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TED Talks Art

174 EpisodesProduced by TEDWebsite

Some of the world's greatest artists, designers, photographers and architects showcase their work and visions onstage at the TED conference, TEDx events and partner events around the world. You can also download these and many other videos free on, with an interactive English transcript and … read more

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Everyday objects, tragic histories | Ziyah Gafić

August 22nd, 2014


Ziyah Gafić photographs everyday objects—watches, shoes, glasses. But these images are deceptively simple; the items in them have been exhumed from the mass graves of the Bosnian War. Gafić, a TED Fellow and Sarajevo …

How I brought a river, and my city, back to life | Aziza Chaouni

August 19th, 2014


The Fez River winds through the medina of Fez, Morocco—a mazelike medieval city that's a World Heritage site. Once considered the "soul" of this …

Wry photos that turn stereotypes upside down | Uldus Bakhtiozina

September 12th, 2014


Artist Uldus Bakhtiozina uses photographs to poke fun at societal norms in her native Russia. A glimpse into Russian youth culture and a short, fun …

How to reinvent the apartment building | Moshe Safdie

September 26th, 2014


In 1967, Moshe Safdie reimagined the monolithic apartment building, creating “Habitat ’67,” which gave each unit an unprecedented sense of openness. …

My architectural philosophy? Bring the community into the process | Alejandro Aravena

November 6th, 2014


When asked to build housing for 100 families in Chile ten years ago, Alejandro Aravena looked to an unusual inspiration: the wisdom of favelas and slums. Rather than building a large building with small units, he built …

How painting can transform communities | Haas&Hahn

November 7th, 2014


Artists Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn create community art by painting entire neighborhoods, and involving those who live there -- from the favelas …

A dance in a hurricane of paper, wind and light | Aakash Odedra

December 5th, 2014


Choreographer Aakash Odedra is dyslexic and has always felt that his best expression comes through movement. “Murmur” is his ode to that experience, teaming up with co-creators Lewis Major and Ars Electronica Futurelab. …

The world's most boring television ... and why it's hilariously addictive | Thomas Hellum

December 10th, 2014


You've heard about slow food. Now here's slow ... TV? In this very funny talk, Norwegian television producer Thomas Hellum shares how he and his team began to broadcast long, boring events, often live -- and found a …

Trash cart superheroes | Mundano

December 19th, 2014


In Brazil, "catadores" collect junk and recyclables. But while they provide a vital service that benefits all, they are nearly invisible as they roam …

The beauty and diversity of Muslim life | Bassam Tariq

January 30th, 2015


Bassam Tariq is a blogger, a filmmaker, and a halal butcher -- but one thread unites his work: His joy in the diversity, the humanness of our individual experiences. In this charming talk, he shares clips from his film …

Old books reborn as art | Brian Dettmer

February 6th, 2015


What do you do with an outdated encyclopedia in the information age? With X-Acto knives and an eye for a good remix, artist Brian Dettmer makes …

Why the buildings of the future will be shaped by ... you | Marc Kushner

March 10th, 2015


"Architecture is not about math or zoning -- it's about visceral emotions," says Marc Kushner. In a sweeping — often funny — talk, he zooms through the past thirty years of architecture to show how the public, once …

How to go to space, without having to go to space | Angelo Vermeulen

February 19th, 2015


"We will start inhabiting outer space," says Angelo Vermeulen, crew commander of a NASA-funded Mars simulation. "It might take 50 years or it might …

There’s a better way to die, and architecture can help | Alison Killing

March 30th, 2015


In this short, provocative talk, architect Alison Killing looks at buildings where death and dying happen -- cemeteries, hospitals, homes. The way we die is changing, and the way we build for dying ... well, maybe that …

How to revive a neighborhood: with imagination, beauty and art | Theaster Gates

March 26th, 2015


Theaster Gates, a potter by training and a social activist by calling, wanted to do something about the sorry state of his neighborhood on the south side of Chicago. So he did, transforming abandoned buildings to create …

The dancer, the singer, the cellist ... and a moment of creative magic | Bill T. Jones

May 6th, 2015


Legendary dance choreographer Bill T. Jones and TED Fellows Joshua Roman and Somi didn't know exactly what was going to happen when they took the stage at TED2015. They just knew they wanted to offer the audience an …

Magical houses, made of bamboo | Elora Hardy

May 12th, 2015


You've never seen buildings like this. The stunning bamboo homes built by Elora Hardy and her team in Bali twist, curve and surprise at every turn. They defy convention because the bamboo itself is so enigmatic. No two …

Why city flags may be the worst-designed thing you've never noticed | Roman Mars

May 14th, 2015


Roman Mars is obsessed with flags -- and after you watch this talk, you might be, too. These ubiquitous symbols of civic pride are often designed, …

One woman, five characters, and a sex lesson from the future | Sarah Jones

June 9th, 2015


In this performance, Sarah Jones brings you to the front row of a classroom in the future, as a teacher plugs in different personas from the year 2016 to show their varied perspectives on sex work. As she changes props, …

A powerful poem about what it feels like to be transgender | Lee Mokobe

June 12th, 2015


"I was the mystery of an anatomy, a question asked but not answered," says poet Lee Mokobe, a TED Fellow, in this gripping and poetic exploration of …

