Discussion at Rubin Museum of Art Edit

300px Does Chaos Have Meaning (March 31, 2010)

Meeting LogEdit

Eliza Madrigal: Hi Gaya :))

Gaya Ethaniel: Hello everyone :)

Zen Arado: Hi Gaya :)

Agatha Macbeth: Hello Gayabunny :)

Wol Euler: hello gaya

Wol Euler: gaya notabunny

Agatha Macbeth: Details dear

Gaya Ethaniel: :)

Zen Arado: Gayaperson

Eliza Madrigal: brb am going to make tea

Wol Euler: wow, pema's had a short night.

Agatha Macbeth: For all of us? :)

Zen Arado: make me a cup too Dear?

Wol Euler: 8am to 2:30pm

Wol Euler: a fast sleeper

Gaya Ethaniel: :)

Zen Arado: Rooibos preferably

Agatha Macbeth: At his age he doesn't need it ;-)

Wol Euler: hello pema

Pema Pera: hi everybody!

Wol Euler: you had a short night!

Agatha Macbeth: Konnichiwa Pem :)

Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Pema :)

Zen Arado: Hi Pema!

Wol Euler: did you get enough sleep?

Pema Pera: oh sure!

Bleu Oleander: hi everyone :)

Wol Euler: wow

Pema Pera: thanks :)

Agatha Macbeth: Hello Bleu

Zen Arado: Hi Bleu:)

Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Bleu :)

Zen Arado: Eliza's gone to make the tea

Alfred Kelberry: hi :)

Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Alfred :)

Pema Pera: hi Alfred!

Alfred Kelberry: gaya the cute bunny :)

Zen Arado: Hi Alfred :)

Alfred Kelberry: oi, pema - so good to see you :)

Agatha Macbeth: Still thinking inside the box then Alf?

Eliza Madrigal: :) Hi Everyone

Alfred Kelberry: aga :P

Alfred Kelberry: my head box is open :)

Wol Euler: nice to see that you got your scarf working properly

Agatha Macbeth: Indeed

Alfred Kelberry: yep, thanks to you, wol :)

Gaya Ethaniel: Shall we start?

Agatha Macbeth: Where are the tulips?

Alfred Kelberry: oh! aga! i like your... outfit :)

Agatha Macbeth flutters her eyelashes

Alfred Kelberry: em, haven't tried anything in my... hands yet :)

Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Dao :)

Eliza Madrigal: Hi Dao :)

Agatha Macbeth: Hi Dao

Zen Arado: Hi Dao:)

Pema Pera: hi Dao!

Gaya Ethaniel: Pema has kindly offered to join us today to disucss his conversation with Shekhar Kapur.

Gaya Ethaniel:

Dao Yheng: brb, lagging!

Gaya Ethaniel: ok

Gaya Ethaniel: What stood out in the conversation for me was the notion of chaos Kapur refers to in making films.

Alfred Kelberry: I must confess i didn't watch it all, but kapur did sound kind of... vague to me :)

Gaya Ethaniel: Would you mind starting from this Pema?

Blue Lotus tea: whispers: Hmm!

Pema Pera: yes, making a movie must be an incredibly complex thing

Gaya Ethaniel nods :)

Pema Pera: all the details you have to keep in your head, scenes out of sequence, the combination of all kind of things going wrong all the time and yet keeping the overall vision and making it look smooth in the end

Alfred Kelberry: heh, and at the end you always end up with footage mistakes :)

Pema Pera: like an architect: conflicting background of technology and art, interwoven, but more pressure in real time

Pema Pera: interestingly, Shekar's training originally was of an accountant

Eliza Madrigal: !?

Eliza Madrigal: surprising

Pema Pera: so he started off with the details

Pema Pera: then later became more chaotic :-)

Gaya Ethaniel: :)

Pema Pera: it was only later in life that he became famous

Gaya Ethaniel: That probably means he does prepare a lot before shooting.

Pema Pera: I wouldn't know . . .

Gaya Ethaniel: I think he said that somewhere in another interview.

Gaya Ethaniel: It makes sense to me.

Alfred Kelberry: did you meet him when he was already a renowned film director?

Zen Arado: he said he does a lot of preparation

Pema Pera: yes, ten years ago

Zen Arado: but then lets things become chaotic

Pema Pera: that sounds right, yes

Zen Arado: tricks his mind with panic

Zen Arado: he said

Pema Pera: :)

Gaya Ethaniel: In my view, 'chaos' he refers to is the unpredictability, spontaneous situations etc. and in some sense, the vast scope of possibilities.

