A tour with Ray | Adventure in art and dance at the American Visionary Art Museum award gala honoring Ray Kurzweil
February 19, 2014 by Ray Kurzweil
I was recently honored with the American Visionary Art Museum’s Grand Visionary Award at an exciting gala celebration. The event was a lot of fun.
This eclectic museum is located in Baltimore, Maryland.
“The American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) selects its award honorees for their courage as intuitive innovators and in recognition of their life’s creative work to expand the realm of human dignity, beauty, and social justice,” AVAM explained.
My experience | the setting
Senator Barbara Mikulski attended and I enjoyed getting to know her and the other honoree Jack Andraka, who was presented with the Young Genius Award.
He developed an early detection test for pancreatic cancer when he was 14 and won the Intel International Science Fair. I hope you like this colorful and adventurous tour of the celebration, hosted at the museum.
I gave acceptance remarks during the entertaining gala, and we had a personal guided tour of the gallery’s hit exhibit Human, Soul & Machine: The Coming Singularity!
AVAM’s newest exhibition examines the rapid and ever-increasing impact of artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology, genetics, 3D printing and big data, on nearly every aspect of human life.
My guests included The National Federation of the Blind leadership President Marc Maurer, PhD, and his wife Mrs. Maurer, Jim Gashel and his wife Mrs. Gashel, and Mrs. Mary Ellen Jernigan.
— Ray Kurzweil
Instructions for expanding the photo presentation throughout this tour:
My experience | photo tour part 1
My experience | AVAM Grand Visionary Award celebration
The afterparty was terrific. It started with an indoor parade in the museum. Ten foot balloons were floating, bursting confetti.
The parade had dancers on stilts and in costume, hula hoop dancers, a fantastic high school marching band with dancers, floats, people in strange and creative costumes, and a futuristic fashion show.
There was dancing with an enjoyable band called The Amish Outlaws, featuring real Amish musicians. I danced with Jack Andraka and the three girls he brought from his high school.
— Ray Kurzweil
My experience | photo tour part 2
Related viewing of gala photos as a slide carousel:
related viewing | The Amish Outlaws
My experience | sights and sounds at the gala
venue: American Visionary Art Museum, 800 Key Highway in Baltimore, MD 21230 | 410-244-1900
The gala evening explored technology’s impact on our lives and future to compliment their current blockbuster exhibition called Human, Soul & Machine: The Coming Singularity!
This innovative exhibit also features my film The Singularity Is Near: A True Story about the Future, which was running in the background during the gala.
6-7 pm | Tour of Human, Soul & Machine: The Coming Singularity! led by Director Rebecca Hoffberger.
7-9 pm | Visionary Award Program and dinner at Jim Rouse Center.
AVAM also honored Jack Andraka with the Young Genius Award. He developed a test to detect pancreatic, ovarian and lung cancers for the Intel Science Talent Search. Director Rebecca Hoffberger presented the Visionary Award. I spoke about intuition and the role it has played in my inventions and life.
My historic photos played as a backdrop during the dinner program, to share with the audience.
— Ray Kurzweil
My experience | historical photo tour
9-11 pm | I enjoyed the techno afterparty, honoree parade & futuristic fashion show, featuring music by The Amish Outlaws and DJ Carl Jr. of Classic Disc Jockeys. Attire was mad scientist, tech geek, or robo-chic.
I was on stage with Director Rebecca Hoffberger watching the parade. It is held entirely inside and moves from one end of the building to the other across the long building. The area surrounding the stage is three stories tall with a cat walk at the top.
The parade began when a big balloon is released from the catwalk and floats down to the stage. The balloon burst and confetti flew out.
The parade then moved to the stage area, and included a kinetic sculpture titled Dr. Vlad that was created for, and won a competition hosted by, the AVAM in 2013.
The band was marching and playing as the futuristic fashion show began on stage, featuring costumes designed and created by a local art college.
