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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

GEL2007 - Day 2 - Session 4

Dan Dubno
was joined by Greg Harper to present a quick and wild overview of technology gadgets while simultaneously delivering and reinforcing the point that “youthful experimentation is an important part of creativity”.

Jim Baumgardner is interested in randomness, complexity, usefulness and uselessness. “Randomness us complexity that we don’t understand.” He referenced John Whitney, incremental drift, then he had the crowd participate in the Whitney Music box, a wild and wonderful experience.

Robert Fox, Danish film maker, is putting together a film documentary on the Thule airbase built in northern Greenland and operated by the US during the cold war years. There was a nuclear disaster there for which they evacuated many of the natives. One of the natives has come forward with his own camera footage of life in and around Thule over the years. 30 years of 8mm film footage that is priceless in its story telling.

Ira Glass, writer, producer of This American Life He spoke of excitement, that the passion comes from within, that seriousness and funniness can never collide. That the world is a place where surprise and joy exist. Ira looks to portray people at exactly their human scale.

He spoke about the structure of the story. To be interesting, it must carry well. The sequence of action is not about logic, it is about motion. Just start the action, then you’re in the middle and can’t get out. Cringe; the human body moving in fear for an instant. Jump to the bigger moment. What’s the bigger universal story.

Action, action, action, thought

He closed with a story of Mary Zimmerman, director of The Arabian Nights, how Scheherazade told a tale daily and eventually saved her own life. The power of narrative is a back door to deep inside of us.

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