Gaya Ethaniel: Kind of an aspect of reality I may say ...

Pema Pera: also tricks others around him with the panic :)

Zen Arado: :)

Pema Pera: yes, Gaya

Alfred Kelberry: what was the common ground that drown you 2 together? eastern philosophy?

Gaya Ethaniel admires people who works with people like Kapur :)

Pema Pera: we met in Davos

Pema Pera: World Economic Forum

Pema Pera: where we were both invited to entertain the powers that be

Gaya Ethaniel: Preparation - control/groundedness vs. chaos - limitless unpredictability and opportunities :)

Pema Pera: :-)

Alfred Kelberry: didn't know bankers invite physicists :)

Pema Pera: they do :-)

Alfred Kelberry: as they should :)

Gaya Ethaniel: :)

Alfred Kelberry: do they listen?

Pema Pera: sure

Alfred Kelberry: gaya, that sounds like process management

Gaya Ethaniel: Well, I'm talking about a tension I see in how Kapur works :)

Eliza Madrigal: Its a very entertaining interview... very easy and lighthearted... humility in the face of 'big questions'

Pema Pera: can you say more about that, Gaya?

Gaya Ethaniel: tension between prep & letting go.

Pema Pera: ah, yes

Alfred Kelberry: aha, ok :)

Gaya Ethaniel: And see what emerges through collaboration with people.

Pema Pera: thanks, Eliza; it did feel that way

Pema Pera: Shekhar and I have in common that we like to bring interesting people together, to see what happens, without much of a plan

Agatha Macbeth: :)

Alfred Kelberry: yes, sounds like kira :)

Zen Arado: could be scary?

Gaya Ethaniel: That takes respect and trust between the collaborators I think.

Gaya Ethaniel: Otherwise, it would fall apart.

Pema Pera: at my work place I often have five or six unrelated people for lunch

Wol Euler: :)

Zen Arado: in front of a big audience?

Pema Pera: they wonder why they're there, but within ten minutes realize that they get along very well

Gaya Ethaniel: :)

Alfred Kelberry: zen, rather smallish, I think

Zen Arado: ok

Zen Arado: sounded quite big :)

Pema Pera: in my research projects too, I've come to realize it's really people you have to start with, not functions

Gaya Ethaniel nods :)

Pema Pera: then to try to let the people do what they are best at

Alfred Kelberry: I’m not sure this kind of thing would work with a big crowd

Pema Pera: rather than to come up with a function and find the best person for it

Wol Euler: perhaps it doesn't have to?

Alfred Kelberry: pema, so true

Gaya Ethaniel: That requires a fairly flat structure, democratic I think.

Gaya Ethaniel: Otherwise each of them wouldn't feel like an essential part.

Alfred Kelberry: it's the team that makes the tools work

Pema Pera: yes, and willingness to change the "script", your preconceived notions of what should happen how

Eliza Madrigal: I thought, after watching the talk, that both of you seem to have these 'key' moments of noticing... sharing childhood stories of wonderment ... that led into life focus...

Pema Pera: yes, it felt that way

Zen Arado: yes that was interesting Eliza

Eliza Madrigal: grappling, but not towards discouragement, more toward play... his stories and your tinkering, etc

Gaya Ethaniel: Some may argue this is a mad way of doing things.

Eliza Madrigal: :)

Alfred Kelberry: did you feel nervous coming on the stage? :)

Pema Pera: how to say, we could have easily talked past each other, with our different styles and background, but somehow a similarity in wave length kept us together, effortlessly

Agatha Macbeth nods

Pema Pera: no, Alfred :)

Bleu Oleander: was that due in part to 10 years of emails, Pema?

Pema Pera: hmmm, not that so much

Pema Pera: more something that clicked right away

Pema Pera: ten years ago

Pema Pera: kindred spirits

Bleu Oleander: ah nice

Agatha Macbeth: It happens...

Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Donacita :) Please see for more information.

Gaya Ethaniel: To me, you two seemed very different somehow.

Pema Pera: yes, and without some kind of trust, hard to put my finger on, we would have talked past each other, I'm pretty sure

Pema Pera: since there was no linear thread in our conversation

Alfred Kelberry: I liked the guy who was presenting you. arty, light, somewhat bohemian and funny :)

Gaya Ethaniel wonders where trust comes from :)

Pema Pera: yet, we both improvised to somehow weave a thread

Donacita Munro: (hi )

Gaya Ethaniel: I had an impression that you two have a slightly different view on reality.