The art of first impressions -- in design and life | Chip Kidd

June 23rd, 2015


Book designer Chip Kidd knows all too well how often we judge things by first appearances. In this hilarious, fast-paced talk, he explains the two techniques designers use to communicate instantly -- clarity and mystery …

This is what enduring love looks like | Alec Soth and Stacey Baker

July 15th, 2015


Stacey Baker has always been obsessed with how couples meet. When she asked photographer Alec Soth to help her explore this topic, they found themselves at the world's largest speed-dating event, held in Las Vegas on …

Street art with a message of hope and peace | eL Seed

July 23rd, 2015


What does this gorgeous street art say? It's Arabic poetry, inspired by bold graffiti and placed where a message of hope and peace can do the most …

A secret memorial for civilian casualties | Matt Kenyon

August 13th, 2015


In the fog of war, civilian casualties often go uncounted. Artist Matt Kenyon, whose recent work memorialized the names and stories of US soldiers …

A journey through the mind of an artist | Dustin Yellin

August 21st, 2015


Dustin Yellin makes mesmerizing artwork that tells complex, myth-inspired stories. How did he develop his style? In this disarming talk, he shares the journey of an artist -- starting from age 8 -- and his idiosyncratic …

Stunning photos of the endangered Everglades | Mac Stone

September 30th, 2015


For centuries, people have viewed swamps and wetlands as obstacles to avoid. But for photographer Mac Stone, who documents the stories of wildlife in Florida's Everglades, the swamp isn't a hindrance — it's a national …

Art that lets you talk back to NSA spies | Mathias Jud

October 29th, 2015


In 2013, the world learned that the NSA and its UK equivalent, GCHQ, routinely spied on the German government. Amid the outrage, artists Mathias Jud and Christoph Wachter thought: Well, if they're listening ... let's …

Why great architecture should tell a story | Ole Scheeren

January 14th, 2016


For architect Ole Scheeren, the people who live and work inside a building are as much a part of that building as concrete, steel and glass. He asks: …

An art made of trust, vulnerability and connection | Marina Abramović

November 30th, 2015


Marina Abramović's art pushes the boundary between audience and artist in pursuit of heightened consciousness and personal change. In her groundbreaking 2010 work, "The Artist Is Present," she simply sat in a chair …

My year reading a book from every country in the world | Ann Morgan

November 23rd, 2015


Ann Morgan considered herself well read -- until she discovered the "massive blindspot" on her bookshelf. Amid a multitude of English and American …

Forget shopping. Soon you'll download your new clothes | Danit Peleg

December 8th, 2015


Downloadable, printable clothing may be coming to a closet near you. What started as designer Danit Peleg's fashion school project turned into a …

An underwater art museum, teeming with life | Jason deCaires Taylor

December 22nd, 2015


For sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor, the ocean is more than a muse -- it's an exhibition space and museum. Taylor creates sculptures of human forms …

The unheard story of the Sistine Chapel | Elizabeth Lev

January 22nd, 2016


The Sistine Chapel is one of the most iconic buildings on earth -- but there's a lot you probably don't know about it. In this tour-de-force talk, art historian Elizabeth Lev guides us across the famous building's …

How I'm discovering the secrets of ancient texts | Gregory Heyworth

February 10th, 2016


Gregory Heyworth is a textual scientist; he and his lab work on new ways to read ancient manuscripts and maps using spectral imaging technology. In …

The beauty of human skin in every color | Angélica Dass

March 28th, 2016


Angélica Dass's photography challenges how we think about skin color and ethnic identity. In this personal talk, hear about the inspiration behind …

The magic ingredient that brings Pixar movies to life | Danielle Feinberg

April 6th, 2016


Danielle Feinberg, Pixar's director of photography, creates stories with soul and wonder using math, science and code. Go behind the scenes of …

Wisdom from great writers on every year of life | Joshua Prager

April 19th, 2016


As different as we humans are from one another, we all age along the same great sequence, and the shared patterns of our lives pass into the pages of the books we love. In this moving talk, journalist Joshua Prager …

Insightful human portraits made from data | R. Luke DuBois

April 26th, 2016


Artist R. Luke DuBois makes unique portraits of presidents, cities, himself and even Britney Spears using data and personality. In this talk, he shares nine projects -- from maps of the country built using information …

Pirates, nurses and other rebel designers | Alice Rawsthorn

May 3rd, 2016


In this ode to design renegades, Alice Rawsthorn highlights the work of unlikely heroes, from Blackbeard to Florence Nightingale. Drawing a line from …

An artist's unflinching look at racial violence | Sanford Biggers

May 11th, 2016


Conceptual artist and TED Fellow Sanford Biggers uses painting, sculpture, video and performance to spark challenging conversations about the history …

Drawings that show the beauty and fragility of Earth | Zaria Forman

May 25th, 2016


Zaria Forman's large-scale compositions of melting glaciers, icebergs floating in glassy water and waves cresting with foam explore moments of …

My journey from Marine to actor | Adam Driver

May 27th, 2016


Before he fought in the galactic battles of Star Wars, Adam Driver was a United States Marine with 1/1 Weapons Company. He tells the story of how and …

