Jonathon Keats Will Gently Explode Your Mind


Photo Credit: Jennifer Dessinger

Adam Gopnik calls Jonathon Keats "a poet of ideas, whose work always rests on a solid basis of scientific research and resolves in a startling, semi-serious image." While much of contemporary art is meaningless outside of a closed circle of creators and admirers, or heavily dependent upon elaborate theoretical explanation, Keats' work captures the imagination instantly, twisting the familiar into novel and wonderful forms. 

Here are just a few of the things this man has done: 

  • Created various entertainments for plants, including: 
  • pornography (videos of bees pollinating flowers)
  • a kind of "travel channel" featuring video of the sky over Italy, on the premise that plants, being stuck in the ground, would find travel fascinating, but might not relate to, say, the Louvre. 
  • A photosynthetic restaurant featuring a variety of gourmet sunlight dishes
  • Attempted to genetically engineer God in a petri dish
  • Sold real estate in the extra dimensions of time-space proposed by string theory (he sold 172 lots in the Bay Area in a single day, according to Gopnik's article). 
  • Written a story that is currently invisible, but will reveal itself over the next 1000 years
  • Fomented a Copernican revolution in Art. 
  • Gopnik quotes Keats on his own work: “What I’m always doing is trying to pose thought experiments in the old-fashioned philosophical way,” he said, “imagining from a radically different perspective circumstances that are very familiar to us, in order to make them unfamiliar and force us to start to pull them apart. So if your children are supposedly vegetating in front of the television when they watch it for hours, what happens when you show television to vegetables? I don’t have the answers, or I wouldn’t make the work.”

     Jonathon amidst the grateful botanical patrons of the Photosynthetic Restaurant at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, California. 

    Compelling speakers do these 4 things every single time

    The ability to speak clearly, succinctly, and powerfully is easier than you think

    Former U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee rally at the Anaheim Convention Center on September 8, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Barbara Davidson/Getty Images)
    Personal Growth

    The ability to communicate effectively can make or break a person's assessment of your intelligence, competence, and authenticity.

    Keep reading Show less

    This 5-minute neck scan can spot dementia 10 years before it emerges

    The results come from a 15-year study that used ultrasound scans to track blood vessels in middle-aged adults starting in 2002.

    Mikhail Kalinin via Wikipedia
    Mind & Brain
    • The study measured the stiffness of blood vessels in middle-aged patients over time.
    • Stiff blood vessels can lead to the destruction of delicate blood vessels in the brain, which can contribute to cognitive decline.
    • The scans could someday become a widely used tool to identify people at high risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's.
    Keep reading Show less

    Preserving truth: How to confront and correct fake news

    Journalism got a big wake up call in 2016. Can we be optimistic about the future of media?

    Videos
    • "[T]o have a democracy that thrives and actually that manages to stay alive at all, you need regular citizens being able to get good, solid information," says Craig Newmark.
    • The only constructive way to deal with fake news? Support trustworthy media. In 2018, Newmark was announced as a major donor of two new media organizations, The City, which will report on New York City-area stories which may have otherwise gone unreported, and The Markup, which will report on technology.
    • Greater transparency of fact-checking within media organizations could help confront and correct fake news. Organizations already exist to make media more trustworthy — are we using them? There's The Trust Project, International Fact-Checkers Network, and Tech & Check.
    Keep reading Show less