Ed Catmull:”Fear is built into our nature”

The Quarterly: It sounds as though you think a lot about fear and how to counteract its corrosive effects.

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Ed Catmull: Fear is built into our nature; we want to succeed and we respond physiologically to threats—both to real threats and to imagined threats. If people come into an organization like ours and they’re welcomed in, what’s the threat? Well, from their point of view, they’re thinking, “this is a high-functioning environment. Am I going to fit in? Am I going to look bad? Will I screw up?” It’s natural to think this way, but it makes people cautious.

When you go to work for a company, they tell you something about the values of the company and how open they are. But it’s just words. You take your actual cues from what you see. That’s just the way we’re wired. Most people don’t talk explicitly about it, because they don’t want to appear obtuse or out of place. So they’ll sometimes misinterpret what they see. For example, when we were building Pixar, the people at the time played a lot of practical jokes on each other, and they loved that. They think it’s awesome when there are practical jokes and people do things that are wild and crazy.

Now, it’s 20 years later. They’ve got kids; they go home after work. But they still love the practical jokes. When new people come in, they may hear stories about the old days, but they don’t see as much clowning around. So if they were to do it, they might feel out of line. Without anyone saying anything, just based on what they see, they would be less likely to do those things.

Meanwhile, the older people are saying, “what’s wrong with these new people? They’re not like we were. They’re not doing any of this fun stuff.” Without intending to, the culture slowly shifts. How do you keep the shift from happening? I can’t go out and say, “OK, we’re going to organize some wild and crazy activities.” Top-down organizing of spontaneous activities isn’t a good idea. Don’t get me wrong—we still have a lot of pretty crazy things going on, but we are trying to be aware of the unspoken fears that make people overly cautious. If you’re just measuring yourself by your outward success, then you’re missing a huge part of what drives people.

 

Source : https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/staying-one-step-ahead-at-pixar-an-interview-with-ed-catmull

Piotr Anderszewski:”there is no such thing as a good piano in the absolute sense”

Do you not find this paradoxical, in a world which is becoming more and more standardized?

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Piotr Anderszewski: It’s less standardized than you think. At the end of the day, I think I would prefer pianos to be identical everywhere (although I’m sure that would actually make me crazy!). Before, there were more piano makers on the market, and their instruments had more unique traits. Today, if Fazioli tries to gain ground, for example, it’s faced with a quasi-monopoly by Steinway on the concert circuit. But Steinway remains a house of high fashion, which makes hand-sewn products: every one of their pianos has its own personality. The tuning, maintenance, storage, the general state of the piano makes each one different – a Steinway from Hamburg is different from one from London, New York, or Tokyo. That said, I hate nothing more than talking with technicians who come to ask you if you want a piano with a ringing sound or a more muffled one, rich or brassy, heavy or light action. That doesn’t make any sense! I want it to ring and be muffled, I want brassy and rich, I want heavy and light! The worst is when a technician assures you that, if you don’t like the regulation, they can “have it all fixed in 5 minutes” – nothing is impossible, they can change everything – in 5 minutes! That makes me scratch my head. I prefer technicians who tell me outright, “You’re looking for something that this piano cannot do.”

The same thing goes for sound engineers: we don’t speak the same language. I just express my point of view (the idea being of course that I be able to recognize my playing), but this kind of conversation seems rather vain to me. I don’t understand anything, really nothing at all, regarding the changes they say they have made on the tracks. For me, in any case, it’s just as bad as it was when they started! I don’t know a thing about all this business of spacing, placing, positioning mikes. I’m not an expert in instrumental mechanics. Is that wrong? Should I be more like my compatriot Krystian Zimerman? Whatever the case, there is no such thing as a good piano in the absolute sense: you always have to account for the space around it that you have to fill with sound. That’s why I don’t think traveling with my own piano would solve anything. At times, I’ve chosen a piano to record an album in a warehouse or in a backstage room, then once the piano is in the recording studio, I think there’s been a mistake: I’ll check, realize that the serial numbers are the same, but nonetheless I don’t recognize it any more, not the touch nor the sound.