The passing of time, caught in a single photo | Stephen Wilkes

June 3rd, 2016


Photographer Stephen Wilkes crafts stunning compositions of landscapes as they transition from day to night, exploring the space-time continuum within a two-dimensional still photograph. Journey with him to iconic …

Every piece of art you've ever wanted to see -- up close and searchable | Amit Sood

June 7th, 2016


What does a cultural Big Bang look like? For Amit Sood, director of Google's Cultural Institute and Art Project, it's an online platform where anyone …

Why I keep speaking up, even when people mock my accent | Safwat Saleem

July 7th, 2016


Artist Safwat Saleem grew up with a stutter -- but as an independent animator, he decided to do his own voiceovers to give life to his characters. When YouTube commenters started mocking his Pakistani accent, it crushed …

My love letter to cosplay | Adam Savage

July 15th, 2016


Adam Savage makes things and builds experiments, and he uses costumes to add humor, color and clarity to the stories he tells. Tracing his lifelong …

A project of peace, painted across 50 buildings | eL Seed

July 19th, 2016


eL Seed fuses Arabic calligraphy with graffiti to paint colorful, swirling messages of hope and peace on buildings from Tunisia to Paris. The artist …

How loss helped one artist find beauty in imperfection | Alyssa Monks

October 26th, 2016


Painter Alyssa Monks finds beauty and inspiration in the unknown, the unpredictable and even the awful. In a poetic, intimate talk, she describes the …

Ballroom dance that breaks gender roles | Trevor Copp and Jeff Fox

October 14th, 2016


Tango, waltz, foxtrot ... these classic ballroom dances quietly perpetuate an outdated idea: that the man always leads and the woman always follows. …

Art made of the air we breathe | Emily Parsons-Lord

January 19th, 2017


Emily Parsons-Lord re-creates air from distinct moments in Earth's history -- from the clean, fresh-tasting air of the Carboniferous period to the soda-water air of the Great Dying to the heavy, toxic air of the future …

Buildings that blend nature and city | Jeanne Gang

January 24th, 2017


A skyscraper that channels the breeze ... a building that creates community around a hearth ... Jeanne Gang uses architecture to build relationships. In this engaging tour of her work, Gang invites us into buildings …

Should we simplify spelling? | Karina Galperin

March 16th, 2017


How much energy and brain power do we devote to learning how to spell? Language evolves over time, and with it the way we spell -- is it worth it to …

The data behind Hollywood's sexism | Stacy Smith

February 24th, 2017


Where are all the women and girls in film? Social scientist Stacy Smith analyzes how the media underrepresents and portrays women -- and the potentially destructive effects those portrayals have on viewers. She shares …

Beautiful new words to describe obscure emotions | John Koenig

March 10th, 2017


John Koenig loves finding words that express our unarticulated feelings -- like "lachesism," the hunger for disaster, and "sonder," the realization …

How do you build a sacred space? | Siamak Hariri

April 17th, 2017


To design the Bahá'í Temple of South America, architect Siamak Hariri focused on illumination -- from the temple's form, which captures the movement of the sun throughout the day, to the iridescent, luminous stone and …

Poetry, music and identity | Jorge Drexler

May 10th, 2017


One night in 2002, a friend gave Jorge Drexler the chorus to a song and challenged him to write the rest of it using a complex, poetic form known as the "Décima." In this fascinating talk, Drexler examines the blended …

Why glass towers are bad for city life -- and what we need instead | Justin Davidson

June 6th, 2017


There's a creepy transformation taking over our cities, says architecture critic Justin Davidson. From Houston, Texas to Guangzhou, China, shiny towers of concrete and steel covered with glass are cropping up like an …

12 truths I learned from life and writing | Anne Lamott

June 9th, 2017


A few days before she turned 61, writer Anne Lamott decided to write down everything she knew for sure. She dives into the nuances of being a human …

Why design should include everyone | Sinéad Burke

June 21st, 2017


Sinéad Burke is acutely aware of details that are practically invisible to many of us. At 105 centimeters (or 3' 5") tall, the designed world -- from the height of a lock to the range of available shoe sizes -- often …

Can art amend history? | Titus Kaphar

August 1st, 2017


Artist Titus Kaphar makes paintings and sculptures that wrestle with the struggles of the past while speaking to the diversity and advances of the …

How cohousing can make us happier (and live longer) | Grace Kim

July 24th, 2017


Loneliness doesn't always stem from being alone. For architect Grace Kim, loneliness is a function of how socially connected we feel to the people …

The stories behind The New Yorker's iconic covers | Françoise Mouly

August 3rd, 2017


Meet Françoise Mouly, The New Yorker's art director. For the past 24 years, she's helped decide what appears on the magazine's famous cover, from the …

How artists can (finally) get paid in the digital age | Jack Conte

August 16th, 2017


It's been a weird 100 years for artists and creators, says musician and entrepreneur Jack Conte. The traditional ways we've turned art into money (like record sales) have been broken by the internet, leaving musicians, …

7 principles for building better cities | Peter Calthorpe

August 17th, 2017


More than half of the world's population already lives in cities, and another 2.5 billion people are projected to move to urban areas by 2050. The …