Pema Pera: recognition of a deep interest in the nature of reality, I think, Gaya

Alfred Kelberry: gaya, yes, i thought that too (on difference)

Gaya Ethaniel: :)

Pema Pera: probably, Gaya

Zen Arado: I liked the description of science and subjectivity

Eliza Madrigal: it takes so much work and detail to make a film, and yet I thought that sometimes one is known for just one or two 'stand out' scenes... for instance in Elizabeth. I suppose research in science has a real parallel there...

Pema Pera: what is common is hard to put my finger on

Pema Pera: interesting point, Eliza!

Gaya Ethaniel: I think not being dogmatic about your views is what seemed to be common, willingness to listen to other views.

Zen Arado: nods

Pema Pera: yes, that made it not only doable, but easy and fun

Zen Arado: same openness

Gaya Ethaniel: Can you tell us a bit about your interests in films? You mentioned your passion for the medium.

Pema Pera: and only totally unnecessary to prepare beforehand

Pema Pera: well, I am not a film buff as such

Gaya Ethaniel: :)

Wol Euler raises an eyebrow.

Pema Pera: I do appreciate how a film makes it possible to enter a different realm so to speak

Gaya Ethaniel: Like a dream?

Pema Pera: one thing that fascinates me about any good film is the "reverse culture shock"

Pema Pera: upon leaving the theatre and looking around at the real world

Eliza Madrigal: mmm, nods

Bleu Oleander: like sl

Pema Pera: and seeing that as a movie too, a different movie, for the first few minutes

Pema Pera: yes

Pema Pera: it's amazing how our whole sense of being can be captured into a fantasy

Pema Pera: and it makes you wonder about the particular fantasy that we call RL that we construct each moment

Zen Arado: acting parts

Gaya Ethaniel: [and choose to embody]

Pema Pera: one film I enjoyed a few years ago was Solaris

Gaya Ethaniel: :)

Gaya Ethaniel: Original or remake?

Alfred Kelberry: oh, yes. it's a good one.

Pema Pera: I still have to see the older version, which I hear many people say was better

Gaya Ethaniel: :)

Alfred Kelberry: pema, originals are always "better" :)

Pema Pera: that must be such a challenge, to take Stanislav Lem's story and then film it . . .

Pema Pera: and convey the wonderful sense of intrigue and humor of Lem in his writing

Alfred Kelberry: I liked the music in solaris

Alfred Kelberry: I wonder if music plays a big part in kapur's movies

Gaya Ethaniel: Just going back, how would you describe the main difference between your views on Reality?

Pema Pera: hmmmm,

Pema Pera: let's see

Gaya Ethaniel: Sorry for asking these in such early hours!

Pema Pera: Shekhar's is more impressionistic, less trying to be systematic I guess

Pema Pera: oh no, that's fine!

Gaya Ethaniel: Intuitive?

Pema Pera: better than very late at night, like in the wu-wei session seven hours ago :)

Pema Pera: yes

Gaya Ethaniel: :)

Wol Euler: :)

Pema Pera: it is good to reserve not-doing before going to sleep :)

Alfred Kelberry: wu-wei?

Pema Pera: not-doing

Gaya Ethaniel: :)

Alfred Kelberry: procrastinating session? :)

Gaya Ethaniel: That's an interesting point Pema. I'd say you also draw on intuition as well?

Pema Pera: Shekhar starts with stories, and I with explanations, and then he gets an explanation out of a story and I try to release the explanation -- something like that perhaps

Gaya Ethaniel: ah ok :)

Pema Pera: I loved his parachute story :)

Gaya Ethaniel: ?

Pema Pera: very PaB in some ways

Eliza Madrigal: Oh yes, nodding

Pema Pera: happily floating, noticing "no parachute!" so panic, then noticing "not falling" so okay

Gaya Ethaniel: heh :)

Eliza Madrigal: I brought all three children to see that little clip, heh

Pema Pera: :-)

Pema Pera: because the world is not at all what you think it is, you can relax -> wu wei

Alfred Kelberry: pema, sounds like a recursion :)

Pema Pera: to tie together the themes bookending my short sleep :)

Wol Euler smiles.

Eliza Madrigal: "so I'm not coming from anywhere, and not going anywhere".. then smiling like not quite a relief but okay

Pema Pera: yes, trust

Gaya Ethaniel: :)

Eliza Madrigal: There was a question I hoped you'd go back to Pema... at the end where the audience member wondered about your changing places with Shekhar...

Pema Pera: yes, that was a nice one

Gaya Ethaniel: :)

Pema Pera: by now I don't quite remember what I answered, but it certainly was a nice question

Eliza Madrigal: I suppose you've answered it a bit... that you might like to make a film that would jar/startle people to compare various realities?

