What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close
With rendition switcher

Transcript

Julian Schnabel: I think the internet can be very useful. People have websites. In fact, I have a website, and I'm 59 years-old. That must be really stupid. it’s a huge, important innovation, but does it have anything to do with what I do, me, Julian Schnabel? Not really. I'm more like a cave person. I'm actually painting something with my own hands. It doesn’t go through the airwaves in invisible speed and end up in somebody’s head. It’s about you looking at something and you finding something that's inside of yourself.

The internet helps with education, making people more aware of certain things, but, really, can you get anything on the internet? I could think of something that I could say right now that you couldn’t get on the internet: I’d like to have a plastic awning from a butcher shop in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. When it’s rolled up it’s red, but where it has been exposed to cover the window of the butcher shop the sun—the sun needs to bleach it so it’s ocher, it’s kind of an ocher and dirt color, and the image of that will look like the New York skyline. I think it would be very hard to order one of those.

Those are the kinds of things you have to go there, see them, find them and then get ten guys to help you disengage it from the metal structure that’s hanging over that butcher shop, and your kids have to watch while it’s very boring and it’s hot out there as the people fold it up, and it smells like meat, but you stick it in your suitcase. And maybe you could get it back to New York, stick it on a stretcher and make a painting of it, put some white on it, write a word on it and then you’ve got your art and then somebody can look at it and see if it means anything to them. You look at what’s not generic and you look at something that becomes a palimpsest, some kind of stasis that can include things that are nameable and unnamable and these unnamable things that I mentioned before, the things that I try to put in or that I put into the movies, it's like silence. You sense it sometimes and you think, "I feel more alive."

So as an artist what do I really do? I point and say, "Did you see that, can you see that?"

Directed by Jonathan Fowler
Produced by Elizabeth Rodd

More from the Big Idea for Tuesday, April 05 2011

 

Julian Schnabel: I'm Like a...

Newsletter: Share: