Rives exposes the secrets of 4 a.m., on TED.com

The slam poet/tech artist/paper sculptor Rives does eight minutes of lyrical origami, folding history into a series of coincidences surrounding that most surreal of hours: 4 o’clock in the morning. This elusive hour, both very late and very early, appears often in art and literature as a way to describe the most extreme states of affairs. Rives — aided by a nimble mind and extensive online research — reveals 4 a.m. as an iconic moment, drawing hilarious historical connections. (Recorded March 2007 in Monterey, CA. Duration: 09:17.)

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Watch Rives’s talk on TED.com, where you can download it, rate it, comment on it and find other talks and performances, including two more by Rives: A mockingbird remix of TED2006, and his spoken-word piece “If I controlled the Internet”

Read more about Rives on TED.com.