TED Conversations

Jean-Pierre Walker

Architectural Designer,

TEDCRED 20+

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The Arts: Do you think masters or masterworks can ever appear in the modern world and reach the immortality like those of the past?

We have plays that are still being performed -a play "Lysistrata Jones" based on "Lysistrata" from 411bc just finished a run in Jan 2012

We all know who Michelango was and and his "David"

There are many others: Leonardo da Vinci, El Greco, Rembrandt (i'm am biased when it comes to the western world because i do not know much of the Asian arts- Please bring that to the table. i would very much like to expand my knowledge about this)

My question to TED is whether or not you can foresee anything or anyone reaching those levels from and in modern civilization? Is it even possible? What does it take to become immortal?

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    Feb 3 2012: All of these comments are very interesting.

    One thread of thought that i see how there seems to be less focus on the individual (creator) and more focus on the product of the creator.

    Are we a the point where understanding the ideas from what was created is more important than who actually created it?
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    Jan 26 2012: Well if you mean by immortal - not lost to the collective memory then perhaps we are all immortals now.
    So many artists these days and nothing seems to surprise us much with art these days.
    No I dont think artists will claim the same status as before. Fast food these days.
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    Jan 25 2012: I would like to think that art is evolving, and that the masters are just different, and less respected in their time. To me... Film is the new art form. Kurosawa, certainly will go down as a master, Hitchock will as well. I don't know if a modern director, will pull that off, but I think masterpieces are still being created. Commercialism may be replacing Michaelangelo, with 5 David's created by different artists, none of which were masters.

    Modern film masterpiece? Crash, one of the most brilliant, and honest takes on modern racism and culture, I have ever seen. District 9, even comes to mind, for it's incredible abillity to turn apartheid, into a science fiction story children can have fun watching... That's an amazing artistic accomplishment. Will Haggis, or Jackson become masters? I doubt it... They'll probably make a lot of movies for the paycheck... Kurosawa didn't do that. Hitchcock didn't do that.
  • Jan 25 2012: In chess every classic game ever played including the so-called "immortal Game" has been dissected with the use of computers. Can we be certain that other immortal works will not be replaced with cold "objective" analysis of computers?

    If programmers can program chess beyond World Champion level, they can do the same in a whole lot of disciplines e.g. if programmers had spent 40 years of programming computers to paint still lifes, computers would be the "World Champion" of still lifes.

    Immortals may not occur today, but some would elevate Einstein to immortal status. The Skeptical Inquirer even compared Einstein to Jesus Christ and Moses.

    Is any modern media e.g. films, art, literature and music "immortal"?---only time will tell..

    Immortals in the future may be Centaurs---half computer/half man.