“MetaMind” Conference about Chaos and Order
“This year, “MetaMind” is devoted to chaos and order, including to how order exists in chaos and vice versa, and how these two phenomena are associated with freedom. The essence and meaning of “MetaMind” is to address such themes that are difficult to perceive using theoretical means, although they may appear self-explanatory to us,” says the head of the project, Professor Daina Teters. During the conference, the boundaries, and the absence thereof, between chaos and order will be analysed from a number of perspectives, including through the prism of art. The conference, that this year is held as part of the “Riga 2014” Programme, is one of the key events leading to the World Congress in Semiotics to be held in Riga in 2018, when the State of Latvia will be celebrating its 100th anniversary.
Attending the conference will be a number of prominent foreign guests: Carlos Alvar, the Head of the Centre for Cervantes Studies, Professor Eric Landowski from the National Foundation of Political Science in Paris, Professor Winfried Nöth from the University of São Paulo, Academician Solomon Marcus from Romania, Professor Hubert van den Bergh from the Netherlands/Poland, Professor Otto Neumaier from Austria, Professor Ernest Hess-Lüttich from Switzerland, renowned cognitive linguist George Lakoff from the United States, and others – 32 foreign guests in total. Working at the conference will be representatives from the Berkeley-France Programme and the Osmose project (Latvia-France), as well as from two innovative libraries – in Stanford (United States) and Santiago de Compostela (Galicia).
Given the theoretical and artistic aspects of the conference, it will also feature several non-traditional art projects: a concert-lecture by three Latvian musicians, performance and analysis of Olivier Messiaen’s “Quartet for the End of Time”, and an experimental visualisation of an excerpt from Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s “Demons”.
The project “MetaMind” highlights innovative interdisciplinary approaches to the theoretical, artistic, and social aspects of Western culture. The project commenced in 2005 when the International Association of Semiotic Studies approved the idea, proposed by a representative of Latvia, of theoretical and artistic approaches to topical themes, with the methodology of these approaches based in semiotics.
The main objectives of the “MetaMind” project are to foster the development of new creative platform in Europe and advance the creative capacity of Latvia, not only through the participation of Latvia in theoretical and artistic projects organised by other countries, but also by organising such projects in Latvia.
On the 25th of September, talks about the collection and amassment of knowledge will open the conference at the Latvian National Library, followed by concert-lectures about music and sound delivered by three Latvian musicians, a performance of Olivier Messiaen’s legendary 20th century composition “Quartet for the End of Time” by Egīls Šēfers (clarinet), Herta Hansena (piano), Jānis Rinkulis (cello), and Arvīds Zvagulis (violin), with explanatory remarks by musicologist Orests Silabriedis and Archbishop Metropolitan of Riga Zbigņevs Stankēvičs.
On the 26th of September, several prominent international theoreticians will meet at the Art Museum Riga Bourse and “Astor Rīga” to discuss the conceptual and etymological properties of chaos and order, as well as showcase their application in broad socio-political, historical and artistic contexts.
The last day of the conference will be in Ungurmuiža Manor, with the focus on Latvia – the awareness of the Latvian language and how the language is taught and studied, the Latvian identity, and the ways to deal with various social problems.
The culmination of the last day of the conference will be a classical music concert organised by the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music, and the staging of an excerpt from Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s “Demons” by Director Pēteris Krilovs – the conversation between Kirillov and Liputin performed by actors Vilis Daudziņš and Andis Strods. Conversations with the devil and the desire to take the place of God are some of the most paradoxical, and the most painful, problems of the modern-day person.
All the events of “MetaMind ‘2014” are free of charge and open to anyone willing to attend.
The European Capital of Culture Programme of Riga is prepared and run by the foundation “Riga 2014” in collaboration with state, municipal and non-governmental cultural organisations and creative associations. The Programme is financed by the Riga City Council, Ministry of Culture and the European Commission, and offered to the public in partnership with “Lattelecom”, which also provides technical support for the Programme.