Video Of The Week: Kevin Slavin on "Getting Brilliant People to Surprise Themselves"

There is a new cultural institution being built in NYC right now, the first major new cultural institution built in NYC in quite a while. It is called The Shed and its mission is to be “The first arts center designed to commission, produce, and present all types of performing arts, visual arts, and popular culture.”

I have been fortunate to have had a ground floor seat to watch this come together and observe the team led by the Chairman Dan Doctoroff and CEO Alex Poots make something that is equally ambitious and futuristic.

The CTO of The Shed is Kevin Slavin, who is well known to folks in the NYC tech community. He’s an entrepreneur, academic, and technologist.

In this video, made by Y Combinator, Kevin talks about how to get “brilliant people to surprise themselves” which is something Kevin and The Shed are going to have to do frequently in order to live up to their mission.


Comments (Archived):

  1. kenberger

    I’ve always thought he looks like Steve from Sex and the City.

  2. Rob Underwood

    Kevin is incredible. I expect The Shed will be a great addition to NYC.

  3. awaldstein

    Too cool.Thanks for alerting me to this.

  4. jason wright

    does information ‘impose’ itself on culture?

  5. LE

    Good video. This is much better than I expected. At first I thought Kevin speaks to slowly for me, but after a while I can see how he uses that to his advantage. [1] It kind of lulls you into relaxing and listening on a different level. I also like his facial expressions. I always study the face of someone talking to me and learn from it. You are able to help with knowing truth from fiction since it comes out differently in the face almost always.[1] And the smile as well. He is a ‘talking smiler’. That is a very valuable way of getting what you want and convincing people. It underarms and helps remove mental protection and inhibitions. My wife is good at that. She can completely use her smile to get by anything that is upsetting me. It’s like a drug was directly injected.

  6. sigmaalgebra

    That’s a strange, maybe mostly just modern, approach to art and/or technology. So he is supposed to be pursuing art but gets involved also with technology, e.g., mobile, maybe games, virtual reality, etc.NYC has long been awash in world-class art and, thus, has both (A) large audiences that like art and (B) a lot of competition among artists.If art is “the communication, interpretation of human experience, emotion”, then humans have been doing well at that at least since the ancient Greeks. So, there’s a LOT of really good art out there, so much that competing with it now is super tough. E.g., while a lot about human life has changed in the last 2000 years, especially technology, the humans that are both the subject and the audience for the art have not changed very much at all.Net, great art can be great stuff, but by now the competition is severe!If new technology can help with art, and clearly it can, IMHO the technology is just the stage for the art or means of recording and/or delivery of the art to the audience and not really much about the art itself. Or, as it appears that Hollywood has discovered and accepted, technology can help deliver good art, but technology can’t make poor art good, e.g., CGI (computer generated imagery) can help good art but can’t make poor art good.Hopefully Kevin’s efforts will result in more good art!

  7. johndodds

    Always been a big fan of Kevin – lovely guy and a really interesting thinker and do-er.