This semester’s Philosopher’s Cabaret brought students together in the Great Hall at Pierce to share their creativity and ideas on the concept of “Pondering the Absurd– A Nonsensical Derivative.”
Amid the lights strung up along the walls and the backdrop of philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, the event, hosted by the Philosophy Club, the Sociology Club and the Icebox Journal, enabled students to share their take on the ideas through a variety of mediums.
The presentations by students included poems, art exhibitions, videos, a photographic slideshow and a homemade model of the earth.
“If life is meaningless, you must create your own meaning,” said Jason Sturdivant, one of the hosts, before his co-host Jesse Ruf went on stage to perform a skit using random words shouted by the audience. Sturdivant later recited one of his own poems, written in the field during his deployment with the army.
According to Melanie McQuitty, assistant professor of Philosophy and adviser for the club, the event has been held for the past eight semesters with themes such as “Perspective,” “What is art?” “Got Reality?” and “Pandora’s Icebox, the Absurd Nature of Reality.”
The goal of this semester’s event was “exploring philosophy through creativity,” McQuitty said.
Lisa Martinez and Isaac Franchesco Ferrufino, two club members, presented first with a poem and an art piece, which they then painted over in black and white. The art piece took four hours, said Martinez, and was created with canvas, sharpie and spray paint.
“She had told me to write about something that was absurd,” Ferrufino said. “I wanted to write what was absurd to me but then I started thinking about what was absurd to other people. I started asking other people and wrote about it and I combined basically two poems together.”
To break up the performances, the club presented Mad Libs, using quotes from Star Trek and asking the audience for words. McQuitty also tossed in philosophy-themed jokes while performers were setting up their acts.
Afterwards, participants and audience members were encouraged to enjoy the snacks and drinks provided by the club.
“It was really cool. I had a lot of fun,” Martinez said.