Pema Pera: I think I too would have given up being an accountant :)

Gaya Ethaniel: wb Dao :)

Pema Pera: ah, yes, thanks for reminding me -- indeed!

Pema Pera: so Solaris would be one step

Pema Pera: and I'd love to take that one step further

Pema Pera: in fact, Shekhar and I had several conversations about that

Pema Pera: including how to weave in time

Eliza Madrigal: ahhh

Pema Pera: not only time travel but more the whole question of time

Pema Pera: interestingly

Pema Pera: he told me of a cartoon story that he read as a child, growing up in India

Pema Pera: a serial story in a magazine

Pema Pera: about a woman living out of time falling in love with a man living in time

Pema Pera: I guess a bit like Greek mythology

Gaya Ethaniel: Orlando :)

Pema Pera: of demi-gods and men

Pema Pera: :)

Wol Euler: "The time traveller's wife"

Pema Pera: so he then started wondering about the implications, and that has stayed with him whole his life

Zen Arado: yes I read that Wol

Gaya Ethaniel saw that.

Zen Arado: was struggling to recall title

Pema Pera: at some point Shekhar was contacted to do Asimov's foundation series

Agatha Macbeth: Whoa

Pema Pera: and he and I talked about how that could be done

Pema Pera: in the end it fell through, for rather complex reasons

Agatha Macbeth: :(

Zen Arado: has that aged well?

Pema Pera: but that really would have been fun

Eliza Madrigal: indeed, interesting

Pema Pera: it gave me a nice excuse to read the whole series

Gaya Ethaniel: :)

Zen Arado: read that about 5o years ago :)

Pema Pera: and it was even better than I expected

Agatha Macbeth: You need an excuse?

Gaya Ethaniel: Apparently someone is going to do it?

Eliza Madrigal: "research" Ag :)

Agatha Macbeth: Uh huh ;-)

Pema Pera: an excuse yes because every day there is so much more I'd like to do than I have time :)

Pema Pera: not sure, Gaya

Agatha Macbeth: Me too

Pema Pera: if there were 240 hours in a day, it would be faaar too short :)

Dao Yheng: :)

Gaya Ethaniel: :)

Alfred Kelberry: pema, and yet you spend your time on wu-wei sessions doing a not doing :)

Pema Pera: fortunately, only 24, so there is no way to even try to do all that I like to do :)

Gaya Ethaniel: I wanted to ask you about how you see Kapur's view on universe, Shiva - creation/destruction of the world/time.

Pema Pera: I don't think he has a specific view on the universe

Alfred Kelberry: gaya's prepared some grand questions today :)

Pema Pera: it is more like a jam session in jazz, he tunes in to whatever is going on around him

Pema Pera: yes, I'm impressed!

Gaya Ethaniel: heh :)

Pema Pera: you're a great talk host, Gaya!!

Gaya Ethaniel: Some things I remembered that's all ^^;;;

Pema Pera: I have to learn from you

Eliza Madrigal nods :::clapping:::

Gaya Ethaniel bows and bows.

Pema Pera: that looks effortlessly, but isn't !

Wol Euler nods.

Gaya Ethaniel: :)

Zen Arado:

Dao Yheng: very admirable, gaya!

Dao Yheng: Pema, (sorry if this is a repeat question) -- why do you think you and Shekhar have been able to carry on a dialogue for so long? Usually artists and scientists are curious about each other, but the frameworks they think about and work within are so different...

Alfred Kelberry: oh, i wouldn't like it to be a fantasy sequel

Pema Pera: same wavelength is the short answer, Dao

Pema Pera: but to unpack that a bit

Pema Pera: perhaps we both had a relatively "normal" early phase in life

Pema Pera: in the sense that neither of us was famous in his twenties in any way

Pema Pera: he became famous relatively late

Pema Pera: which probably explains his pleasant way of interacting with others :-)

Gaya Ethaniel: :)

Pema Pera: and in my career I also was a bit slow at first :)

Pema Pera: so we both like to relativize

Pema Pera: smile at others and ourselves

Pema Pera: I feel sorry for those who become prima donnas early on

Gaya Ethaniel: 'relativise'?

Pema Pera: must be such a burden to live with

Gaya Ethaniel: Yeah, easy to burn out ...

