Then, as you might imagine for a session entitled "See," artists presenting on their installations thereafter predominated...
• Olafur Eliasson, author of the New York City waterfalls and the green dye project, started with optical illusions of residual colors, making us viewers "co-producers" of the resulting artwork.
• Ed Ulbrich explained the mind-blowingly infinitely intricate process behind the creation of the digital persona of the old/young Benjamin Button.
• Golan Levin, a former graduate student from the MIT Media Laboratory, creates work that explores the intersection of abstract communication and interactivity, including art that looks back at the viewer. (I loved the program that turned human negative space into digital objects!)
• Daniel Libeskind presented his architectural projects, which he aims to be above all democratic.
The rest of the day seemed to feature mostly scientists...
• Louise Fresco had the incredible presence of mind to bake bread onstage while speaking about how - after 10,000 years - nutritious bread stopped being an accessible staple for people. "To those who have to go without 2 meals a day," as she quoted Gandhi, "God can only appear as bread." "Please ask your government to provide an integrated food policy," she urged.
• Anthropologist Nina Jablonski presented on what she says is our most evident and accessible proof for evolution, the various colors of our skin. The darker the skin color, the more resistant it is to UVB rays, but the harder for it to absorb vitamin B, a testament to our collective ancestral immigration out of Africa.
• Although as a historian of medicine, I can tell you that premodern surgeons weren't all quacks like amazing roboticist Catherine Mohr suggested in the preface to her research, she's in the process of developing the latest generation of the incredibly advanced DaVinci laparoscopic surgical robot!
• Robert Full is a biologist studying how geckos climb up walls and use their tails as a fifth leg for climbing and even as a rudder for gliding, and roboticists are using this information for prototypes of the mega-cool mecho-gecko!
Finally, Sarah Jones stunned with her consumate portrayal of half a dozen characters from her own life's history that populate her one-woman stage show! Her wonderful (and my favorite!) character based on her Jewish great-aunt is viewable here.
Last but not least, earlier in the day bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert cleverly talked about how genuis can - in a sense - ruin genuises, that is, unless they can manage to divorce themselves from it. The video from this spectacular TED presentation is already available here!
Other blog coverage of TED's second day can be found at...
- TED2009: Hans Rosling - Boing Boing
- TED2009: Roboticist Catherine Mohr - Boing Boing
- TED2009: Biologist Robert Full - Boing Boing
- TED2009: Louise Fresco - Boing Boing
- TED2009: Nina Jablonski - Boing Boing
- TED2009: Electric Fault Circuit Interrupter - Boing Boing
- TED: Audience questions for Nina Jablonski
- Twitter Snapshot: Hans Rosling, a perennial favorite
- Twitter Snapshot: Amazed by Benjamin Button
- Robert Full: Learning from the Geckos Tail
- Shai Agassi: Green Invention
- Elizabeth Gilbert: Genius and how we ruin it
- Louise Fresco: The Problem of Romantasizing Bread
- Nina Jablonski on Darwin’s Birthday Suit
- Golan Levin on Art that Looks Back
- Ed Ulbrich: Creating a Digital Person in 18 Minutes
- Olafur Eliasson: Art and our Sense of Space
- Oliver Sacks: Seeing with the Mind
My next post will be on the TED Prizes!