Friday, September 9, 2011

Stepping Up For An Ecology of Mind

So, in a post I put up here last year, The Lure of Bateson, I wrote about Nora Bateson's documentary, An Ecology of Mind, about her father, Gregory Bateson, who was a major figure in the areas of cybernetics and systems theory, in anthropology and psychotherapy, and in communication and media ecology.  His book, Steps to An Ecology of Mind, was endorsed wholeheartedly by Neil Postman back when I was a doctoral student, and the film itself is a marvelous presentation of the man and his intellectual approach.  But I already wrote about that, and included some clips, so you can go click on the link, that's The Lure of Bateson again, and take a look.

But first, let me note that the documentary will be screened this coming Monday evening, September 12, at 6:30 PM, at the American Museum of Natural History.  I understand that it is almost sold out, if it hasn't been already, but that they are going to open up a second room so more folks can see it.  Tickets are $12, and $6 for students with ID.  Of course, if you came to the conference I organized at Fordham University last October on behalf of the Institute of General Semantics, or to the Media Ecology Association's annual meeting in June of 2010 at the University of Maine, you would have had a chance to see the film for free.  Just saying...

Anyway, here's the write-up that appears over at the museum's website:

An Ecology of Mind is an intimate and personal portrait of Gregory Bateson, celebrated anthropologist, philosopher, author, naturalist, and filmmaker. Directed by his daughter Nora Bateson, who will lead a discussion after the screening, this film includes footage from Bateson’s own films shot in the 1930s in Bali with Margaret Mead and in New Guinea along with photographs, filmed lectures, and interviews. Through contemporary interviews, and his words, Bateson reveals her father's practical approaches to the enormous challenges confronting the human race and the natural world.
And there's a very sweet picture of the Batesons there as well:

But, here's the difference that makes a difference.  This screening will be followed by a panel discussion that will include your humble servant, sneaking in along with several other people that you might actually want to see.  Here's what it says:

Following the screening there will a discussion featuring director Nora Bateson with Mary Catherine Bateson, anthropologist and writer; Mary Pipher, psychotherapist and author; Lance Strate, co-founder and former president of the Media Ecology Association; Susan Oyama, professor of psychology at John Jay College; and Rex Weyler, cofounder of Greenpeace International.

 Pretty cool, huh?  Oh, and the if you want to head on over to the AMNH website to see all this, and maybe score a ticket or two, here's the URL:  And maybe I'll see you there!

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