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Invigorating the Imagination with Art and Science

Wilfredo Mendez Vazquez's picture
Jason Silva, host of Brain Games on the National Geographic Channel (Credit: Jason Silva)

Jason Silva is recently known as the host of the new series BRAIN GAMES for the National Geographic Channel, but this Venezuelan-American filmmaker has been widely recognized by his non-commercial series of short films “shots of philosophical espresso” and his ongoing project, aptly named “shots of awe”. Jason Silva has demonstrated to be a truly scientific poet. 

Throughout his career, Jason has explored the notions of Science, Art and Wonder. In his own words he described to us the motive of his early work, “two years ago I began a passion project called philosophical espresso shots, a series of web videos exploring my passion for the co-evolution of humans and technology, futurism, metaphysics and philosophy. It was a kind of existential joyride, a soap box for my obsessions and sensibilities”.

“The aim is to invigorate the imagination and send users tumbling down the rabbit hole. The name takes inspiration from the Stanford study on Awe, which concluded that experiences of perceptual expansion and awe leave us with residual therapeutic benefits. So essentially, inspiration and astonishment are medicinal experiences!” he added.

In Jason’s work, it is not just about the message, but it is also about the way he communicates it. His short films are full of intensities achieved through artistic sequences of images and videos, most of them scientific-based panoramas on technology, ecosystems and the future. Even though, art and science have been usually associated with contrasting perspectives, amazingly, art is intrinsically embedded in the way Silva speaks science and technology and this crossover has been key to the success of his message.

“I'm a big fan of short-form video and feel it has huge untapped potential in the age of the internet to promote big ideas and critical thought, particularly due to our current mediascape's ever shrinking attention spans and bandwidth anxieties” Silva says.

TO UNDERSTAND IS TO PERCEIVE PATTERNS from Jason Silva on Vimeo.

More than ever, technology, the scientific dimension of design is shaping our mediascape, thereby designing society itself. About this thought Silva says “I believe technology is an extension of mind. It is mental scaffolding, a cognitive upgrade, our tools are us. Someone once said "iPhone therefore I am". I agree. Technology also progresses exponentially, so our mental prosthetics are increasingly reflecting the onset of a true techno-bio hybrid species. That's what we are.” 

While technology is the scientific facet of design, design is the artistic dimension of technology. “Design is a wonderful thing. It's how we impregnate the world with agency. Design suffuses matter with intent. Design is a signature of mind authored on the material world” Jason ends.  

This futurist philosophy on creativity, innovation, technology, and the human condition has reached closed to six million views now. Jason’s work can be best summarized as an effort to take on scientific advancements of human designs through the language of metaphorical sequences to inspire and heal.

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