Christian Long

Golan Levin: Art That Looks Back At You

In TED Talks on April 25, 2010 at 9:36 pm

Reflection by ALEX F.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Golan Levin:  Art That Looks Back At You

Generally, there are two separate ways people think of each other; a person is either a logical thinker, or a creative thinker.

When we don’t really look at what each label actually means, there is no way that a person can be both artistic, and an engineer, right?
Apparently not.

Levin takes his knowledge as an engineer, and his creative ideas, and has managed to create technological masterpieces that defy every stereotype set for him. At the very beginning of his talk he mentions how while the “hybrid” of artist and engineer are becoming more and more common, it is still hard for people to grasp that he really is both. It just seems impossible for people to understand that someone can be multidimensional, and can have more than one interest that shapes their lives.

One of my favorite quotes from Levin is “…there is a kind of, I think, a lack of understanding about what it could mean to be an artist who uses the materials of his own day, or her own day.”

It brings up a very important point; while using traditional mediums for art is all well and good, we have to keep up with the new technologies and tools we have, so we can truly explore what we are capable of. What fun is it if we see nothing but oil on canvas? Or marble statues? It’s bound to get boring. Levin is taking a medium that seems impossible, and turning it into art.

He’s also doing a very good job at involving the senses in his art. As he speaks, you’ll notice that he focuses on individual senses; sight, sound, touch. He wants to engage the entire body in his art, and he executes that goal very well.

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