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LIVE from the NYPL: Celebrating SPECTACLE : A conversation with DAVID ROCKWELL, Julie Taymor, Simon Doonan. John Hockenberry, Instigator


As an architect and set designer, David Rockwell creates immersive environments imbued with a sense of theater. He pays attention to texture, craft, and narrative, as well as new materials and technology. According to Business Week,"He always builds a bit of magic into his Rockwell, designing an environment means shaping an experience that lasts in the memory."

Now, in his new book SPECTACLE, in collaboration with noted designer Bruce Mau, Rockwell provides the first exploration of the phenomenon and history of public performance and spectacular man-made events around the world. From Burning Man in the Nevada desert to the Holi Festival in India to the American-born NASCAR, he offers an unprecedented tour of over 60 far-flung and fleeting, beautiful and bizarre events and considers what it is about these shared, live experiences that transforms not only the way we see the world, but also how we connect with each other.

Through stunning visuals and behind-the-scenes interviews with spectacle producers such as Julie Taymor, Simon Doonan, Steve Wynn, and Quincy Jones, Rockwell shows how an empty stadium, an open field, a busy urban thoroughfare and even individuals can be transformed by spectacle. For a brief moment, people, place and atmosphere are electrified, and the ordinary becomes extraordinary.

Join a conversation instigated by John Hockenberry with David Rockwell, Julie Taymor, and Simon Doonan, as they discuss the idea of spectacle in our contemporary world. Together they will explore what it means, in an age of technology, for our society to have the desire to participate in shared experiences. Prior to the conversation, witness a presentation of images offering a visual tour of the world's most amazing public events projected around the dome of the Celeste Bartos Forum.

About David Rockwell

David Rockwell is the founder and CEO of the Rockwell Group, an architecture and design practice. Based in NYC, Rockwell Group specializes in hospitality, cultural, theater and film design. Recent commissions include the JetBlue Airways terminal at JFK Airport; the Elinor Bunin Center at Lincoln Center; Town restaurant and Chambers hotel (NYC); W New York and W Union Square (NYC); the Academy Awards Kodak Theater (LA); the Broadway musicals Hairspray, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and Phantom of the Opera (Las Vegas); and numerous internationally located restaurants. Pleasure: The Architecture and Design of Rockwell Group was published in 2002. His new book is SPECTACLE with Bruce Mau.


About Simon Doonan

Simon Doonan is the author of Wacky Chicks and Confessions of a Window Dresser. In addition to his role as creative director of Barneys New York, Simon writes the "Simon Says" column for The New York Observer. He frequently contributes observations and opinions to myriad other publications and television shows. He is a regular commentator on VH1, the Trio network, and Full Frontal Fashion.





About Julie Taymor

Julie Taymor has received numerous awards for her work as a director and for costume design on and off Broadway. She received two Tony Awards for The Lion King and five Tony nominations for Juan Darin: A Carnival Mass. Other directorial work includes The Flying Dutchman, The Magic Flute, and her first opera, Oedipus Rex. Taymor recently premiered an original opera, Grendel, composed by Elliot Goldenthal, at the Los Angeles Opera and subsequently at the Lincoln Center Festival. Her films include Fool's Fire, Titus, and Frida, which received five Academy Award Nominations and two Oscars. Taymor's next project, Across the Universe, a movie-musical, includes more than 30 Beatles songs and will be released Spring 2007. The film stars Evan Rachel Wood and features performances by Bono, Joe Cocker, Eddie Izzard and Salma Hayek.

About John Hockenberry

John Hockenberry is a veteran journalist in every facet of the profession, from broadcast radio to news magazine television to print as well as being a pioneer in online content. Hockenberry is also an advocate and spokesman for the rights of the disabled. He joined NBC as a correspondent for Dateline NBC in 1996 after a fifteen-year career in broadcast news at both National Public Radio and ABC News. Hockenberry's reporting for Dateline NBC earned him three Emmys, an Edward R Murrow award and a Casey Medal. Hockenberry is a contributing editor for WIRED Magazine and METROPOLIS. He is the author of the novel A River Out Of Eden, and Moving Violations: War Zones, Wheelchairs and Declarations of Independence, a memoir of life with a disability.