Series of paintings for Symposeum | In her series of paintings composed specifically for Symposeum, Lucy Villeneuve evokes a sense of self-discovery in the act of searching.
Cartoons on Searching | New Yorker cartoonist Brooke Bourgeois finds inspiration at the intersection of unlikely themes.
Scenes from Walden Woods: A Triptych | Photographer Lisa McCarty searches the Walden Woods landscape for traces of its transcendental past.
Tracking Your Life | Raised on the Londolozi Game Reserve in South Africa, Boyd Varty uses his experience as an animal-tracker to describe the individual's pursuit of a meaningful life.
Terrain | Poet Jesse Graves traverses his own interior terrain, in pursuit of verse itself.
Preschool as a Profession of Philosophy | Philosopher Garrett Allen details his transition from graduate school to preschool, and the reasoning behind it.
Home is where you find it | Returning to the small western-Nebraska town he lived in for 5 years, community planner Daniel Bennett takes the measure of contrasting approaches to the search for "home."
The Black Dogs of Enlightenment | A short story by Sean Murray. As aging academics, friends Mo Kaplan and Chrissy Halsted have spent decades of their lives studying and explaining. Yet as they catch up at a conference, each realizes the depths of their unanswered questions. When disaster strikes, their discussions that pit enlightenment against animal instinct will linger over the search for resolution.
Searching for the Blue | Palestinian artist Ahmed Hmeedat’s “Searching for the Blue” portrait series uses only three colors to explore the common ground and shared humanity between people of all backgrounds.
Reaching for the Stars | High school student Samantha George embraces the hope of the immigrant's journey in her art.
Eye Lantern and Sea Ache artwork | In this selection of pieces by artist Rebecca Arp, she searches for a sense of self through the affective channels of personal experience.
The Cloud and the Fire | In the search for meaningful relationships, is there any greater obstacle than miscommunication? In this absurdist play by Foster Swartz, Gerald encounters a series of eccentric characters on a strange elevator ride where people can hardly understand one another. As he searches for someone, anyone, he can truly talk to, the reader hopes that with the next elevator ding will come a person who makes finally makes sense.
Antibiotics: To the Clerk at the Pet Shop, Chicago, Lower West Side | Part incisive societal critique, part meditative dreamscape, Yuriy Serebriansky's piece explores conceptions of health and the value of human life in a thoroughly modern and experimental context.
Shooting Stars after Shooting Penguins in Frigid Isolation for 27 Years | In this comedy piece by Madeline Goetz and Jack Sentell, a former nature photographer looks for a new career, but old habits—unlike vulnerable penguins—die hard.
Star Tours: The Rise of Space Tourism and the Return of the Sublime | Lauren Spohn searches for the transformative sublime, exploring the possibilities of space tourism and how the average, earth-bound human might “wrestle wonder” in everyday life.
Crypto's Search for Meaning | In this piece, Kyle McCollom searches for the potential of cryptocurrency as human infrastructure.
Searching in the Dark: The Case for Dark Matter | Particle physicist Max Fieg considers the evidence for, and significance of, the theory that implies that 85% of matter is invisible, undetectable, dark. A Symposeum collaboration, digital artist Kendra H. Oliver depicts the search to render visible the patterns and predictions through which scientists understand this phenomenon.
Big Stories: They Still Matter | The field of anthropology involves a great deal of literal searching. Anthropology also searches for a story, a metanarrative that coheres the disjointed bits of data uncovered in the field. In this essay, anthropologist Will McCollum wrestles with the need for (and possibility of) such metanarratives in the post-truth era of disinformation.
The Long Now | A contemporary art exhibition from Nowk Choe questions the idea of timeliness.
The Ends of Information: Searching for Truth in the Digital Age | In the age of Big Data, what is information for, and what do we hope to find at the bottom of it all? Symposeum managing editor Nissim Lebovits takes on these questions.
Things I Need to Know | A father wonders how grace and goodness prevail in this poem by Andrew Najberg.
On My Mother's Passing | Poet Ronan Quinn offers a moving and ultimately hopeful meditation on the omnipresent void that follows a great loss and seeks a means to fill this absence.
Lost & Found | This poem by Tripp Wolf is about a son who finds his late mother in the artifacts of her life.
To J— | Josh DeFriez's poem draws its reader into the ongoing search for stories that help us explain—and heal from—the pain we suffer, cause, and witness in the world.
SABBATICAL | Emily Meffert brings to us a narrative exploration of language, meaning, and coming to consciousness in a fictional world in short story form.