“For conversations about nothing, they are certainly something.” —The Economist
“Captivating, yet swerving discussion” —Vanity Fair
Featuring Ken Burns, Oliver Sacks, Rick Moody, and Brian Cox
Some of the world’s most active minds came to New York’s Rubin Museum of Art from 2010-2011 to talk about…nothing. Two by two, they partook in probing, inspired conversations about universal questions: what is, what isn’t, and how can we tell? The concept of nothing is central to Buddhism’s diamond sutra, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Einstein’s theory of relativity, and countless more works of art, philosophy, science, and spirituality. So there was plenty for each pair to talk about.
The Economist applauded the Rubin’s “inspired pairings”: neurologist Oliver Sacks and blind photographer John Dugdale; Shakespearean actor Brian Cox and developmental psychologist Alison Gopnik; filmmaker Ken Burns and Tibetan Buddhist teacher Traleg Rinpoche; performance artist Laurie Anderson and Charles Seife, author of a book about zero. The results were unscripted, unlimited, and enlightening—food for thought from some of the greatest thinkers of our time.
Opened in 2004, the Rubin Museum of Art is one of New York City’s newest and most innovative presenters of exhibitions and programs related to Himalayan art and culture and their relevance to contemporary life.
These programs were originally created for the web. Consequently, you may notice occasional flaws in the image and audio that were beyond our ability to correct from the original materials.