Jason Silva and Barry Ptolemy Collaborate on New Series, ‘The Future of Us’



Equal parts art and science, passion and rationality, Jason Silva continues to curate the exponential in a new series called “The Future of Us” on AOL.

Silva told us the new stuff will be recognizable to those who’ve seen “Shots of Awe” or his philosophical espresso shots. Sponsorship by Chevrolet came with creative freedom and the funds to improve the end product.

In making the videos, Silva collaborated with friend Barry Ptolemy, director of “Transcendent Man,” and exchanged Central Park for Big Sur and Malibu.

Jason Silva
Jason Silva

“I got to take the content from my philosophical espresso shots and build on it—the production value, shoot with two cameras instead of one camera, invest more in stock footage—just take it to the next level.”

In the first episode, Silva sketches a few broad strokes. Our exponential future, he says, is in biotechnology, nanotechnology, and robotics. Episode two dives into biotech—how mind arose from flesh and is, in turn, creating flesh anew.

Quoting Freeman Dyson, he says, “In the near future, a new generation of artists are going to write genomes with the fluency that Blake and Byron wrote verses.”

The third installment covers nanotech, and the latest episode remixes Silva’s “Patterns” video exploring the artificial division between natural and manmade.

Barry Ptolemy
Barry Ptolemy

Silva told us, “The idea that nature and technology are separate is receding so fast it’s increasingly becoming obvious that there’s a continuum between the born and the made, and we’re just in the middle of it.”

The series will be eight episodes long, released weekly.  Silva’s film shorts still attract plenty of eyeballs, and with AOL, he’s exposing a whole new audience to exponential tech and the singularity.

Talking to Silva, you get the feeling guerrilla filmmaking and performance art are his greatest passions. “I make the videos because I have the urge to create.” Art and and science, he says, are two sides of the same coin.

Silva is at his best synthesizing, contextualizing, and spinning the story of science, tech, and philosophy for a non-technical audience. And hey, everyone is non-technical, until something inspires them to learn more.

Image Credit: Jason Goodman