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Heart of a River: Pre-performance Talk

Discussion with DJ Spooky and Geeta Mehta

Friday, December 14, 2018
6:30 PM–7:15 PM

Water gives life to our planet and its civilizations. How do we understand the earth’s endlessly dynamic, constantly changing waters—not just scientifically, but artistically?

Join DJ Spooky, designer Geeta Mehta, and artist Felicia Young for a discussion on “water urbanism” and the ecological, spiritual, and economic impacts of the rivers of India.

Following the discussion, DJ Spooky, Brooklyn Raga Massive, and composer and author Ravé Mehta will present a multimedia performance inspired by the rivers of India, the poetry of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, and data about the effects of climate change and pollution on India’s rivers.


6:00″“10:00 PM ““ DJ set by “The Peace Révolution in K2 Lounge

6:30″“7:15 PM ““ An artist Pre-performance discussion in theater with DJ Spooky, Geeta Mehta, and Felicia Young

7:30″“8:30 PM ““ Multimedia performance in theater by DJ Spooky, Brooklyn Raga Massive, and Ravé Mehta


About the Speakers

Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky, is a composer, multimedia artist, and writer whose work immerses audiences in a blend of genres, global culture, and environmental and social issues. Miller has collaborated with an array of recording artists, including Metallica, Chuck D, Steve Reich, and Yoko Ono. His large-scale, multimedia performance pieces include Rebirth of a Nation, Terra Nova: Sinfonia Antarctica, commissioned by the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and Seoul Counterpoint, written during his 2014 residency at Seoul Institute of the Arts. His multimedia performance Sonic Web will premiere at San Francisco’s Internet Archive in January 2019.

Named National Geographic Emerging Explorer in 2014, his written work has been published by The Village Voice, The Source, and Artforum, and he is the editor of Origin Magazine. Miller’s work has appeared in the Whitney Biennial, The Venice Biennial for Architecture, the Miami/Art Basel fair, and many other museums and galleries. His books include the award-winning Rhythm Science, published by MIT Press in 2004; Sound Unbound, an anthology about digital music and media,The Book of Ice, a visual and acoustic portrait of the Antarctic, and The Imaginary App (MIT Press) on how apps changed the world.

Columbia University’s Indian Rivers Research Project

Represented by Geeta Mehta


The Urban Design Program at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation has been conducting research and design studios on the rivers of India for the past four years. This “water urbanism” project started with Vaigai River in Madurai in South India in 2015, followed by work on the Hooghly River in Kolkata and the Ganges in Varanasi. The current focus is on Mula Mutha River in Pune. In each case, the post-professional students from around the world in this program visit the rivers to work with local academic institutions to experience firsthand the ecological, spiritual, and economic impacts of the rivers, and meet with people to learn about their relationship to these rivers they hold sacred. The study culminates in development of concepts to restore sustainability and the robust connectivity of the river to people. The work is then shared with local stakeholders and published through freely downloadable eBooks given below:

Water Urbanism Madurai

Water Urbanism Kolkata

Water Urbanism Varanasi

Felicia Young is the Founder/Executive Director of Earth Celebrations, a non-profit organization founded in 1991 to engage communities to generate ecological and social change through the arts. She has developed a methodology applying collaborative and community-based arts, partnership building and environmental action to address and impact issues of climate change, river restoration, water quality, waste management, and the preservation of community gardens, parks, and a healthy urban environment. Her projects include the 15 year Save Our Gardens (1991″“2005) on the Lower East Side which built a local and citywide grassroots coalition effort that led to the preservation of hundreds of community gardens in New York City. The Hudson River Restoration Project (2009″“2012) was a cultural organizing project to engage community in the restoration efforts of the Hudson River estuary and revitalization of the waterfront in downtown Manhattan. In January 2014, she applied this model building an international and citywide effort in the city of Madurai, South India, to restore the Vaigai River that is in a severe crisis due to pollution, waste dumping, and the drying effects of climate change. Ecological City: A Cultural & Climate Solutions Action Project launched in 2018, and now in its second year, it engages over 50 partner groups, residents, and youths through creative collaborative arts strategies to bring together climate solutions and ecological sustainability initiatives throughout the gardens, neighborhood, and waterfront on the Lower East Side of New York City. She has also developed a course, Art, Ecology and Community, for Princeton University.

Tickets: $45.00

Member Tickets: $36.00

Includes pre-performance discussion at 6:30 PM + Complimentary drink


Members receive discounts on all programs.

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