Tune in to Skirball Tapes – NYU Skirball’s new interview series with luminaries and game-changers, artists, curators, organizers, and creative world-makers, hosted by Catharine Stimpson.


The Skirball Tapes will be a record of figures of radical imagination as they draw out their lines of flight for us.

Try watching a bird take flight.  Note how it speeds up, soars, and swoops above the landscape.  It might be a foot or yards above the earth, but it moves. It may fly alone, or with a mate, or with a flock. In time, it will alight on a branch or, if a seabird, on the water. It will perch. But it will take flight – again and again – if it can.

Every generation produces some people of radical imagination. They perform equivalent movements of thought and vision. They take flight in studios or studies, workshops or stages, streets or galleries. When they settle, they have left indelible acts of art: a dance, a composition, a poem, or a creation that defies boundaries and labels.

The Skirball Tapes will speak to artists of radical imagination who have left indelible acts. They will reflect on their flights of thought and vision. What were they thinking? What were their visions?  What was their struggle to ascend?  How did they leave an earth that could mire them?

I am privileged to be the host of the Skirball Tapes, and want to share, with our audience, my wonder at courageous creativity and defiance of the gravity of the ordinary.