Laughing Matters

Time: Wednesday, June 8, 2005, 7:00-8:30 pm
Venue: The Kitchen, 512 West 19th St (between 10th and 11th Avenues) Tickets: $5 (also available in advance by calling 212-255-5793 ext. 11) Organized by Cabinet in conjunction with its Laughter issue.

Laughing is easy but understanding why we do it has puzzled philosophers, scientists, and sociologists for a long time. Artist Luke Murphy’s presentation will draw on the simplicity of Powerpoint graphs to clarify once and for all the relationship between laughter and other emotional states. This will be followed by a screening of Beckett’s short film from 1965, in which an aging Buster Keaton seems to have a pathological aversion to allowing his face to be seen by the other protagonists or even the camera. Beckett’s 20-minute film will provide the background for philosopher Simon Critchley to explore the three philosophical traditions for explaining why we enjoy putting back our heads, open our mouths, and have a series of respiratory spasms. A question-and-answer session will follow.

The event is organized in conjunction with Cabinet’s current issue on “Laughter.”

This program is sponsored by New York Council for the Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities and is made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.

Cabinet is a non-profit organization supported by the Lambent Foundation, the Orphiflamme Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Katchadourian Family Foundation, and many generous individuals. All our events are free, the entire content of our many sold-out issues are on our site for free, and we offer our magazine and books at prices that are considerably below cost. Please consider supporting our work by making a tax-deductible donation by visiting here.