What I Learned at the SNF Conference at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center “Playing with Complexity” [Day #2]
by on June 26, 2019 in articles Just For Fun SNF Conference

The second day of the SNF conference at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens, Greece.

The SNF conference is part of the annual Summer Nostos Festival, an imaginatively curated, eclectic mix of music, dance, sports, original performances, discussions, games, and contemporary art. This year the theme of the 2019 SNF Conference is [Untitled].

The SNF brought a host of high caliber speakers from various backgrounds, and diverse disciplines and spaces, “forcing” them to engage into conversations and debates about subject matters outside their areas of expertise.

Read about the first day here: What I Learned at the SNF Conference at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens [Day #1]

 

Olivia Hadjiioannou, Ολίβια Χατζηιωάννου, Oh., SNF Conference at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens.
Academy Award and Golden Globe nominated Nia Vardalos, Multi-instrumentalist and director Olivia Hadjiioannou (Oh.)

I bumped into the wonderful Academy Award and Golden Globe nominated Nia Vardalos. Nia wrote the critically acclaimed New York Times Critics’ Pick stage adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s bestselling book, “Tiny Beautiful Things” and performed the lead role “Sugar” for three seasons at The Public in New York and California’s State Theater and The Pasadena Playhouse. At the conference yesterday she gave a very moving performance of a scene from “Tiny Beautiful Things” during the talk: Democracy, Theater and All of Life’s Tiny Beautiful Things: A discussion with Oskar Eustis, artistic director of The Public Theater in NYC.

After a morning of talks we were offered a wonderful lunch, at the Delta Restaurant on the 5th floor of the National Opera with wonderful food by chef Dimitris Skarmoutsos.

Ernő Rubik, the inventor of Rubik’s Cube, gave a rare public appearance at the SNF conference on Tuesday. Magician Mark Mitten, the moderator of the talk called, “Playing With Complexity” had asked Mr. Rubik last year if he wanted to come to Greece. And Mr. Rubik responded, “I’m an architect who has never been to Greece!”

Forty-five years ago, Professor of Architecture and Design Ernő Rubik realized the need to familiarize his students with the concept of complexity. So he designed the famous cube, which at first seemed unsolvable, but then, and after causing excitement among some of the world’s greatest minds, became one of the most widespread puzzles of all time.

Olivia Hadjiioannou, Ολίβια Χατζηιωάννου, Oh., SNF Conference at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens.
Ernő Rubik, Inventor of Rubik’s Cube and Teacher of Architecture & Design, Multi-instrumentalist and director Olivia Hadjiioannou (Oh.)
Olivia Hadjiioannou, Ολίβια Χατζηιωάννου, Oh., SNF Conference at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens.
Ernő Rubik, Inventor of Rubik’s Cube and Teacher of Architecture & Design, Multi-instrumentalist and director Olivia Hadjiioannou (Oh.)

The entire audience was given a Rubik’s Cube. As I was trying unsuccessfully to solve it, I looked behind me and there was Ernő Rubik. He was kind enough to give me the honor of a photo with him in the lobby of the National Opera House at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center.

Erik Akkersdijk Speedcuber Rubik's Cube Olivia Hadjiioannou, Ολίβια Χατζηιωάννου, Oh., SNF Conference at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens.
Olivia Hadjiioannou, Erik Akkersdijk Speedcuber Rubik's Cube
Olivia Hadjiioannou, Erik Akkersdijk Speedcuber Rubik's Cube Olivia Hadjiioannou, Ολίβια Χατζηιωάννου, Oh., SNF Conference at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens.
Olivia Hadjiioannou, Erik Akkersdijk Speedcuber Rubik's Cube

Fortunately, Dutch speedcuber Erik Akkersdijk, who was present on the panel as well, was very patient and shared a few of his secrets with me. He has a video on YouTube on the easiest way to solve it.

magician Mark Mitten Olivia Hadjiioannou, Ολίβια Χατζηιωάννου, Oh., SNF Conference at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens.
Magician Mark Mitten, Professor of Architecture Nikolaos Terzoglou, Multi-instrumentalist Olivia Hadjiioannou (Oh.)
Olivia Hadjiioannou, Ολίβια Χατζηιωάννου, Oh., SNF Conference at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens.
Magician Mark Mitten, Professor of Architecture Nikolaos Terzoglou, Multi-instrumentalist Olivia Hadjiioannou (Oh.)

As I was talking with Nikolaos – Ion Terzoglou, Professor of Architecture at the National Technical University of Athens, he asked the magnificent magician Mark Mitten to perform a card trick.

