x = independently organized TED event

Theme: A Suspension of Disbelief

This event occurred on
December 1, 2010
6:00pm - 11:59pm PST
(UTC -8hrs)
San Francisco, California
United States

We chose the name Alcatraz because of the sense of mystery that Alcatraz invokes. It is a mythic place of opposites, dualities, and polarities: it has held dangerous criminals, and also been a site for cultural revolution when indigenous peoples assembled and occupied the island in the late 60's. Did inmates ever escape from Alcatraz? And what becomes of it now as it has transitioned from a prison into a national park? And how has this transition changed the symbology of Alcatraz as an icon in the American consciousness?  

In a similar vein the theme, "A Suspension of Disbelief," really is a state of faith... In my mind as an Artist this is the place I want to bring my viewer to. I want my viewer to lose themselves (while retaining their critical mind) and become immersed in the experience. Clearly there are many methods to get an audience or community to suspend disbelief. I think it can also be a personal journey where the individual can see the beautiful potential of an environment, community, or situation that seems doomed. How does a person suspend their critical voice in prison and believe in the possibility of freedom, or even universal principles of justice, when they have been wrongly imprisoned? How does one look to an alley full of trash and envision that as a site for a community forest and cultural center? At what point does someone see the potential to take musical instruments that have been used in the same way for centuries and see how those instruments might be re-combined, re-constructed to evolve the craft of instrument building?  These are examples of a deep belief in the potential of the individual but also signal in that change-maker's faith in the potential of human beings to grow, evolve, and see beauty where none might exist presently.

Temple NightClub
540 Howard Street
San Francisco, California, 94105
United States
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Organizing team


The Sea Ranch, CA, United States
  • Gregory Miller
  • David Gurman
    Co-curator, Art
  • James Nash
    Co-curator, Music
  • Michael Zuckerman
    Chief Sustainability Officer
  • Jay Boren
  • Michal Habdank-Kolaczkowski
  • Mary Anne Masterson
  • Eric Berlow
  • Charlie Sheldon
  • Rhett Butler
    Global Conservation Advisor