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Crosscurrents

UC Berkeley philosopher ponders the meaning of art-making

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Peter Dobey
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Philosopher, Alva Noë"

Alva Noë  is a professor of philosophy at UC Berkeley with a background in cognitive and brain science, so it makes sense that he writes about the nature of consciousness and human experience.

Noë ’s new book, Strange Tools: Art and Human Nature, explores how art can make us think about life in new ways. Noë talked to KALW’s Jen Chien about what art means to us humans, and why we make it.

Noë: I think actually one of the few ways we can re-organize ourselves, and emancipate ourselves from habit and social structure, is art.

Noë will be giving a “performative lecture,” as part of Hope Mohr Dance’s Bridge Project, on Saturday night at the Joe Goode Annex in San Francisco.  Listen to Noë  give his picks for cool arts happenings around the Bay this weekend over at our new segment, Sights and Sounds. 

Jen Chien was the managing editor for Crosscurrents and KALW News from 2016 to 2018. She has been a contributor to All Things Considered, Radio Netherlands Worldwide, BBC/PRI’s The World, Making Contact, SF Public Press, East Bay Express, New America Media, and KPFA in Berkeley, where she took part in the First Voice Apprenticeship Program. She is the recipient of the 2013 Outstanding Emerging Journalist Award from the Society of Professional Journalists of Northern California. She holds a BA in American Studies from Smith College, and an MA in Interdisciplinary Performance from New College of California. Before entering the field of journalism, she had a successful career as a professional dance and theater artist, teacher, and massage therapist.