of the Black Panther Party, an architect who designs environmentally sustainable cities for the Chinese government, an astro-biologist who looks for the origins of life in very old rocks, ecologists, actors, graphic designers, research physicians, and many others.
This year is our fourth Symposium. The chef will be Monica Dimas of Monsoon. The speakers will be:
* C.S. Soong, radio producer and journalist for the "Against the Grain" program (with Sasha Lilley) on KPFA: “When Subjects Become Objects and Vice Versa: Reflections on Alienation, Labor, and Human Agency."
* Dr. Tanya Erzan, Katherine Gould Chism scholar at the University of Puget Sound: “Jails for Jesus: Why are U.S. Prisons so Religious?”
* John Zerzan, anarchist theorist: “The End of Community and Life in the Technosphere: Pathologies of Mass Society.”
* Irina Feygina of New York University: “Society vs. Nature: Transforming Climate-Change Denial into Pro-Environmental Action.”
* Zoe Scofield (internationally award-winning dancer and choreographer), Juniper Shuey (artist and designer), and Brendan Kiley (of The Stranger) will have a conversation about the pleasures and pains of being on display.
* This year’s artists in residence will be mapper and artifact-gatherer Scott Schuldt and street/installation artist NKO Rey.
It will be a lively weekend of eating, drinking, and thinking.
Smoke Farm is a 360-acre hub of cultural and educational programming, managed by the Rubicon Foundation, 60 miles north of Seattle. It hosts annual arts festivals (Lo-Fi), culinary festivals (Burning Beast), educational programming (the Fortnight carpentry camp for inner-city high school students), residencies, and much more. The Symposium is hosted by Stuart Smithers and Brendan Kiley and is supported by the Rubicon Foundation and the River Styx Foundation.