TEDxUMontana: exciting ideas at the University of Montana
For TEDxUMontana speaker and art historian Rafael Chacón, an academic exercise turned into a personal journey.
Why did you want to speak at TEDxUMontana?
I actually didn’t think about it until I was encouraged by a few colleagues who thought I might have something interesting to say.
What was your reaction when you found out you were selected as a speaker?
A mixture of disbelief, humility, and, yes, terrible fear!
What inspires you about TED talks?
Every TED talk I’ve heard leaves me thinking about big ideas, big problems, and big solutions. We live in an exciting age. TED talks, perhaps because they are global like no other venue these days, both educate and inspire me. They are a liberal arts education in their own right.
How do you want to change the world?
My hope is to inspire folks to somehow connect the particular constellation of their lives to history, art and culture, science, spirituality, politics , social causes, etc. I’d love it if the next generation knew more about art history and science and used both disciplines to answer the big questions, but it doesn’t really matter to me how they connect or what discipline they employ to link themselves to the greater world. If we all realize that we share a journey and that connection between us is ever more crucial, then we are likely to achieve great things as a species.
What are you passionate about beyond your work?
I’m pretty fortunate to work in a field that covers so many of my passions. Art is a hub for humanity’s concerns, big and small. So, there really is no subject out there that hasn’t been explored by an artist somewhere. The question of our origin as human beings, the central preoccupation of both faith and science, is fortunately for me also the greatest concern of art. But to answer the question, I can’t decide if I’m happier walking through a church, museum or wilderness area.