Nerd Nite 23 Sep - RGB Post_500x500 (image only)[1]

For just one night, we’re packing up our projector and beer glasses and headed south east to the glorious main hall of the Hawthorn Arts Centre. The location is new but the formula is the same; three nerdy speakers with three nerdy topics, trivia, fun, games and a drink or two. Our season sponsor, Swinburne University, has lined up a spectacular set of speakers featuring Daniel Golding, Bridgette Engeler, and Alan Duffy. You’ll learn how Star Wars is a fugue, what we need to think about when predicting the future, and all about very mysterious dark matter. We’re starting a little later than usual so you can grab a bite in the area before the show. Fill your belly then join us to fill your mind goo. Be there. Be square.

Monday, 23 September 2019
at Hawthorn Arts Center, 360 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn
Doors 7:30 pm
Show 8 pm
Tickets: $15 (online)/ $15 (door, if available)

*Presentation 1
Star Wars is a Fugue: What baroque music tells us about blockbuster cinema
Dan Golding | @dangolding

Description: For many people, film music doesn’t really leave the theatre. It’s emotional wallpaper, something in the distance that overexplains the on-screen emotion. At best, a film might have a melody or two that gets stuck in our ear. But film music is much more than that. It’s emotion and drama and affect, yes, but it’s also a set of intellectual clues that help us understand cinema, culture, and storytelling. The fugue, for example, was a baroque-era musical puzzle, an idea for playing melodies backwards, forwards, and in layers. Star Wars, on the other hand, is one of the biggest cultural products of our era. How are the two in any way related? Listen up, and find out.

Bio: Dan Golding is a Senior Lecturer in Media and Communication at Swinburne University where he researches and teaches film, music, and videogames. Every Saturday evening, Dan hosts Screen Sounds for ABC Classic radio, and he also co-hosts the popular film music podcast, The Art of the Score, and runs a film-music focussed YouTube channel with more than a million views. In 2018, Dan presented What Is Music for ABC iView and Triple J. His new book, Star Wars After Lucas, is out now with the University of Minnesota Press.

*Presentation 2
Blindly facing the futures: Why strategic foresight isn’t common sense
Bridgette Engeler

Description: If we want to affect how futures play out or make ourselves better prepared for what could be on the horizon, we’ll need more than common sense. But most ‘predictions’ about the future are typically either very specific (this is the future of healthcare) or very vague (one day we’ll have robots in healthcare). In this talk you’ll learn that the future doesn’t exist, there are no future facts, and most ‘predictions’ don’t come true. You’ll also learn why strategic foresight – a structured way of informing thinking and imagining about ‘the future’ – can help us consider what might be ahead and how it might influence our futures.

Bio: Bridgette Engeler is a pracademic working across strategic foresight and design, innovation and entrepreneurship. A professional futurist, she regularly collaborates on projects and programs spanning speculative design, experiential and critical futures, and prospective thinking in business and organisations. Bridgette’s work explores the nexus created between design and foresight, and emergent opportunities intersecting culture, systems and technology. She is a Board Member of the Association of Professional Futurists, doesn’t play golf, and enjoys more than the odd glass of wine.

*Presentation 3

Darkness Visible Down Under
Alan Duffy | @astroduff

Description: Decades of research have led astronomers to a staggering conclusion, that there exists a new, invisible type of mass that outweighs everything we can see five times over. I will explain how we know so much about the properties of a particle we have yet to discover, and how Australia is playing a leading role in uncovering the nature of this mysterious dark matter both by mapping it out in the heavens and detecting it in the lab with SABRE, the world’s first dark matter detector in the Southern Hemisphere at Victoria’s Stawell gold mine.

Bio: Associate Professor Duffy is an astrophysicist at Swinburne University and Lead Scientist of the Royal Institution of Australia. His research involves creating baby universes on supercomputers to understand how galaxies like our Milky Way form and grow within vast halos of invisible dark matter. He then tries to find this dark matter as part of SABRE, the world’s first dark matter detector in the Southern Hemisphere at the bottom of the Stawell gold mine. When not exploring simulated universes you can find him explaining science in this one on ABC Breakfast TV, Catalyst and Ten’s The Project.