In the premiere of the YouTube Reserve Channel series ARTST TLK, host Pharrell Williams leads a compelling discussion with investigative authors Ben Mezrich and Andy Greenberg about the frightening side of technology, the freedom of the information age, and the underground world of hacking.
ARTST TLK looks to include people from an array of artistic fields, and features the graphic handiwork of KAWS, New York based artist and former graffiti writer who was meant to be a guest on the first episode. Starting the series with Mezrich and Greenberg instead, two experts on the digital age, seems highly appropriate given the internet-based forum of the talk show.
Mezrich wrote The Accidental Billionaires and Bringing Down the House based on his own experiences and those of close friends. The works became the basis for Hollywood hits “The Social Network” and “21,” respectively. Greenberg, a reporter and Forbes journalist, wrote This Machine Kills Secrets based on his insider knowledge of the hacking community and his conversations with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Both authors have observed computer hackers and Vegas scammers at work, witnessing firsthand how drastically technology has shaped and changed the world.
Not only did they share unbelievable anecdotes, but they also explored topics of surveillance, privacy, the projection of the self into the community, and how people want as much freedom as possible – until technology comes back to bite them. The commentary was both thoughtful and casual, more of a comfortable conversation than a formal interview. Things got a little too comfortable, however, when a naked woman walked over to the table and refilled all of their waters, causing Greenberg to pause in the midst of an interesting point. This entirely unnecessary intrusion seemed to surprise both the guests on the show and viewers of the episode, whose comments are primarily about the woman and not about the actual content that was discussed.
Check out the full episode below and be on the lookout for future episodes of ARTST TLK on Reserve Channel.
Watch the first episode of ARTST TLK in its entirety below…
Text: Nicola Parisi