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Jason Silva

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The Beginning of Infinity

Posted: 10/04/11 03:35 PM ET

INSPIRATION:

This video below is inspired, in part, by the ideas explored in David Deutsch's new book, The Beginning of Infinity. We hope it moves you.

In our work, we use the tools of editing: we juxtapose transcalar imagery, cutting and overlapping the very small and the very large... From the nano to the galactic, stretching and compressing time, we use time lapse to reveal the repetitive and recurring patterns across different scales of reality. The aim is to provide multiple perspectives all at once, whose simultaneous presentation might cause spontaneous epiphanies. "These patterns are omnipresent, but only when we see these patterns in a more compressed mode of presentation to we start to attend to them as such." -- This is KEY!

Paul Stamet's superb book, Mycelium Running, begins with a discussion of what Stamets calls the mycelial archetype. Reality Sandwich explained: "He compares the mushroom mycelium with the overlapping information-sharing systems that comprise the Internet, with the networked neurons in the brain, and with a computer model of dark matter in the universe. All share this densely intertwingled filamental structure."

The Beginning of Infinity from Jason Silva on Vimeo.

A recent profile of Stephen Johnson on Dumbo Feather described his work like this:

"Johnson uses 'The Long Zoom' to define the way he looks at the world -- if you concentrate on any one level, there are patterns that you miss. When you step back and simultaneously consider, say, the sentience of a slime mold, the cultural life of downtown Manhattan and the behaviour of artificially intelligent computer code, new patterns emerge."

On their own, these areas of study are fascinating. Together, a more profound view takes shape.

The article continues, "Put simply: cities are like ant colonies are like software is like slime molds are like evolution is like disease is like sewage systems are like poetry is like the neural pathways in our brain. Everything is connected."

PERFORMING PHILOSOPHY:

Our stated goal is to re-ignite the art of the "performing philosophers"... like Timothy Leary and Buckminster Fuller... A post on Space Collective wrote about "thinkers who act as substantial agents of change, who drastically alter the infocologies they interact with, in the process transforming and meshing the different dimensions in which our minds operate."

We care about the pleasures derived in forming new connections, mash-ups and innovative solutions for the next step in human evolution.

We are working to articulate our understanding through the creation of recombinant media mashups meant to epiphanize audiences -- the creating and sharing of awe; "performance philosophy" in an age of collapsing boundaries and exponential creativity.

Artist Michael Garfield referred to it as "playing hopscotch across illusory divides in the intertidal zone between technology and spirituality, science and art, self and other, individual and collective."

The director of the Imaginary Foundation described our work as "some kind of Ontological DJ'ing, recompiling the source code of western philosophy by mixing and mashing it up into a form of recombinant creativity, which (hopefully) elevates our understanding from the dry and prosaic, into the sensual and transcendent."

"The goal is to prove a fresh framework and a new narrative to fill our old storytelling needs in our ever -- increasing process of self-description."

Information technologies have become instruments of mind expansion and sensorial scaffoldings that increase and augment our capacity to process greater amounts of information, allowing us to extract richer gradients of meaningful data about the world and our experience.

Whether it's a telescope, a microscope or a marijuana joint, we need to think of these tools as aids, contact lenses through which we can see so much more than before.

In the digital dimension we use the term resolution. Certainly we can appreciate how much more can be "revealed" by having higher resolution... and technology offering complex visualizations literally ups the resolution of our internal and external perceptions.

Different Scales and perspectives of reality show how much of what we perceive is dictated by our point of view -- literally by where we are and how we think. The most exhilarating realization, then, is that we all have the power to shape our experience by our linguistic and creative choices.

"A random scrap of information can trigger just the right conceptual collision. It's hard to know which scrap might do the trick, but that's the beauty of things like social networks, interconnectivity, and these kinds of media mashups -- they constantly produce potential sparks, for free." -- Seth Goden

 

Follow Jason Silva on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jason_silva