Media artist documentary filmmaker and philosopher Jason Silva’s energy is contagious. The audience assembled Friday for his speech at SXSW could be heard collectively exhaling after watching his latest video release on Vimeo, “The Mirroring Mind.” In the video Silva, referred to as an “Ideas DJ,” explores human consciousness and the creation of that consciousness through self-reference.
“We may be flawed stumbling primates, but when we work together we are primates that can fly,” said Silva during his remarks on March 8 to audience applause.
“I want unexpected delight,” Silva said in a conversation with the Post shortly after his talk, describing what he wanted out of this year’s conference. “I’m chasing the surprise. So, I want to throw myself in the middle of really creative people and have a moment of ecstatic surrender and let go.”
Silva, who is a good head and shoulders taller than this reporter, exudes enthusiasm about a field that is rarely associated with boundless energy: philosophy. And he recites quotes from authors and academics seemingly at will.
Asked if he had an eidetic memory, Silva said, “I don’t know, but my mom always told me I had a photographic memory. … But I think it’s training. Training comes from simply being so in love with an idea, I want to tell you about it.”
TED has received a measure of criticism from many for its production-quality-centric approach. Silva’s video, “Radical Openness,” opened last year’s TED Global conference.
Asked about the criticisms TED has endured on blogs and in videos such as those featured on the satirical Web site The Onion, Silva said, “I’m not a hater. I’m not part of the hipster credo that’s unimpressed by anything,” said Silva, “I’m the opposite. I’m a wonder junkie, I love to listen to beautiful music, I love to cry, and my mom took me to Broadway melodies, I love goosebumps, I love to tear up, I love to be shaken up — to be moved.”
“So, there’s nothing ironic in my repertoire.”
Read more news and ideas on Innovations: