June 04, 2012 - Excerpt from full interview:
"One afternoon recently I spent a couple of hours with Jason Silva, the longtime Current TV host who’s been making much-talked-about micro-videos about the co-evolution of humans and technology—the latest of which will be featured at TEDGlobal later this month. We were sitting in a window table at The Smile, a subterranean hangout in a once-grand row house on Bond Street in lower Manhattan. Behind us was a brick wall that seemed to grow out of the schist the house was built on. In the glinting sunlight it looked more real than real.
Jason Silva: These are films that immerse us while also unsettling us. They are multi-layered experiences that suck us into their narrative on one level, while at the same time making unsettling suggestions about our own perception of reality.
The Matrix says that reality is just patterns of information interpreted by your brain, electrical signals that can be emulated by a sufficiently advanced computer system. In other words, reality could be an immersive virtual simulation. In Vanilla Sky, we can achieve immortality by getting cryogenically frozen and signing up for a virtual lucid dream that is sculpted moment-to-moment out of the iconography of our lives. In David Cronenberg's eXistenZ, we plug into a synthetic life form that rewires our nervous system, providing a game-like universe where we are fully immersed in an adventure.
Movies like this offer an uneasy takeaway. We love movies because they provide dream worlds we can lose ourselves in—and yet these movies suggest that their waking dream worlds are no less real than "reality," because reality is also a story we tell ourselves. ...'