Philosopher Simon Critchley
and art historian Janet Whitmore discuss the modern origins of comedic genres and some of the key theoretical articulations of laughter and wit—by Freud, Bergson
and others—and the special zone of outlandish humor demarcated by the cabarets, café concerts and ephemeral publications of Montmartre in the 1880s and 1890s.
John C. Welchman
focuses on John Baldessari
, one of the fountainheads for the new permissibility of humor in art in the 1960s as the hegemonies of modernist seriousness withered away, while performer, playwright and former V-Girl, Jessica Chalmers, and writer and curator, Jo Anna Isaak, discuss the relation between comedy and gender.
Finally, artist and writer David Robbins
reports on his decade long investigation into the comedy in objects, as video, performance and installation artist Michael Smith
reflects on his hilariously awkward and regressive journeys with alter persona "Mike."