A lyrical bridge between past, present and future | David Whyte

August 23rd, 2017


With his signature charm and searching insight, David Whyte meditates on the frontiers of the past, present and future, sharing two poems inspired by his niece's hike along El Camino de Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

A dance to honor Mother Earth | Jon Boogz and Lil Buck

August 11th, 2017


Movement artists Jon Boogz and Lil Buck debut "Honor thy mother," a delicate, powerful performance of spoken word, violin and dance that draws on the …

How your pictures can help reclaim lost history | Chance Coughenour

August 31st, 2017


Digital archaeologist Chance Coughenour is using pictures -- your pictures -- to reclaim antiquities that have been lost to conflict and disaster. …

Fun, fierce and fantastical African art | Wanuri Kahiu

August 29th, 2017


We're so used to narratives out of Africa being about war, poverty and devastation, says TED Fellow Wanuri Kahiu. Where's the fun? Introducing "AfroBubbleGum" -- African art that's vibrant, lighthearted and without a …

"The Sacred Art of the Ori" | Laolu Senbanjo

August 25th, 2017


Every artist has a name, and every artist has a story. Laolu Senbanjo's story started in Nigeria, where he was surrounded by the culture and …

Living sculptures that stand for history's truths | Sethembile Msezane

September 15th, 2017


In the century-old statues that occupy Cape Town, Sethembile Mzesane didn't see anything that looked like her own reality. So she became a living …

The forgotten art of the zoetrope | Eric Dyer

October 10th, 2017


Artist Eric Dyer spent years working at a computer to produce images for the screen. Longing to get his hands back on his work, he began exploring …

Portraits that transform people into whatever they want to be | Uldus Bakhtiozina

October 19th, 2017


With her gorgeous, haunting photographs, artist Uldus Bakhtiozina documents dreams, working with daily life as she imagines it could be. She creates …

Sci-fi stories that imagine a future Africa | Nnedi Okorafor

November 1st, 2017


"My science fiction has different ancestors -- African ones," says writer Nnedi Okorafor. In between excerpts from her "Binti" series and her novel "Lagoon," Okorafor discusses the inspiration and roots of her work -- …

Why do I make art? To build time capsules for my heritage | Kayla Briët

November 17th, 2017


Kayla Briët creates art that explores identity and self-discovery -- and the fear that her culture may someday be forgotten. She shares how she found …

Why must artists be poor? | Hadi Eldebek

March 15th, 2018


The arts bring meaning to our lives and spirit to our culture -- so why do we expect artists to struggle to make a living? Hadi Eldebek is working …

The future of storytelling | Shonda Rhimes and Cyndi Stivers

October 30th, 2017


"We all feel a compelling need to watch stories, to tell stories ... to discuss the things that tell each one of us that we are not alone in the world," says TV titan Shonda Rhimes. A dominant force in television since …

The secret language of letter design | Martina Flor

December 5th, 2017


Look at the letters around you: on street signs, stores, restaurant menus, the covers of books. Whether you realize it or not, the letters are speaking to you, telling you something beyond the literal text -- that …

What makes something go viral? | Dao Nguyen

December 7th, 2017


What's the secret to making content people love? Join BuzzFeed's Publisher Dao Nguyen for a glimpse at how her team creates their tempting quizzes, lists and videos -- and learn more about how they've developed a system …

The gift of words | Javed Akhtar

December 18th, 2017


"Do you know what I mean?" Legendary poet, lyricist and screenwriter Javed Akhtar asks why we seem to be losing our power to use words -- and inspires us to better understand and communicate with one another using this …

The next generation of African architects and designers | Christian Benimana

December 21st, 2017


Christian Benimana wants to build a network of architects who can help Africa's booming cities flourish in sustainable, equitable ways -- balancing growth with values that are uniquely African. From Nigeria to Burkina …

Inside Africa's thriving art scene | Touria El Glaoui

January 8th, 2018


Art fair curator Touria El Glaoui is on a mission to showcase vital new art from African nations and the diaspora. She shares beautiful, inspiring, …

How adaptive clothing empowers people with disabilities | Mindy Scheier

January 9th, 2018


Do you have a favorite T-shirt or pair of jeans that transforms you and makes you feel confident -- makes you feel like you? That's because what you wear can affect your mood, your health and your self-esteem, says …

Photos of Africa, taken from a flying lawn chair | George Steinmetz

January 24th, 2018


George Steinmetz's spectacular photos show Africa from the air, taken from the world's slowest, lightest aircraft. Join Steinmetz to discover the …

Want to change the world? Start by being brave enough to care | Cleo Wade

January 19th, 2018


Artist and poet Cleo Wade recites a moving poem about being an advocate for love and acceptance in a time when both seem in short supply. Woven between stories of people at the beginning and end of their lives, she …

The search for "aha!" moments | Matt Goldman

January 16th, 2018


In 1988, Matt Goldman co-founded Blue Man Group, an off-Broadway production that became a sensation known for its humor, blue body paint and wild …

How architecture can create dignity for all | John Cary

February 7th, 2018


If architect and writer John Cary has his way, women will never need to stand in pointlessly long bathroom lines again. Lines like these are representative of a more serious issue, Cary says: the lack of diversity in …