Source : http://www.iplaythepiano.com/piano-mag/piotr-anderszewski-interview.html

Bruce Lee:”To me, ultimately, martial art means honestly expressing yourself.”

Q: It’s interesting, we don’t in our world, and haven’t since the days of the Greeks who did, combined philosophy and art with sport. But quite clearly the oriental attitude is that the three are facets of the same thing.

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Bruce Lee: Man, listen to me, ok? To me, ultimately, martial art means honestly expressing yourself. Now it is very difficult to do. I mean it is easy for me to put on a show and be cocky and be flooded with a cocky feeling and then feel, then, like pretty cool and all that. Or I can make all kinds of phony things, you see what I mean? And be blinded by it. Or I can show you some really fancy movement, but, to express oneself honestly, not lying to oneself….and to express myself honestly, that, my friend is very hard to do. And you have to train. You have to keep your reflexes so that when you want it…it’s there! When you want to move, you are moving and when you move you are determined to move. Not taking one inch, not anything less than that! If I want to punch, I’m going to do it man, and I’m going to do it! So that is the type of thing you gave to train yourself into it; to become one with it. You think….(snaps his fingers) ….it is.

Source : http://www.theattractionforums.com/showthread.php?t=65203

Ai Weiwei :”I believe that all these crises are man-made, so man has to find a solution now”

Q:  What can each and every one of us do to stop this human crisis, as you call it?

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Ai Weiwei :We’ve always hoped and thought that in the 21st century, we would have better conditions through globalization and greater tolerance regarding political situations. But today there are more borders than ever and it seems as if we’re strongly divided. We have to start really dealing with this situation instead of repressing it.

I believe that all these crises are man-made, so man has to find a solution now. We all have to believe that we have the power to bring about change. If we lose that faith, we will also lose our hope, our trust, and our humanity.

Source : https://i-d.vice.com/en_us/article/8x575z/i-have-no-home-an-interview-with-ai-weiwei

Miyazaki: “We need to be open to the powers of imagination, which brings something useful to reality

Q: Do you believe in the necessity of fantasy in telling children’s stories?

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Miyazaki: I believe that fantasy in the meaning of imagination is very important. We shouldn’t stick too close to everyday reality but give room to the reality of the heart, of the mind, and of the imagination. Those things can help us in life. But we have to be cautious in using this word fantasy. In Japan, the word fantasy these days is applied to everything from TV shows to video games, like virtual reality. But virtual reality is a denial of reality. We need to be open to the powers of imagination, which brings something useful to reality. Virtual reality can imprison people. It’s a dilemma I struggle with in my work, that balance between imaginary worlds and virtual worlds.

source : http://www.midnighteye.com/interviews/hayao-miyazaki/

Yayoi Kusama :”In recent years the world has become unpeaceful and full of turmoil”

Q: You once said: “I create art for the healing of all mankind.” Is this vision already partially fulfilled for you?
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Yayoi Kusama :In my decades of work, I have always thought of humankind’s love and world peace. I fight pain, anxiety, and fear every day, and the only method I have found that relieves my illness is to keep creating art. In recent years the world has become unpeaceful and full of turmoil. As an artist, I think it is important to share the love and peace and hope to deliver that to people who are suffering and do not have the opportunity to enjoy the joy of art. The fact that I paint helps me to keep away thoughts of death for myself.

Bruce Weber :” I’ve always felt like love and affection were really important to me”

Q: How important is the sexual aspect in your body of work?

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Bruce : I’ve always felt like love and affection were really important to me. I like it that people have a flirtation with life. I think that’s kind of important. I didn’t think my work was about sex so much as I thought it was about desire. Desire to be close to somebody, to be intimate. A lot of the time people comment on my pictures that they are too sexy or too sexual, but to me it’s just a photograph of a friend and they trusted me and I liked them. I wasn’t afraid to show myself, my feelings about people.

Source : http://the-talks.com/interview/bruce-weber