the Society for Critical Imagination invites any who may be interested to spend the next three weeks unpacking the group’s conceptual and historical foundations, characterized by the Nietzschean creative will and the genealogy of participatory art. We hope to establish a ground upon which to build a collective community of learning and expression.

The first installment of this conversation looks to appropriate Nietzsche’s characterization of the “future philosopher” as a parallel model for future creativity.

— “discharge” —– “experiment” —– “attempter” —

All this Nietzschean language, driven by the will to power, propels conceptual art. Maybe, in fact, the philosopher himself must be an “artist” of sorts…

This meeting will take place at the Jason Collective on Tuesday Oct. 22  (message us on facebook if you need directions or a ride). Invite anyone who may be interested in participating in the conversation as the next three weeks will help set the stage for upcoming events and contextualize the Society’s future.

“A new species of philosopher is coming up: I venture to baptize them with a name that is not free of danger. I unriddle them, insofar as they allow themselves to be unriddled–for it belongs to their nature to want to remain riddles at some point–these philosophers of the future may have the right–it might also be a wrong–to be called attempters. This name itself is in the end a mere attempt and, if you will, a temptation.” Beyond Good and Evil, aphorism 42

“With a creative hand they reach for the future, and all that is and has been becomes a means for them, an instrument, a hammer. Their “knowing” is creating, their creating is legislation, their will to truth is–the will to power.” Beyond Good and Evil, aphorism 211



I’ll spare you the banter. Come watch Bronson this tuesday night. We’ll continue the conversation from our (un)viewing of Valhalla Rising last week.

Look us up on facebook if you need a ride or directions.


“A living thing seeks above all else to discharge it’s strength-life itself is the will to power.”
-Beyond Good and Evil

In keeping with our seasonal exploration of life and work of Friedrich Nietzsche, the Society for Critical Imagination will be hosting an (un)viewing of Nicolas Winding Refn’s 2011 film Valhalla Rising. We will have brief readings from Nietzsche’s late work posted in hopes of provoking thematic and formal connections between the film’s affective aesthetic and his conception of the will to power.

PDF’s of the reading selections are forthcoming.

If you need directions or a ride to the Jason Collective, look us up on facebook.

Below are three short readings from our panelists, offering personal thoughts and reflections on their experience with The Tree of Life. These essays are brief, concise, and approachable and have been provided to inspire further critical engagement with the film and to provoke reflections and questions for the panel discussion.


Filmmaker Kirby Atkins’ UnReview

(find out more about Kirby here)


Graphic Designer Ryan Pflasterer’s UnReview

(find out more about Ryan here)


Philosopher Greg Thornbury’s UnReview

(find out more about Greg here)

Panel Discussion, Reception and Screening of

The Tree of Life


Sponsored by

the New City Arts Center,

Barefoot’s Joe and

the Society for Critical Imagination


Panel Discussion – 7pm | FREE

Reception (Dessert & Coffee) – 8pm | (Included in Admission Price)

Screening of ‘The Tree of Life’ – 8:30pm | $5


To make reservations, visit Event Registration.

poetry magnetic piecesJoy Moore presents

“Language & Sounds: A Collaborative Night of Poetry”

Based on the life and aesthetic of John Keats, the film Bright Star supposes he might describe poetry as such:

“A poem needs understanding through the senses. The point of diving in a lake is not immediately to swim to the shore; it’s to be in the lake, to luxuriate in the sensation of water. You do not work the lake out. It is an experience beyond thought. Poetry soothes and emboldens the soul to accept mystery.”

This Thursday evening is dedicated to the pure enjoyment of language and music of the imagination found in poetry. Please bring along any favorite poems to share.

Andrew Norman presents The Cinematic Aesthetic of Terrence Malick

Dearest Society,

“What is this war in the heart of nature?” so begins Terrence Malick’s third film – The Thin Red Line, and the epic visual journey of one of the last living great film auteurs. His other films include: Badlands, Days of Heaven, The New World and the forthcoming and much-anticipated Tree of Life.

Following on the heels of his research into the career and legacy of Terrence Malick, Andrew Norman will discuss his ideas about the affective possibilities of Malick’s distinctive cinema. Expect a flurry of philosophical dialogue and multi-media display of wizardry from Mr. Norman’s presentation.

See you there.

Picasso. Duchamp. Joyce. Ravel. Groucho?

In the early part of the 20th Century artists all over the world busied themselves at deconstructing their art forms. Guitarists were built out of cubes, and urinals were turned into water fountains. Joining them were Groucho, Harpo, Chico, sometimes Zeppo and even less of the time Gummo — the Marx Brothers — deconstructing all of society to the point that it nearly fell down. On top of that, they were darn funny. On Thursday, Sept. 10 the Society for Critical Imagination presents “Duck Soup,” the Brothers’ best film, voted #6 on AFI’s greatest comedies list and #60 of the top 100 films of all time, all in glorious black & white. Craig Davis promises to offer up “mind-numbing trivia and other baloney,” so be sure to come and bring the popcorn.

8pm – Sept. 10th – The Worley’s Home


Dearest Society,

This summer I had the privilege to interact with Miroslav Volf, director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture and professor of Systematic Theology at Yale Divinity School, at the Christians in the Visual Arts biennial conference. In preparation for that conference, I was given his 1994 essay for Ex Auditu entitled “Soft Difference: Theological Reflections on the Relation Between Church and Culture in 1 Peter.”

I really enjoyed the experience and the opportunity, but most of all, this essay stands out as one the best pieces I’ve read on Christ and culture in years.

I encourage you to read the essay before we meet, and you can find it here:


Then followed that beautiful season… Summer….
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape
Lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

To see the Summer Sky
Is Poetry, though never in a Book it lie –
True Poems flee.
~Emily Dickinson

At the start of another semester’s worth of evenings at the Society for Critical Imagination, we will eat an ice cream cone to commemorate the last days of summer. Hopefully, we’ll have wondrous luck in replacing the words of Henry James’ saying: “Summer afternoon (evening) – summer afternoon (evening); to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”

Inspired by a recent discovery of the journal Smith Magazine, we request that everyone bring a six-word memoir about their summer vacation.

Expect to take home a poster with the SCI calendar for Fall 2009.

See you in the backyard!