Fashion that celebrates African strength and spirit | Walé Oyéjidé

February 15th, 2018


"To be African is to be inspired by culture and to be filled with undying hope for the future," says designer and TED Fellow Walé Oyéjidé. With his …

3 creative ways to fix fashion's waste problem | Amit Kalra

February 15th, 2018


What happens to the clothes we don't buy? You might think that last season's coats, trousers and turtlenecks end up being put to use, but most of it (nearly 13 million tons each year in the United States alone) ends up …

How fashion helps us express who we are -- and what we stand for | Kaustav Dey

March 6th, 2018


No one thinks twice about a woman wearing blue jeans in New York City -- but when Nobel laureate Malala wears them, it's a political act. Around the …

The radical beauty of Africa, in portraits | Iké Udé

March 12th, 2018


Throughout his colorful career and bodies of work, Iké Udé has found creative ways to reject the negative portrayal of Africans rampant in Western …

What soccer can teach us about freedom | Marc Bamuthi Joseph

March 5th, 2018


"Soccer is the only thing on this planet that we can all agree to do together," says theater maker and TED Fellow Marc Bamuthi Joseph. Through his performances and an engagement initiative called "Moving and Passing," …

How I use art to bridge misunderstanding | Adong Judith

March 19th, 2018


Director and playwright Adong Judith creates provocative art that sparks dialogue on issues from LGBTQ rights to war crimes. In this quick but …

How the arts help homeless youth heal and build | Malika Whitley

April 11th, 2018


Malika Whitley is the founder of ChopArt, an organization for homeless teens focused on mentorship, dignity and opportunity through the arts. In this moving, personal talk, she shares her story of homelessness and …

Visions of Africa's future, from African filmmakers | Dayo Ogunyemi

April 24th, 2018


By expanding boundaries, exploring possibilities and conveying truth, films have helped change Africa's reality (even before "Black Panther"). Dayo Ogunyemi invites us to imagine Africa's future through the lens of …

3 ways to create a space that moves you, from a Broadway set designer | David Korins

October 9th, 2018


You don't have to work on Broadway to design a set, says creative director David Korins -- you can be the set designer of any space in your life. Sharing insights from his work on hits like "Hamilton" and "Dear Evan …

Why theater is essential to democracy | Oskar Eustis

June 4th, 2018


Truth comes from the collision of different ideas, and theater plays an essential role in showing us that truth, says legendary artistic director …

How to build a thriving music scene in your city | Elizabeth Cawein

September 27th, 2018


How does a city become known as a "music city"? Publicist Elizabeth Cawein explains how thriving music scenes make cities healthier and happier and …

The symbols of systemic racism -- and how to take away their power | Paul Rucker

June 26th, 2018


Multidisciplinary artist and TED Fellow Paul Rucker is unstitching the legacy of systemic racism in the United States. A collector of artifacts …

You are fluent in this language (and don't even know it) | Christoph Niemann

July 27th, 2018


Without realizing it, we're fluent in the language of pictures, says illustrator Christoph Niemann. In a charming talk packed with witty, whimsical drawings, Niemann takes us on a hilarious visual tour that shows how …

"Chasms" | Asali DeVan Ecclesiastes

September 28th, 2018


Writer and activist Asali DeVan Ecclesiastes lights up the stage with a powerful poem about hope, truth and the space between who we are and who we …

"Wild Women" | Sunni Patterson

August 31st, 2018


With lightning on her tongue, Sunni Patterson performs her powerful poem, "Wild Women," accompanied by the entrancing moves of dancer Chanice Holmes.

The genius behind some of the world's most famous buildings | Renzo Piano

July 13th, 2018


Legendary architect Renzo Piano -- the mind behind such indelible buildings as The Shard in London, the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the new Whitney Museum of Art in New York City -- takes us on a stunning tour through …

Why art thrives at Burning Man | Nora Atkinson

August 28th, 2018


Craft curator Nora Atkinson takes us on a trip to Nevada's Black Rock Desert to see the beautifully designed and participatory art of Burning Man, …

My quest to defy gravity and fly | Elizabeth Streb

October 25th, 2018


Over the course of her fearless career, extreme action specialist Elizabeth Streb has pushed the limits of the human body. She's jumped through broken glass, toppled from great heights and built gizmos to provide a …

How art can shape America's conversation about freedom | Dread Scott

August 27th, 2018


In this quick talk, visual artist Dread Scott tells the story of one of his most transgressive art installations, which drew national attention for its controversial use of the American flag and led to a landmark First …

"Interpassion" / "Ba$$in" | Yelle

August 20th, 2018


Yelle and GrandMarnier bring their danceable electropop hits to the TED stage in an energizing performance of two songs, "Interpassion" and "Ba$$in."

