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Elizabeth Streb + Dr. John W. Krakauer

The Power of Practice and Learning to Fly

Saturday, February 9, 2019
3:00 PM–4:30 PM

Can practice allow you to master anything? Neuroscientist John Krakauer has been tracking long-term motor skill learning and its relation to higher cognitive processes such as decision-making. He believes humans can become amazingly good at almost anything—with practice. But what about something like flying?

Action architect Elizabeth Streb has been on a mission to achieve human flight for decades through her daring work that tests the potential of the human body. An invitation to perform at the one-hundredth anniversary of the Wright Brothers first flight at Kitty Hawk attests to her ambition to accomplish the impossible. What combination of functions in body and brain does it take to defy gravity?

Presented with The Joyce Theater


About the Speakers


Elizabeth Streb, who has dived through glass, walked down London’s City Hall, dumped a ton of dirt on her head, and set herself on fire, among many other feats of extreme action, founded the Streb Extreme Action Company in 1979 and established SLAM (STREB Lab for Action Mechanics) in Brooklyn, New York, in 2003. Streb holds a MA in Humanities and Social Thought from New York University, a BS in Modern Dance from SUNY Brockport, and two honorary doctorates, and has received numerous honors including the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Award, the Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Doris Duke Artist Award. A board member of the Jerome Foundation, Streb has been a featured speaker at TEDxMET, the Institute for Technology and Education, POPTECH, the Institute of Contemporary Art, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Rochester Institute of Technology, the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, the Penny Stamps Speaker Series, Chorus America, and NPR’s Science Friday. Streb was profiled by Alec Wilkinson in an extended essay for the New Yorker magazine and is the subject of two documentaries: “Born to Fly,” directed by Catherine Gund (Aubin Pictures), which premiered at the SXSW Festival and was featured at the Film Forum in NYC, and “OXD,” directed by Craig Lowy, which premiered at Doc NYC. In 20I0, Feminist Press published her book, “STREB: How to Become an Extreme Action Hero.” In Spring 2018, Streb was invited to present a talk at TED 2018: The Age of Amazement.

Dr. John W. Krakauer is currently John C. Malone Professor of Neurology, Neuroscience, and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and Director of the Brain, Learning, Animation, and Movement Lab ( at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Krakauer is also co-founder of the video gaming company Max and Haley, and of the creative engineering Hopkins-based project named KATA. KATA and M&H are both predicated on the idea that animal movement based on real physics is highly pleasurable and that this pleasure is hugely heightened when the animal movement is under the control of our own movements. A simulated dolphin and other cetaceans developed by KATA has led to a therapeutic game, interfaced with an FDA-approved 3D exoskeletal robot, which is being used in an ongoing multi-site rehabilitation trial for early stroke recovery. His book, Broken Movement: The Neurobiology of Motor Recovery after Stroke, was published by the MIT Press in 2017. This is his third appearance at Brainwave. He was last at the Rubin with soccer star Patrick Vieira.


Tickets: $28.00

Member Tickets: $22.40


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