It is wonderful to meet artists who use their talents to help people in the world. Mark has performed in war zones, hospitals and orphanages…a great man with such positive energy.

After the conference, I went up to the Lighthouse at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center on the 8th floor. As part of the Summer Nostos Festival and Nostos University, they will hold workshops, elaborate constructions, and competitions.

Bryan Berg, the internationally renowned card stacker, who has made countless playing card structures all over the world and holds two Guinness records taught me how to build a card structure. Behind him is the Nostos University project. He is building a model of the Acropolis with cards.

Olivia Hadjiioannou, Ολίβια Χατζηιωάννου, Oh., SNF Conference at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens.
Bryan Berg, the internationally renowned card stacker, Multiinstrumentalist (Oh.)
Olivia Hadjiioannou, Ολίβια Χατζηιωάννου, Oh., SNF Conference at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens.
Bryan Berg, the internationally renowned card stacker, Multi-instrumentalist (Oh.)

Here the awesome YouTuber Lily Hevesh, a professional domino artist, helped me figure out how to bridge the two letters of my initials and moniker Oh. and create this awesome domino trick.

Olivia Hadjiioannou, Ολίβια Χατζηιωάννου, Oh., SNF Conference at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens.
YouTuber Lily Hevesh, a professional domino artist
Olivia Hadjiioannou, Ολίβια Χατζηιωάννου, Oh., SNF Conference at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens.
YouTuber Lily Hevesh, a professional domino artist

Watch and be amazed!

I headed down to the Alternative stage and listened to the string quartet Tetrakts with Giorgos Panagiotidis on violin, Kostas Panagiotidis on violin, Megumi Kasakawa on viola and Alexandros Botinis on cello.

Olivia Hadjiioannou, Ολίβια Χατζηιωάννου, Oh., SNF Conference at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens.
Tetraktys String Quartet
Olivia Hadjiioannou, Ολίβια Χατζηιωάννου, Oh., SNF Conference at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens.
Tetraktys String Quartet

As the sun set, I headed over to get some ice-cream and some great coffee from the Coffee Juice Vanstation!

Olivia Hadjiioannou, Ολίβια Χατζηιωάννου, Oh., SNF Conference at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens.
Olivia Hadjiioannou, Ολίβια Χατζηιωάννου, Oh., SNF Conference at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens.

And ended this amazing day dancing to the Belgian band Balthazar with Maarten Devoldere (vocals, guitar), Jinte Deprez (vocals, guitar), Simon Casier (bass), Michiel Balcaen (drums) and Tijs Delbeke (synthesizer)

Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center Olivia Hadjiioannou

Playing With Complexity

16:00 – 16:30 Playing with Complexity

Moderator: Mark Mitton – Magician

Bryan Berg – Cardstacker
Lily Hevesh – Domino Artist
Ernő Rubik – Inventor of Rubik’s Cube, Teacher of Architecture and Design
Erik Akkersdijk Dutch Speedcuber
Lucas Garron – German Speedcuber

Ernő Rubik

Inventor of Rubik’s Cube and Teacher of Architecture & Design

Ernő Rubik studied architecture and design in Budapest, Hungary and started lecturing as an assistant professor of design in the 1970s. While trying to give his students a true “feel” for spatial transformation and descriptive geometry, Mr. Rubik developed several 3D constructions, among them his best-known puzzle, the Rubik’s Cube. Patented in 1975, Rubik’s Cube made its international debut at the New York Toy Fair in 1980 to quickly become a global phenomenon as the best-selling toy in history.

In addition to the Cube, Mr. Rubik patented several successful toys and design pieces including the Magic Snake in 1977 and Rubik’s Magic in 1985, selling millions of pieces of both worldwide. He has also remained a prolific architect, designing family homes, and is actively engaged in interior design. He co-founded the Hungarian Engineering Academy, the Palace of Marvels (a science center in Budapest), and most recently the Aquincum Institute of Technology (AIT) where his latest public sculpture is also on display.

A recipient of numerous national and international distinctions, Mr. Rubik has also been engaged in major international projects promoting innovation and creativity. He acted as Ambassador to the European Year of Innovation and Creativity and has been a member of the European Inventor Award’s international jury. On the 40th anniversary of the Cube’s invention, Mr. Rubik opened “Beyond Rubik’s Cube”, a global traveling science exhibition co-produced with Liberty Science Center (NJ, USA) and Google. He is currently working on his book “Cubed” to be published next year.