Intimate photos of a senior love triangle | Isadora Kosofsky

September 28th, 2018


Photographer and TED Fellow Isadora Kosofsky is a chronicler of love, loss and loneliness. In this searching talk, she shares photos from her four years documenting the lives of a senior citizen love triangle -- and …

How I accidentally changed the way movies get made | Franklin Leonard

November 7th, 2018


How does Hollywood choose what stories get told on-screen? Too often, it's groupthink informed by a narrow set of ideas about what sells at the box …

A lesson on looking | Amy Herman

December 6th, 2018


Are you looking closely? Visual educator Amy Herman explains how to use art to enhance your powers of perception and find connections where they may not be apparent. Learn the techniques Herman uses to train Navy SEALs, …

The story of Marvel's first queer Latina superhero | Gabby Rivera

November 29th, 2018


With Marvel's "America Chavez," Gabby Rivera wrote a new kind of superhero -- one who can punch portals into other dimensions while also embracing her gentle, goofy, soft side. In a funny, personal talk, Rivera shares …

Museums should honor the everyday, not just the extraordinary | Ariana Curtis

December 21st, 2018


Who deserves to be in a museum? For too long, the answer has been "the extraordinary" -- those aspirational historymakers who inspire us with their successes. But those stories are limiting, says museum curator Ariana …

Stunning buildings made from raw, imperfect materials | Débora Mesa Molina

January 24th, 2019


What would it take to reimagine the limits of architecture? Débora Mesa Molina offers some answers in this breathtaking, visual tour of her work, …

Why I turned Chicago's abandoned homes into art | Amanda Williams

March 19th, 2019


Amanda Williams shares her lifelong fascination with the complexity of color: from her experiences with race and redlining to her discovery of color …

Public art that turns cities into playgrounds of the imagination | Helen Marriage

April 3rd, 2019


Visual artist Helen Marriage stages astonishing, large-scale public art events that expand the boundaries of what's possible. In this visual tour of her work, she tells the story of three cities she transformed into …

Three ideas. Three contradictions. Or not. | Hannah Gadsby

April 29th, 2019


Hannah Gadsby's groundbreaking special "Nanette" broke comedy. In a talk about truth and purpose, she shares three ideas and three contradictions. Or not.

Mind-blowing stage sculptures that fuse music and technology | Es Devlin

May 3rd, 2019


It starts with a sketch. Then it evolves into a larger-than-life visual masterpiece, a celebration of human connection. Follow along as legendary …

Floating cities, the LEGO House and other architectural forms of the future | Bjarke Ingels

June 3rd, 2019


Design gives form to the future, says architect Bjarke Ingels. In this worldwide tour of his team's projects, journey to a waste-to-energy power plant (that doubles as an alpine ski slope) and the LEGO Home of the Brick …

Architectural secrets of the world's ancient wonders | Brandon Clifford

June 21st, 2019


How did ancient civilizations move massive stones to build Stonehenge, the Pyramids and the Easter Island statues? In this quick, delightful talk, …

"A Bird Made of Birds" | Sarah Kay

June 21st, 2019


"The universe has already written the poem you were planning on writing," says Sarah Kay, quoting her friend, poet Kaveh Akbar. Performing "A Bird Made of Birds," she shares how and where she finds poetry. (Kay is also …

Mentalism, mind reading and the art of getting inside your head | Derren Brown

July 16th, 2019


"Magic is a great analogy for how we edit reality and form a story -- and then mistake that story for the truth," says psychological illusionist …

How film transforms the way we see the world | Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

July 12th, 2019


Film has the power to change the way we think about ourselves and our culture. Documentarian and TED Fellow Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy uses it to fight …

The architectural wonder of impermanent cities | Rahul Mehrotra

July 22nd, 2019


Every 12 years, a megacity springs up in India for the Kumbh Mela religious festival -- what's built in ten weeks is completely disassembled in one. …

How a typeface helped launch Apollo | Douglas Thomas

July 19th, 2019


When humanity first landed on the moon in 1969, the typeface Futura was right there with them. In this fascinating history of typography, designer …

How craving attention makes you less creative | Joseph Gordon-Levitt

August 20th, 2019


Joseph Gordon-Levitt has gotten more than his fair share of attention from his acting career. But as social media exploded over the past decade, he …

Can we choose to fall out of love? | Dessa

August 29th, 2019


What's the best way to get over heartbreak? Rapper and writer Dessa came up with an unconventional approach after a chance viewing of Helen Fisher's TED Talk about the brains of the lovestruck. In a wryly funny talk, …

"Stumbling towards intimacy": An improvised TED Talk | Anthony Veneziale

September 4th, 2019


In a hilarious, completely improvised talk, improv master Anthony Veneziale takes to the TED stage for a truly one-of-a-kind performance. Armed with …

What streaming means for the future of entertainment | Emmett Shear

September 16th, 2019


In a talk and demo, Twitch cofounder Emmett Shear shares his vision for the future of interactive entertainment -- and explains how video game streaming is helping people build communities online. "I am excited for a …

How we experience time and memory through art | Sarah Sze

September 30th, 2019


Artist Sarah Sze takes us on a kaleidoscopic journey through her work: immersive installations as tall as buildings, splashed across walls, orbiting through galleries -- blurring the lines between time, memory and …

Fashion that celebrates all body types -- boldly and unapologetically | Becca McCharen-Tran

October 22nd, 2019


Fashion designers have the power to change culture -- and Becca McCharen-Tran is using her platform to expand the industry's narrow definition of …

The pride and power of representation in film | Jon M. Chu

October 23rd, 2019


On the heels of the breakout success of his film "Crazy Rich Asians," director Jon M. Chu reflects on what drives him to create -- and makes a resounding case for the power of connection and on-screen representation.

