Salon XXXI

Thursday 1st November 2012

Out of the Shadows

For our November Salon which falls on the auspicious Toussaint Day, we present ‘Out of the Shadows’, a night dedicated to tempting out in to the light both our brighter and darker selves.

We will be exploring the effects of looking on the bright side of life with neuroscientist and author of ‘The Optimism Bias’ Tali Sharot.  Her research revealed just how hard wired we are for hope, and Tali will be answering some pretty taxing questions about our optimistic nature, why we mentally process lead in to gold, what happens when optimism fails, the value of anticipation, the cost of dread and also shedding some light on the question we’ve long wanted to know at Salon, what about animals, are they optimistic or what?

And for your darker selves, we have journalist and philosopher Robert Rowland Smith to explain ‘Endarkenment’, developed as a reflexive counter position to ‘Enlightenment’. His is a fascinating theory which reminds us we humans don’t necessarily match our devices in terms of rationality.  In fact as technology bounds along a path of logical decision making at the speed of Moore’s law, history reminds us that our nature is not purely reasonable and perhaps its time we abandon a purely rational approach, to dig deeper, dig darker. 

Finally we are delighted to be working with founder of Art Macabre, Nikki Shaill, who taking inspiration equally from Coolio and the Day of the Dead for her ‘Out of the Shadows’ session will be creating a living canvas for us for us to mainline in to our artistic selves, and pen in hand consider anew both light and shade.  Using a barely dressed model, props and music Art Macabre will invite us to look in to the shadows and get our optimistic (or pessimistic) bias down on to paper.

Come curious, leave inspired.  ‘Out of the Shadows’ will take place at Foyles, Charing Cross, tickets are available here, £12.


  • Robert Rowland Smith

    Robert Rowland Smith

    Philosphy Improv.

    Robert spent the first part of his career as a Prize Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, and the second as a partner in a leading firm of management consultants. He now divides his time between writing and consulting independently.  . . .
  • Tali Sharot

    Tali Sharot

    The Optimism Bias

    Tali Sharot is a Wellcome Trust fellow and principle investigator  at the Cognitive Perceptual and Brain Science Division at University College London. Her research on the neuroscience of optimism, emotion, memory and . . .
  • Art Macabre

    Art Macabre

    Art Macabre's Death Drawing Salons: Out of the Shadows, Circus of Skeletons.

      Art Macabre resurrect the fun and playfulness of putting pencil to paper through London’s only “death drawing” salons. RIP memories of boring drawing classes as events producer Nikki Shaill, aka ghostly host . . .


  • Foyles

    113-119 Charing Cross RoadLondon

    WC2H 0EB