Sounds of Silence, and More at Watermill Center Talks

A platform for accomplished workers in every imaginable field
Erling Kagge, above, a Norwegian explorer, mountaineer, and writer, will talk about “Silence in the Age of Noise” with his friend Petter Skavlan, a writer and filmmaker, in the Watermill Center’s summer lectures on Tuesday.

The Watermill Center’s annual summer lecture series provides a platform for accomplished workers in every imaginable field to share the cutting-edge ideas that shape their work. This year’s talks, which begin on Tuesday and continue through Aug. 17, will feature an architect, a research scientist, an artist, a ballet dancer, a museum curator, a writer, and a mountaineer.

The first program, “Silence in the Age of Noise,” will feature a conversation between two Norwegians, Petter Skavlan, a writer and screenwriter, and Erling Kagge, an explorer, author, publisher, lawyer, and the first in history to reach all three Poles — North, South, and the summit of Mount Everest.

Mr. Kagge is the author of an extended meditation of the same title in which he poses three questions: What is silence? Where can it be found? Why is it more important now than ever? As a man who once spent 50 days walking solo in Antarctica without radio contact, it is likely he has the answers.

Mr. Skavlan, who wrote “Kon-Tiki,” which was nominated for both an Oscar and a Golden Globe for best foreign-language film, is currently working with artists as diverse as Brian De Palma and Marina Abramovic. As a longtime walking companion of Mr. Kagge, he is certain to have ideas of his own on the subject.

“It Is All About Particles” is not about physics but about architecture. Enric Ruiz Geli is the founder and director of Cloud 9, an architectural team in Barcelona that works at the interfaces among architecture, art, digital processes, and technological material to create green structures that emulate nature. His talk will take place next Thursday.

Justine Kupferman, a postdoctoral research scientist currently working in Franck Polleux’s lab at Columbia University, is interested in what makes the human brain unique. Her talk, scheduled for Aug. 8, will discuss recent findings from anthropology, genetics, evolutionary biology, and neuroscience, including her own research on brain development.

“Dancers as Interpreters of the Past and Present” is the title of Jared Angle’s talk on Aug. 10. A principal dancer with the New York City Ballet since 2005, he will share his experiences interpreting the great roles created by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins and discuss dance’s obligation to both history and innovation.

Carrie Mae Weems, a 2017 Watermill Center artist in residence and Inga Maren Otto Fellow, can be expected to continue to aim her critical and insightful lens at history, how it is constructed, layered, juxtaposed, and articulated, and people’s roles within it. Her talk, “The Considered,” will take place on Aug. 15.

In the final program, on Aug. 17, Alexandra Munroe, the Guggenheim Museum’s senior curator of Asian art and senior adviser of global arts, will discuss the museum’s fall exhibition, “Art and China After 1989: Theater of the World.” The largest show of this subject ever mounted in North America, it will survey Chinese experimental art against a framework of geopolitical dynamics.

All lectures take place at 7:30 p.m. Reservations must be made in advance for a $12 fee per seat at watermillcenter.org.