How we experience awe -- and why it matters | Beau Lotto and Cirque du Soleil

October 25th, 2019


Neuroscientist Beau Lotto conducted an ambitious study with Cirque du Soleil on the emotion of awe and its psychological and behavioral benefits. In …

Urban architecture inspired by mountains, clouds and volcanoes | Ma Yansong

November 7th, 2019


Taking inspiration from nature, architect Ma Yansong designs breathtaking buildings that break free from the boxy symmetry of so many modern cities. …

A historical musical that examines Black identity in the 1901 World's Fair | Amma Y. Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin

November 8th, 2019


In this lively talk and performance, artist and TED Fellow Amma Y. Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin offers a sneak peek of her forthcoming musical "At Buffalo." Drawing on archival material from the 1901 Pan-American Exhibition, a …

Why I draw with robots | Sougwen Chung

November 25th, 2019


What happens when humans and robots make art together? In this awe-inspiring talk, artist Sougwen Chung shows how she "taught" her artistic style to …

How I use art to tackle plastic pollution in our oceans | Alejandro Durán

December 2nd, 2019


Alejandro Durán uses art to spotlight the ongoing destruction of our oceans' ecosystems. In this breathtaking talk, he shows how he meticulously …

A swarm of mini drones makes ... magic! | Marco Tempest

January 10th, 2020


Leading a swarm of small, buzzing flying machines, techno-magician Marco Tempest orchestrates a "cyber illusion" that will have you asking yourself: Was that science or magic?

Does photographing a moment steal the experience from you? | Erin Sullivan

January 23rd, 2020


When we witness something amazing, many of us instinctively pull out our phones and snap pictures. Is this obsession with photographing everything …

Imaginative sculptures that explore how we perceive reality | Alicia Eggert

February 10th, 2020


TED Fellow Alicia Eggert takes us on a visual tour of her work -- from a giant sculpture on an uninhabited island in Maine to an installation that …

How symbols and brands shape our humanity | Debbie Millman

February 14th, 2020


"Branding is the profound manifestation of the human spirit," says designer and podcaster Debbie Millman. In a historical odyssey that she …

How volumetric video brings a new dimension to filmmaking | Diego Prilusky

February 21st, 2020


In this talk and tech demo, filmmaker Diego Prilusky introduces the next chapter in moviemaking: volumetric video, a 360-degree experience powered by …

How bumble bees inspired a network of tiny museums | Amanda Schochet

February 27th, 2020


Sometimes, small things make a huge impact. After studying how bees in urban environments can survive by navigating small land patches, ecologist …

Go ahead, dream about the future | Charlie Jane Anders

March 20th, 2020


"You don't predict the future -- you imagine the future," says sci-fi writer Charlie Jane Anders. In a talk that's part dream, part research-based …

An ode to living on Earth | Oliver Jeffers

April 22nd, 2020


If you had to explain to a newborn what it means to be a human being living on Earth in the 21st century, what would you say? Visual artist Oliver …

How drawing can set you free | Shantell Martin

June 12th, 2020


Who are you? To answer this question, artist Shantell Martin followed her pen. In this brilliantly visual talk featuring her signature freestyle line …

How to support and celebrate living artists | Swizz Beatz

June 24th, 2020


Legendary hip-hop producer Swizz Beatz is on a mission to revolutionize the way artists do business. In this glorious talk, he shares some of the …

How Dolly Parton led me to an epiphany | Jad Abumrad

June 25th, 2020


How do you end a story? Host of "Radiolab" Jad Abumrad tells how his search for an answer led him home to the mountains of Tennessee, where he met an …

Art in the age of machine intelligence | Refik Anadol

August 18th, 2020


What does it look like inside the mind of a machine? Inspired by the architectural vision of a futuristic Los Angeles in "Blade Runner," media artist …

The transformative role of art during the pandemic | Anne Pasternak

July 8th, 2020


Museums are vessels of memory, knowledge, inspiration and dreams. Anne Pasternak, director of the Brooklyn Museum, makes the case for cultural …

Give yourself permission to be creative | Ethan Hawke

July 23rd, 2020


Reflecting on moments that shaped his life, actor Ethan Hawke examines how courageous expression promotes healing and connection with one another -- and invites you to discover your own unabashed creativity. "There is …

An illustrated kingdom of real, fantastical plants | Nirupa Rao

October 5th, 2020


Botanical artist Nirupa Rao captures the spirit and beauty of nature in watercolor. With a portfolio of enchanting, scientifically accurate …

How a strong creative industry helps economies thrive | Mehret Mandefro

January 19th, 2021


When global leaders think about which industries can fuel economic growth, the arts are often overlooked. But filmmaker Mehret Mandefro says the creative sector actually has the power to grow economies -- while also …

When the world is burning, is art a waste of time? | R. Alan Brooks

February 1st, 2021


Is art worth it? "Hell yeah," says graphic novelist R. Alan Brooks -- art has the power to scare dictators, inspire multitudes and change hearts and …

