Cognitive Catastrophes and Infinite Illusions

Thursday 18th August, 2011, 7 – 8pm (BST) on Resonance 104.4FM ( repeated on Tuesday 23rd August, 1pm, with podcasts to follow.

Hosted by James DC, with author Simon Ings and Polish literature expert Adrian Nairda.

To coincide with the 80th anniversary of his birth, and an upcoming celebration at the British Library, today we take a tour of Polish writer Stanislaw Lem and his wonderful science fiction. From the more well known classics like Solaris (1961), The Cyberiad (1965) and The Star Diaries (1954-1971) to some of his lesser known works like The Invincible (1964) and Imaginary Magnitude (1973) we will discuss the abiding themes and ideas of Lem’s work. Lem took a radical approach to the idea of ‘First Contact’ with aliens, as well as combining countless other scientific and philosophical investigations into his often satirical stories of outer space exploration and future technologies, the foremost of which was a fascination with artificial intelligence and how it relates to human consciousness. We will also take a wider appreciation of Polish and Russian science fiction, as well as the film adaptations of Lem’s work, including Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris (1972)

Clip : Solaris (Nikolai Nirenburg, 1968)


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