TED A DAY: Making New Contacts

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January 11th, 2012
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Making new contacts

Today’s Ted A Day comes from hip hop artist Baba Israel, a New Yorker now living in Manchester. This inspirational talk was part of the TEDx York events that ran right here in July 2011. The 2012 TEDx York events will be taking place this summer, and I hope that this unusual and fascinating talk will wet your appetite for TEDx York 2012.

With a passion for theatre, improvisation, and collaboration Baba uses technology to close the geographical divides that have traditionally created barriers for long-distance collaboration in areas like theatre and dance.

The highlight of this talk is for me when Baba opens with several minutes of improvisation using a live Twitter feed from the audience and also inviting audience members to get involved in the physical world, as well as the technological by holding up objects, that Baba then incorporates into his freestyle rap. It is a wonderful example of the power of collaboration between audience and artist, and of improvisation as a powerful tool.

Working with artists simultaneously in Manchester and New York, Baba has used technology to breakdown boundaries and refute the idea that physical distance automatically equates to creative separation.

Unfortunately for Baba, technical problems do slightly interfere with his presentation and shows the flip-side of using hi-tech equipment for collaboration – that sometimes gremlins in the system can get in the way.

But this York based presentation is still well worth a watch especially for the fascinating improvisation intro.


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