How theater weathers wars, outlasts empires and survives pandemics | Cara Greene Epstein

February 17th, 2021


When catastrophe strikes, art prevails -- and has done so for centuries. In this fascinating talk, writer and director Cara Greene Epstein places the closing of theaters during the coronavirus pandemic in a historical …

Art that reveals how technology frames reality | Jiabao Li

March 4th, 2020


In a talk that could change how you see things, designer and artist Jiabao Li introduces her conceptual projects that expose the inherent bias of …

A video game that helps us understand loneliness | Cornelia Geppert

December 5th, 2019


Step into artist Cornelia Geppert's visually stunning video game "Sea of Solitude," which explores how battling the "monsters" of loneliness and …

Dictators hate political cartoons -- so I keep drawing them | Rayma Suprani

January 31st, 2020


"A political cartoon is a barometer of freedom," says Rayma Suprani, who was exiled from her native Venezuela for publishing work critical of the …

To accomplish great things, you need to "let the paint dry" | Daniel J. Watts

April 26th, 2021


As theaters closed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the creatives who populated their stages were plunged into a state of seemingly endless …

How creative writing can help you through life's hardest moments | Sakinah Hofler

December 9th, 2020


Have you ever seen or experienced something and wished you spoke up? Writer Sakinah Hofler makes the case for writing as a tool to help you process …

What should humans take to space (and leave behind)? | Jorge Mañes Rubio

May 24th, 2021


One day, humans will explore space en masse and live scattered across the solar system on planets like Mars and beyond. Inspired by his time as …

Playful, wondrous public spaces built for community and possibility | Matthew Mazzotta

May 24th, 2021


Introducing a new type of public space, custom-fit for communities in need of a shot of hope and wonder. Artist and TED Fellow Matthew Mazzotta takes …

Documentary films that explore trauma -- and make space for healing | Almudena Toral

May 24th, 2021


Through documentary films following survivors of trauma, TED Fellow Almudena Toral makes invisible psychological scars seen. She shares the …

Why are stolen African artifacts still in Western museums? | Jim Chuchu

August 9th, 2021


African artifacts shown in museums worldwide are often not borrowed, but stolen -- and TED Fellow Jim Chuchu is on a mission to get them back. Learn …

Why we need more (real) science in fiction | Alexis Gambis

October 25th, 2019


Filmmaker, biologist and TED Fellow Alexis Gambis makes films grounded in fact, straddling the genres of experimental, documentary and fiction. …

The art of paying attention | Wendy MacNaughton

September 23rd, 2021


In an invitation to slow down and look at the world around you, graphic journalist Wendy MacNaughton illustrates how drawing can spark deeply human, authentic connections. Ready to try? Grab a pencil and join …

How your nature photos can help protect wild animals | Tanya Berger-Wolf

October 21st, 2021


We're losing animal and plant species at such a swift, unprecedented rate that it's nearly impossible to keep up. Computational biologist Tanya …

The many reasons to eat a plant-based diet | Derek Sarno

November 10th, 2021


Vegan chef (and head chef of TED Countdown Summit) Derek Sarno is on a mission to unleash the mighty power of plants, creating nutritious food from …

"Being Human" | Naima Penniman

November 10th, 2021


In this stunning spoken-word performance, poet and "freedom-forging futurist" Naima Penniman celebrates the wonders of the natural world and humanity's connection to it. "I wonder if the sun debates dawn some mornings," …

How visual storytelling creates better health care | Sam Hester

January 12th, 2022


Comics creator Sam Hester is part of a growing movement within health care: graphic medicine. In short, literally drawing attention to a patient's needs and goals with pictures to foster better and more accessible …

The mind-bending art of deep time | Katie Paterson

January 28th, 2022


Short-sightedness may be the greatest threat to humanity, says conceptual artist Katie Paterson, whose work engages with deep time -- an idea that describes the history of the Earth over a time span of millions of …

How film captures the space between hope and despair | Mounia Akl

February 8th, 2022


When Lebanon was rocked by a massive explosion at the port of Beirut, filmmaker Mounia Akl came face-to-face with chaos -- and the power of art to create some sense of order. In this poetic, moving talk, Akl shares the …

My secret to creating real magic | Christina Tosi

March 1st, 2022


In an infectiously joyous talk, Milk Bar founder Christina Tosi shares the sugary jolt of her first food memory and behind-the-scenes stories of her …

Powerful photos that honor the lives of overlooked women | Smita Sharma

March 21st, 2022


In some parts of the world, girls are as likely to be married off or trafficked as they are to be educated. Photojournalist and TED Fellow Smita …

How webtoons are changing movies and TV | Hyeonmi Kim

March 30th, 2022


Pop culture is changing thanks to a different kind of storytelling, says digital strategist Hyeonmi Kim. They're called webtoons: comic-like …

NFTs, the metaverse and the future of digital art | Elizabeth Strickler

April 5th, 2022

In need of a brief yet illuminating lesson on the obsession with NFTs? Elizabeth Strickler breaks down the acronym and explains the fundamentals of non-fungible tokens, sharing how these digital assets are changing the …

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