Pema Pera: I mean not taking too seriously when others praise or blame you, Gaya

Gaya Ethaniel: ah ok

Dao Yheng: I wonder if you both have some special interdisciplinary talent --

Pema Pera: interest in looking through the eyes of others around us, probably

Zen Arado: many narrow specialists around

Pema Pera: stepping in others' shoes

Gaya Ethaniel: Curious right? :)

Pema Pera: :)

Pema Pera: yes, but curiosity can be directed in different ways

Zen Arado: maybe you Buddhist practice opened you to that?

Pema Pera: not just curious about others, as targets, but about others as subjects -- how do THEY see/sense the world

Pema Pera: hard to say, Zen, and my practice combined many traditions, Buddhism being one of them

Pema Pera: meeting others is such a joy: each new person, a new universe

Gaya Ethaniel: Yes, wanting to understand and perhaps empathise etc. - compassion??

Eliza Madrigal: curiosity seems necessary for the flow of creativity, otherwise seems easy to get stuck... relating to the wu wei discussion too perhaps

Pema Pera: not what they are but how they see a different realm that intriguingly overlaps a bit with mine

Gaya Ethaniel: Nice - a person, a universe :)

Gaya Ethaniel: I think wanting to connect with others that way is natural wouldn't you say?

Pema Pera: yes, it's also like seeing everybody as presenting an ongoing movie

Gaya Ethaniel: ?

Alfred Kelberry: pema, you might start a consultancy for those burned-out early in life :)

Eliza Madrigal: Science as being 'young' was an interesting part of the discussion also.... don't often think of that ... lots in there

Pema Pera: which is one reason I don't see many movies, in fact, or read many novels: in all my travelling I have so many chances to meet so many people that I prefer to live the adventures rather than read about them and watch them

Zen Arado: SL is better than movies :)

Pema Pera: it's two-way yes

Gaya Ethaniel nods. Same, I don't feel an urge to create stories - obviously won't be a writer or film maker :P

Pema Pera: I'm not sure, Gaya :)

Pema Pera: you're creating dialogues all right!

Gaya Ethaniel: heh :)

Zen Arado: we all do it !

Zen Arado: the story of me :)

Pema Pera: "me" is a story :)

Wol Euler nods.

Gaya Ethaniel: :)

Pema Pera: Wol said it nicely yesterday (for me)

Pema Pera: how being bored is impossible

Wol Euler: ah :)

Pema Pera: once you just look around you

Wol Euler nods.

Gaya Ethaniel wonders if we can talk about 'science being young' in WoK sometime.

Dao Yheng: (that would be great!)

Pema Pera: if I may tell one little last story:

Pema Pera: when I was nine years old

Pema Pera: I got a little toy, not even a toy really, how to describe

Pema Pera: it was a little tiny frame, with a picture under it, and a glass cover and paper next to it to fold around the picture it contained

Pema Pera: it may have been a picture of a soccer player or movie star or ad for something, don't remember

Pema Pera: like a tiny photograph frame

Pema Pera: I found out how to open it, and replace the uninteresting original

Pema Pera: and then I started to look for pictures all around me

Pema Pera: in magazines that were discarded, anything I could lay my hands on

Dao Yheng: :)

Pema Pera: and one by one, I marvelled at the fact how inserting a picture in a frame under glass with borders

Pema Pera: made each picture so much more alive

Pema Pera: so special

Pema Pera: like "taming" the picture in terms of the fox of the little prince :)

Pema Pera: and I find that when really being with somebody, it feels a bit similar

Gaya Ethaniel: :)

Pema Pera: both putting the other person in a frame, at first, and then learning to see how they frame themselves

Pema Pera: (end of story)

Gaya Ethaniel: Thank you Pema and everyone :)

Eliza Madrigal: :) Nice, Pema. Thank you :)

Pema Pera: thank you, Gaya -- and All!

Dao Yheng: Thank you Gaya and Pema!

Eliza Madrigal: Thank you Gaya, and Everyone!

Alfred Kelberry: I liked it, pema. thank you.

Zen Arado: thanks Pema and Gaya :)

Bleu Oleander: ty Pema :) and Gaya :)

Agatha Macbeth: Thx Pem, Gaya :)

Wol Euler: nice. thank you, pema and gaya

Zen Arado: night all

Pema Pera: time for shower, breakfast, etc :)

Gaya Ethaniel: :)

Wol Euler: :)

Eliza Madrigal: :)

Dao Yheng: Gaya, will you be able to post a transcript? Sorry I missed so much of it!

Bleu Oleander: bye everyone :)

Gaya Ethaniel: Yep, check the site tomorrow Dao.

Eliza Madrigal: Bye Bleu :)

Dao Yheng: thanks!

Gaya Ethaniel waves.

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