Audience: 250 people at the dinner and an additional 50-100 at the techno afterparty.
— Ray Kurzweil
My experience | photo tour part three
AVAM | profile
AVAM | Human, Soul & Machine: The Coming Singularity!
AVAM | Human, Soul & Machine: The Coming Singularity! media kit
AVAM | Rockin Roborama Afterparty
AVAM | Grand Visionary Award and gala celebration
Wikipedia | American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM)
The Amish Outlaws | profile
related viewing about the American Visionary Art Museum:
related reading about the award:
American Visionary Art Museum | “Ray Kurzweil honored with AVAM’s Grand Visionary Award at gala celebration”
The American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) is pleased to announce that the museum’s gala honored author, inventor, futurist, and Director of Engineering at Google, Ray Kurzweil.
On January 30, 2014, AVAM presented its 2014 Grand Visionary Award to the world famed “singularitarian.” Our gala night was full of playful invention and surprise.
AVAM’s near neighbor, the National Federation of the Blind, will be on hand to help honor Kurzweil, a long-time champion and partner for technologies to improve the lives of the visually impaired.
The Gala evening will explore technology’s impact on our lives and future in compliment to the Visionary Museum’s current blockbuster exhibition, Human, Soul & Machine: The Coming Singularity!
AVAM selects its Grand Visionary honorees for their courage as intuitive innovators and in recognition of their life’s creative work to expand the realm of human dignity, beauty, and social justice. Past American Visionary Art Museum Grand Visionary awardees include:
— Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu
— civil rights activists Julian Bond and wife Pam Horowitz
— Nobel Prize in Chemistry recipient Peter Agre, MD
— PostSecret founder and suicide prevention activist Frank Warren
— environmental activist, The Body Shop founder Dame Anita Roddick
— healthcare activist Patch Adams, MD
— comedian Lewis Black
— award-winning self taught chef Patrick O’Connell
related reading about the exhibit:
Human, Soul & Machine: The Coming Singularity! | October 5, 2013 to August 31, 2014
–– Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman Google
The American Visionary Art Museum’s 19th original thematic exhibition is a timely and playful examination of the serious impact of technology on our lives, as seen through the eyes of 40+ visionary artists, cutting edge futurists, and inventors.
This thought-provoking exhibit investigates technology’s influence on issues of privacy and surveillance, employment and manufacturing, longevity and health, defense and warfare, farming and food, access to global and personal information, creative invention, and entertainment.
This show asks, “Two billion personal computers later, post DNA-sequencing, are we on the road to becoming a better, healthier, happier, less warlike, human race?”
AVAM’s newest exhibition takes on its most complex subject yet: examining the rapid and ever-increasing impact of artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology, genetics, 3D printing and big data on nearly every aspect of human life.
This is high stakes, new territory never before negotiated by any prior civilization.
Kevin Kelly, cofounder of Wired, defined the unprecedented nature of our times: “Singularity is the point at which all the change in the last million years will be superseded by the change in the next five minutes.”
Curated by AVAM founder and director Rebecca Alban Hoffberger, this stirring show harnesses the enchanting visual delights of remarkable visionary artists and their masterworks.
— Kenny Irwin Jr.’s Robotmas, glowing inside of a central theater at the heart of this exhibition
— a selection of Alex Grey’s Sacred Mirrors
— O.L. Samuels’ seven foot tall Godzilla, reacting to the use of the A-bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki
— Rigo 23′s delicate anti-drone drawings
— Allen Christian’s life-sized Piano Family, a love song to string theory
— Fred Carter’s massive wooden carvings, warning about industrial manipulation of nature
AVAM welcomes all ages into a communal look forward, where science fiction imaginings of the past are swiftly becoming reality.
Human, Soul & Machine: The Coming Singularity! is a hot-wired blend of art, science, humor, caution and hope.
related viewing from the exihibit:
related viewing: The Singularity Is Near: A True Story about the Future