Sunday, 27 November 2016

Weird, Whacky, and Why You Don't Get It

It's been a long time since I last wrote about any TED talks that I've watched...mostly because I haven't watched any in ages. I thought I'd reach my goal of watching 100 TED or TEDx talks fairly easily, but it kind of fell by the wayside along with a whole bunch of other stuff.

Anyway, I've been working through my 'watch later' playlist and found these ten great TED talks on the arts.

The Silent Drama of Photography | SebastiĆ£o Salgado
A talk by world-reknowned photographer SebastiĆ£o Salgado, of how his passion for photography nearly killed him, and how he came to photograph the world's forgotten people and places.
I'd heard of this photographer when I was studying for A-levels, so it was interesting to watch this talk, and truly staggering to see the difference he has made through his work.

Impossible Photography | Erik Johansson
Photography and Photoshop genius Erik Johansson shows some of his incredible, surreal work, and explains the tricks to making such astounding, impossible photographs.
I felt really inspired by this one, and am itching to sit down and come up with solid ideas, then get out there with my camera and take photos that I can knit together later!

Young-ha Kim: Be an artist, right now!
An entertaining talk in which the author Young-ha Kim explores the reasons behind why people think 'I'm not an artist', and encourages people to embrace their inventive inner child, and get creative!
This is a great talk that really highlights how people end up believing themselves to be uncreative, and resultingly suggests what can be done to encourage the next generation of artists.

Maurizio Seracini: The Secret Lives of Paintings
As an engineer, Maurizio Seracini spent several decades searching for Leonardo Da Vinci's lost fresco, "The Battle of Anghiari". In this talk, he reveals the way paintings were hidden, and the fact that a great many contain extra layers beneath what we see, thus holding symbols and clues that without modern technology, we might never have discovered. A fascinating talk, a bit like art archaeology!

Antony Gormley: Sculpted space, within and without
In this talk, celebrated sculptor Antony Gormley talks about the thought and inspiration behind his works, with several examples of his sculptures to be seen. Previously I'd looked at his work without being able to understand it, but this talk really shed some light on the meaning behind his pieces!

Shea Hembrey: How I became 100 artists
A highly entertaining and engaging talk by Shea Hembrey, who in deciding to curate his own exhibition of contemporary art, ended up inventing all of the artists and artworks himself, covering a variety of styles and mediums from large-scale outdoor installations to tiny paintings. This talk really appealed to my sense of creativity and fun, and made me feel pretty damn inspired!

What's wrong with contemporary art: Jane Deeth at TEDxHobart
A complete change from the previous few talks, this one is about human interaction with contemporary art, and what's 'wrong' with it. Through explaining this, arts writer and curator Jane Deeth encourages people to listen to what contemporary art is trying to say.

I'll admit I didn't completely get it, but this next TEDx talk made things a bit clearer:

Why You Don't Get Contemporary Art: Jessica Backus | TEDxCornellTech
In this talk, Jessica Backus (director of Artsy's 'Art Genome Project'), openly admits to sometimes not 'getting' contemporary art, and explains some of the faults in the art world that can make it rather unaccessible to the outsider. She then goes on to explain how we, the viewers of that art, can modify our behaviour to understand contemporary art better.
This talk was really useful to me and I'll probably watch it again sometime before I go to a contemporary art exhibition. I'm one of those people who seriously doesn't understand 99% of contemporary art, but this talk has inspired me to get out there to an exhibition or gallery!

Steal Like An Artist: Austin Kleon at TEDxKC
When the writer Austin Kleon created a story by blacking out words in a newspaper, he thought he'd created something new. Soon enough he discovered his idea was far from original. In this talk, he traces it back across the centuries, and the fact that nothing is original. I liked this talk in that it pretty much points out that it's absolutely fine if you steal a few ideas--it's what artists have been doing for centuries!

The Madness of Art: Jim Kempner at TEDxChelsea 
Art dealer Jim Kempner talks about his journey from training as an accountant, to doing boring jobs and eventually getting into comedy and the art world, where he ended up becoming an art dealer, starting his own gallery, and making his own humorous series of video shorts on life at a gallery.
This is a really entertaining talk and goes to show that even if you trained in one area, life can take you somewhere quite different!

I've watched these ten talks as part of a goal from The List:
062. Watch 100 TED/TEDx talks
I'm now up to 30! Just think, if I wasn't such a massive procrastinator, I might have been over halfway by now!
Since winter has come and less is happening in the great outdoors, it seems a good time to catch up a little on this goal!

Read about the other talks I've watched for this goal on my TED tag.

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