Full text of filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg’s talk on Hidden Miracles of the Natural World at TED Talk conference.
Listen to the MP3 Audio here: Louie Schwartzberg on Hidden miracles of the natural world
Louie Schwartzberg – Filmmaker
What is the intersection between technology, art and science? Curiosity and wonder, because it drives us to explore, because we’re surrounded by things we can’t see. And I love to use film to take us on a journey through portals of time and space, to make the invisible visible. Because what that does, it expands our horizons, it transforms our perception, it opens our minds and it touches our heart. So here are some scenes from my 3D IMAX film, “Mysteries of the Unseen World.”
There is movement which is too slow for our eyes to detect, and time-lapse makes us discover and broaden our perspective of life. We can see how organisms emerge and grow, how a vine survives by creeping from the forest floor to look at the sunlight. And at the grand scale, time-lapse allows us to see our planet in motion. We can view not only the vast sweep of nature, but the restless movement of humanity.
Each streaking dot represents a passenger plane, and by turning air traffic data into time-lapse imagery, we can see something that’s above us constantly but invisible: the vast network of air travel over the United States. We can do the same thing with ships at sea. We can turn data into a time-lapse view of a global economy in motion. And decades of data give us a view of our entire planet as a single organism sustained by currents circulating throughout the oceans and by clouds swirling through the atmosphere, pulsing with lightning, crowned by the aurora Borealis. It may be the ultimate time-lapse image: the anatomy of Earth brought to life.