We are in Southampton, New York, for our very first US event, with Escape2NY: the first American foray for the legends who brought us the Secret Garden Party.

If you’re around, come explore your universe as we display the dead, swallow a sword, lie on a bed of nails, listen for aliens, build weapons with light, zap the brain, and augment your reality. Full program below the fold…

FRIDAY

12pm  The Evolution of Music, Zoe Cormier

Making music is one of the weirdest things we do, and yet every culture does it. Why? Neuroscience has revealed that music affects the brain like nothing else, prompting synchronized symphonies of electrical pulses. More than mere entertainment, science hints at a primal place for organized sound.

1pm How To Destroy Things With Light, Olivia Koski

Real-life laser weapons are slowly making their way on to the battlefield: underwater, on the ground, and in space. A former laser weapons engineer sheds light on the sober life of military weapons research and why the ultimate laser weapon remains a Hollywood and military fantasy – for now…

2pm Sex On Other Planets, Andrew Brown 

The universe is probably full of life – and Planet Earth is about to prove it. Though the discovery of an alien civilization has eluded us for for fifty years, there are reasons to be optimistic. Astrobiologist Andrew’s job is to look for life on other worlds, and he’s convinced it’s out there.

3-5pm Rogue Taxidermy & You, Robert Marbury

At the nexus between zoology, pathology, and mortality lies taxidermy: the art and science of displaying the diversity of life. Robert Marbury, co-founder of the Minnesota Association of Rogue Taxidermists, will elaborate the need for alternative taxidermy in the computer age.

From Dusk Till 10pm

The Amateur Observers’ Society of New York will host a raft of telescopes to spy the nightsky. Saturn will be visible!

SATURDAY

12.30pm Zapping The Brain, David Carmel

Cognitive neuroscientist David spends his days researching one of the greatest mysteries of all: how the brain creates consciousness. By disabling bits of the cortex with powerful magnets, he is discovering how our minds create the world we see. Come explore his optical illusions, and see how zapping the brain messes with the mind.

1pm Jon Mayes: His Bed Of Nails & Other Tricks

Equal parts teacher, technician and performer, Jon uses explosive tricks to demonstrate the laws of physics: fire, smoke and shattered glass are his truck in trade. Come learn about force and pressure from the meat in a bed-of-nails sandwich, who is also a lecturer and instructor at Rutgers.

2pm Sideshow Science, Adam Rinn

Ever wanted to know how to swallow a sword or breathe fire, or walk on hot coals? Us neither – but it’s amazing to see. Acclaimed Coney Island Strongman Adam Rinn will electrify you with his unusual feats – and tell you how he does them.

3pm  The Future Of Music

BP Fallon has traversed rainbows, mimed bass guitar with John Lennon, photographed Jerry Lee Lewis and Public Enemy, Emmylou Harris and Iggy Pop. He has toured as a DJ and just released his first record, produced by Jack White. Enough said. Come for a Q&A on the future of music.

4pm Augmented Reality, Mark  Skwarek 

Mark is a new media artist working to bridge the gap between virtual reality and the real world with technology. As a member of Manifest.AR, an international artists collective, he works with new forms of augmented reality as a way of transforming public spaces. He will present a special exhibition of a new work of art by Sander Veenhof. To get involved: 1. Download the “Layar app” from the app store. 2. Search for “screensavar”. 3. Load screensavAR layar. 4. Surf the boundary between physical and augmented reality!

SUNDAY

12pm  The Evolution of Music, Zoe Cormier

Making music is one of the weirdest things we do, and yet every culture does it. Why? Neuroscience has revealed that music affects the brain like nothing else, prompting synchronized symphonies of electrical pulses. More than mere entertainment, science hints at a primal place for organized sound.

1pm Jon Mayes: His Bed Of Nails & Other Tricks

Equal parts teacher, technician and performer, Jon uses explosive tricks to demonstrate the laws of physics: fire, smoke and shattered glass are his truck in trade. Come learn about force and pressure from the meat in a bed-of-nails sandwich, who is also a lecturer and instructor at Rutgers.

2pm Creative Collaborations: When Art Meets Music  

Paddle8 co-founder Alexander Gilkes and contemporary art specialist Veronica Collins will discuss some famous examples of symbiosis in art and music, over a glass of Krug Champagne, and what impact the collaborations have on the artists, the music and the audience experience.

3pm Welcome To Your Galaxy, Neil Zimmerman

Getting started with star-gazing is a breeze, especially with the latest digital tools. Local astronomer Neil – who by day and night looks for exoplanets, including earth-like planets orbiting distant stars in our galaxy – explains where, when, and how to look up.

4pm Dirty Pub Quiz, Zoe Cormier

Zoe will run us through tawdry trivia and filthy facts. Delve into the epidemiology of fisting, radioactive contraceptives, the fetish spectrum, and a rousing round of pin the penis on the brain. Learn just how much of your DNA comes from viruses (you’d be surprised) and why being dirty really can be very, very good for you.