Rubiks Official Facebook
Rubiks Official on Twitter
Rubiks Official on Instagram
Rubiks Official on YouTube

Mark Mitton

Magician

Mark Mitton is a professional magician who is fascinated by using magic to better understand how we see the world. In addition to performing at private and corporate events all over the world, and creating magic for film, television, the Broadway stage, and Cirque du Soleil, Mark tirelessly explores the theme of ‘Misdirection’ from an interdisciplinary standpoint. He regularly presents on ‘Perception’ at universities and conferences in North America and Europe, including the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness, and has lectured with the late Nobel Laureate Dr. Gerald Edelman of The Neurosciences Institute.

Mark was the apprentice to legendary sleight-of-hand master and vaudevillian Slydini, and a long-time student of Ozzie Malini – the son of turn-of-the-century magician Max Malini. He has performed for Mick Jagger, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, John Mayer, Katy Perry, Salman Rushdie, Sienna Miller, Mark Messier, Sting, Sylvester Stallone, and many others; at festivals in Europe and Asia; at the Olympic Games; in war-torn Liberia; in hospital wards around New York City; and in a Mexican orphanage with members of the band Guster. His magical hands are featured in a They Might Be Giants video, and he appears in Tony Oursler’s video project ‘Imponderable’, in which he plays Oursler’s grandfather Fulton Oursler.

Mark Mitten website
Mark Mitten on Twitter
Mark Mitten on Facebook
Mark Mitten on Instagram

Lily Hevesh is a professional Domino ArtistLily Hevesh

Domino Artist

Lily Hevesh is a professional Domino Artist who produces weekly videos on her YouTube channel, Hevesh5, while also doing professional projects for companies, ad agencies, brands, schools, and others seeking Domino Art. Currently she has over 750 million total YouTube views and 2,400,000 subscribers, making her the #1 most subscribed Domino Artist on the web. In addition to creating domino videos on her YouTube channel, Lily has done significant commercial projects for brands including Disney, Marvel, Ford, Honda, LEGO, Pizza Hut, and more. She has worked with Will Smith for the feature film Collateral Beauty, as well as Katy Perry for the launch of her new album Witness. Her dominoes have been featured on NBC, FOX News, Nickelodeon, CNN, CBS, Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and other various sources.

Lily Hevesh on YouTube
Lily Hevesh on Facebook
Lily Hevesh on Instagram
Lily Hevesh on Twitter

Bryan Berg

Cardstacker

Bryan Berg is the inventor of cardstacking on a grand scale. He is self-taught and has been developing his techniques — using no tape or glue or folding — since childhood. Berg set the record for Tallest House of Freestanding Playing Cards initially in 1992, and has held that record and many others continuously since. He holds degrees in Architecture from Iowa State University and Harvard.

Bryan Berg Official Website
Bryan Berg on Facebook
Bryan Berg on Twitter

Olivia Hadjiioannou, Ολίβια Χατζηιωάννου, Oh., Press photos, Official Photos, Music, News, Greece, metal, RockMulti-instrumentalist and director Olivia Hadjiioannou as the artist Oh. has been honored for her ingenuity, innovation and creativity in music and video with multiple international awards. She made her debut as Oh. on the international music scene with the award-winning music video, "Trials" in 2013 – cited as one of the 50 top events to mark Greece during the economic crisis. With the advances of immersive video, she released her single "Love of Avalanches", mentioned in Huffington Post as one of first 360-degree immersive VR videos released by a Greek artist on YouTube in 2016.

The music video "Red Lion" is presently a winner and official selection in 12 film festivals worldwide. Winner of Best Music Video award in the inaugural French Riviera Film Festival (FRFF) in Cannes, France. Winner Best Music Video at the Cosmocinema Film Festival in London. Winner of the Best Music Video Short in The Psychedelic and Transpersonal Film and Music Festival that took place on May 25, 2019 at The Producer’s Club in New York City. Winner Best Experimental Mixed Media Short Film at the Paleochora Lost World Short Film Festival in Southwestern Crete in Greece. Read more in her Bio and EPK

The EP “Metallia” has received over 32 reviews from 13 countries worldwide, is in top 10 progressive rock and metal charts and listed as one of the best albums of the year for 2018 on Metal Nation Radio.

CD Metallia - Oh. aka Olivia Hadjiioannou

“Metallia” by Oh. is an epical prog-metal composition in six parts. A multi-layered sonic piece of ravishing solo electric guitars, time-bending tempo shifts, grooving bass lines and deranged drums.

This instrumental progressive metal album will reveal its intricacies and hidden depths over time. It will extract from your mind pure visions, to mend your mental pictures, preen presumptions and to elicit an element of the unexpected…. because that is what will transmute your subliminal mind map into a remarkable blueprint which will lead you from wherever you are now, to wherever you want to be.

Available on Bandcamp

Weird and Wonderful World of Oh.

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