Philippe Petit: If I had a university to direct and in some ways I hope that one day to have my own foundation where I will teach people things there will be a course in mistakes in the sense that I think we discard mistakes, we brush them aside, we in a non creative way mistakes are our best teachers.
When I make a mistake there is two things parallel happening in my head, in my heart and consciously I try to find the why of the situation and very consciously I observe what happened or, you know, recall what happens and find sometime the myriads of details that I didn’t pay attention to. Or sometime it’s as simple as I was not focusing enough, you know. If I cut a piece of wood with a saw and not really focused and the blade of the saw jumps and, you know, starts scratching my finger. What a great lesson because I maybe didn’t observe how the fibers of the wood where maybe I didn’t sharpen the saw correctly. Maybe I was saying hello to a friend passing by instead of concentrating on the curve, you know, the width of the blade. It’s very easy to observe a mistake and then to backtrack and to find out where the causes of that. So I am always very interested. It’s like solving a problem, you know. It’s interesting for me to investigate what went wrong.
This is the ninth video in a nine-part series with Philippe Petit available in playlist form <a href="http://bigthink.com/playlists/confessions-of-an-outlaw-a-creativity-workshop-with-philippe-petit-2">here</a>.