Television personality, filmmaker and philosopher, Jason Silva was recently described as “part Timothy Leary, part Ray Kurzweil, and part Neo from The Matrix.” Others have described Jason as “A Digital DJ, a re-vitalizer and remixer of optimism, and above all, a curator: of ideas, of inspiration, and of awe… like a trumpet player or modern-day digital Mingus, he jams, riffs and rhapsodizes through a tumbling thicket of ideas with such a sharp and vital alacrity that it can take the breath away. He’s a modern performance philosopher, reviving the vibe of Tim Leary and Buckminster Fuller and revivifying the dialogue that they started decades ago.”
From 2005 to 2011, Venezuela-born Silva was a presenter on Current TV, the Emmy winning, independent cable network started by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, where he hosted, wrote and produced over 100 hours of original content.
Jason recently launched a series of non-commercial micro-documentaries exploring the co-evolution of human and technology, the latest of which was called “stunning” by TED Conference owner and curator, Chris Anderson. Jason has recently spoken at The Singularity Summit in NYC and his work was featured at The Economist World in 2012 Ideas Festival. In January 2012, Jason will be speaking at the prestigious DLD Digital Life Design Conference in Munich.
Jason has also partnered with Oscar nominated producer Peter Martin to create a feature length 3D Documentary on the technological singularity.
Silva’s work has been featured in The Economist, Vanity Fair, Forbes and Wired, among many others. Silva was also featured as part of the GAP ‘Icons’ campaign.
The Imaginary Foundation wrote of Jason’s most recent talks and short films that, “like some kind of Ontological DJ, he recompiles the source code of western philosophy by mixing and mashing it up into a form of recombinant creativity, which elevates understanding from the dry and prosaic, to a sensual cognitive romance.”
Silva resides in Los Angeles, California and New York City. In 2011 he became a fellow at the Hybrid Reality Institute, examining the symbiosis between man and machine.
Jason Silva: To be totally and completely honest, to me, you know, to create any kind of art, to immortalize an inspired moment and hold it in stasis is, again, what mankind has always done. You know, I’m not a religious person. But, when I look at a beautiful cathedral, what brings awe, what induces awe is the idea that architecture, you know, a beautiful cathedral, a beautiful building. A jet engine as an attempt to hold a transcendent moment in stasis, to immortalize a fleeting moment of insight and turn it into something that can be enjoyed and perceived and shared and consumed by other people.
So I make the videos as an antidote to existential malaise. Like ever since I read Ernest Becker’s book, The Denial of Death, which was the Pulitzer Prize-winning book from 1974 that says mankind has a collective neurosis not because of sexual repression, which is what Freud used to say, but because of the anxiety about our mortality, this creature that can sort of predict its own death. We’re the only species that can look into the future and know that we’re going to die one day and it causes all sorts of cognitive stress on your system. So we find diversions to transcend that feeling of being ultimately food for worms and our diversions have led to the religious impulse, the romantic impulse and the creative impulse.
And I think what we do when we’re at our most creative is we transcend death temporarily. You know, we get off on awe. We get consumed by something greater than ourselves, seemingly, you know, the Dionysian ****, the intoxication of creation. And that feeling, I find, temporarily, gets rid of my anxiety about being mortal, you know, being naked and feeling like no matter what I do, no matter what we all do, we’re still kind of on that moving walkway that's carrying everyone else towards death. But, in the meantime, to be beheld by awe, you know, aesthetic arrest, wonder, inspiration, these things are - this is how we defy entropy, by creating beauty and order and complexity.
As Terence McKenna tells us, we are already magical creatures.