Exploring openness in radical video: Jason Silva at TEDGlobal2012

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Photo: James Duncan Davidson

Jason Silva is a “performance philosopher” driven by the concept of awe. Inspired by Buckminster Fuller and Timothy Leary, his background of film and philosophy has given him the tools to create movie trailers for ideas — what he calls “philosophical shots of espresso.” In his eyes: Awe is ecstatic rapture. It is the antidote to existential despair. Awe makes you gawk at everyday wonders you are taught to ignore. Awe is an experience of such perceptual vastness that you are forced to reconfigure your mental schema. Best of all, once experienced, awe leaves you with residual benefits. Timothy Leary described computers as the LSD of the ’90s. Because of awe’s abilities to make old things new again, Jason believes it is ultimately the best drug in the world.

In terms of his videos, their aesthetics, music and presentation all matter — because Jason believes we want to be transformed. We want spaces where ideas can accelerate the evolution process. We want to be able to contemplate space and time on a scale just short of the infinite. And so does he. That wow at the end of this single-take video? That was Jason’s reaction to his awe-inspiring ecstatic moment.
— Bedirhan Cinar