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July 10, 2008, 7:30 PM

Place, Imagination, and Identity

Re:Mind Roundtable
Participants: Daniel Casarella, Sasha Gordon, Lee Kiang (moderator), Adam Libow, Dana O'Keefe, Nathaniel Rich

In this roundtable, young New Yorkers who make art about New York will discuss the role of place and imagination in the formation of identity. The participants will examine the evolution of their personal and artistic identities, and how they explore and express these identities through the modalities of music, film, writing, and fashion. How does the environment of one's upbringing, whether in the context of place, time, or culture, influence the conception of the self? How do young, creative people invent and project an identity of their choosing? What choices do they make in "self-branding" in order to portray this self to others?

This is the inaugural roundtable of Re: Mind, a group formed to promote discourse among established and emerging minds in art, science, the humanities, and public affairs. As part of the Philoctetes Center for the Multidisciplinary Study of the Imagination, Re:Mind presents roundtable discussions, hosts interactive multimedia events, and encourages an ongoing dialogue to connect diverse fields. All are welcome.

Daniel Casarella grew up in Westchester, New York. In 2002 he started designing T-shirts inspired by icons of old New York—the time of the gangs of New York and Boss Tweed. In 2005 his brother Michael joined him to work on the Barking Irons brand, named after the 19th century slang term for pistols. From their museum-like workshop on the Bowery, and with an obsessive eye towards local history and authenticity, they expanded into more complex apparel and accessories. Barking Irons has been sold at Barneys, Bloomingdales, Saks, and Nordstrom, and has been featured in The New York Times, WWD, Elle, and Nylon.

Sasha Gordon was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she began studying piano at the age of 5. She has scored several feature and short independent films and documentaries. Currently she is a student at NYU Film School, where she is working on her thesis film, an homage to New York.

Lee Kiang was born and raised in New York City. She attended Trinity School, Stuyvesant High School, and Yale University, where she studied Molecular Biology and Sculpture. After graduation, she worked as a studio assistant and a personal assistant to two contemporary sculptors in New York. She is a currently a student in a combined MD-PhD degree program, pursuing her medical degree at Cornell Medical College, and her PhD on the cell cycle and DNA replication at Rockefeller University.

Adam Libow is a clinical fellow and chief resident in the division of child and adolescent psychiatry at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He received his medical degree at Weill Cornell Medical College and went on to train in general adult psychiatry at the Payne Whitney Clinic of the New York Presbyterian Hospital Weill-Cornell Campus. This Fall, he will become a candidate in adult psychoanalysis at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute. He has interests in individual development and the challenges of interdisciplinary exchange, and has most recently focused on the historical relationship between psychoanalysis and American medicine.

Dana O'Keefe was born and raised in New York City. He has worked as a photographer for several prominent publications and acted as a director, writer and producer on several short films. Dana is a consultant at Cinetic, a consulting firm advising on film production. He directed the film The New Yorkist, featured in the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival.

Nathaniel Rich is a writer whose first novel, The Mayor's Tongue, was published this year. Rich was born and raised in New York City, and graduated from Yale in 2002 with a degree in Literature. He has written on his experience growing up in New York for The New York Times ("His City, Lost and Found," February 3, 2008). He is currently the Senior Editor of The Paris Review, and writes essays and criticism for numerous publications, including The New York Review of Books, Vanity Fair, Slate, and The New York Times Book Review.


Discussion Board

This forum allows for an ongoing discussion of the above Philoctetes event. You may use this space to share your thoughts or to pose questions for panelists. An attempt will be made to address questions during the live event or as part of a continued online dialogue.
Kathryn Arizmendi says:

Hello - I am a brand new member. I look forward to meeting many of you at the Byron and Porter event.

Regards, Kathryn Arizmendi

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