I’ve got an idea
Your Brain is for Thinking

By Sarah Tackett

Ideafestival is already underway meaning that it is time to break out your thinking caps! (Or for those who have lost your cap, it’s time to breakout the nicotine and caffeine!) So what is Ideafestival? Well, it tastes just like it sounds. A group of artists, doctors, business people, and other professionals— or not-so-much-professional people—get together and talk about their ideas. The profundity lies in the simplicity. Although the phrase is beaten like a dead dog and bastardized in taco ads, the goal of the event is to “think outside the box.”

Now wait…before you cynics pass judgment-caps and dismiss this festival as corny, you should first visit the web site, There are a ton of events and lectures that are at least worth your attention and some that may even turn you onto something new. They broach subjects ranging from mental health to architecture, religion to The Beatles, physics to film, and ask questions like why the alphabet is inversely related to Goddess worship. The festival hosts workshops and classes through September 25th and you can find a handy calendar of events on the web site.

One event that sticks out as particularly engaging is The College of Fine Art’s presentation of Matthew Barney’s Cremaster films. Since these films rarely tour outside of the Barbara Gladstone Gallery in New York, people are traveling to Lexington from afar to be able to see the “cycle” in entirety. Matthew Barney has been declared as one of the most important international artists of the past five years, and has big giant ideas.

Each particular film has a “biological” function in the “cycle” of films. They prove dramatically complicated and stunning to watch. Film-work moves from panoramic blimp views of brilliant blue Astroturf to underwater scenes of men locked in chains. There are also flying fairies, sprites having picnics, satyrs tap-dancing and it wouldn’t be complete without a prison-rodeo death scene. Each film moves beyond modern and reaches far into the future considering both technical ability and visual content. If you are interested in previewing the films, or terrifying a small child before they go to sleep, you can watch the trailers at

The showing is a marathon event on Saturday, September 25 at the Worsham Theater in the Student Center, and coincides with the Filmmakers Lab. Cremaster 4 and 5 will be shown at 10am, with a 20-minute intermission between films. Cremaster 1 and 2 will be shown at 2pm, with a 20-minute intermission between films. Cremaster 3 will be shown at 7pm, with a 20-minute intermission. Tickets are available to the public through the Student Center Box Office or through Ticketmaster. Prices are $5 for individual shows and $12 for the series.

Moving from the sublime to a more tangible form of entertainment, your brain might also be interested in attending Silas House’s book-signing next Wednesday. The award-winning Kentucky author of A Parchment of Leaves and Clay’s Quilt has recently released The Coal Tattoo. In this new novel he tells the story of two sisters “torn apart by their past and reunited by the depth of their love.” A Kentucky native, House is known for introducing the importance of family, home, love and loyalty against the backdrop of Appalachia.

The sisters in House’s novel are night and day. Easter is a devout Pentecostal while Anneth cultivates a wild streak. House explains why he writes about women, “I was raised around strong women, in a very matriarchal culture. They might’ve been quiet about it, but ultimately they made the decisions. They’d all overcome something—poverty, abusive relationships. I really wanted to honor the strong women I grew up around.”

The two sisters join together in fighting to protect their home, the land of the mountain, from being cleared and stripped by a mining company. The novel asks the reader to gage the personal value of people’s relationship to land against its commodified worth, a question of today very pertinent to those of Eastern Kentucky and the rest of the state. The discussion and signing will take place Wednesday, the 29th at Joseph-Beth’s at 7pm.

For those whose brains enjoy theater, Natasha’s is putting on Death and the Maiden. There will be a free matinee performance Sunday the 26th at 2pm. If you have a little cash to spare you can see one of the evening shows either, Tuesday the 28th or Wednesday the 29th.

Dozens of cheesy lines enter my head for ending this article. My favorite so far is think-outside-the-bar. Ha! Awful, right? So instead I’ll leave you with a word problem. If speed-walker/headphones guy is traveling down Main Street at a constant rate of speed (not giving out high fives), and a police officer is traveling the same distance from the opposite direction on his Segue, who will make it to the old courthouse door first? n