The Utah Symposium in Science and Literature
November 5-7, 2009
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."
- Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Words. Images. Notes produced by a human voice, a piano, a drum, a washboard. Numbers and equations. All of these are forms of language, vehicles for human thinking, expression, and communication; all of them take on the shapes of our minds and shape our minds in turn, at once the products and the agents of our imaginings. And all of them are used by those who wield them not only to communicate ideas and emotions but to evoke or provoke them in others.
But what is the difference between an imagination expressed through and formed by numbers and one given over to images, words, or musical notes? Given that all of these forms can contain, create, and elicit ideas and passions, can communicate abundance and austerity, profligacy or constraint, harmony and dissonance, what can we say about the influence that a discipline, a language, a medium has on its practitioner and those who receive the products of its practice?
During the fifth Utah Symposium in Science and Literature, we will bring together a poet, and mathematician, and a composer to think together about how they are shaped by the languages they use, and about how they are shaped by their own encounters with work created in languages not their own.
Co-Directed by Katharine Coles and Fred Adler